These job titles that often incite thoughts of “dino bone hunters,” actually have many different focuses of their research. Since the focus of the jobs is to learn, the high level of educational requirements is not a surprise. A bachelors degree is the minimum requirement for entry level positions.
Study the origin, development, and behavior of human beings. May study the way of life, language, or physical characteristics of people in various parts of the world. May engage in systematic recovery and examination of material evidence, such as tools or pottery remaining from past human cultures, in order to determine the history, customs, and living habits of earlier civilizations.
Where did human life begin? How did world cultures evolve? What impact have natural disasters had on people and civilization? Anthropologists and archaeologists explore these types of questions to learn about human history, and bring insight to current issues. Anthropologists and archaeologists study the cultures, languages, archaeological remains, and physical characteristics of people across the world and through time. Typically, they conduct research to answer questions and test hypotheses about human behavior and culture. Data collection and analysis form the core of their work. Their projects may result in published research or reports on the impact of potential land-use policies, healthcare programs, or even products. Most anthropologists work either in research organizations, for the government, or at consulting firms. Archaeologists focus on physical findings; they analyze human remains and artifacts such as tools, pottery, cave paintings, and ruins. They also preserve artifacts, and interpret their significance through their knowledge of related historical information. Archaeologists work in museums, at historical sites, and for government agencies. They also work for cultural resource management firms that identify and preserve archaeological sites and ensure compliance with regulations. Anthropologists and archeologists need a master’s degree or Ph.D. in anthropology or archeology. Fieldwork experience —either in the United States or abroad— is important for both disciplines. Bachelor’s degree holders may find work as assistants or fieldworkers.
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