careers for anthropology majors

James Burton (jhburton@FACSTAFF.WISC.EDU)
Tue, 23 Apr 1996 09:33:37 -0500

Adam - in case I was one who offended or otherwise insulted you, I publicly
apologize. That was certainly never my intent! I do have a pessimistic
view of current anthropology job prospects - more negative than my recent
post suggests, but I most sincerely hope that Jason is correct: i.e. that I
am a bugbear of very little brain in that any fear arising from my
perspective is quite unjustified! I really, most sincerely hope that my
observations are badly biased and that my deductions are in serious error,
and I will try to keep my perspective to myself in that faint hope. Rather
than sharing that dismal perspective, I'll post the career list which our
department (Univ. Wisc.-Madison/Anthropology) sends to those considering an
anthropology degree. So that this time it will hopefully not be
interpreted as factitious (or, worse, as a slight to anyone in any of these
positions- which was definitly not intented!), I will post below the entire
list. Also since ANTHRO-L has a large number of subscribers with
successful careers as well as survivors (i.e. professionally employed
anthropologists), perhaps some would be willing to share their success
stories online. I think that would be most welcome - I, for one at least,
could obviously use such cheer!



What kinds of careers are available to anthropology majors? In eighties,
the American Anthropological Association wrote to departmental chairs
asking for information on jobs secured by their students. The list below
summarizes the kinds of jobs held by anthropology majors who graduate with
a BA degree. Measured by the list, opportunities available to those
majoring in anthropology are as all-embracing as anthropology itself:

TV Account Executive US Air Force
Hospital Assistant Buyer Head of Laboratory
English Teacher Children's Librarian
Lab Assistant In Charge of Elephants at Zoo
History Teacher Hotel Food & Beverage Manager
Economic Planner Graphic Artist
Research Assistant National Park Service
Library Supervisor TV Producer
Staff Archaeologist UPS Worker
University Planner Counselor in Hospital Pain Unit
IRS Employee Map & Air Photo
Interpreter Lawyer
TV Program Director Media Technician
Senior Law Clerk Secretary
Manager of a Burger King Computer Consultant
Geological Draftsman Real Estate Agent
Technical Writer Social Worker
Carpenter US Post Office Employee
Contract Archaeologist Electrician
High School Teacher Peace Corps Volunteer
Personnel Administrator Business owner
Business Manager Park Ranger
Museologist Historical Renovator
Editor Financier
Merchandiser Educational Administrator
Elementary School Teacher Junior College Instructor
Curator Writer
Administrative Assistant Farmer
White House Aide Estimator
Claims Evaluator University Teacher
Curator of a Historical Site Railroad Administrative Aide
Entertainer Sales Professional
Minister Police Officer (Youth Division)
Model Army Executive Officer
Photographer Bank Cardholder Adjuster
University Administrator Design Agency Vice President
Weaving Instructor Labor Relations Specialist
Prospector Technical Editor
Sales Representative Medical Lab Curator
Nurse Swimming Instructor
Pharmaceutical Lab Technician Credit Supervisor
President of Security Firm Cabinetmaker
Owner of an Antique Business Bank Supervisor
Artist Political Aide