WHAT DOES THE JOB MARKET IN ANTHROPOLOGY LOOK LIKE?
Business Week noted that many companies are putting ethnographers (cultural anthropologists) front and center. In the same article it was noted that IBM once had only a handful of anthropologists now has a dozen. Harvard recently noted that companies may be deemphasizing engineers and hiring more anthropologists particularly those focusing on ‘end users’ and buyers in developing markets.
Many business schools are also hiring anthropologists as faculty members. These trends seem especially obvious in companies that are looking to global markets for growth. Anthropology, since it’s inception has always had a global and multicultural perspective.
Federal, state and many local Florida statutes, mandate archaeological and anthropological expertise for cultural resource management positions (or museums) which involve virtually every state and federal entity which ‘manages’ property, either terrestrial or submerged. All these entities have employed our undergraduate students while they were in school and after they graduated. FSU alumni are currently employed by virtually every Florida and national agency with these responsibilities. Private companies also hire our undergraduates for positions which demand anthropological and archaeological expertise.
Based on job announcements coming to the department, and according to the Dept. of Labor Statistics, the job market is expanding for anthropology students. Many of our undergraduate students receive training (generally paid) through positions in state and federal agencies with which we have strong, existing and continuing relations stretching back over 35 years. These positions provide student employment, training, experience, and network contacts which are invaluable to career advancement. These student positions are functionally paid internships providing them with significant professional expertise making them ready to enter the job market upon graduation. Florida entities which hire our students include the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Southeastern Archeology Center, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Mission San Luis, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and local and state cultural resource management firms and museums. All of these entities have provided, and will continue to provide, employment for students with training in anthropology.
Many of our undergraduates go on to graduate school at some of the finest programs in the country - University of Florida, University of Texas, Yale, U. Tennessee, Duke, University of California, Riverside, University of Milwaukee, University of South Florida, Cambridge, Indiana University, University of Michigan, University of Chicago, University of California, U. Massachusetts, Boston University, Northern Arizona University, to mention only a few. The masters is generally considered a highly desired professional degree, especially in archaeology. Our alumni staff many state and federal agencies which are required by state and federal statute to manage archaeological and cultural resources. We estimate that more than 30 of our students held positions with the Florida Dept. of State, Bureau of Archaeological Research over the last decade alone. Even more have been, or are, employed by the National Park Service’s Southeast Archeological Center at Innovation Park.
While our Ph.D. program was begun in 2000 our placement of students is impressive and have positions at universities or with the federal government. Our first Ph.D. student has a faculty position at Beiola University. Others are employed at Rollins College, Georgetown University and others have taken positions with the Florida Public Archaeological Network. Ph.D. candidates who have fulfilled all course requirements are sought after and have taken teaching positions (San Rosa Junior College) or are working for contract archaeology firms while they finish writing their dissertations. All are employed in the field. Previous MA alumni have positions at the University of Alaska, Arizona State University, SUNY- Albany, East Carolina University, Flinders University, Georgia Southern, Middle Tennessee University, University of Colorado, Denver.
Anthropologists traditionally have a very high level of job satisfaction and, truthfully, I can only think of a handful of our students who left the field to pursue other careers. FSU led the way in the professionalization of archaeology in the private sector and one favorite statistic that I believe still holds true is that FSU produced more private, federal and state archaeologists than all but one or two of the very largest anthropology programs in the country. Our accomplishments are reflected in a national network of alumni who contribute significantly to the nations’ management, preservation and research responsibilities of cultural and archaeological heritage.
There are jobs out there for anthropologists and we have done an exemplary job in placing them.