Where did human life begin? How did world cultures evolve? What impact have natural disasters had on people and civilization? Anthropologists and archaeologists explore these types of questions to learn about human history, and bring insight to current issues. Anthropologists and archaeologists study the cultures, languages, archaeological remains, and physical characteristics of people across the world and through time. Typically, they conduct research to answer questions and test hypotheses about human behavior and culture. Data collection and analysis form the core of their work. Their projects may result in published research or reports on the impact of potential land-use policies, healthcare programs, or even products. Most anthropologists work either in research organizations, for government, or at consulting firms. Archaeologists focus on physical findings; they analyze human remains and artifacts such as tools, pottery, cave paintings, and ruins. They also preserve artifacts, and interpret their significance through their knowledge of related historical information. Archaeologists work in museums, at historical sites, and for government agencies. They also work for cultural resource management firms that identify and preserve archaeological sites and ensure compliance with regulations. Anthropologists and archeologists need a master’s degree or Ph.D. in anthropology or archeology. Fieldwork experience —either in the United States or abroad— is important for both disciplines. Bachelor’s degree holders may find work as assistants or fieldworkers.
What they do:
Study the origin, development, and behavior of human beings. May study the way of life, language, or physical characteristics of people in various parts of the world. May engage in systematic recovery and examination of material evidence, such as tools or pottery remaining from past human cultures, in order to determine the history, customs, and living habits of earlier civilizations.
On the job, you would:
Study objects and structures recovered by excavation to identify, date, and authenticate them and to interpret their significance.
Collect information and make judgments through observation, interviews, and review of documents.
Research, survey, or assess sites of past societies and cultures in search of answers to specific research questions.
Math and Science
sociology and anthropology
Arts and Humanities
history and archeology
Education and Training
teaching and course design
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
writing things for co-workers or customers
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
read and understand what is written
communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
use rules to solve problems
see hidden patterns
quickly know what you are looking at
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
IBM SPSS Statistics
The MathWorks MATLAB
Map creation software
ESRI ArcGIS software
Geographic information system GIS software
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.