Starting a career in anthropology prepares students for excellent jobs and opens doors to various career paths. Additionally, you will be equipped with skills and global information that can allow you to explore a wide array of careers. You will learn skills in areas such as business, teaching, advocacy, research and public service. Anthropology is the study of human origins, cultures and behaviours. This is one of the careers in social science. And it plays a vital role in fields such as social work, healthcare, marketing, forensics and academics.


A career in anthropology allows you to study human evolution, biology, culture, behaviour and societies from the past to the present. Additionally, you will learn important skills that are related to research, critical thinking and analysis.


This is a very interesting career path. You can have a solid understanding of these career paths by learning the steps involved in starting this career path as well as the different specialisations you can pursue.


Steps to Start a Career in Anthropology

  1. Complete your Secondary School Education

    You must have a minimum of credits in subjects such as Mathematics, Science subjects, English and History in your O’level results. Additionally, you should develop excellent research and writing skills.

  2. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

    You need to complete an undergraduate program and earn a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. Additionally, you can earn a bachelor’s degree in areas such as sociology, psychology, linguistics, or archaeology. These disciplines will give you foundational knowledge in this field.

  3. Gain Research Experience

    Research experiences are crucial in your career pursuit in anthropology. This experience will enable you to develop vital skills such as data analysis, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Additionally, it will help you to build your research skills. You can gain Research Experience through means such as working as a research assistant for professors, participating in fieldwork, or undertaking independent research projects.

  4. Engage in Field Work

    Fieldwork is an essential component of anthropological research. Fieldwork can allow you to immerse yourself in a specific community or culture. Additionally, It will provide you with firsthand experience and insights into the cultures and societies you study. Therefore, you should look for opportunities to engage in fieldwork, either through your academic program, research projects, or internships.

  5. Earn a Master’s Degree

    A master’s degree will provide you with a more in-depth understanding of this and help you improve your technical abilities. You can pursue a master’s degree such as M.A., M.Phil., Diploma and PG Diploma in anthropology or its related field.

  6. Earn a Doctorate Degree

    A doctorate usually takes three years to complete with several months of field research in a specified dissertation. You should consider earning a PhD degree in anthropology if you want to work as a professor to lead high-level projects.

  7. Join an Anthropology Association

    You should register and join an anthropology association. This will enable you to gain connections with colleagues and experts who are passionate about this field. Additionally, it can help you find better career opportunities, share your research and develop your skills.

  8. Choose an Area of Specialisation

    There are various areas of specialisation you can decide to form a niche under. Furthermore, this would help you streamline your skills and research and gain expertise in that niche.

Types of Anthropologists

  1. Physical/Biological Anthropologists

    These anthropologists investigate the biology and evolution of humans. They look into subjects such as bone analysis, primatology, genetics, human evolution, and forensic anthropology.

  2. Archaeologists

    Archaeologists investigate previous human communities and civilizations by examining artefacts, architecture, and cultural relics. Additionally, they excavate and analyse archaeological sites to reconstruct previous lifestyles, social structures, and cultural activities.

  3. Economic Anthropologists

    Economic anthropologists study the relationships between culture, society, and economic systems. Additionally, they investigate how various cultures organise and exchange resources, how economic inequities arise, and the cultural meanings and behaviours linked with economic activities.

  4. Cultural Anthropologists

    Cultural anthropologists research modern human civilizations such as focusing on the beliefs, customs, social organisation, and cultural expressions of various societies.

  5. Linguistic Anthropologists

    Linguistic anthropologists examine language and how it affects human culture and civilization. Additionally, they study how language influences communication, social interactions, and cultural customs.

  6. Medical Anthropologists

    Medical anthropologists study how culture, society, and health interact. Additionally, they research how social structures, cultural practices, and beliefs affect health, illness, and healthcare systems.

  7. Applied Anthropologists

    Applied anthropologists deal with real-world problems and obstacles in a variety of sectors by using their anthropological knowledge and techniques. They deal in areas such as public health, development, policy-making, community involvement, cultural heritage preservation, and organisational consultancy.


Universities to Study Anthropology in Africa

  1. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  2. Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria
  3. University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  4. Mansoura University, Egypt
  5. University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  6. Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco
  7. University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  8. Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
  9. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  10. Cairo University, Egypt
  11. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  12. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  13. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science of Technology, Ghana
  14. University of Botswana, Botswana
  15. Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
  16. University of Nigeria, Nigeria
  17. Covenant University, Nigeria
  18. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  19. Rhodes University, South Africa
  20. University of Sousse, Tunisia


In Conclusion, pursuing a career in Anthropology can be an exciting journey. This career will equip you with skills that have diverse applications in various industries. Additionally, you can work in various industry sectors as an anthropologist. You can work in sectors such as education and research, healthcare, museum curation and social work. However, you need to build the skills and knowledge that will enable you to function effectively as an anthropologist.


Good luck!

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