Anthropology major highlights expected job growth

Anthropology major highlights expected job growth


Yes, You Can! U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports Anthropology Jobs to Increase by 21% by 2020

    Gabby Vielhauer, Feb 11, 2013

Gabrielle Vielhauer One of the first lessons you learn as an undergraduate majoring in anthropology is how to effectively answer questions such as, “So what are you going to do with that?” and “Are there even jobs in that?” These questions in addition to an extremely competitive job market in most fields would undoubtedly make even the most passionate student of Anthropology nervous. However, a new report has suggested that it may be easier to become employed as an anthropologist than what was once thought due to a growing job market in Anthropology.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of anthropologists and archeologists is expected to grow 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations”. It has been projected by this source that the need for anthropologist will result in creating approximately 1,300 new jobs in that 10-year period. For archaeologists, in particular, the field with the most opportunities for employment is in Cultural Resource Management (CRM).

The demand increase is due to a growing number of corporations that rely on the skills and insight provided by anthropologists to improve their company. From studying the interpersonal workforce of a business to understanding how a business may better serve clients, anthropologists have been used more frequently in the private sector since the 1980’s — and is expected to grow even more according to this study.

An interesting point of this outlook was the breakdown in workplace environment. Anthropologists in 2010 were largely employed in “scientific research and development services” (29 percent), followed by the federal government (25 percent), management, scientific and technical consulting services (11 percent), and finally in educational services (7 percent).

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does predict an increase in job opportunities, the website also warns that the field of anthropology is competitive. The entry-level education necessary for most positions in Anthropology is a Master’s degree, so some graduate school is required.

Although these warnings could be mildly disconcerting to a student of anthropology (or a student of any liberal art), it is refreshing to see statistics that illustrate an increase in the value of an anthropological education. It is even more uplifting to hear professionals and leaders acknowledge the value of skills earned in the social sciences, including anthropology. One such example, published in January in The Huffington Post, supports this notion as well.

Richard Morrill, president of the Teagle Foundation, recently stated, “A liberal education provides students with a broad set of capabilities such as critical thinking, effective communication, quantitative reasoning, creative thinking, problem-solving, integrative thinking, and personal and social responsibility.”

Morrill continued, “While not monetarily quantifiable at graduation, there is no question of the value of these capabilities for all individuals in the workforce of the future, as citizens and as human beings.” These words partnered with the facts presented by the Bureau for Labor Statistics will hopefully provide reassurance to the apprehensive major as well as those interested in pursuing a career in Anthropology.

» More on the Occupational Outlook Handbook: www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/anthropologists-and-archeologists.

» Read more from the article by Richard Morril: www.huffingtonpost.com/news/liberal-education