Re: Will Anthro get me anywhere?

Mark R. Miller (
28 Apr 1995 22:26:08 GMT

In article <D7IrDG.9ot@info.uucp>, (Brett Philp u) says:
>Please try to post this note to an archaeological or anthropological
>(primatology based) newsgroup.
> I'm entering my second year of Honours Anthropology at a Wilfrid
>Laurier University. I love my program. I put a lot of work into my
>courses and, for the most part, I find myself with suitable grades. My
>grade point average is ten.
> My problem lies in my plans for the future. I find myself
>particularly interested in primatology, and physical anthropology. My
>best grades tend to be in courses that lean towards socio-cultural
>studies. I'm not sure if I should pursue the study of material I find
>incredibly intrigueing, or if I should follow the courses I am most
>capable of doing well. I shouldn't give anyone the wrong impression; I
>like socio-cultural anthropology, but not as much as physical or primate
> I also have the problem of deciding just how far should I go in
>these studies...or should I even bother to pursue them. I'm very aware
>that there isn't a great demand for primatologists, or physical
>anthropologists. I'm not even sure of what I can do with any degree in
>socio-cultural anthropology. To be honest, despite the research I have
>done on the matter, I'm not sure at what schools I can pursue post
>graduate anthropological studies. My Dean of Arts and Science simply told
>me that if I keep my grade point average above a ten, I have nothing to
>worry about. My course advisor suggested I study law. Everyone else I
>have spoken to has told me "a B.A. is a B.A.. Do not expect the world of
>employment to differentiate university majors. Do not expect to ever be
>employed in your field."
> What I need is help. I need information on post-graduate studies, and
>employment opportunities. I especially need advise from someone who has
>faced this problem too.

I can only give you my own experience.

Degrees in Anthropology got me a great job ... as an ORACLE Database

I have a BA, MA and am a PhD Candidate (ABD) from U. of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee. All degrees were in Anthropology with Physical
concentration (doctoral work was communication among M. nigra).
I was advanced to candidacy in December 1974. Of those in doctoral
studies at UWM only about 10% completed their degree (I, obviously,
was one of the 90%). Of those who completed the PhD only one is now
employed in the field (Assoc. Prof. of Cultural Anthrop.) Of the 4
members of my doctoral committee, only one remains in academia (and he's
I tried for several years, while researching and preparing my
dissertation, to find a tenure-track position without success. I did
teach part-time at a number of Jr. Colleges and Universities in So.
California but eventually changed careers. I now make as much or more
than most full professors and, while my current career is in some ways
less fulfilling,it offers many advantages academia does not (secure job
market, high income potential,etc.)

I hope this helps. If you have further questions please feel free to
e-mail me at