Careers in Anthropology & Sociology

Alumni Spotlight

Gary Clubb (’05) works for the Alibaba Group, a family of highly successful Internet-based businesses in China. Read more»

Students who study sociology and anthropology (SOAN) at Truman learn to deal creatively with new and challenging problems, conducting research, developing analytical and critical-thinking skills, and learning to communicate ideas effectively, both orally and in writing. Because they pursue a broad field of inquiry, sociology and anthropology majors are well-equipped to enter a wide range of occupational areas, including:

  • corporations
  • government agencies
  • social service institutions
  • non-profit organizations
  • law enforcement agencies

Conduct Research and Analyze Data: Anthropology and Sociology encompasses both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Quantitative methods are used in market research, opinion polling, sales, and countless other applications and allow researchers to recognize trends and patterns and produce social statistics. Qualitative research skills provide an in depth understanding of interactions, communications, worksite practices, and social worlds.

Communicate Skillfully: Because a SOAN major involves lots of reading, writing, and discussion, majors learn how to convey ideas effectively in writing, presentations, and everyday conferences and meetings.

Critical Thinking:  Courses involve learning to look beyond the surface of issues to discover the “why” and “how” of culture, history, social order and structure. The SOAN major develops strong analytical skills and learns to solve problems and identify opportunities.

See Things from a Global Perspective: Anthropologists and sociologists learn about different cultures, groups, and societies. They examine both variation and universality across places and through history.

Prepare for Graduate School: An undergraduate major in SOAN provides an excellent foundation for graduate study in a wide range of fields including law, business, social work, medicine, public health, environmental, and archaeology to name just a few.

Much of the previous text is adapted from the American Sociological Association’s brochure “Sociology: A 21st Century Major.”

After the Degree

Graduate School

An undergraduate sociology/anthropology SOAN major is an excellent foundation for graduate study. Research, teaching, museums, archaeology, field work, and advanced administrative positions require a master’s or Ph.D. in the area of study. After Truman’s SOAN majors earn their degree, 60% attend graduate school. Some recent institutions include:

  • University of Missouri
  • Arizona State University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of California—Santa Cruz
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • Washington State University

Graduate Programs

Alumni have pursued graduate-level programs in the following areas:

  • Anthropology Ph.D.
  • International Relations Ph.D.
  • Sociology Ph.D.
  • Doctor of Jurisprudence
  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Master of Arts in Museum Studies
  • Master of Arts in Counseling
  • Global Public Policy

Jobs Pursued by Sociology/Anthropology Majors

The SOAN major provides training particularly well-suited to twenty-first century job markets, with economies that are increasingly international, workforces that are increasingly multicultural, and with participatory management and decision-making styles becoming ever more the norm. Anthropologists, sociologists, and environmentalists engage in academic, corporate, nonprofit, or government work both in the United States and abroad. Find employment like fellow graduates in:

  • AmeriCorps
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • U.S. Passport Office
  • United Way of Iowa
  • Los Angeles Food Bank
  • Lake Mead Law Enforcement
  • Conflict Analysis at Husch Blackwell, Sanders
  • Liberty Public Schools
  • Maguire Law Associates
  • US Peace Corps
  • Ministry of Finance in Malawi

Post-Graduate Internships

There are also one- and two-year post-graduate internships students pursue as a stepping stone into their career, such as the Peace Corps and The Student Conservation Association internships.

There are a large number of search engines available on the web that focus on anthropology and sociology careers. The American Anthropological Association has started a series of podcasts about careers in Anthropology outside of academics such as Forest Service, Cultural Resource Management, and Government Social Services.

Professional organizations and other sources provide excellent, detailed information regarding job interest, employers, and specific strategies on how to obtain your employment interests: