Why Pursue an Online Degree in Anthropology?

Anthropology covers a wide spectrum of human studies. Sociocultural anthropologists concern themselves with patterns of behavior across cultures and regions and study how people live, govern themselves and create traditions in different environments and under diverse conditions. Biological anthropologists study humans' adaptive behavior in different locations. They research what causes evolutionary shifts in human biology and ecology and they attempt to unravel the great mystery of different cultures' biological origins. There are more branches of ecology as well. From archeology to linguistic anthropology, these professionals center their lives around analyzing human behavior from the distant past to the present.

As broad and diverse as anthropology is, an online degree can provide students passionate about human studies to have an opportunity to learn about the field on an expansive scale. This may allow you to become familiar with the various realms of anthropology and inform you about different careers related to the field. Moreover, anthropology - no matter the realm - is exceedingly complex.

Researching one particular area of human behavior can mean poring over volumes of historical data and doing vast amounts of comparative research. To introduce you to the basics of data analytics and conducting anthropological research, it could be important to get a solid grounding in the field in general, and an online degree may help you do this.

A glimpse into the realm of anthropology

Anthropologists can be found in all areas of the professional world. Many take up careers with colleges, universities and government agencies conducting research, but others work in private organizations, in museums at consulting agencies and in many different areas to harness data about certain people and tailor social programs to benefit an entity's goals. Some anthropologists work in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization; others work at the World Bank and analyze economic needs. The potential career path choices are broad and the study could help  put you in a position to pursue a career as an anthropologist in an office, outside in the field or traveling to distant locations and through unique cultures.

Possible salaries for a career in anthropology

Naturally, potential salaries are in large part dependent upon what field of anthropology you pursue. Moreover, your potential wage may also be decided in part by your educational background, experience, and location. Consider the following careers, with statistics compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012.

  • Anthropologists and Archeologists: 2012 Median annual salary of $57,420 (19 percent projected growth through 2022)[i]
  • Sociologists: 2012 Median annual salary of $74,960 (15 percent projected growth through 2022)[ii]
  • Historians: 2012 Median annual salary of $52,480 (6 percent projected growth through 2022)[iii]

Additional skills required for a career in Anthropology

While some work in local offices most of the time, many anthropologists travel the word to conduct studies, gather data and benefit organizations that harness information from across the globe. It's important to be comfortable with consistent travel if you are attempting to pursue a career in the latter group of anthropologists. Additionally, as the profession as dedicated to numbers and data, it is important to have a familiarity with mathematics and recordkeeping principles.

[i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/anthropologists-and-archeologists.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/sociologists.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/historians.htm