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Employment Opportunities for Anthropology Doctorate Holders

Published on: Jan 22, 2021

At a Glance

In 2017, the unemployment rate of anthropology PhD graduates was only 2.5%.

Although doctoral education is often understood as training for an academic career, only 58% of employed anthropology PhDs were teaching in four-year colleges and universities, in a mix of social science, life science, and humanities fields.

The remainder were divided among non-faculty academic employment, private industry, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

Employment Opportunities

Among AAA members with anthropology PhDs who are primarily employed as faculty in higher education, only 68% have a primary appointment in anthropology.

The rest represent a mixture of area studies, humanities, medicine, public health, education, and other fields.

Sources: National Science Foundation, 2017 Survey of Doctorate Recipients; AAA 2018 member survey. Analysis by AAA.
Thanks to Dan Foley at NSF for his assistance, and to the Wenner-Gren Foundation for their support.