Like other liberal arts degrees, a B.A. or B.S. in anthropology provides a broad general background for later specialization at the graduate level. Students can also pursue careers that combine anthropology and other interests. One possibility is to pursue a double major in anthropology and another field. Due to the United States population's growing diversity, majoring in anthropology is excellent preparation for virtually any occupation requiring interaction with the general public. State and federal governments are important employers in such areas as public health, parks, cultural resource management, museums, the United States Census Bureau, the United States Department of Education, and Social and Rehabilitation Services, while positions are also available in private firms performing anthropological consulting and conducting contract archeology. Anthropology majors are growing in demand as the following national media reports illustrate:
The field for students who plan to interact and work with culturally diverse peoples in Africa, India, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the United States. The program includes studies in a wide range of cultural traditions including family life, religion, economics, schooling, and the arts.
Students who wish to be archaeologists concentrate on the study of the prehistory of humanity. K-State offers courses in North American and Old World archaeology, archaeological fact or fiction, and archaeological methods. Field work in North American archaeology is available.
Students who wish to become physical anthropologists concentrate on the study of human evolution and the fossil record, genetics, osteology, criminal forensic methods, and non-human primate behavior.
Students interested in becoming linguistic anthropologists study both ancient and modern languages. They learn to reconstruct ancient languages, to understand the importance of the social contexts of language use, and to transcribe and analyze world languages. Linguistic anthropology is the field for students who want to work in linguistically diverse settings. Students can use their skills in reconstructing ancient languages, in computer analysis and translation of language, or in multi-cultural school settings. Linguistic anthropology skills are also essential for ethnographic field work.
Anthropology and other professions
Students entering a health profession should consult with advisors in the College of Arts and Sciences for detailed information about admission requirements to medical, dental, and nursing schools. Any major may be used to prepare for professional study in health care fields. In fact, a high percentage of those admitted to medical schools have majored in a social science. Anthropology is especially relevant because the most effective prevention and treatment of disease requires a good knowledge of the influence of cultural factors on health and health care delivery. Both ethnology and physical anthropology are represented in a sequence of courses for students intending to pursue a career in health care.
A sequence of course work is available for students interested in legal anthropology or planning to study law after graduation. Pre-law students should consult with the pre-law advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences for detailed information about admission requirements to law schools. Those planning to work with groups culturally different from their own society should select appropriate ethnography courses.
Many employers and graduate business schools recognize the importance of a broad liberal arts education in preparing people to function effectively in the business world. Successful business careers depend more and more on having a broad understanding of cultural environment and cultural and linguistic behavior; anthropology makes unique contributions to this important orientation. Students who plan to major or do graduate work in business should become familiar with the requirements of that college and take the appropriate required courses.
Elementary and high school teachers will find anthropology essential, especially in the increasingly multi-cultural classroom. A dual major in anthropology and education is highly recommended.
The courses appropriate to prepare for employment in a museum or for graduate study in museology are available.
A realistic option for those preparing for overseas employment or other positions requiring knowledge of international issues and cultural diversity is a combination of an anthropology major with courses in international studies. Cultural anthropology is the most consistent and comprehensive cross-cultural social science field.
American ethnic studies
Students planning to work in multi-cultural settings in the United States can best prepare for success by combining an anthropology major with courses in American ethnic studies.
Latin American studies
Students planning to take positions requiring knowledge of the nations and cultures of Latin America can prepare themselves effectively by combining an anthropology major with courses in Latin American studies.