Re: a good university for anthropology?

John Acar (
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 14:55:18 -0500

In article <>,
> It really depends on what type of anthropology you want to do and how much
> you can afford to spend on an undergraduate education. Also, it's
> important to know where in the States you want to go to school. Anthro.
> is not a career with many opportunities, nor will it be for the forseeable
> future. Think long and hard before you decide to spend about ten years
> in college getting a Ph.D. in a field where you may well have difficulty
> finding a job. I'd suggest getting a degree that will earn you a living
> while you attend graduate school and after grad. school if you cannot find
> a teaching job.

On the contrary, I think anthropology is a wonderful undergrad degree,
with real world benefits, as long as you are going to get a Masters in
something else. I got an undergrad in Anthropology, and then got a MS
in Cybernetic Systems. I think the two go great together, and in fact,
much of my anthropology training has helped me in my current job of
facilitating organizational change, and helping to design useful
information processes and systems. There are lots of other higher level
education areas where anthropology could apply, including: management,
Law, HR, communications, information management, etc.

I only wish there was more of a focus in the anthropology community on
our own culture, in terms of how organizations work, and cultural change.
There seems to be an overemphasis on anthroplogists looking at "exotic"
type cultures. By that, I don't mean lower or special, but those that
exist in exotic locations, like a rain forest, like the tropics. If you
had a choice of doing a PhD in Palau or downtown LA, which would you

I think there arn't good job prospects for pure anthropologists because
they arn't really studying things that everyday businesses (those with
money outside of research institutions) need. This is a sad waste in my
opinion. Anyone who has read the sordid "business culture" literature
that has any clue of what culture means from an anthropological
perspective can attest to this. Again, in my experience, an
anthroplogical perspective in the business cummunity is valuable, needed,
and woefully lacking.

What is required to get anthropology stature in this area? How about some
more college researchers spending their time studying organizations and
producing interesting and enlightening thoughts for the business
community. This will lead more businesses to hire anth undergrads
instead of other liberal education degrees.