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Anthropology is the study of man and society. Anthropologists seek to understand the various dynamics that control behavior and interactions along with the development of societal norms. Anthropologists utilize a variety of research techniques and analyses tools in their work. Such tools help provide clarity to better understand respective societies, either for comparison purposes or by providing rich context.
What is Anthropology?
Anthropology is a course of study that analyzes humans and human behavior from a variety of perspectives. Studying humans in this regard helps understand we came from, how we have changed, and influences preempting change. Students in anthropological studies will utilize a historical lens of analyzing human beings. Humans are assessed via their decedents and related taxonomic classifications. This unique approach helps inform behavioral, social, and cultural impacts of humans across time.
Students majoring in anthropology will develop a variety of transferable skills while in school that apply directly to a broad spectrum of jobs. Skills an anthropology major will develop include a curiosity about others and other cultures, empathy, social-self confidence, persuasiveness, zeal for learning, decision making, analytic skills, ideals, and a healthy world-view.
What Classes Do You Take in Anthropology?
The exact classes taken while matriculating in an anthropology degree program will vary by program and school and specific area of emphasis within anthropology. A swath of classes you may register for while in an anthropology program may include the following classes: cultural anthropology, forensic anthropology, archaeology, diversity studies, philosophy, biological anthropology, sociology, paleontology, cultural anthropology, evolution, physical anthropology, linguistics, psychology, ethnology, biology, human behavior, genetics, legal anthropology, medical anthropology, world politics, urban studies, and research methods.
What Colleges Offer an Anthropology Degree Online?
A number of regionally and nationally accredited colleges and universities offer degree programs online and on-site in anthropology. The fastest growing segment of higher education in the last decade has been online learning and online degrees given the benefits to the students, colleges, and employers.
Benefits of earning a degree online include: cost savings, flexibility, access, accreditation, curriculum, and pace. Additional information on online college programs can be found through our online learning portal here.
Finding the best college degree for you starts by assessing your priorities. After reading our admissions guide, you can align academic priorities with your personal priorities. Next, you can focus on key facets of college enrollment to gain admissions to your top school. Lastly, our resource guide on reducing college costs will help you make the most of your resources.
Combining these steps into a whole event, will help inform you on the college admissions process and what it means to you. Your goals and priorities should drive your college selection and not vice versa. As such, your goals can help winnow down the best college for you. We offer exclusive search tools and degree matching technology to compress your time finding the best anthropology program for you.
Why Major in Anthropology?
The reasons to study anthropology in college are quite vast from one person to another; however, we have aggregated a few common themes of why students select anthropology after a decade of helping students. Common reasons students select an anthropology degree include:
- Understanding of human diversity, commonalities, and capabilities
- Respect of diverse cultures and experiences
- Grasp of fundamental social constructs and social organizations
- Understanding of historical and cultural human links
- Integral laws, political influence, and processes involved in cultures around the globe
- Underlying structural and theoretical understanding of diverse groups
- Attention to detail
- Critical reasoning and analytical understanding of humans
- Robust written and oral communication skills
- Ability to leverage social, biological, and behavioral research methods
Student that earn a college degree in anthropology online or in class are equipped with the skills to launch a career in a variety of industries. Examples of careers for anthropologists include: teaching anthropology, research organizations, social science organizations, public health organizations, medicine, international affairs, museums, forensics, international law, ethnic studies, linguistics, neural science organizations, and cognitive psychology specialist.
Top Anthropology Colleges
Individuals may seek a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in the field of anthropology, with graduate level educations allowing for research and education positions. Individuals will receive education in multiple disciplines, including history, behavioral science, sociology, statistics, as well as in becoming familiar with the tools and research methods used in the field. Individuals will also learn to analyze large amounts of information in order extrapolate data, as well as provide educated papers in regards to the meaning of that data.
A curriculum may include:
- Behavior and Society
Ideal schools for study in anthropology will have departments that are active and provide research opportunities, internships, and practical experience in the form of study abroad programs and lab work. Schools that can provide one or more of these types of experiences should have a leg up over those that do not, with additional factors resulting in the specifics and types of opportunities available.
Employment Opportunities for Anthropologists
Anthropologists generally work in research positions, often through schools or agencies, public and private, in order to better understand human behavior and report their results. Job growth in this field is expected to increase greatly over the next decade, though the actual growth will be small due to the actual size of the field.
These new jobs will be due to the demand to further catalog human societies and apply that knowledge to current problems, including burgeoning opportunities in the private sector where such knowledge is applied to diversifying populations within the workforce.
How Much Does an Anthropologist Make?
Per the BLS, the annual median income of an anthropologist is $62,280 or $29.94 per hour worked. For perspective, the range for pay varies greatly between the top and bottom ranges. Specifically, the highest ten percent of anthropologists average $99,580 a year while the lowest 10% average $36,390 annually.
The compensation you earn as an anthropologist will depend on your job duties, work experience, degree type, geographic location, hours worked, and organization type. Given those economic factors, you can begin to piece together your life after college in an anthropological field.
The Top Paying States for Anthropologists
- District of Columbia $92,200
- New York $90,340
- Pennsylvania $78,990
- Alaska $76,100
- Maryland $74,770
Top Employers of Anthropologists
- R&D Firms
- Scientific Consulting Organizations
- The Federal Government
- Architectural Firms
- Engineering Companies
Additional Resources for Anthropologists
National associations are designed to help students learn and network after graduation. The top rated associations in the field include the American Anthropology Association (AAA), NAPA, NASA, and the WCAA.