Friday, November 15, 2013

Futures of Anthropology Panel

So, how do I..... Find a job? Get into grad school? Get work postgrad?

Today I was at the Futures of Anthropology event! The panel included a number of grads and post-grad members of the Anthropology Department speaking about their experiences in the job world, both inside and outside the world of academia. Speakers from all areas of anthropology had come to talk about their experiences in the job market. It was then that I realised - I have no idea how to get a job in the field of Anthropology - no clue where to look, where to start - even what kinds of jobs are out there. So, over the next few weeks I'm going to try to find out. I'll be combing the resources here at U of T, looking to compile them into a series of handy guides - How to apply to grad school, how to find a job if you're an undergraduate, and how to find a job in a grad or post-grad position. On that note - If anyone knows of a resource or wants to submit a website, give an interview, or offer advice - please contact me! It would be great to turn this into a place where we can all come to offer our perspectives on what to do with our anthropology degrees.

What did I learn at the Futures of Anthropology discussion, you may ask? Well, a lot.

To start with, the job market might not be as bleak as it sometimes seems. According to the US Department of Labour, jobs in fields such as Anthropology and Archaeology are going to increase between 22 and 28 percent over the next few years.

So what are some of the options available? One of the more common ones is Cultural Resource Management (CRM). In Canada every development needs salvage archaeology done before building can go ahead - in order to preserve the past. Yes, there are ethical issues - developers want to develop, and it isn't necessarily the hallowed theoretical process we are all trained towards in university. There's also the divide between academia and contract archaeology, though hopefully that will narrow in future years. We have to realise that all archaeologists are equal, no matter what work they do - we are all looking for our origins.

Work for anthropologists can come from a variety of sources - health systems, intervention and community outreach, lab work, etc. Where you work is usually less important than the skills you use in the pursuit of Anthropology. Sometimes its more a matter of presenting oneself. Anthropologists have a great skill set that can be used in many capacities. Interpersonal skills through interviewing and ethnographic work, data collection, collation, and interpretation, critical thinking and analysis - these are all part of an Anthropologists toolkit. It might just be a matter of brushing up one's resume!

So maybe its not hopeless! Here I'll try my best to find the resources that are going to help us all find gainful employment, if only so we can keep doing what we love!

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