Careers in Anthropology

Anthropology can help you pay attention to the world in a distinct way, think carefully about it, and to learn how to communicate with and about people. Using a range of social, behavioral, biological and other scientific research methods, anthropology majors learn to observe, listen and adapt. These skills create life-long learners, as well as social researchers and activists.

Why is anthropology so useful?

Demand for anthropologists is increasing, stimulated by a growing need for analysts and researchers with sharp thinking skills who can manage, evaluate, and interpret human behavior. Anthropology helps bring out the best in a future worker, emphasizing your flexibility, breadth, depth and originality. The future marketplace values the 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; communication skills, increasingly in demand. Anthropology is the premier academic discipline that approaches human behavior from historical, biological, linguistic, and cultural perspectives and it provides great preparation for the interdisciplinary problem solving that is increasingly valued. What you learn will excite you and challenge you.

What careers can you pursue with a degree in anthropology?

There are many career and educational options for anthropology majors. Further anthropological study leads to both traditional anthropological careers in teaching and research as well as in applied anthropology. Applying anthropology offers many opportunities to use anthropological perspectives and skills. Jobs filled by anthropology majors include researchers, evaluators, and administrators. Cultural anthropologists can choose from a broad spectrum of careers. Biological and medical anthropologists can work in health or law related fields. Many archaeologists are employed in managing the cultural resources of the United States and other countries.

Anthropology undergraduate majors often go on to graduate or professional schools. Many students at SJSU have successfully completed graduate programs in anthropology and professional programs in teaching, law, public health, and public policy.

An anthropology major, or behavioral science double major can prepare you for the following careers, among others:


Applied Anthropologist

Policy Researcher

Industrial researcher

Law enforcement/ investigation

Forensic anthropologist


Museum work [in

natural history, anthropology, archaeology, science and technology, history]


Cultural Resource Manager

International Business

Public relations




Conflict Resolution Corporate Communications


Travel Industry

Educational Policy

Health Administration


Nursing (as double major or minor)

Speech Pathology (as double major or minor)

Interactive Designer

(as double major or minor)




Pre-Elementary teaching



Below are links to excellent career web pages for Anthropology:

Northern Kentucky University - What Can I do With Anthropology?

UCSD - Non-Academic Careers in Physical Anthropology

AAA - Career Paths and Education