Careers in Anthropology

By Kazi Kabir, External Relations Officer, Arts & Science Co-op

What can I do with an Anthropology degree?

Anthropology graduates can explore countless diverse career paths. An anthropology degree serves as an entryway to a realm where one can excel across public and private sectors, encompassing fields such as business, technology, advocacy, and much more.

Education and Academia

Across campuses and within anthropology departments and research centers, anthropologists undertake dual roles as both educators and researchers. Their responsibilities encompass creating engaging lectures, shaping intellectual growth through mentorship, assessing stimulating academic papers, and writing articles and books. Academic anthropologists frequently extend their expertise to various departments or university initiatives, spanning disciplines like medicine, epidemiology, public health, ethnic studies, cultural studies, linguistics, and beyond.

Private Sector

Many corporations actively pursue anthropological insights to enrich their teams, valuing the distinctive viewpoints these experts provide. Within the arena of market research, anthropologists in corporate roles coordinate targeted group discussions, uncovering consumer preferences that statistical data and surveys might overlook. Equipped with robust research abilities, these professionals directly engage with consumers and technology users, paving the way to enhance products and services to precisely align with genuine real-world requirements.

Government Sector

Anthropologists can play pivotal roles in state and local government organizations, influencing planning, research, and leadership capacities. The field of contract archaeology is on the rise, driven by legislative mandates to evaluate cultural resources impacted by government-funded initiatives. Forensic anthropologists collaborate not only with law enforcement but also thrive within academic and museum landscapes. Beyond academia, the federal government stands as a significant employer, offering avenues spanning international development, cultural resource management, legislative spheres, as well as fields like forensic and physical anthropology, natural resource management, and defense and security. 

Non-Profit Organizations

Organizations outside of government, spanning from international health bodies to developmental institutions, enlist the services of anthropologists to design and implement a wide spectrum of programs. However, the landscape extends beyond these boundaries. A multitude of anthropologists channel their expertise into community-focused settings through non-profit agencies. Community organizations in domains such as immigration, environment, healthcare, culture, women & children, and others often need anthropologist to work in roles such as communication, policy development, data analysis, research, etc.

Career Paths

Below is a list of potential career paths that could be further explored through partnerships with potential employers and industry bodies which from a skills development and career standpoint can take the shape of work integrated learning interventions such as coop, internship, practicums, field placement, and many more. Some titles in which one can find anthropology students employed are:   

  • Archaeology Fieldworker 
  • Customer Service Representative 
  • Exhibit Assistant 
  • Foreign Service Officer 
  • Heritage Interpreter 
  • Immigration Officer 
  • Management Trainee 
  • Program Coordinator/Assistant 
  • Research Assistant 
  • Settlement Officer 
  • Survey Interviewer 
  • Volunteer Coordinator

Careers Pathways for Anthropologists

  • Archaeologist
  • Archivist
  • Art Conservator
  • Community Worker
  • Cultural Resource Manager
  • Curator
  • Coroner/Medical Examiner
  • Ethnologist
  • Ethnographer
  • Epidemiologist
  • Exhibit Preparator
  • Forensics Specialist
  • Foreign Aid Worker
  • Federal Government Policy Analyst
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Historic Interpreter
  • International Aid
  • Kinesiologist
  • Lawyer
  • Lobbyist
  • Librarian
  • Laboratory researcher
  • Linguist
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Museum Education Director
  • Medical Anthropologist
  • Museum Technician
  • Multicultural Education Specialist
  • Paleontologist
  • Public Health Educator
  • Project Development Officer
  • Policy Consultant
  • Policy Scientist
  • Primatologist
  • Rural Development Officer
  • Refugee Services Coordinator
  • Social Worker
  • Teacher
  • University Professor
  • Youth Worker

Professional Associations & Additional Resources