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Paths to Employment

As is the case with many disciplines of the humanities, there is no exclusive field of work for anthropologists. But in a globalizing world, a degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology qualifies for various fields of work – especially also outside academia – through the training of key competences such as

  • the handling of one's own subjective perception,
  • the ability to critical self-reflection,
  • the reflection on the cultural conditionality of processes of knowledge production as well as
  • intercultural competence and social skills.

In the Bachelor and Master programs, the supplementary modules (Ergänzungsmodule) offer the possibility to further develop these key competences in professional practice courses and, optinally, to apply them in an internship (120 hours).

Different Carrier Fields

The classic job sites for cultural and social anthropologists in Germany are universities und museums. With level capacities facing a marked rise in graduate numbers, only a small proportion of freshly graduated anthropologists can find employment there.

Increasingly, cultural and social anthropologists seek engagement outside academics and become active in a host of other professional fields, for instance

  • development cooperation and work with migrants
  • journalism and publishing
  • adult education
  • cultural institutions, associations and tourism
  • diplomatic service
  • business enterprises (e.g. consulting)

There is no single, generally valid strategy for a career entry; many jobseekers pursue unconventional paths on their way to employment. In any case, however, a recommended course of action is to gain practical experience early on and to acquire complementary skills relevant to one’s personal occupational interests. This can be achieved through the choice of appropriate minor subjects – but will mostly take place outside the university, for example in the form of internships or stays abroad. Knowledge of less common foreign languages is often a special plus.