The Fascinating Study of Humans

Anthropology is study of human beings, their antecedents, related primates, and their cultural behavior and institutions. The major subfields are physical and cultural anthropology, archeology, linguistics, their applications, and ethics in the discipline.  The Anthropology major will explore methods and theories relevant to archeological inquiry, the study of human origins and bio-cultural adaptations, and human cultures including social organization, institutions, diversity, interaction between human groups, and ethics in the discipline.

The concepts and skills provided by the major in anthropology are useful in a wide variety of careers, including continued progress into master’s and doctoral degrees.  Studying anthropology provides students a strong foundation of skills, which can launch many careers and aspirations, including careers in academia, corporate and business, government and non-profit community based careers.  Anthropologists work in disaster areas, including Ground Zero in New York and the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

The misconception about anthropology is that anthropologists study bones.  In fact, anthropology studies more than just bones.  Anthropology is the scientific study of human behavior.  Anthropology looks at why we behave the way we do, how culture influences our decisions and families, and how environment and history influence society and culture. Anthropology topics include language, culture, archaeology, physical or biological anthropology, medical anthropology, primatology, forensics, psychological anthropology, economic anthropology, and educational anthropology.

Anthropology teaches critical thinking, which can prepare students for higher education and in their careers.  Critical thinking allows students to view current events and trends in an anthropological perspective, to better understand human behavior.  Anthropology is becoming more critical as our nation increases in diversity in regard to religion, race, sexuality, politics, and more.

Career Opportunities

Areas of Anthropological study include sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, forensic anthropology, and environmental anthropology. 

The federal government is one of the largest employers of anthropologists outside of academia.

Possible career paths include international development, cultural resource management, the legislative branch, forensic and physical anthropology, natural resource management, and defense and security sectors.

Multiple colleges and universities offer undergraduate degrees in anthropology, and some even offer graduate degrees in the field for those who desire to conduct research in anthropology or teach anthropology at the college and university level.  Those who work in fields other than research or teaching only require a bachelor’s degree in anthropology to help them understand human behavior in their respective fields.

Anthropologists have a variety of career options, as anthropologists can use their understanding of culture and human behavior in a variety of positions in the workplace.  Anthropologists can work in marketing, community relations, journalism, research, non-profits, social services, law, governmental positions, and teaching.  Anthropology teaches the valuable skill of critical thinking, which can be used in any capacity in any field.

Students pursuing an education in anthropology will be prepared for careers as:

  • Anthropologists and archeologists $68,213*

*Source: www.texaswages.com, 2016 annual median salaries for Gulf Coast region.

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