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Anthropology, Ethnography, and Your Career

Majoring in Anthropology gives you knowledge, research methods, and skills that are in demand. In the past decade there has been an explosion of interest in anthropology's main methodology: ethnography, a way of learning about the world through participation and observation. Anthropologists developed ethnographic research techniques to give them a better understanding of social, cultural, and political realities on the ground, as they happen. These techniques help them to view cultural practices and social interactions with new eyes, find implicit patterns and meanings, and see the actual workings of groups and institutions in practice.

Employers in many fields hire ethnographers to help them solve problems, reach and understand new audiences, and make their services more relevant. This is because ethnography offers a powerful approach to understanding the experiential, social, and affective dimensions of people's encounters with anything from software to buildings to health care.

For anthropologists, however, ethnography is more than a tool: it is a practice that generates critical thinking and ethical awareness. Other skills developed by majoring in Anthropology—such as writing, analytical rigor, speaking, teamwork, and public engagement—are key assets that employers want. Our alumni have gone on to graduate and professional school and to careers in consulting, design, education, healthcare, higher education, human rights advocacy, information technology, international development, journalism, law, media, medicine, museums, nonprofits and NGOs, public administration and policy, venture capital and private equity, and many others.