Careers and Opportunities
To help you along the way we can offer some advice and help for specific questions and areas of work, via our mentors. The mentors listed here are all experienced and busy professionals who have agreed to provide career advice on their area of expertise. Please respect their willingness to help by not overburdening them with too much correspondence.
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What do people do with a PhD in Anthropology? How do they feel about their research 'training'?
Two years of research by Jonathan Spencer (Edinburgh) and David Mills (Birmingham) reveals a picture of a period of major growth in PhD training in anthropology in the UK, with nearly all who complete finding employment that they feel relates to their research. Individual experiences of life during and after the PhD are however complex and ambivalent, and the research questions a notion of a 'career path' based on individual 'choices'.
The research points to the increasingly cosmopolitan character of UK anthropology, and its diversity in terms of age and gender, but also early signs of a trend back towards male advantage in mainstream academic employment. Issues to do with families and relationships emerged as extremely important in the course of the research, and their impact on career choices often gets overlooked.
These are all issues on which they invite comments and reactions - we see this research opening up a conversation about the role and purpose of research training in Anthropology. You can download a first analysis of our findings here (Word doc).
The Royal Anthropological Institute's Website Discover Anthropology has a useful section about career paths in anthropology. This includes many career options in applied or engaged anthropology:http://www.discoveranthropology.org.uk/career-paths.html
Training applied anthropologists
Riall Nolan (Dean of International Programmes, Purdue University) presented 'Bringing Practice In: A Discussion of Ways to Improve Anthropological Training for Applied and Practice-Oriented Students' at the third Applications of Anthropology seminar at the University of Birmingham in September 2003.
He has previously run workshops at the American Anthropological Association meetings. Written for a US-audience, many of its insights are also relevant to the UK.
In his presentation, Nolan reflected on his long experience of teaching applied anthropology in the United States, where there are around 30 Masters Degrees on offer in Applied Anthropology. He emphasised the importance of not only teaching postgraduate students skills in applying their anthropology but of preparing them for the job-market and the work-place.
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