Is A Masters In Anthropology Worth It

Anthropology is a field of study concerned with understanding humans and their place in the world. It is a broad subject that encompasses many different sub-disciplines, such as archaeology, cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, and linguistic anthropology.

A master’s degree in anthropology can open up a variety of career opportunities and increase earning potential. This article will examine the costs, time commitment, and potential benefits of pursuing a master’s degree in anthropology. It will also provide tips on how to find a school and funding for a master’s degree. Additionally, the article will discuss the potential disadvantages of obtaining a master’s degree in anthropology.

Overview of Anthropology

Exploring the study of humanity, from prehistory to the present, provides a glimpse into the diverse range of cultures and customs that have shaped the world.

Anthropology is the scientific and social study of humans, their culture, and their evolution. It is a holistic and interdisciplinary field, which draws on the theoretical foundations and empirical data of the social and natural sciences to understand the cultural differences and similarities between human societies. It is also concerned with the study of the development of human societies over time, focusing on the interaction of humans with their environment, both natural and cultural.

Anthropology has developed a range of methodologies, such as participant observation, field research, and archival research, to study the experiences, beliefs, and practices of different cultures. This approach to understanding humanity helps to uncover the complexities of the human condition and offers insight into the diversity of human experiences.

Career Opportunities with a Master’s in Anthropology

In this section, the potential career opportunities afforded by a postgraduate qualification in the study of human societies and cultures are discussed. A master’s degree in anthropology can open a wide range of opportunities for graduates.

From cultural differences to job outlook, a master’s degree in anthropology can provide a competitive edge in the job market and can lead to a successful career in the field.

The range of job options available to those with a master’s degree in anthropology is broad, and can include positions in academia, research, consulting, teaching, public policy, and more. Graduates can find rewarding positions in the public and private sector, as well as in international organizations.

Additionally, anthropology graduates can also pursue careers in business, law, and even film and television.

Average Salaries for Anthropologists

Gaining an understanding of the average salaries available to anthropologists can provide insight into the potential financial rewards of the profession. Job outlook and salary trends for anthropologists vary greatly depending on the position and level of experience. Generally, those with a Master’s degree can expect to earn higher salaries than those with a Bachelor’s degree.

Anthropologists employed in the federal government can expect to earn the highest salaries, with a median annual wage of $92,220. Anthropologists in research positions are the next highest earners, with median salaries of $71,390. Those employed in colleges and universities earn an average of $68,000 per year, while those employed in private industry earn an average of $62,220.

Industry Average Annual Salary
Federal Government $92,220
Research $71,390
Colleges/Universities $68,000
Private Industry $62,220

Cost of a Master’s in Anthropology

A Master’s in Anthropology can come at a considerable cost, with average tuition fees ranging from approximately £15,000 to £30,000 depending on the institution.

Additional costs to consider include fieldwork costs, such as travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses, which can add significantly to the cost of the degree. Aside from tuition fees, there may also be additional costs such as textbooks, equipment and software.

In addition, students may have to factor in living expenses, especially for those studying full-time. For those studying part-time, the cost of the course may be spread over a longer period, but the living expenses may still be the same.

Therefore, it is important to consider all the costs associated with a Master’s in Anthropology before deciding if it is worth the investment.

Time Commitment for a Master’s Degree

The commitment of time and energy needed to complete a Master’s degree is significant and should not be underestimated.

In general, the average amount of time required to complete a Master’s programme varies depending on the amount of coursework, research, and field work involved. Additionally, the amount of time spent in exam preparation and on the job search should also be taken into account.

The amount of time and energy that one has to invest in their degree can range from two to five years, with the average being three years. It is important to note that this time frame can be extended depending on the complexity of the research and any other unforeseen circumstances.

Furthermore, students should also be aware that they may need to take on additional part-time jobs to support themselves while they pursue their degree. Therefore, it is essential to be prepared and plan ahead before embarking on a Master’s degree in Anthropology.

Advantages of a Master’s Degree in Anthropology

Completing a Master’s degree in Anthropology can open a wide range of opportunities, providing many advantages to those who pursue it. Most notably, a Master’s in Anthropology provides a highly interdisciplinary focus that integrates biological and cultural aspects of human behavior, enabling graduates to develop an understanding of various aspects of human societies and cultures.

Moreover, those with a Master’s in Anthropology can benefit from a wide range of professional networks, allowing them to connect with fellow professionals and access potential job and research opportunities.

At the same time, a Master’s in Anthropology can also provide students with the opportunity to engage in research and fieldwork, allowing them to gain firsthand experience in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data. This experience can be invaluable in terms of gaining an understanding of the research process and developing a skillset that is applicable to numerous fields.

Furthermore, the coursework and research associated with a Master’s in Anthropology can help students to develop skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and communication, which are essential for success in the professional world.

Disadvantages of a Master’s Degree in Anthropology

Despite the advantages of pursuing a Master’s degree in Anthropology, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. Most notably, the cost of a Master’s degree can be significant, resulting in a considerable amount of student debt.

Furthermore, the job market for anthropologists is very competitive and most positions require at least a Master’s degree, making it difficult to stand out from the crowd. Additionally, the career paths available after obtaining a Master’s degree in Anthropology may be limited. As a result of the specialized nature of the degree, it can be difficult to find employment in other fields.

Finally, due to the highly specialized nature of the degree, the skills gained may not be transferable to other industries. Furthermore, the workload associated with a Master’s degree in Anthropology can be time-consuming and demanding.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Master’s Degree

Gaining the most from a Master’s degree requires a strategic approach to study and career planning.

To ensure that your studies remain relevant and beneficial, it is important to apply the skills you develop during your Master’s to your current career. This could be done by networking with other professionals and making connections. This will not only open up new opportunities, but also help you to develop a better understanding of the industry.

Additionally, it is important to create a personal development plan that outlines your goals and how you intend to achieve them. This will help you to focus on the areas you need to work on and to identify potential areas for improvement.

Additionally, it is important to take the time to reflect on your progress and to readjust your plan as necessary. Taking the time to do this will ensure that you are getting the most out of your studies.

Finding a School to Pursue Your Master’s in Anthropology

Choosing a school for a postgraduate degree in anthropology requires careful consideration of available options. It is important to research the academic requirements, job prospects, and cost of attending a particular school.

When selecting a school, one should ensure that it meets the following criteria:

  • It must have a strong reputation in the field of anthropology.
  • It must offer courses and resources that will help to advance one’s career.
  • It must have a supportive faculty and staff that are willing to assist with any questions or concerns.

It is also important to research the location of the school, as well as the availability of internships and other professional development opportunities. Additionally, one should consider the alumni network that the school offers, as well as the career services department.

Taking the time to thoroughly research and compare schools can help to ensure that one makes the most informed decision when selecting a master’s program in anthropology.

Finding Funding for Your Master’s in Anthropology

Having determined the best school to pursue a Master’s in Anthropology, the next step is to find funding for the program. Scholarships, grants, and assistantships are all viable options for those looking to complete a Master’s in Anthropology, and most universities have a dedicated search to help students find outside funding. Additionally, job prospects for those with a Master’s in Anthropology can be used to help fund the program.

Source of Funding Advantages Disadvantages
Scholarships No repayment Must meet criteria
Grants No repayment Must meet criteria
Assistantships No repayment Must meet criteria
Job Prospects Flexible hours Limited financial aid

By considering the available sources of funding, students can weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each. Scholarships, grants, and assistantships all offer the advantage of not having to be repaid, but they may require certain criteria to be met in order to be eligible. Job prospects while in the program can also be used to fund the program, but they may limit the amount of financial aid available. To find the best source of funding for a Master’s in Anthropology program, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of jobs can I get with a master’s in anthropology?

Having a master’s degree in anthropology can open up a variety of career opportunities. Individuals with this degree may be able to find positions in a variety of sectors, including academia, business, government, and non-profit organizations.

Jobs in this field require an understanding of cultural differences, as well as experience with archaeological sites and artifacts. Those with a master’s in anthropology may be able to teach courses at a university, work in the tourism industry, or manage cultural heritage sites.

Additionally, the skills acquired through this degree may be applicable to other fields, such as marketing and public relations.

How can I decide if a Master’s in Anthropology is the right path for me?

A Master’s in Anthropology offers students a comprehensive understanding of cultural dynamics and global perspectives.

Making the decision to pursue a Master’s degree in this field requires careful consideration, and can be evaluated by weighing the potential benefits against the cost, time, and effort that it would take to complete the degree.

It is important to consider the educational and career goals associated with the degree, as well as the availability of job opportunities and the potential salary that could be earned with the degree.

Additionally, an assessment of the personal interests and skills of the student should be taken into account when deciding whether or not a Master’s in Anthropology is the right path to take.

How will a Master’s in Anthropology help me progress my career?

A Master’s in Anthropology can open up a variety of career paths, such as research, consulting, teaching, and more.

Through a Master’s in Anthropology, students can gain valuable experience and knowledge that can help them stand out in an increasingly competitive job market.

Furthermore, there are often internship opportunities available to students, allowing them to gain hands-on experience in the field of anthropology.

By completing a Master’s in Anthropology, students can gain the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to further their career.

What type of research opportunities are available to masters in anthropology students?

Master’s in Anthropology students have the opportunity to explore a wide range of research topics, including cultural heritage and anthropological theory.

Research in these areas can provide students with an understanding of the diverse cultures of the world and how they interact with one another.

Moreover, research methods and analytical tools used in anthropology allow students to deepen their knowledge and skills in the field, enabling them to become more informed and engaged citizens.

The research opportunities available to Master’s in Anthropology students can be an invaluable asset to their career paths.

What types of extra-curricular activities can I pursue with my master’s in anthropology?

Pursuing a Master’s degree in Anthropology offers a variety of exciting extra-curricular activities.

These can include cultural immersion programmes, where students can visit different countries and immerse themselves in their culture, as well as developing a theoretical framework for understanding different societies.

Such activities can help to give those with a Master’s degree in Anthropology a unique insight into the societies they wish to study. Furthermore, these activities can provide invaluable experience for those looking to pursue a career in the field of Anthropology.


A master’s in anthropology is a worthwhile investment for those looking to pursue a career in the field. With a wide range of career opportunities and attractive salaries, the cost of the degree is more than made up for in the long run.

It is important to research the various schools offering the degree, as well as the various funding opportunities available, to ensure that the degree chosen is the right fit.

With a well-researched and carefully chosen master’s degree, anthropology can be a rewarding and fulfilling career.

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