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Academic Anthropology Job Market Decoded

The American Anthropological Association put together a presentation to help understand trends in universities regarding enrollment, graduation, and salaries. See below for details.

The job market has been rather intimidating in the past decade, especially for graduates with degrees in anthropology, who may have heard that frightening rumor: "there aren't any jobs in that". First of all, that's not true. Secondly, the tumultuous environment of the academia is one that can be navigated with the right tools and skill sets of an aspiring anthropologist.

The American Anthropological Association recently released a presentation (20 May, 2011) that clearly maps out the changes that have occurred in universities over the past six years. The full PPT file can be downloaded here. The key questions at hand in this release are:

  • What is happening with faculty?
  • What is happening with jobs?
  • What is happening with enrollments?
  • What is happening with degrees granted?
  • What is happening to departments in general?

These are certainly things to consider for a recent graduate with a degree in anthropology, as they begin to plan out their career path. Here are a few highlights from the presentation, but it is highly recommended to download and read the entire document.

There are clear worries about the academic job market:

AAA jobs

The level of threat is far less for advanced degrees in anthropology, but several institutions have either significantly limited offerings in anthropology or slashed programs altogether.

What, then, makes a strong program?

AAA jobs2

As recent graduates enter the job market and consider advanced degrees in anthropology, it is important to choose programs with resources and recognition that can futher them along in their careers.