We, as human beings have the ability to study various subjects in this world. Have you ever wondered about studying the human's behavior and how we have evolved from what we were a hundred thousand years ago to what we are now? If this interests you, then Anthropology might be the right choice for a subject that you should specialize in. Anthropology is basically the study of human behavior. It deals with the various aspects of human life starting from our evolution to our habitation and way of life in different cultures and societies. Human biology is also a part of the subject. Dwelling deeper into the subject, Anthropologists study the unique characteristics of particular communities based in different geographical locations.
How can Anthropology help in real life?
An Anthropologist can often be substituted with the synonym of ‘a trained observer’. By way of learning the subject, the person develops sharp learning skills and his or her analytical skills are also noted to be improved. There are times when the world needs a good researcher and analyst who can read and comprehend large volumes of data. Anthropology paves way for teaching and research as academicians on the one hand and applied anthropology as administrators, evaluators, social scientists, etc. Thus the scope of the subject is vast.
Various domains under Anthropology
The subject of Anthropology may be classified into the various fields based on the focus of study. Unique research methods from those used in humanities and social sciences to Biology and Geology are employed in the subject. The classification is as follows:
Physical or Biological Anthropology:
As the name suggests, Physical Anthropology deals with the non-cultural aspects of humans. This field involves not only the systematic studies of humans but also of near-humans, which includes monkeys, apes and other primates. Biological Anthropologists are more interested in learning about the human evolution mechanisms and the aspects of genetic inheritances. It is further sub-divided into the three fields. One is Human Biology, which studies the biological characteristics. Next is Primatology, which is the study on non-human primates. The third is called Palaeoanthropology, which is the field of study involving the coordination with geologists to recover fossil information history of our ancestors.
This field of Anthropology is concerned with the sociological aspects of humans. That is, the cultural and societal differences and uniqueness of human beings. The focus is mainly on contemporary societies instead of ancient ones. The field finds its importance in the modern societies where the uniqueness of culture is gradually fading in many parts of the world.
Communication in different manner is the key focus of this area of study. Linguistic Anthropologists study the mannerisms of various forms of communication such as the written and spoken, verbal and non-verbal communication in different human groups. Different language dialects and social conventions of speaking in different situations are studied here.
If we are now aware of the life of people during various ancient civilizations like those of the Indus-Valley and the Mesopotamian civilizations, it solely because of the study of Archaeological Anthropologists. The field involves excavating the ancient remains and studying the nature of human beings, their characteristics and way of living. Archaeologists may be classified as Classical, Historical, Pre-Historic, Underwater and Zooarchaelogists.
This field concentrates on the practical application of Anthropology. The methodologies are implemented in problem solving in numerous fields of occupation. They work as researchers, mediators, administrators, etc. in corporations as well. Some example professions include Medical Anthropologists, Forensic Anthropologists, Ethnobotanists (Anthropologists who work with indigenous peoples in different parts of the world), etc.
Study Programs in Anthropology overseas
As far as the requirements to entry for the courses in Anthropology across the globe is concerned, the candidate is required to possess decent grades in subjects like Mathematics, Science and especially Biology. Considering universities in the US and the UK, the candidate’s English test scores like TOEFL, IELTS will be mandatory.
Just as any popular subject, anthropology too has courses at various levels such as certificate and diploma courses, undergraduate or Bachelor’s Degree courses, Post-graduate or Master’s Degree courses, and research programs at Doctorate level. The Bachelor’s Degree programs are generally 3 to 4 year duration, Master’s program of 1 to 2 years and Ph.D. programs vary between 3 to 6 years of duration.
Top Universities and courses
Short-term/Certificate/Diploma level courses
There are certain universities that provide specialization in the field of Anthropology which help students, particularly research scholars to gain in-depth knowledge in specific areas of the subject. Some popular institutions and their courses are listed below.
Undergraduate / Bachelor’s Degree Level (Ordered by Ranking):
There are a plethora of other courses in various reputed universities all over the world that the candidate may research upon.
Post-Graduate / Master’s Level Programs
Opportunities and Job Outlook
The discipline of Anthropology has been described as "the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities" by one of the early anthropologists, Alfred Kroeber. When we talk about Anthropologists, one of the familiar faces that might strike us would be of Bruce Parry, who documented his sampled life among indigenous people in different parts of the world in the series ‘Tribe’ in BBC. But Anthropologists are much more than that. Anthropologists are graduates with good cultural awareness, which in fact suits them to various job-roles. One of the most sought after profession by person who has done his or her Master’s level program is the noble profession of teaching, i.e., the industry of Academia. As long as teaching is concerned, there is no dearth for students who want to attend classes on Anthropology. Professors at reputed universities have a peaceful and high-paid job for their lifetime. But, if teaching doesn’t fascinate you, there are ample of other opportunities being an Anthropologist. Even the modern corporate job-roles in Marketing, Business and Finance, Advertising and Sales as well as other public and private sector management. Some even turn up into conservation, health and social work, heritage management and civil services. Thus the employability as well as career opportunities is vast for graduates in Anthropology.
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