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Careers in Anthropology

Government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)

Government entities are constantly faced with new policy and management challenges related to processes like population pressure and globalization. Federal, state, and local governments need anthropologists in order to effectively address the relationship of these issues to human health, culture, and the environment. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are not-for-profit charitable or service oriented organizations that draw attention and offer assistance to communities in need of services and programs beyond those provided by governments. NGOs operate at local, national, and international levels and are concerned with topics including human rights, development, community health, political action, and more. NGO policies, priorities, and programs benefit from the input of trained anthropologists. 

Private Sector

Many anthropologists are employed in the private sector. Some own and operate their own businesses. For example, Cultural Resource Management (CRM) archaeologists do contract work for governments and private firms (such as construction companies) whose activities might impact archaeological resources. Other anthropologist working in the private sector applied to her knowledge of human culture to improve organizational ethos and corporate/customer relations in a way that cannot be accomplished through traditional survey and marketing approaches. 


Some anthropologists work in institutions of higher education – including major research universities, four-year colleges, and community colleges – and are dedicated to training not only to next generation of professional anthropologists, but also introducing non-anthropology majors to human biocultural diversity. In many cases, the job responsibilities of an academic anthropologists are not limited to teaching. Research and community service can play large roles in the working life of academic anthropologists.


(573) 651-2478
Caranahan Hall 311E

Department of History and Anthropology
One University Plaza, MS2960
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701