I was the first in my family to go to college and when my father asked me if I knew what I would like to major in he never expected my answer to be ANTHROPOLOGY. In fact, I remember him asking me what exactly Anthropology was and what I thought I could possibly do with a degree in that field. I could also see the disappointment on his face because he was hoping that I would want to pursue an undergraduate degree in Accounting or Business, or begin a pre medicine or pre law course of study. Nonetheless, my father would have loved to have been able to go to college but simply never had the opportunity so he tolerated the idea, encouraged me to do well in college, and let me go on my way. Fast forward to today. I now hold a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a Ph.D. – all in Anthropology. I have been extremely fortunate because I was able to pursue a field of study that I honestly love. However, in today’s world competition for good jobs is brutally competitive. In addition an undergraduate B.A. or B.S. degree is typically the minimal educational requirement for any good job.
So why major in anthropology? Anthropology is the study of the human species: our various cultures, languages and how they relate to culture and change, our recent and distant past (archaeology and paleoanthropology), as well as aspects of the human skeleton (forensic anthropology), and the study of monkeys and apes (primatology). It is a broad field that uses the scientific method so oftentimes it bridges the social sciences with the hard sciences. Studying anthropology provides a student with a greater appreciation for cultural diversity – past and present. This allows for a better understand of different cultural practices and beliefs. In other words by studying anthropology, an individual acquires a degree of cultural competency. In our increasingly diverse society and work force this is of value to a wide range of employers. In addition students studying anthropology learn important analytical skills, work on group projects, learn how to conduct independent research, and they present their research in a written and oral format. All of these skills are relevant and important to future employers.
As the Head of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Geography at UTC I want your daughter or son to be a successful student. However, a great deal of responsibility for their educational success rests squarely on the shoulders of each and every student. I do take the success of students pursuing degrees in my department very seriously and will do all that I can to assist them. It is my sincere hope that your daughter or son will enjoy the study of Anthropology as much as I have throughout the years
Department Head and Professor of Anthropology