Information compiled by the GradSchools.com team - last updated November 2010
Studying In the field
Anthropology traditionally is a broad discipline that embraces the study of humanity in its multiple facets: humans as a biological species in physical and biological anthropology; human culture and society in cultural anthropology; and the history and prehistory of humanity in archaeology. The concept of "culture" is at the heart of these multiple subfields; it is this concept that distinguishes physical anthropology from biology, for example, and archaeology from geology. In recent years additional specializations have arisen, notably medical anthropology.
For much of its history, anthropology has been associated with the study of small-scale, tribal societies, or with the study of radically different cultures in remote parts of the world. More recently, however, Anthropologists have increasingly turned their attention to Western cultures and to complex, modern societies, where anthropological methods and concepts have been valuable and enlightening. It is no longer the case the graduate students must go off to some "primitive" tribe to conduct research; recent anthropological research with inner-city gangs, in hospitals, and with tourists, shows how anthropologists can creatively apply their methods and concepts to more familiar subjects as well.
Job opportunities in the field
For years the primary career path for professional anthropologists has been academic, and colleges and universities have been the major employers of anthropologists. Over the past couple of decades, however, anthropologists have been creating job opportunities in a variety of alternative settings, including the business world and government, health care, and international development. A Doctorate is normally expected in many of these careers, though it is still possible to find positions conducting anthropological research with Masters training.
Students also pursue graduate training in anthropology, particularly Masters degrees, as preparation for other careers or to enhance their training in another field. For example, a Masters degree in physical anthropology has often proven useful to students applying to medical school or dental school. Similarly, a Masters degree in applied anthropology could be valuable in fields such as marketing, public health, or education.
Check out: Anthropology Graduate Programs
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