What Career/Job Opportunities are Available to Students with a BA in Anthropology?

In addition to being an intellectually exciting (and rewarding field of study), anthropology prepares students for excellent jobs and opens doors to various career paths.

Today’s anthropologists work in a surprisingly wide array of fields and careers, not just in remote jungle settings. Anthropologists work in corporations, all levels of government, educational institutions and non-profit associations. By studying anthropology, students obtain valuable information about the world (which can change the way we view and interact with the world) AND thinking skills critical to succeeding in the 21st century in business, research, teaching, advocacy, and public service.

This link from the US Department of Labor offers a useful breakdown of what anthropologists do, the fields in which anthropologists are often employed, the skill sets required for each career, as well as the job outlook for anthropologists and archeologists in the future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of anthropologists and archeologists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations”! 

US Department of Labor - Anthropologists and Archeologists


Remember, job opportunities are forged by individuals, not by the program of study you chose to enter into in college. Two of the biggest problems that anthropology students create for their career planning are:  (a) waiting until they are close to graduation before thinking about what they want to do when they finish school, and (b) defining the scope of their opportunities too narrowly. Many anthropology majors go on to successful careers in fields that have only a partial connection to anthropology including business, research, sales, and teaching, among others.  There is a lot you can do with a B.A. in anthropology besides becoming a professional anthropologist or archeologist.

It is important to begin planning early and to keep an open mind about career options.  But, even if you are a little behind, you should remember that there will be plenty of opportunity to change jobs, or even careers, if you decide the one you've started out in isn't right for you.  It is very rare these days for people to spend their entire working lives employed in the same job, and it is becoming rarer for people to retire from the same field that they began in.  Still, you do have to start somewhere.

Most important in planning a career is to be informed.  You can increase your chances of successful entry into a career you desire by learning as much as possible about your options.  An excellent resource for our students is the CSUF Career Development Center located in LH-208 (278-3121).  And check out their web site at: http://www.fullerton.edu/career/

You can schedule appointments for individual counseling to explore your career options, and to learn more about the resources of the Career Development Center.  Valuable resources include their The Job Search Guide booklet, assistance with job searches, sponsorship of career days and job fairs, and a resource library.  All CSUF students are eligible to use Titan Trak, an Internet-based recruiting system that allows you to view internship and job postings (including, full- and part-time, summer, and on-campus employment).

Please do not wait until you are graduating to take advantage of this opportunity.  The better prepared you are, the more likely you will be to land the job you want.  So, don't delay.  Take advantage of these services that are free to all CSUF students.