Non-Academic Careers in Anthropology

This article presents information about non-academic anthropology-related careers, job descriptions for each and the education required to get these positions.

Non-Academic Career Options in Anthropology

Not all anthropologists work for universities and colleges. Many, in fact, work for the government, for private corporations and for nonprofit organizations. Anthropologists are in great demand across many different sectors and industries thanks to the communication, research, analysis, technical and intercultural knowledge and skills they possess. Read below about some fantastic non-academic career options for anthropologists.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Market Research Analysts $62,560 23%
Management Analysts $81,330 12%
Culture Trainers $59,020 (for all training and development specialists) 11% (for all training and development specialists)
Training & Development Managers $105,830 10%
Survey Researchers $54,470 1%

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Non-Academic Anthropology Career Information

Market Research Analysts

One way to use the research, analysis and interpersonal communication skills gained by studying anthropology is to become a market research analyst. These professionals gather and analyze data for companies, e.g. about competitors, pricing, regional, national and local markets and market conditions, marketing strategies and their effectiveness, sales of a given service or product, customer purchasing habits, needs, preferences and demographic information. They may also prepare detailed reports for companies in which they present data visually and translate hard to understand information into clearer text. While most positions in this field do require a bachelor's degree, others may require a master's degree; work experience is also very valuable for candidates in this profession.

Management Analyst

Management analysts, also called management consultants, assess and evaluate the efficiency of organizations and recommend ways to reduce costs and increase revenues. To become a management consultant, you need at least a bachelor's degree. Earning a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) credential can help professionals advance in their careers. This is a great career for anthropologists, as it requires critical analysis and thinking skills, as well as research, intercultural communication and presentation skills.

Culture Trainer

Culture trainers, a subset of training and development specialists, help prepare workers and families who are traveling or relocating overseas. They work for private companies; the government and military; and individuals and groups of travelers. They teach clients about the social customs, language, religion, history, geography, beliefs, values and communication styles of the country to which travelers are going; many also provide language training for travelers. To become a culture trainer, you need a bachelor's degree, foreign language skills and experience living, studying or working abroad; this is a great career for anthropologists in that you can use your knowledge of foreign cultures and languages to help prepare people who are heading overseas.

Training & Development Managers

Training and development managers work to increase employees' knowledge, skills and professional development by developing training budgets and materials. These professionals teach instructors how to train effectively and determine the training and professional development needs of companies and employees. These managers may also choose content from different vendors and assess how useful, relevant and valuable training programs and trainers are after the course ends. To enter this field, you typically need at least a bachelor's degree. People enter this occupation from a variety of academic backgrounds, but a major in business, education, human resources or a similar field is common. Managers usually have experience working as a training and development specialist, manager, teacher, trainer or in a related occupation. Since studying anthropology typically gives students excellent organizational, communication, presentation and critical reading and thinking skills, this is an excellent career choice for anthropologists.

Survey Researchers

Many survey researcher positions require critical thinking, data collection and analysis skills such as those acquired by studying anthropology, and such professionals are in great demand in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Survey researchers design and implement surveys and analyze the data collected, such as demographic facts, employment and salary information, and people's views and opinions. This information is extremely valuable for many government agencies, corporations and nonprofit organizations, as survey research data helps organizations understand people's needs, coordinate marketing strategies, plan programs and implement policies. Researchers have degrees in a variety of fields, including the social sciences. Most have graduate-level degrees, but an entry-level position might require only a bachelor's degree.


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