Anthropology, Bachelor of Arts
Anthropology is the study of human behavior and multicultural diversity. That exploration of what it means to be human ranges from the study of culture and social relations, to human biology and evolution, to languages, to music, art and architecture, and to vestiges of human habitation. It considers such fascinating questions as how peoples' behavior changes over time, why and how people from distant parts of the world and dissimilar cultures are different and the same, and how the human species has evolved over millions of years.
Anthropology includes four broad fields: cultural anthropology, linguistics, physical anthropology and archaeology. Each of the four fields teaches distinctive skills, such as applying theories, employing research methodologies, formulating and testing hypotheses, developing extensive sets of data, and celebrating diversity. Anthropologists often specialize in one or more geographic areas of the worldfrom Australia to Zaire.
There are many career and educational options for anthropology majors/minors. B.A. level graduates find multiple careers in applying an anthropological perspective. Further study in graduate or professional schools are common paths for anthropology undergraduate major/minors. Anthropology provides a strong basis for subsequent graduate level education and training in international law, public health, social work and multiple areas in and out of the social sciences. Additional anthropological study can also lead to a traditional career of teaching and research in numerous departments, or as an applied anthropologist in both the public and private sectors.
What Job Opportunities Will Anthropology Afford the New Graduate?
Anthropology offers many lucrative applications of anthropological knowledge in a variety of occupational settings, in both the public and private sectors. Non-governmental organizations, such as international health organizations employ anthropologists to help design and implement a wide variety of programs, worldwide and nationwide. State and local governmental organizations use anthropologists in planning, research and managerial capacities. Many corporations look explicitly for anthropologists, recognizing the utility of their perspective on a corporate team. Anthropologists also fill the range of career niches occupied by other social scientists in corporations, government, nonprofit corporations, and various trade and business settings. Anthropologists' unique training and perspective will enable them to compete successfully for these jobs on into the 21st century.
Global Approach to Education
Whatever the topic of research, anthropologists share a holistic and cross-cultural vision. This requires using a repertoire of methods in order to forge a deeper understanding of any situation. This perspective is one for which the profession is valued. While the job market for academic anthropologists is relatively steady, demand for anthropologists is increasing in other areas, stimulated by a growing need for analysts and researchers with sharp thinking skills who can manage, evaluate, and interpret the large volume of data on human behavior. The extent of occupational flexibility reflects the emphasis on breadth, diversity, and independence of thought. What we know about the future marketplace indicates the type of global, holistic knowledge which an anthropological perspective brings.
Anthropological study provides training particularly well-suited to the 21st century. The economy will be increasingly international; workforces and markets increasingly diverse; participatory management and decision making, increasingly important; intercultural communication skills, increasingly in demand. Anthropology as a course of study provides global information and thinking skills critical to succeeding in the 21st century in business, research teaching, advocacy, and public service.