What can I do with a major in anthropology?

Like most undergraduate degrees, a degree in anthropology is not linked to a specific career, education is the focus of an undergraduate degree, not job training. Many employers look for employees with an undergraduate degree since they recognize that educated employees are more efficient since they have acquired skills in working independently, finding, analyzing, and critically evaluating information, and speaking and writing coherently. Any discipline should provide you with these skills, but the academic area that most sparks your passion is most likely to motivate you into acquiring these skill and enjoying your time as a student, instead of making a disciplinary choice on the sole basis of an expected career.

With that said, a major in anthropology is a good preparation for specific careers (see below).  A undergraduate degree in anthropology also allows you to qualify for positions in graduate schools to pursue Master's (MA) or Doctorate (PhD) degrees required to do research or teach at the University or College level.  

Skills possessed by anthropology majors include knowledge about biology, ecology, cultures and cultural groups, human behaviour, cultural theory and cultural understanding, human evolution, genetics, geology, geography, prehistory, history, and medicine, including many more.

Check below for details about the kinds of career choices available to students in the different sub-fields of anthropology.

Careers in Sociocultural and Medical Anthropology

In Education

  • teaching
  • curriculum design and planning
  • multiculturalism heritage curricular materials
  • museum exhibitions & educational programs

In Health Care

  • disease control
  • delivery of health knowledge
  • rapid assessment of disease outbreaks
  • disaster planning and intervention
  • cross-cultural health research
  • cultural sensitivity training and research in health care

In Development

  • globalization issues
  • environments issues
  • NGOs, UN agencies

In Government

  • foreign affairs (e.g. Foreign Service Officer)
  • justice (e.g. expert witness)
  • immigration
  • First Nations affairs
  • multiculturalism heritage policies
  • social services
  • CIDA and other foreign aid

In Business

  • technical writing
  • journalism (e.g. reporting, writing, editing)
  • advertising (e.g. copywriting)
  • publishing (e.g. copyediting)
  • market research (e.g. international markets)
  • human relations
  • intercultural communications expert

In Academia

  • anthropology
  • cultural geography
  • cultural studies
  • health sciences
  • social work

Careers in Archaeology

In Museums

  • administration
  • exhibition curation
  • collection management
  • artifact conservation
  • archive management

In Government

  • cultural resource management
  • historic resource planning
  • multiculturalism & heritage issues
  • First Nation Affairs
  • environmental impact assessment
  • Parks Canada
  • federal land management
  • cultural resource management

In Business

  • cultural resource management
  • consulting
  • public/salvage archaeology
    •     for engineering firms
    •     for environmental resource assessment firms
    •     for cultural resource assessment firms
  • journalism (e.g. reporting, writing, editing)
  • technical writing

In Academia

  • anthropology
  • classical archaeology
  • historical archaeology
  • human geography

Careers in Biological or Physical Anthropology

In culture history museums

  • outreach & educational programs
  • exhibition curation
  • collections management

In zoological gardens

  • primate care and management
  • primate conservation

In the public sector

  • First Nation affairs
  • policy making in the area of environmental
  • impact (re: primates)
  • forensics - medico-legal investigations
    • human rights investigations
  • cultural resources management

In Industry

  • applied anthropometry
  • human engineering
  • biomechanics
  • ergonomics
  • scientific writing

In health related fields

  • epidemiology
  • human adaptation
  • history of disease
  • nutrition
  • genetics counseling

In academia (research & teaching)

  • anthropology (biological anthropology)
  • Bioarchaeology
  • evolutionary anthropology/human paleontology
  • forensic anthropology
  • kinesiology - biomechanics
  • gross anatomy

Careers in Linguistics

In Education

  • teaching, languages, tesol, literacy
  • curriculum design and planning
  • language and literacy policies
  • museum exhibitions & educational programs

In Health Sciences

  • speech pathology
  • audiology
  • speech analysis / forensic linguistics

In Computational Linguistics

  • speech recognition programming
  • multilingual programming & translation
  • corpus linguistics (e.g. concordancing programs)
  • computer-assisted linguistic analysis

In Government

  • foreign affairs
  • justice (e.g. courtroom interpreting)
  • immigration
  • First Nations affairs

In Publishing

  • translation
  • technical writing
  • lexicography

In Business

  • technical writing
  • toy industry
  • literacy in the workplace
  • advertising
  • telephone companies (Bell Canada)

In Academia

  • anthropology (anthropological linguistics)
  • computer science (computational linguistics)
  • language departments
    •   French, German, etc. linguistics
    •   English (Old English, Middle English)
  • psychology (psycholinguistics) writing