Students graduating with a degree in Anthropology can utilize their skills in a variety of ways, either as professionals (see below) or applying it to other careers. Anthropology provides intercultural perspective and global understanding of the human experience. Therefore, Anthropology graduates are better able to respond to our global society; globalization is a reality. Job possibilities are not limited to those only associated with Anthropology. Graduates have specialized knowledge and experience enabling their pursuit of a wide range of careers as consultants, administrators, or project leaders, such as, international development, intercultural communication, community organizing, and cultural diversity training.
The American Anthropological Association's Career Paths and Education provides additional options available to students graduating with a BA in anthropology. As well, students interested in exploring a Master's degree might want to look at What Can You Do With A Masters in Anthropology?
The largest numbers of Anthropology graduates are employed in professional occupations in the Social Science occupational group. In Canada’s western provinces, 75% of people employed in this group work in Education, Public Administration and are self-employed.
Self-employed anthropologists work in business or are contracted by government agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs). Typically they may work for museums as museum technicians and curators, provincial and federal government departments involved in parks and historic site development, or cultural resources and public education or private and public sector organizations that carry out market research, or social and historical research and impact assessments. Anthropologists employed by universities are involved in teaching as well as field and laboratory research.
Archaeologists may study cultures that existed prior to recorded history, recent societies which have written records, or industrial sites and processes throughout the world. In general, they locate, research and assess sites in search of answers to specific research questions, excavate sites and record the exact location and condition of artifacts, study the objects found (e.g. animal bones, plant specimens, metals, tools, texts and sediments), conduct laboratory studies, reconstruct the cultural, economic, physical and intellectual life of past societies and consult with present day members of those societies, develop theories to explain changes in culture over time, clean, restore, preserve and prepare artefacts for long term curation, conserve and manage archaeological sites for future generations and write reports.
Archaeologists often work closely with researchers in other disciplines. They may also train field staff and volunteers in excavation methods, authenticate stone, bone, metal and other artifacts, conduct experiments with replicas of ancient technologies, conduct research for First Nations communities, work as curators in museums or interpretive centres, manage archaeological activities for a particular geographic area by issuing permits and reviewing reports, manage historical resources under government jurisdiction, evaluate the potential impact of development on archaeological sites and/or teach at colleges and universities.
If you are wondering what archaeologists do in the 21st century or what kinds of jobs and careers they are working at, take a look at this special issue of the SAA Archaeological Record. It provides 12 personal accounts of careers in archaeology that illustrate a discipline which is about much more than digging.