The field of Anthropology
Before examining some of the personality traits, we’ll look at this discipline. Anthropology covers various specialties, which students can select in some undergraduate programs and most masters. A Bachelor of Science may provide a stepping stone for students pursuing an advanced degree in other disciplines, such as dentistry, forensic science, archaeology, medicine, or medical anthropology. The degree is preparatory to other areas when the undergraduate courses include:
- General Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Biological Sciences
- Human Evolution
The above examples are some of the classes offered in the B.S. in anthropology at UC Davis. Infrequently, there are schools providing concentrations at the undergraduate level. The anthropology department at the University of Washington-Seattle, for example, has the choice of an Arts or Science program in these concentrations (except one):
- Medical Anthropology and Global Health (BA/BS)
- Human Evolutionary Biology (BA/BS)
- Anthropology of Globalization (BA)
- Archaeological Sciences (BA/BS)
- Indigenous Archeology (BA)
Similarly, at the master’s level, you can find learning institutions with both arts and science programs. A Master of Arts or Science in Applied Anthropology is available at the University of North Texas in Denton. The school offers a selection of areas of interest for students to focus on:
- Business, Technology, and Design Anthropology
- Crossing Borders: Migration, Religion, Identities
- Medical Anthropology
- Anthropology of Education
- Environmental Anthropology
- Urban Anthropology
Other possibilities for specialties are:
- Cultural Anthropology
- Forensic Anthropology
- Linguistic Anthropology
- Anthropology of Religion
What about traits?
Traits form one’s personality. If asked to describe a friend or sibling, you may use words like outgoing, reserved, kind, even-tempered, talkative, or moody. Several traits apply to an individual’s personality. Humans display different characteristics depending on the situation. Cumulatively, all of the thousands of qualities and characteristics comprise your personality. Psychologist Gordon Allport, in 1936, discovered 4,504 different personality traits. He compiled the extensive list after scouring through dictionaries and noting every word that described an individual’s personality. Mr. Allport received prominence for his contributions and pioneering work into the trait theory of personality.
If you plan on a bachelor’s degree in anthropology to be a terminal degree, then the assumption is that you may not apply the major directly to a career. However, you could probably find an entry-level job in a museum, for example, where the degree is applicable. Realistically, more positions in the field of anthropology are available with at least a master’s degree. One job opportunity exists in strategic planning posted on the job site, Indeed. The employer seeks someone to join their team comprised of cultural anthropologists, market research specialists, and futurists. Some of the qualities listed are creativity, insightful, articulate, outgoing, and free-thinking. These are a mix of traits and aptitudes. Applicants need a bachelor’s degree in sociology, marketing, or anthropology.
Regardless of the area of concentration for your degree, anthropology requires inquisitive and analytical minds. Do you have the personality to wrestle with a problem until reaching a solution? Persistence comes into play—the necessary qualities to excel as a student mirror those needed to succeed in the profession.
As a biological or physical anthropologist, for example, you may spend long, tedious hours studying primates in the wild or captivity, observing their behavior. The specialty is part biology and part social studies. There are positions as a curator or conservator at large museums as educators, exhibit development, administration, and publication if not fieldwork and research. Museum conservators work with artifacts to ensure their preservation and restoration. A mind for detail and meticulousness are characteristics of the job.
As a student choosing a major with a related career in mind, one must assess his or her personality to determine the best fit. Individuals uncomfortable speaking to groups or being in leadership may opt for support roles, such as organizing displays and exhibits. Hence, personality influences your studies for optimal success during the education and employment phases.
Specialties like forensics demand technical skills and advanced training in biology, chemistry, anatomy, archaeology, and more. The sciences’ workload should start in high school for students with an aptitude for math, physics, chemistry, and biology. Research-oriented students may be introverted. They are content to puzzle over methodologies to obtain the best results.
Traits to be a successful student in any major are less effective than those needed to excel in the workplace. Academics are a controlled setting. As a student, you can be as extroverted or introverted as you want as the purpose is to learn. In contrast, the working world is competitive, political, and intimidating. Unless you’re tucked away in a laboratory or an office with minimal supervision, the workplace can be a source of daily anxiety and trepidation for some people. Therefore, extend your personality beyond the classroom or lecture hall to see what employment prospects afford the best chance of success and contentment.