Is an Anthropology Degree Worth It? {2022}

Is an anthropology degree worth it that’s what we’re going to be talking about today and we are just going to jump right into it before we figure out whether this degree is going to be worth going 40,000 in debt for and,

Spending four years of your time we want to know what exactly is anthropology. anthropology is the study of the biological social and cultural development of humans it’s going to incorporate elements of history geology religion economics politics and,

Society now in my opinion anthropology is extremely interesting and a lot of people agree with me and that’s why over 8,000 people in the united states graduate with this degree every year now some of the career paths you might go down are becoming an anthropologist museum curator researcher.

Now there are four main areas that i like to focus on in these posts that i think are very important and since this is a personal finance website the first one we’re gonna go over is earning potential or salary now with this degree when it comes to salary when you graduate you would expect to make around 43,000 a year,

Starting out and 70,000 in mid career pay now you can compare that to a really high paying degree like petroleum engineering or one that’s not so high paying and you’ll see that it is on the lower side now if you end up becoming an anthropologist or an archaeologist you’ll expect to make around 63,000 a year,

Or 30 dollars an hour the only problem here is most anthropologists and archaeologists have to have at least a master’s level degree that means extra schooling and you’ll likely have to take out even more student loan debt if you became an archivist curator or museum worker you would make around forty nine thousand dollars a year or twenty three dollars,

An hour and if you became a survey researcher you’d make 59,000 a year or 28 dollars an hour and again this is another one where you have to get a master’s level degree usually now i am going to have some careers pop up on the screen that are somewhat loosely related to this degree,

And you’ll see that they’re not actually all that closely related and the reason for that is because there’s not a lot of careers that you would commonly go into this isn’t like a nursing degree where you get a nursing degree and you become a nurse or an engineering degree where you get an engineering degree and,

You can become an engineer or pretty much anything else actually this is one of those degrees where it’s extremely specific if you want to become an anthropologist there’s not going to be all that many other options out there that have anything at all to do with anthropology.

Now when it comes to how much you would make over a lifetime you can roughly estimate that social science degrees in general make around 2.5 million this is compared to the average of 2.4 million but keep in mind that a lot of people who graduate with these degrees end up getting a master’s or a doctorate so they have to spend more time and,

Education and they have to also take out a lot more in loans another thing to keep in mind here is when you look at this data it doesn’t actually include the average for the amount of people who are unemployed so there are some degrees where there’s a much higher unemployment rate than others and, That’s not necessarily included in these statistics so overall when it comes to pay this one is not amazing it is going to get a score of 5 out of 10.


next we’re going to be talking about satisfaction and i like to break this one up into two different areas which is meaning and job satisfaction.

So meaning is basically how much you think your job positively impacts the world and people who graduate with this degree show that it’s around 46 percent you can compare that to a really high meaning score and a really low meaning score and you’ll see that it’s on the lower side now if you are able to become an anthropologist or,

An archaeologist which is pretty tough but if you are able to land a job then the meaning score does jump up a little bit to 51 which is still pretty average however your job satisfaction is around 66 which would be above average and from my research that i did on this it did seem that the people who are able to land jobs in that field are very passionate about it and,

They do enjoy their careers the key word there is going to be if a lot of people are not able to land a job that has anything to do with anthropology or archaeology and so they end up working in something that is completely unrelated now another thing i like to look at is how much a major is regretted and,

When it comes to social science degrees they are the fourth most regretted type of degree and the reason is because they’re too general impractical and it’s hard to find a job without further studies now i always like to say that when it comes to satisfaction it’s completely subjective for one person this could be 10 out of 10 they don’t care how much money they make from it,

They don’t care if they’re not able to get a job and for another person it could be a one out of ten so this is completely subjective take what i say with a grain of salt especially in this section but overall it does seem like people who are able to land a job seem to be relatively satisfied but,

Like i said before that is a big if now i want to assume on these posts that you know my subscribers are awesome you guys are going to do your due diligence follow my advice on these posts and make sure that you are not getting yourself into something uh where you’re going to regret it you’re reaching out to people in these careers you’re contacting,

Them you’re asking them key questions and you’re making sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into so with that being said i am gonna put the satisfaction at eight out of ten for this one.


Next we are going to be talking about demand and this is basically how much demand there’s going to be on the job market with hiring managers and business owners for the skills that you learn when you get this degree so if you became an anthropologist for instance there’s 8,000 jobs available,

And it’s growing at 5 which is faster than average but keep in mind you have to get a masters if you became an archivist curator or museum worker there’s 37,500 jobs available and it’s growing at 11 which is much faster than average and if you became a survey researcher there’s 12,200 jobs available.

Unfortunately it’s declining at 4 percent meaning over the next 10 years there will be 400 less jobs now things are really wonky in the world right now but generally speaking social science liberal arts degrees tend to have higher unemployment rates now if you look up anthropology degree on a site like

It’s actually the one i use to set the lower bar on most of these posts that’s because there’s not that much demand for people with an anthropology degree you can compare that to a computer science degree and you’ll see that there’s 141,000 versus 829 additionally when big companies are surveyed about what kind of college degree majors,

They’re looking for in graduates business and engineering degrees are usually at the top and social science degrees are mid-tier at best they’re even kind of on the lower side so for instance about 83 percent of the companies were looking for business degree grads and only around 20 of them were looking for social science degree graduates and,

If you think about it it kind of makes sense there’s just not that many jobs out there for archaeologists for instance being an archaeologist and being able to get paid full time in order to do it especially getting a job where you’re doing it is almost like winning the lottery in many cases you would be better off just getting creative thinking outside of the box.

Maybe starting a blog website about archaeology and then going and visiting different cool sites around the world and then eventually you’d be able to start your own business so overall when it comes to demand i have to give this one a 4 out of 10.


Next we’re going to be talking about x-factors which is anything that i think is important but didn’t make it on the other part of the post now remember when i was talking about how much you would make over a lifetime with a social science degree and it was around 2.5 million,

Well it’s going to vary greatly depending on what career path you end up going down so for instance if you become a manager you develop some leadership skills they make around 3.4 million over a lifetime and,

You could argue that a lot of these social science degrees will teach you intangible soft skills that you can’t really quantify they might not be skills that are going to lead you to directly making a lot of money like getting a job.

However they’ll likely help you make money in indirect ways in the future so for instance the ability to read a lot of information and understand it quickly formulate an argument and then present that argument to somebody else communication skills in general,

Being able to give a speech being able to write an essay these are all things that will likely help you indirectly in the future not onlyfinancially but also in other areas of your life now when it comes to the value of a skill on the open market aka how much people are willing to pay somebody,

Who has these types of skills unfortunately when it comes to a lot of these degrees it’s not that good so anthropology wasn’t even on the zip recruiter skill index but sociology is pretty close and that one scores35 out of 100 and you can compare that to a software engineering degree at 88 out of 100 or industrial sewing at eight and,

You’ll see that it is on the lower side so that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a skill that doesn’t have any value by any means but when it comes to how much money youcan make in a job how much somebody will pay you to actually use those skills it’s not that great that doesn’t mean.

However you couldn’t make a lot of money indirectly by starting your own business or something along those lines a lot of people are interested in anthropology and if you started a really good blog website podcast blog etc you could definitely monetize that and be able to make a living now when it comes to the likelihood of automation,

That’s where these types of degrees really shine chances are none of these will ever be able to be automated because it just requires too much human input there’s a level of creativity there’s a lot of communication involved there’s a lot of critical thinking involved and so for instance with an anthropologist or,

An archaeologist there’s only a 0.8 chance that they will be automated now when it comes to difficulty this one is not very hard it ranks around 42 out of the 55 most common degrees when it comes to difficulty when you look at dropout rates and things like that at least according to

And that could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the way you look at it now another thing i like to talk about is flexibility and unfortunately this is not a very flexible degree it doesn’t really pair all that well with other degrees at least when you think about job opportunities and things like that  you’re also pigeonholing yourself into a few select careers,

And chances are you’re going to end up working in something completely unrelated that has absolutely nothing to do with anthropology now like i said when i was doing research on this one people who are actually able to get jobs whether they become archaeologists or professors etc.

Seem to be pretty happy with their careers however for the most part a lot of people who got a bachelor’s in anthropology did not end up happy with it of course they love studying anthropology but that doesn’t mean you have to get a degree in it that’s going to take four years of your life and will likely cost you around 40 thousand dollars.

So i usually don’t quote people in these posts but i ran across one comment that just summed everything up perfectly and so i’m going to go ahead and read it really quickly this was on the subreddit r slash anthropology andit was from umlot so i love anthropology,

But i deeply regret majoring in it saying you want to be a tenured professor of anthropology is a bit like saying you want to become a famous movie star a lot of people want the job and few of the people that will try will ever succeed in it the us is producing moreanthro phd’s than ever and,

They all want the same job as you someone will succeed and there is a small chance that it will be you see article the job market is saturated with phds when you talk to your professors theymight be more optimistic but they really aren’t the ones that you need to talk to about it you don’t ask a lottery winner if they regret buying 25,000 in lottery tickets,

Over their lifetime you ask the millions of people that lost it will take a long time anthropology phds generally take longer than other phds due to the nature of the field research just an example boston university’s anthrophds average six to seven years whereas ut averages five years.

So you get a ba in anthro and decide to stop there go look at jobs that specifically require an anthropology degree seriously here are the nationwide searches and then it shows that there’s almost no results on a lot of the job sites.

So yeah suffice it to say when it comes to x-factors this one is going to be 4 out of 10. so when you take all those scores add them up and then divide by 4 you’re going to get a 5.25 out of 10. now keep in mind this is extremely subjective for one person it could be like a 10 out of 10 for another person it would be a one out of ten,

So everybody’s different and you need to consider factors for your own specific situation with this degree i would highly recommend considering either double majoring minoring taking extra classes on the side or studying it on your own and just keeping it as a hobby,

However if you’ve really looked into it you’ve done your due diligence you’ve contacted people who are in the jobs that you want to go for you know eventually   those people are going to retire and there will be some obs that open up so if you’re one of the lucky few that are able to become an archaeologist you can become indiana jones,

Or you know you’re able to become a professor then that’s great but you really want to plan things out if you do want to go for this degree and i highly recommend hedging your bets and maybe getting another degree that’s a little more practical double majoring just ,

So that you have something to fall back on you also need to realize that if you’re trying to become a professor or an archaeologist something along those lines you’re going to need to know that you are in it for the long run getting a masters probably isn’t enough you’ll likely have to get a phd and even then your chances of getting a job in that specific field are going to be very low i’m just keeping it real here,

You know how i am on this website i like to be as honest as possible i don’t want to be a dream crusher or a dream killer but i want you guys to be as informed as possible so you can make the best decisions so with that being said if you want more help doing research on college degrees and,

You don’t want to wait for my posts to come out because i’ve got like a thousand posts in the backlog right now you can check out my college degree ranker down in the description below and my patreon in my opinion this is the best and most easy to use source of college degree information on the entire internet,

I’ve basically compiled all of the best resources and i’ve ranked a bunch of different college degrees objectively i’ll also be updating it really soon.

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