The earth is 4.5 billion years old, and as schoolchildren we are taught that humans evolved from apes. More than 7.7 billion people live on this planet, which has more than 190 countries and a rich variety of cultures and customs.

But what prompted people to adhere to various cultures, traditions, and religions? How did biological variation occur? When did human communication undergo a revolution?

Do you find deeper questions about human culture like these intriguing? Guess what! An anthropologist spends their day answering them. Maybe this career is a natural fit for you. Keep reading to find the answers to questions like: What is anthropology? Who is an anthropologist? What does a career in anthropology look like? 

What is anthropology?

The study of humans—both past and present—is known as anthropology. Anthropology draws on information from the social and biological sciences, as well as the humanities and physical sciences, to fully comprehend the breadth and complexity of civilizations across all of human history.  The study of anthropology focuses on what makes people human. Anthropology is usually broken down into four subfields:

Sociocultural anthropology

One of the most well-known subfields in anthropology is socio-culture anthropology. Socio-cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology that focuses on social culture, communities, observation, and daily life to build theories about how people interact with one another. Instead of offering insight from a distance, this collaborative approach is based on the concentration of people. Rather than using external sources, it uses internal resources to acquire information. Sociocultural anthropologists are focused on using various approaches from the humanities and other fields of the social sciences and humanities to conduct research in a distinct area of study.

Physical anthropology

Biological anthropology is another name for physical anthropology. It is a combination of many academic components, such as biology or social studies. This study is based on two primary ideas. First, the two branches of physical anthropology are the biosocial variation of humans and human evolution. It is one of the most fascinating areas of anthropology that has been primarily investigated. It assists in gathering data on a vast body of knowledge on earlier generations around the world. 

Archaeological anthropology 

A specialty of anthropology called archaeological anthropology focuses on tracking centuries-long changes in culture and development. The relationship between archaeology and anthropology uses a variety of technologies and historical information that has been preserved for many years to reconstruct historical events. In practicality, the relationship between archaeology and anthropology is best represented by the geological processes that assess ancient human civilization. Numerous deposits, mostly at excavation sites, have accumulated archaeological data that inform anthropological theories. Therefore, digging to find artifacts from our history serves as the field’s main strategy for gathering information. 

Linguistic anthropology

Linguistic anthropology is when you study the appraisal of language, and it’s crucial. Its reach has expanded over time, incorporating various linguistic facets. This study explores how communication that is predominantly impacted by language has an impact on cultural beliefs, social identities, and ideologies. It also examines how common cultural values and beliefs in the social and environmental realms are solidified as interconnection increases.

About anthropologists and their role

An anthropologist is a person who studies or does anthropology, which is the study of how people live together in a society across time. In other words, they are individuals who are working to comprehend others and the reasons behind their actions from a cultural viewpoint. An anthropologist’s job is to investigate human culture and the factors that shape societal structures throughout history and the present. To determine what we have in common with other creatures and what sets us apart from them, anthropologists often contrast humans with other species, most frequently with other primates like monkeys and chimpanzees. 

Anthropologists also strive to comprehend how individuals behave in social settings, such as with their family and friends. They study how individuals interact and dress differently in various social settings. These parallels are occasionally used by anthropologists to better understand their own society. Many anthropologists study topics like the economy, the legal system, education, health care, and public policy in their own communities. 

Career outlook: The scope of anthropology

Anthropologists engage in academic research institutions and make substantial contributions to interdisciplinary subjects, including ethnic and gender studies as well as international studies. An anthropologist can begin their career in a variety of fields, including higher education, government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), business, healthcare, and human services. Other employers for graduates include private companies, non-profit organizations, museums, independent research institutions, service organizations, and the media. 

There is a broad scope of work and of areas of specialization available for someone who has pursued anthropology. To learn more about your options, and to explore anthropology as a career in detail, reach out to LaunchMyCareer for personalized career counselling.