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UMM Home > Career Services > Career Planning & Decision Making > What can I do with a Major in... > Anthropology

Description of Major
Anthropology courses are designed to provide an understanding of human beings and human society with respect to both biology and culture. Students are exposed to a broad historical and comparative framework within which to view the variety of human cultures. Coursework deals with concepts, techniques, and substantive knowledge of the various branches of the field, e.g., physical anthropology, social and cultural anthropology, ethnology, archaeology, linguistics and applied anthropology.

A liberal arts education and study in a particular major will lead to the acquisition of a group of skills which enable one to solve problems, communicate effectively, and perform complicated tasks. These skills are essential in any career. The following is a list of important and commonly agreed upon career skills identified by UMM Anthropology faculty as a part of the project to Improve Public Understanding of Liberal Learning (IMPULL). The skills are those which all or most students studying Anthropology are likely to acquire through classroom instruction, co-curricular or extra-curricular activities.


Leadership/Management Skills:
- judging
- conceptualizing
- inventing
- applying data
- ability to work self-directedly
- unwillingness to automatically accept the
status quo
- organizing
- promoting change
- selling, promoting, negotiating,
- setting goals
- motivating people
- analyzing
- identifying problems and needs
- identifying alternative courses of action
- predicting and evaluating future trends
and patterns
- understanding the feelings of others
- analyzing the behavior of self and others
in a group
- using tact, diplomacy, discretion


Communication/Writing Skills:
- comprehending written material
- conducting surveys
- persuading others to accept ideas
- dealing with the public
- demonstrating premises and reasoning
to their conclusion
- listening objectively
- expressing one’s wants, needs, opinions
and preference without violating the rights of others
- identifying and communication value
judgments effectively
- understanding the feeling of others
- reporting accurately


Research/Analytical Skills:
- applying information creatively to solve
specific problems
- understanding and using organizing
- evaluating information against
appropriate standards
- developing new approaches to problems
- analyzing and evaluating ideas and
- using library and research facilities
- conducting surveys and interviews
- reading
- analyzing the interrelationships of
events and ideas from several perspectives
- organizing and classifying
- gathering information
- breaking down principles into parts
- reviewing large amounts of material and
extracting essence
- perceiving appropriate methods to test
the validity of data
- designing an experiment, plan or model
that systematically defines a problem
- identifying information sources
appropriate to special needs or problems
- formulating questions to clarify a
particular problem or issue


Artistic/Creative Skills:
- aware of the value of symbolism  


Additional Skills, or Skills Peculiar to the Anthropology Discipline:
- cross-cultural empathy, understanding and communication
- cross-subcultural empathy, understanding and communication
- critical evaluation and testing of assumptions


Jobs Obtained by UMM Anthropology Graduates
Studies conducted by the UMM Career Center have shown that graduates obtained jobs that are both related to their major and jobs that may not be formally related to the major. Studies have shown that liberal arts graduates find employment that makes use of their skills, special knowledge, values, and interests, even though the employment field may not be related to their academic major. Listed below are some jobs obtained by UMM Anthropology graduates:

There are many occupations that do not require a specific undergraduate major; they are often learned as a result of on-the-job training rather than prior education. What is sought among prospective employees is the development of certain skills and abilities that can be developed not only through an academic major but through courses taken as part of one's general education, and through internships, directed studies, tutorials, seminars, study abroad, work-study and summer employment, and volunteer experiences.

Graduate/Professional Schools in Anthropology