Anthropology is one of the broadest and most ambitious fields of study ever created. Its aim is to study humanity and human society. It endeavors to understand what it means to be human and its methods are to examine the physical, cultural, political, and even linguistic evolutions of societies. It is usually classified as a social science, but it uses both a scientific and humanistic approach. It also teaches a lot of transferable skills, which means that your 4-year Anthropology degree will give you the tools you need to thrive in any capacity.
Since it is such a broad topic, you may have to specialize so that you can narrow your focus. The possible specializations are numerous, but they include the following categories:
Social and cultural anthropology. This concentrates on how cultural groups can be different from one another. The language, beliefs, and traditions of a society are examined. This is perhaps the stereotype of anthropology which most people have, with anthropologists studying exotic tribes in faraway lands like anthropologist Indiana Jones.
Physical and biological anthropology. This focuses on the physical development of mankind. It takes evolution into account and it examines present physical differences.
Forensic anthropology. The tenets of physical anthropology are applied to forensic studies. Human remains are studied for personal characteristics and cause of death. The TV show Bones, for example, is based on the real-life forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs.
Medical anthropology. It studies all the factors that affect human health.
Linguistic anthropology. It studies the language of a society, and it notes how it reflects the society’s beliefs and realities.
What Can You Do with an Anthropology Degree?
Very few people with an anthropology degree become actual anthropologists. Competition for available positions is fierce, even though the US Bureau of Labor Statistics sees a 21% increase in demand for anthropologists. You can apply as a research assistant in the government sector, in universities, and even in non-profit organizations.
But having an Anthropology degree means that you are very much aware of cultural diversity and you have the ability to approach an issue from multiple perspectives. Your research skills are exemplary and you are adept at statistical data analysis.
This makes you a very excellent prospect for marketing and advertising firms, as well as for the marketing and advertising departments of private companies. You possess the skills to evaluate prospective customers as a group. You will be better able to identify what they want, and you will be able to find out how to reach them effectively.
What are the Best Schools to Get an Anthropology Degree?
There are some experts who believe that your best prospects with an Anthropology degree is to simply get a list of the best schools in the nation and find out if they offer anthropology programs. But here are some schools which have an excellent reputation as a whole and their Anthropology program is also among the most highly esteemed.