Curious about what makes people tick? Curious about the world and various cultures? Then anthropology jobs might be the ideal option for you. Today the Job Mail team explores not only what an Anthropologist does, but the different types of careers within this field.
What is Anthropology?
Anthropology quite literally means to study humans. The word comes from the Greek words anthropos, meaning human, and logia, meaning study. As such, an Anthropologist is involved in understanding the past and how it informs the present, with culture and society playing a large role.
By using historical knowledge, as well as from social, biological sciences, physical sciences and humanities, it allows for a varied understanding of complex problems.
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It is such an interesting field of study as it explores and looks at understanding human interaction and how society and culture play a role in this.
As anthropology jobs entail studying and learning about humans and human behaviour, it allows for trends to be discovered and analysis formed.
The ability to draw on a range of information, having a backing in various fields and addressing and trying to understand problems and issues, make anthropologists useful across the work force, and the world. They help challenge the norms and provide alternatives based on trends, data and societal factors.
You’ll find opportunities to explore and discover a range of different types of work environments, as there are many in which you will typically find anthropologists.
You’ll find anthropologists working in a range of industries and fields, as it is a broad range of study, which can include social anthropology, linguistic anthropology, archaeology and much more.
The working environments can also be found across a range of fields, from large corporations, educational institutions, as well as non-profit associations and many more.
With a career in anthropology you can find yourself in an educational institution, teaching, researching and lecturing. The faculties you can find yourself in range from cultural studies, the humanities, psychology, linguistics, education and more.
You may also find yourself in a corporate career, conducting market research, through focus groups, and advising on trends, patterns and habits. In this you would help understand the various consumers and their needs could be better met.
Anthropology careers in government are also a possibility, with roles spanning managerial jobs, planning and research. Many government departments need anthropologists to help assess those in local area and address trends and patterns among people. You may find yourself in the cultural, international or resource management department depending on your interests, while if you are a forensic anthropologist, you’ll find you usually work with the police or in museums.
If a career in the non-profit and community-based sector is something you are interested in, becoming an Anthropologist allows you to work within the sector and across disciplines. Most roles involve research and planning and developing programs with the various fields.
Overall, anthropology careers offer a highly varied and stimulating environment to work in, be it in education, management, social services, consulting, healthcare, law, forensics or marketing, among the very many options.
You can explore and discover a host of different fields and areas of study if you choose this discipline. These different types and fields of anthropology range from sociocultural and linguistic, to archaeology and environmental anthropology and many more. There are many areas of study or specialisation you can choose from and each is best suited to your interests.
The areas of study available to Anthropologists
Social anthropology involves studying and understanding social patterns across cultures and how societies function overall.
A Linguistic Anthropologist is involved in looking at how language has shaped and shifted over the years and how it impacts, and has impacted social lives and cultures.
Archaeology involves studying the past, through various artefacts and remains to understand history and its impact and importance today.
Environmental anthropology involves understanding how the environment and the various changes over the years has elicited responses from people and how they have reacted to and have influenced these changes.
A Biological Anthropologist is involved in studying both human and non-human primates to understand how biology and various biological processes have impacted health, culture and behaviour across the years. A medical anthropologist investigates how factors influence wellbeing and health over the years and the patterns and trends, if any, that are involved.
Forensic anthropology jobs involve examining and analysing human or other remains in order to help solve crimes. Anthropology jobs within business involves planning, researching and identifying patterns and trends and helping come up with solutions for businesses and consumers. Visual anthropology is using filmmaking, images and analysis to understand and interpret behaviour and trends, while museum anthropology involves studying and analysing archaeological collection, museums and the role they play in public life and history.
Tasks and Responsibilities in Anthropology Jobs
Anthropology careers are so varied, your tasks and duties are likely to be very different depending on your interest and chosen career field.
While there is a range of different tasks and duties within anthropology jobs, there are many core similarities, across industries and sectors.
As the job primarily involves studying and researching the past, present and analysing and finding various trends; it requires a certain range of tasks and a certain skillset.
Conducting research and having a background and knowledge of social data and data gathering are key. Being able to correlate the findings across industries and economic, social and cultural markers are also vital.
You may need to use all this to develop models, policies, theories, as well as ways to showcase various phenomena across industries and fields. This is where evaluating and measuring the effect of the models or theories are key, as it can have an impact on businesses, government and consumers. You may also be called on to consult or advise on other policies, theories or models and be able to understand the implications each may have on society.
As such, you’ll need a specific skillset in order to excel within your chosen career path. This includes being able to gather and interpret information, as well as having both analytical and critical skills, a high level of written and oral communication and time management. You’ll have to have great leadership skills or the ability to work within a team on various projects, as well as independent and logical thinking and problem-solving skills.
You’ll have to be able to plan, construct and present various arguments and theories, which may involve both the use of statistics and high-level computer programs.
Pursuing Anthropology Careers
You’ll also need a specific education and degree to become an Anthropologist. Universities offer both undergraduate and postgraduate anthropology streams and options.
You’ll need to complete a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Social Science degree in anthropology, after which you can apply for a job in your desired field, or continue to study and get your Honours, Masters or PhD.
You can study at all major universities and colleges, from the University of Cape Town, University of Pretoria, as well as UNISA and various other institutions.
Depending on the degree and qualification you wish you have, it can range from anything from four to five years, for Honours and Masters, while a PhD may take longer.
Are you looking for exciting Anthropology careers and opportunities? Register your CV and browse www.JobMail.co.za for stunning anthropology jobs in a field of specialisation that best suits your skills and experience.