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What can I do with an anthropology degree?

The world of work is always evolving, and an anthropology degree will give you the skills to keep up.

Anthropology teaches transferable skills such as:

  • Research skills
  • Written skills
  • Statistical analysis
  • Critical thinking
  • Understanding of different cultures

These can be used in a wide range of careers like: 

International development

Having gained an understanding of how the world has developed with your anthropology degree, you could help change the way it is going with a career in international development. NGOs and government organisations working on public health, engineering infrastructure and other programmes across the world often call on anthropologists to advise on working with the local population and how to make their projects most effective.

Working in international development might require you to do some postgraduate training and research into the specific area that interests you, and you’ll also need some work experience volunteering with a charity or campaign group.

Environment and conservation

An anthropology degree could be your ticket to travelling across the world, protecting rare species and threatened habitats alongside biologists and other scientists. But you could also find plenty of opportunities in the UK, and won’t have to get your hands dirty if you don’t want to, since the analytical, research and communication skills you’ve developed will be ideal for an administration role with conservation groups and similar organisations. Doing some work experience or volunteering for a charity will also help you get your foot in the door. Have a look at our article on environmental careers for more inspiration.

Arts and museums

Art is important to every culture, and crucial to anthropology. Your knowledge of different cultures means you could find your calling as a curator or education officer sharing your passion with others, or as a marketing officer using your communication skills to promote exhibitions and events. See our article on careers in museums and galleries for more advice.

Politics

The historical perspective and ability to understand complex data and theories you’ll get from an anthropology degree could help you cut your way through the political jungle. You could volunteer for a political party or campaign group before trying to get a paid role if you feel strongly about particular issues, or use your research and communication skills in a career in the civil service instead. See our article on careers in politics for more information.

Business

Every business has its own culture, as well as being part of the wider world, and a degree in anthropology will give you a good insight into how these work. You could offer advice as a consultant for example, or train and deal with a company’s employees as a human resources officer, and your ability to make an argument and back it up with research will be useful in everything from management to marketing. Read our Careers in Business section for more information.

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