23 February 2017

What are Anthropology jobs?

According to at least one Anthropology Department Chair, the two most googled questions students have are, "What is anthropology?" and in a close second, "What can I do with a degree in anthropology?"

This second question often gets answered with a laundry list of jobs framed as "Anthropology jobs." In many ways, this list of job titles limits both undergraduate and grad students. Instead, we'd like to see students approach thinking about what they can do with their anthropology degree in terms of how the skills and perspective learnt through studying anthropology can align with the kinds of projects and issues/ areas/ roles that students find meaningful.

Take for example, the new Executive Director of Pride Toronto, Olivia Nuamah. Nuamah "earned an undergraduate degree in international development and social anthropology from the University of Toronto. She earned a Masters in Social Anthropology of Children and Childhood Development from Brunel University."

Since then, Nuamah has been working on many different social and economic justice projects, as an "executive leader, policy expert and social justice advocate": from British Prime Minister Tony Blair's poverty reduction pledge, to Toronto-based projects to help deliver healthcare to homeless communities. These are all "anthropology jobs" -- even if the job ads weren't advertising for an anthropology background, or an ethnographer.

Quick links & further reading: