What can I do with a degree in Anthropology?

Find out where the range of skills you develop studying anthropology can take you. Here we list potential careers and tell you how you can find a job in this sector.

Anthropology careers

Listed below are a selection of occupations that may interest students and graduates from the School of Anthropology and Conservation..

International Aid/Development Worker

International aid/development workers support people in developing countries. There is a large variety of different roles in this area including research, fundraising and relief work to name just a few.
Prospects job profile: International aid/development worker

Human Rights Officer

Works for inter-governmental or non-governmental organisations ranging from the United Nations and Amnesty to small charities and campaigning bodies. The work may involve monitoring and reporting on human rights issues with a view to bringing them to the attention of decision makers, the media and the wider public in order to end human rights violations and provide justice to their victims. Human rights work is wide-ranging: for further information see:

Human Rights Careers and I Want to Work In Human Rights

University Lecturer

As well as teaching through lectures and seminars, academic staff in higher education also carry out research and a wide range of administrative and pastoral tasks. Although a teaching qualification is not required, you will need a higher degree, normally a PhD. Competition is strong for entry-level academic posts.
Prospects job profile: Higher education lecturer
Target job profile: Higher education lecturer
I Want to Work in: A University

Social Researcher

Social research covers a wide range of topics including migration, poverty, and healthcare. Social Researchers could work for universities or research organisations and manage research projects including collecting and analysing data and presenting the results.
Prospects job profile: Social researcher 
Social Research Association: Careers in social research.
Prospects job profile: Government social research officer
Gov.Uk: Government social research profession
Prospects job profile: Trade Union research officer

Market Researcher

Plans, co-ordinates and manages market research projects, collecting and analysing quantitative and qualitative information and communicating it to clients.

Prospects job profile: Market researcher

The Market Research Society: Your career in research guide

Local Government Officer

Local government officers are responsible for the practical development of council policies and procedures, and need to ensure that local services are delivered.

Prospects job profile: Local government officer 

Charity Officer

There are a range of different roles within charities including project management, volunteer co-ordination and fundraising.

Prospects job profile: Charity officer
Charity Job: Careers in the Charity Sector


Please note that some of these careers may require further study.

Thank you to Prospects for the content on these pages.

Visit the School of Anthropology and Conservation webpage

Other careers

An Anthropology degree may be useful in the following career areas:

Civil Service Fast Streamer

The Civil Service Fast Stream is a leadership development programme for those wanting to become senior leaders within the Civil Service

Prospects job profile: Civil Service Fast Streamer

Read about the 15 different Fast Stream schemes

People Profession (Human Resources, Learning & Development and Organisational Development & Design)

The people profession has a huge variety of roles within it – from numerical and data-driven roles in reward and analytics to development roles in talent and learning and development. These roles tend to fall into two categories: HR generalists, who perform a variety of activities in any aspect of people practice, and specialists, who provide detailed advice and guidance in their areas of expertise.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development: Career options in the people profession

Recruitment Consultant

Recruitment consultants help employers to interview and shortlist candidates to fill new permanent and temporary vacancies.

Prospects job profile: Recruitment consultant

Human Resources Officer

Human resources officers develop, advise on and implement policies relating to the effective use of staff in an organisation. Responsibilities include hiring, developing and looking after employees. This involves functions such as training and monitoring performance.

Prospects job profile: Human resources officer

Chartered Institute for Personal Development: HR generalist roles

Equality and Diversity Officer

Equality and diversity officers promote and advise on equality and diversity so that organisations comply with the law and workplace discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation is reduced.

Target job profile: Equality and diversity officer

Prospects job profile: Equality, diversity and inclusion officer

Volunteer Coordinator

Volunteer coordinators recruit and supervise volunteers and make sure that they receive the appropriate training.

Prospects job profile: Volunteer coordinator

Advertising Account Executive (also known as Account Handler; Client Services Executive)

Advertising account executives are the bridge between the client and the agency. Account Executives are responsible for ensuring the smooth running of client accounts within the agency. They need to develop effective working relationships with client contacts. They will get involved with solving problems, drafting internal and external communications, and documenting progress on a variety of agency projects.

Prospects job profile: Advertising account executive

Institute of Practitioners in Advertising: Account Executive

Marketing executive

Marketing executives promote a company or an individual product or brand. This role may include planning campaigns, commissioning market research and communicating with people in all areas of the business, from production to finance, as well as  externally. 

Prospects job profile: Marketing executive

The Chartered Institute of Marketing: Get into Marketing

I want to work in Marketing & Market Research

Museum/Gallery Exhibitions Officer

Museum/gallery exhibitions officers plan, deliver and install individual, permanent or travelling exhibitions. They will also organise publicity events and promotional activities such as talks and workshops.

Prospects job profile: Museum/gallery exhibitions officer

Museums Association: Workforce

Museum Curator

Acquires, cares for, develops, displays and interprets objects and collections of historic interest. In small museums, the curator is also responsible for managing the collection, operations, staff and volunteers.

Prospects job profile: Museum / gallery curator

Museums Association: Entering the sector

I want to work in the Heritage Sector

Event Organiser/Manager

Event Organisers are involved with events from the conception stage through to the event itself.  Events can include conferences, festivals, and social events among others.  This is a hands-on role that can be in public, private or not-for-profit settings.

Prospects job profile: Events manager

Association of Events Organisers: What is a career in events?

Public Relations Officer

PR officers use a variety of media and communication channels to put over messages on behalf of their clients that will build a positive reputation for that client in the eyes of consumers, investors, the media and other stakeholders.

Prospects job profile: Public relations officer

Public Relations and Communication Association: Careers in Public Relations

Social Worker

Social Workers work with people in the community who need support, for example, the elderly, children who are at risk, people with disabilities or mental health difficulties.

Prospects job profile: Social worker

British Association of social work and social workers: Become a social worker

UX Researcher

User Researcher (UX) roles require good analytical skills and involve gathering information about how best to improve the design and usability of a website. As well as researching user behaviour and preference, a UX researcher will also look at the content of websites and consider design elements such as colours and images.

Prospects job profile: UX Researcher

Health Service Manager

Health service managers work in either an NHS setting or the private healthcare sector. They are responsible for the financial, strategic and daily operations of running a hospital, GP practice or community health service. The NHS offers specialised managerial roles including finance, human resources (HR), health analysis, health analytics and policy work.

Prospects job profile: Health service manager

NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme 

You may be interested in graduate roles outside of Anthropology. Most employers are looking for graduates with good degrees but don’t require a specific subject. To explore different career options see:

Skills gained

The abilities and qualities of mind that a student studying anthropology acquires incorporate both subject-specific and generic skills, which include those set out in the following sections.

Social anthropology

Depending upon the proportion of social anthropology within their degree course, students demonstrate an ability to do some or all of the following:

  • Understand how human beings are shaped by, and interact with, their social, cultural and physical environments, and an appreciation of their social, cultural and biological diversity.
  • Formulate, investigate and discuss anthropologically informed questions, use major theoretical perspectives and concepts in anthropology and critically asses their strengths and limitations.
  • Engage with cultures, populations and groups different from their own, without forgoing a sense of personal judgement, with an awareness of cultural assumptions, including their own, and the ways in which these impact on an interpretation of others
  • Critically read and interpret texts (including print, oral, film and multimedia) within their historical, social and theoretical contexts and acknowledge practical awareness of the strengths and limitations of ethnographic fieldwork and the different stages and requirements of carrying out an anthropological study.
  • Analyse and recognise the politics of language, indirect forms of communication and theoretical statements, forms of power and claims of authority.
  • Apply anthropological knowledge to a variety of practical situations, personal and professional plans and undertake and present scholarly work that demonstrates an understanding of anthropological aims, methods and theoretical considerations.

Biological anthropology

Depending upon the proportion of biological anthropology within their degree course, students demonstrate an ability to do some or all of the following:

  • Gain an understanding and appreciation of the Darwinian evolutionary process and our species' place within the natural world.
  • Interpret varied information on aspects of human biological diversity and the ways in which biological and social processes interact.
  • Analyse and evaluate relevant qualitative and quantitative data using appropriate techniques.
  • Design and implement a project involving data collection on some aspect(s) of human biological diversity, and to display relevant investigative, analytical and communication skills.
  • Gain an understanding of the scientific process, including the ability to read, evaluate and write scientific reports.
  • Demonstrate awareness of ethical issues associated with biological anthropological methods and theories, including those associated with studying non-human primates, with handling human remains, and with proposals that human behaviour has an evolutionary basis.
  • Demonstrate a deepened understanding of the subject and qualities of mind associated with intellectual reflection, evaluation and synthesis.

Generic and transferable skills

Students gain some or all of the following transferable skills:

  • The capacity to express their own ideas orally, visually and in writing, to summarise the arguments of others, and to distinguish between the two.
  • Independence of thought and analytical, critical and synoptic skills.
  • Research skills in collecting and collating primary and secondary data.
  • Communication and presentation skills (using oral, visual and written materials and information technology).
  • The ability to make a structured argument, reference the works of others, and assess historical evidence.
  • Time, planning and management skills.
  • The ability to engage, where appropriate, in constructive discussion in group situations and group-work skills.
  • Statistical and computing techniques.
  • Independent learning and critical thinking.
  • The ability to assess and understand their strengths and weaknesses, and to take action to improve and enhance their capacities.
  • A reflexive approach to cultural assumptions and premises developed through a deep understanding of other ways of being in the world.
  • The ability to recognise and challenge ethnocentric assumptions.

Source: QAA Subject benchmark statement

This is not an exhaustive list of skills – you will develop many skills from your course, extra-curricular activities and work experience. You can find out more about the skills employers look for and how you can develop them Employability here.

Find a job

The Careers and Employability Service provides information and advice on job searching to University of Kent students and recent graduates. This includes a vacancy database advertising a range of graduate jobs, sandwich placements and vacation work/internships and online resources. The websites listed below may also be useful when searching for a job and when looking for further information on this sector.

Industry information, job and networking opportunities

The Royal Anthropological Institute has an anthropology vacancies link page.

British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology

Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK & Commonwealth

American Anthropological Association

Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology

National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (US)


Job websites where your Anthropology degree would be useful:

Working for the Department for International Development

Charity Works: The UK’s non-profit sector’s graduate programme

Charity People: Recruitment consultancy specialising in the not-for-profit sector

Charity Job: Jobsite dedicated to the charity sector

VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas)

Impact Pool: Opportunities at International Organisation

Jobs.ac.uk: Anthropology HE jobs

Third Sector: Charity and fundraising jobs

Jobs Go Public: Public sector roles

Idealist: Volunteer, internship and job opportunities

Primate Info: Field Work, Internships and Volunteer opportunities

Jobs in NGOs

DevNet Jobs: International Development jobs in NGOs and charities

University of Kent: International Development Organisations

More websites offering: Graduate jobs, internships and placement years


Company reviews and application / interview tips for specific organisations:
The Job Crowd


Further study

Postgraduate study may enable you to explore aspects of anthropology in greater depth or to study a new subject. 20% of Anthropology graduates choose to enter postgraduate study.

A postgraduate qualification, either academic or vocational, is required to enter many fields of work related to anthropology such as, lecturer or social researcher. You should consider why you want to do postgraduate work, whether it will affect your career prospects and whether you are likely to get funding.  

There are many reasons for choosing to continue into postgraduate study. Whatever your motivation, you need to consider issues such as your suitability, funding options for postgraduate study and research the options available to you to enable a fully informed decision to be made.

If you are already a student on a taught Master’s degree, you may wish to continue your studies by research, in the UK (at Kent or elsewhere) or overseas. Planning early is important and you should seek advice from your supervisor as to the possible options.

Looking for Careers Advice?  

 The Careers and Employability Service is open to all University of Kent students and recent graduates. We support students from the moment they start their course, throughout their student life and up to three years after their graduation.   

 Book an appointment with a Careers Advisor today. 

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