working in anthropology

NOTE: The interviews on the right can be viewed with RealVideo.  Click on the links below the photographs for the video downloads. 

In 1999-2000, 10,544 people received Baccalaureates in anthropology; 1512 received Master's degrees.  Most of these people are not working in universities or research centers.  Instead, they are applied anthropologists, i.e., people who utilize anthropological method, theory and understanding in a variety of public and private institutions to solve a variety of problems.  In a discipline like anthropology where researchers often form very close relationships with people, the desire to alleviate suffering and, in general, to help people is very natural.  Anthropologists have therefore long been active in "applied" research, particularly in action anthropology, development anthropology and advocacy anthropology.  But there are anthropologists working in every aspect of public life, from software corporations to airlines.  A 2000 census of Master’s of Applied
Anthropology (MAA) recipients at four programs in the United States suggests the breadth of job
possibilities for anthropologists working in non-academic settings.  When asked about their job
titles, respondents (n=113) used the following descriptors (some used more than one):
Working in government: 22
Working in education: 11
Working in the private sector: 11
Researcher: 35
Manager: 25
Planner: 17
Administrator: 11
Program Specialist: 9
Archaeology: 20
Medical Anthropology: 11


(Harman, Robert C., Jim Hess and Amir Shafe (2001) “Master’s of Applied Anthropology
Alumni Survey.”  Anthropology News 42(5): 25.)


dana kollmann
Forensic Anthropology
Forensic Services Technician


 john m. rose
Qualitative Researcher
Public Health Research and Evaluation



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