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Related Skills

The skills you learn in anthropology prepare you to work in any career. You'll leave our program ready to work for a diverse workplace in a global society.

Critical Thinking

Anthropology digs deep into the past and studies languages and cultures we're not all that familiar with. What's uncovered is unique and interesting data. Figuring out what the data means and how it can be applied requires critical thinking.

You'll use critical thinking all the time in your future career. Employers want you to know how to interpret information so you can solve problems, develop solutions, and get better at your job.


Anthropology at Illinois State is an active program. You'll work on lots of projects with your peers and people in the community.

Knowing how to communicate with a diverse group of people is an essential skill for the workforce. We'll teach you how to write and speak to different audiences.

Anthropology also develops your interpersonal communication skills, a trait all good leaders have.

By studying cultures and working closely with others on civic engagement projects, you'll learn a lot about backgrounds and experiences that are different than your own. This helps you form meaningful connections with people.


Anthropology at Illinois State includes work in a lab where you analyze all kinds of interesting data.

This experience can set you up for success in your career.

Lab work lets you experiment with ideas and learn from data. Just like in a lab, your career will bring up challenges and situations that are new to you.

You'll learn how to ask thoughtful questions and develop solutions that may or may not be successful. From there, you'll learn how to analyze that feedback to build on successful solutions or learn from less successful ones.


Whatever career path you choose, technology will likely be a key component.

Anthropology uses computer programs and technology to examine artifacts, input research, and analyze data. Most are unlike the typical programs you're used to.

New technology can sometimes spark fear. You may not know how to use it or have anxiety about breaking it.

Our program helps you embrace different kinds of technology. This will serve you well in your future career so you can be comfortable around new technology and see first hand how it can make organizations more efficient and profitable.

Being Successful in the Field

What you learn in Anthropology can help you succeed in a variety of careers. Whether you choose a career in Anthropology or something else, here's how you can make the most of your degree.

Get experience early.

We offer lots of ways to get real-world experience before you graduate. All our opportunities help develop your professional skills so you can enter your future career with confidence.

Civic engagement is a top priority in our program. We spend lots of time volunteering our time and skills. You'll have opportunities to work on important projects that make a positive impact.

You can also partner with professors on research. Our faculty are always working on interesting projects and making major contributions to the anthropology field.

Internships are another great way to gain experience. We partner with Illinois State's Career Services to help you find opportunities in any industry.

Consider earning a minor or an additional major.

Many other academic programs pair well with Anthropology. Increase your future employment opportunities by majoring or minoring in another field, such as sociology, business, geography, or political science.

Think about graduate school.

If you choose to work in the anthropology field, most jobs will require a graduate degree.

For graduate school, you'll need to pick your focus. Our program will introduce you to the many subfields of anthropology and help you discover your true interests.

Related Fields

There's a lot you can do with an anthropology degree. Many students in our program go on to have successful careers in a variety of fields.

Some paths may require additional or advanced degrees. Our program gives you exposure to many different areas so you can discover your true passion. Once you figure out what you want to do, we'll help you reach your goals.


The nonprofit sector is a major employer for people with anthropology degrees. Your desire to get involved and help others might lead you down this path.

There are numerous paths to take in this field. Some of the most common roles include:

Advocacy: Be a champion for your organization. Professionals working in advocacy help achieve their nonprofit's mission, secure funding resources, and help solve challenges that communities face.

Development: A career in development means you'll plan for fundraising, create events, and manage donor relationships to help your nonprofit achieve its goals.

Marketing and Communication: Reach a variety of audiences through promotion, brand awareness, campaigns, and more. This path is ideal if you like to write.

Volunteer Coordinator: Volunteers are essential to any nonprofit organization. Volunteer coordinators recruit, manage, and train volunteers.

Examples of Illinois State Anthropology alumni working in nonprofit include:

  • Development Manager at Womankind
  • Strategy Manager at Children's Home and Aid
  • Grants Coordinator at Nebraska Appleseed


Teaching is a great way to share your passion for anthropology with the next generation. Connecting anthropology with another degree might help you become even more marketable as an educator. History, geography, social studies, political science, and foreign languages all make great pairs to anthropology.

Other paths in education include:

Student Affairs: Help college students succeed. Student affairs includes professionals who help students with academics and offer support for their personal development.

Library: Anthropology gives you the kind of academic curiosity and motivation to work in a library where you can collect and organize information for the public.

Diversity and Inclusion: Many schools offer positions that focus on diversity and inclusion. With an anthropology degree, you'll be well-versed in this area. You can help ensure schools are inclusive for all.

Examples of Illinois State Anthropology alumni working in education include:

  • Diversity Advocacy Specialist at Illinois State University
  • Student Engagement Coordinator for Global Programs at Penn State University
  • English Teacher in Japan


An anthropology background sets you up to be a key player in the business sector. Many organizations hire people with an anthropology degree to help coordinate culturally-appropriate ways to conduct business, sell products, and connect with customers.

There are many roles you can pursue in business when you have an anthropology degree, including:

Management: Lead your organization and help achieve its goals.

Sales and Marketing: Be on the frontlines of an organization. Sales and marketing professionals sell products, interact with customers, and research new market opportunities.

Human Resources: Manage the administrative functions of an organization. Human resources has many roles, including recruiting, hiring, strategic planning, and benefits.

User Experience: Use your understanding of people to make sure the products an organization puts out are accessible and easy to use.

Examples of Illinois State Anthropology alumni working in business include:

  • User Experience Researcher at State Farm
  • Email Marketing Specialist at The Mx Group
  • Producer at Sound Lounge

Museums and Archives

Museums are full of culture and history, a perfect fit for someone with an anthropology degree. Popular museum jobs for anthropology degrees include:

Curator: Use your knowledge of research, culture, and history every day. Curators build up collections and create exhibits and galleries for museums.

Conservator-restorer: Make sure a museum's collections are in the best possible condition. Conservators restore and preserve artifacts.

You can also work in other areas of a museum, like administration, fundraising, or research. Many museums offer educational programs. You could help develop and present these programs to visitors.

Examples of Illinois State Anthropology alumni working in museums or doing archival work include:

  • Coordinator of the Youth Conservation Action Partnership at Chicago Field Museum
  • Archivist at State Farm
  • Education Specialist for the Indiana Historical Society


Federal, state, and local governments hire people with anthropology degrees for planning, research, management, and lots of other things.

Opportunities in government can include:

Resource Management (cultural and natural): Help preserve culture and natural resources. You can find resource management opportunities at national parks or when land and communities are part of a development or construction project.

Surveying and Excavation: Surveyors and excavation technicians are essential for construction projects and planning. Surveyors take land measurements to determine property boundaries and provide data that helps engineers, construction workers, and map makers. Excavation technicians prepare construction sites by clearing lots and digging foundation trenches.

Policy Analysis: Raise awareness about important issues. Policy analysts research and evaluate current policies and proposed legislation.

Urban Planning: Help communities thrive. Urban planners develop plans for land use that create new communities and help existing communities move in a positive direction.

Examples of Illinois State Anthropology alumni working in government include:

  • Archaeological Research Associate at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
  • Program Coordinator at State of Hawai'i Judiciary
  • Archaeological Technician at the Illinois State Archaeological Survey

Graduate School

Some of our alumni continue their education at graduate school. We've sent our students off to well-known programs Penn State, Rice University, University of North Carolina, Boston University, Tulane, University of Iowa, and others.

Career Industry Liaison

Name Office Email Phone
Megan Ruffin  223 Bone Student Center  (309) 438-2200 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Ryan Gray  Schroeder Hall 344  (309) 438-8669