How to become an Anthropologist – A Complete Educational Guide to studying Humans!


Imagine you are at a party. The party is yet to begin and people are still settling in. You and your friend have arrived early and are having a blast observing people. Do you think you will be able to figure out if two people have just met? Or are people comfortable with each other’s presence? Or are people flirting with each other? Or someone is uncomfortable? The only way you can gain this information is through observation. 

If you answered those questions with a yes or a maybe, then you might be the one for Anthropology. Why? Because one major skill that anthropologists require is to deduct conclusions based on incomplete information. 

Now, what is Anthropology you ask? It is the scientific study of humans and includes the study of historical and contemporary human species as well as human behaviour, biology, cultures, civilizations, and linguistics.

If this information interests you, then read the blog further to know more about how to become an Anthropologist – the education, the skills, the job preparation required, salary insights and much more! 

Who is an Anthropologist? 

People who practice anthropology, or the study of humans, are called anthropologists. They essentially want to understand what makes people human. An anthropologist may be fascinated by anything, ranging from the customs of a tribe on a distant island to the culture of an urban neighbourhood, and everything in between. When studying fossils and artefacts, biological anthropologists strive to understand how early humans may have acted and what distinguishes us from other primates.

Learn more: How to become a Human Resource (HR) Professional – A Complete Guide

How to become an Anthropologist? [Step by Step Guide]

Step 1: Stream Selection 

While you have cleared your 10th grade, the stream that you should prepare for is either Science or Arts field. Subjects like biology will help you understand a lot of scientific jargon like genetics, bone chemistry, carbon dating, etc. Humanities/Arts is a field that will give you a base of subjects like history, psychology and sociology that will aid you in your arguments to do in Anthropology. Also while you are selecting colleges, ensure that they offer the subject of Anthropology as a major subject. 

Step 2: Certificate Courses and Project Courses 

You might enrol in several online courses to get a feel for the subject if you are unsure whether you would like a career in history. Following your completion of grade 10, you can try the following courses:

Certificate Courses Institute offering the course Duration 
Osteoarchaeology: The truth in our Bones University of Leiden 1-3 Months 
Miracles of human knowledge: An introduction to Linguistics University of Leiden 1-3 Months 
Anthropology of Current World Leaders University of Queensland through edX9 Weeks 
CitiesX: The Past, present and future of Urban Life Harvard University through edX 11 Weeks 
Friendship machine: forming a new type of human connectionsedX5 Weeks 
Tangible Things: Discovering History Through Artworks, Artefacts, Scientific Specimens, and the Stuff Around You University of Harvard through edX10 Weeks 

Step 3: Educational Qualifications 

What to study to become an Anthropologist after 12th in India –  

A) Undergraduate/Diploma Course 

Some of the undergraduate courses that you can pursue to become an Anthropologist are: 

Undergraduate Courses Duration 
B.A. in Anthropology 3 Years 
B.Sc in Anthropology 3 Years 

B) Top Colleges in India 

  • Hansraj College, University of Delhi
  • St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai 
  • Hindu College, University of Delhi
  • Panjab University, Chandigarh
  • Ashoka University, Sonipat
  • Symbiosis School of Liberal Art, Pune
  • Vidyasagar University, West Bengal
  • Bharathiar University. Coimbatore 
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai 
  • Kirori Mal College, Delhi 
  • Stella Maris College, Chennai 

What to study abroad to become an Anthropologist –

A) Undergraduate/Diploma Course

Some of the undergraduate courses that you can pursue to become an Anthropologist abroad are: 

Undergraduate Course Estimated Duration 
BA Hons in Anthropology4 years 
Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology4 Years 
Bachelor of Science in Anthropology4 Years 

The course duration might differ depending on the country you apply to. 

B) Top Colleges abroad

  • University of Toronto, Canada 
  • The University of British Columbia, Canada 
  • Arizona State University, USA 
  • Texas A & M University, USA 
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • McGill University, Canada 
  • The University of Melbourne, Australia 
  • The University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
  • Stanford University, USA 
  • The University of Texas at Austin, USA 

Also read: How to become a Hydrologist

Step 4: Job preparation required to become an Anthropologist 

Becoming an Anthropologist requires a Master’s degree. However, there are certain things that you can do to differentiate yourself from the crowd and get hired: 

How to prepare for a job as an Anthropologist
Connect with other Anthropologists around the world!
  • Connect with other anthropologists globally:

The development of technology has made it simple to interact with subject-matter specialists. LinkedIn is one method you can use to accomplish that. Or even their email addresses might be mentioned on blogs or college websites.

  • Visit locations:

The question of whether your research conclusions are based on secondary sources or if you directly observed them is therefore likely to come up during an interview. When you can confidently state that your discoveries are the result of your visits to such locations, this may be your chance to shine.

  • Customize your resumes and other material 

Try to customize your materials to the particular positions you are applying for when writing your CV and cover letter to submit with applications for anthropological employment. Try to provide relevant information about current knowledge and best practices in your application materials. In your CV and cover letter, look for keywords that are used in the positions you are applying for.

Skills required to be an Anthropologist 

  • Project Development Skills. 
  • Research skills 
  • Analytical Skills 
  • Corroboration skills 
  • Interpersonal skills 
  • Communication Skills.
  • Cross-Cultural Skills.
  • Perseverance
  • Resilience 
  • Physical Stamina 

Read more: How to become a Zoologist

Salary of an Anthropologist 

Salary in India for an Anthropologist 

An anthropologist’s monthly salary in India is normally in the range of 44,200 INR/month. The lowest salary is 23,400 INR, while the highest is 67,100 INR. This is the typical monthly wage, which also includes housing, transportation, and other amenities. Based on factors like geography, experience, and talents, anthropologists’ incomes might vary greatly.

Salary Abroad for an Anthropologist 

The number of variables affecting your salary remains the same abroad as well. However, a general overview of the salaries is provided in the following table: 

Country UK Singapore                 Japan Netherlands             Argentina   USA Canada 
Entry level salary/year £ 51,300 $55,278¥6,656,401.€ 25.24535,900 ARS $50,000$31,049

Want to increase your chances of getting admission abroad? Check out the Clever Harvey JuniorMBA Technology Course to add a real industry project to your student portfolio. 

Sectors where you can work as an Anthropologist 

Some of the areas where you can work as an Anthropologist include: 

  • Museums 
  • Art Galleries 
  • Research Centres 
  • Archaeological sites 
  • Universities 
  • Heritage centres 
  • Market Research companies 
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Governmental organisations 

Other than these WHO, UNESCO and UNICEF are the top recruiters for anthropologists. In India, the Archeological Survey of India also works with a lot of anthropologists. 

Thus, becoming an Anthropologist requires a lot of patience and hard work. It will also provide you with an opportunity to travel to various sites and museums. Living in various cultures and societies is exciting if you like interacting with different kinds of people. Curiosity is what will take you ahead. I hope this information excites you to become an Anthropologist. All the very best! 

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FAQs about how to become an Anthropologist 

Is anthropology a lucrative profession in India?

An anthropologist can begin their career in a variety of fields, including higher education, government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), business, healthcare, and human services. Other employers for these graduates include private companies, non-profit organisations, museums, independent research institutions, service organisations, and the media.

What credentials are required to become an anthropologist?

The majority of practising anthropologists hold anthropology master’s degrees or higher. After spending four years in college and receiving a bachelor’s degree, it usually takes two years to obtain a master’s degree. If you wish to teach, most schools and universities will require that you have a doctorate.

Is it allowed to do anthropology after 12th grade?

After finishing their 10+2 schooling, students can enrol in a three-year Undergraduate (UG) program in anthropology. Candidates with a humanities background who passed their class 12 board exam (or for that matter, any background student) may choose this subject.

Do anthropologists work for the government?

One of the biggest non-academic employers of anthropologists is the federal government. International development, the administration of cultural resources, the legislative branch, forensic and physical anthropology, natural resource management, and the defence and security industries are all potential career pathways.

Is it a BA or a B.Sc. in anthropology?

Both a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Anthropology are awarded to anthropology undergraduates. The two degrees’ structural differences account for their differences in content.

Does anthropology demand mathematics?

There is no maths course requirement for the Anthropology – Biocultural Concentration or the Anthropology/Biology BA. However, taking chemistry courses with maths prerequisites is a requirement for students who want to complete this major.

How long does anthropology take?

Although degree programs vary, anthropology bachelor’s degrees typically take four years to complete. Some undergraduates choose to enrol in graduate school, while others go out and look for careers after receiving their BA in anthropology.

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