Anthropology: An Explanatory Method to Understand Our World

Does human behavior interest you? More than that, do you also find yourself thinking about human biology, or get drawn to different cultures?

If the answer to the above is yes, then this article would be of interest to you.

Here's what we're looking at today

  • The basics
  • What does a degree in Anthropology offer?
  • Top ten universities to study Anthropology
  • Career roles in the sector
  • The future of Anthropological research

What is Anthropology?

Anthropology can be defined as the study of what makes us human. It can also be called the systematic study of humanity, and this study includes the languages that we speak, arts, religions, politics, technology, economics, evolution, migrations, and social organisation. It can be classified as a holistic study of humankind around the globe from prehistoric time to the present day.

What does a degree in Anthropology offer?

A degree in anthropology is an explorative study of culture and the relationship of human life in different times and places. Anthropology is also a comparative study in which human beings are compared with animals like monkeys and chimpanzees to find out what we have in common and how we are different and distinct from them.

Anthropology is the only field of study that focuses on exploring the shared humanity and diversity and understanding the diverse ways of being in the world. Anthropology gives much importance to our ancient past, and by studying and analysing the past, an anthropologist will interpret the present in a better way. They look at the past through archaeology and archaeological evidence to see how humans lived thousands of years ago and what was important in their lives during those days. Sounds fascinating right?

A look at some areas covered in the Anthropology curriculum:

  • Anthropological methods
  • Introduction into prehistoric archaeology
  • Introduction to Social Anthropology
  • Methods and analysis in biological anthropology
  • Theories of Culture and Society
  • Evolutionary biology and geography
  • Human ecology
  • Technical Writing and Communication in English
  • Human osteology
  • Gender and society
  • Biodiversity and Indigenous Knowledge.
  • Material cultures
  • Ethnographic methods
  • Archaeological Anthropology

The basic idea of learning Anthropology is to evoke critical thinking, problem-solving, dealing with unfamiliar information, and learning new skills. A bachelor’s degree in anthropology will also have the element of research methods in social anthropology and ethnographic methods.

Top ten universities to study Anthropology

Here are the top 10 universities globally to study anthropology:

Serial No. University Country
1 University of Cambridge Cambridge

United Kingdom

2 University of Oxford Oxford

United Kingdom

3 Harvard University Cambridge

United States

4 University of California, Berkeley (UCB) Berkeley

United States

5 The Australian National University Canberra


6 UCL London United Kingdom
7 University of Chicago Chicago

United States

8 The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) London
United Kingdom
9 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Los Angeles, United States
10 University of Toronto Toronto


Skills required

  • Understanding human diversity
  • Research skills
  • Analytical and critical skills
  • The ability to gather, assess and interpret data
  • Oral communication and presentation skills
  • Time management
  • Computation and statistics
  • Problem-solving
  • Organisation and planning

What do Anthropology graduates do?

Anthropology graduates usually work in research organisations, government offices, and consulting firms. Fieldwork and data collection is also part of their work environment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, in the U.S., the employment of anthropologists and archaeologists is projected to grow 7 per cent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

A look at some career options after graduating in Anthropology

  • Interpreter
  • Charity officer
  • Community development worker
  • Human resources manager
  • Non-profit and Community-based Careers
  • Research analyst
  • International aid/development worker
  • Local government officer
  • Market researcher
  • Project manager
  • Chaplain
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion officer
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Diversity and inclusion manager
  • Human resources officer
  • Archaeologist
  • Museum/gallery curator
  • Social media strategist
  • Policy officer
  • Political risk analyst
  • Public relations officer
  • Social worker
  • Data evaluator

The future...

Anthropology will have a pertinent role to play in the future as it has now branched out to other fields like ecology, biology and medicine. Biomedical disciplines such as anatomy, molecular biology, genetics, epidemiology have also become an integral part of anthropological studies, and this is considered the future of the course. Many business companies like Intel, Kodak, Microsoft and Sapient now hire anthropologists to research on consumer habits to design new strategies to promote their products.

Date added

Filed under:

Global Ed


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