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Majoring in Anthropology is it useless? Also, is 18 credits this semester too much?


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Before anything let me explain my situation a little bit. I just need some collage advice because everyone in my family and the professionals I've talked to all give me different answers that don't really help me all that much in choosing a direction for collage and in the future furthering my education. Right now I will be starting classes August 23rd, I will be taking 18 credits this semester. A general math class that I'm taking is 6 credits that is why it is so high other wise it would just be 15. I went to speak with a career adviser and we talked about some things I like and some fields that looked interesting and she originally had me set up to go into either geography or anthropology, I could make up my mind on what I will major in next year because for now I'm still just getting my required classes out of the way (English, fine arts, humanities, math, and one anthropology class). The first adviser had me set up to take 20 credits, I went to see a different adviser to get a second opinion, she said keep it at 15 credits and thought that anthropology was a great idea since I had expressed interest in going to the university of Utah to further my degree if I got my AS in anthropology.

 

My mom told me straight up that she thought I was stupid and would fail no matter what and that I was wasting my time.

 

My grandmother who was a kindergarten teacher thought I would never use it and 18 credits is too much.

 

My Aunt said she took 21 credits and 18 should be manageable because I do not have a job and can devote all my time to school.

 

Everyone else on the internet said I would be serving fries for getting a degree in anthropology?

 

I just feel lost, I need an educated opinion and maybe a little guidance on what would be a beneficial direction to take my education. FAFSA is paying for me to go to school full time Pretty much and I don't want to waste it.

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I have taken 18 credits before. As long as you have good time management and you are able to set aside time to study and do homework then you shouldn't have a problem.

 

I wouldn't declare a major yet if I was you. Take your general education requirements like Math, Science, Humanities, etc. first. Research your field and try to figure out how the job outlook is, what the average salary is, and if internships are available. I advise you to read some online reviews that deals with that field, and see how people who already have the degree view it.

 

When I was in college, I felt rushed to pick a major. It felt like I HAD to have something picked out because my advisers were pressuring me and everyone else seemed like they knew what they were going to do after college. Now, I wish I had taken my time and researched my major.

 

I have B.A. in Criminal Justice and International Affairs. Although, finding a job isn't hard, the salary is lousy and the room for promotion is just as bad.

 

I am going back to school as a non degree seeking student to take some science classes, and I am pursuing a career in the Nursing field now.

 

I would really take a couple of semesters to figure things out. Don't feel rushed to graduate at a certain time. Volunteer in different areas and try to figure out what you are interested in. If there's a major that seems good to you then take a class and see if it peeks your interest and see how well you do.

 

If you take your time and some research then you won't regret your decision later.

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Yeah, school is the last place where you'll good career advice. They want you to spend money and take more classes. Go for your degree. Go for a higher degree. Go for a Ph.D. Can't find a job after you graduate? Hey, that's not our problem! Come back and major in another field! I wish someone had given me professional advice.

 

So look at the type of jobs that are available in Anthropology. Look at what those jobs are paying. I can tell you, there aren't many and most of the jobs colleges and career service groups lists are actually in other fields such as Police, Social Work, Diversity Projects, Census and Surveys, and so on.

 

The highest paying jobs are if you can get into Business and combine it with computer programming skills. Otherwise you would have to be an expert in Forensics or a similar field where you could be paid to consult. Otherwise there are only teaching jobs where you will compete with 500 other job applicants for any job openings.

 

You can certainly have anthropology as a minor, but yeah, you could wind up at Starbucks or running your own coffee shop for a career. I would look into other majors.

 

And as for your question about 18 credits, I think it will work out if you don't have to take extra classes because of the 6 credit class. Also if you're also working or having fun at school do the standard number of credits. If you're just going to put your nose to the grindstone and study, you could take more classes.

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I went to a public college. I got excellent career and professional advice from various faculty and staff there including one who told me not to go into a certain field because I could do better (I didn't follow the advice, left that field after a few years and did something better for me). So it depends where you go and I disagree with that cynical view - if they only are out for money and keep people going for too many years their reputation suffers.

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The company I work for hires people directly out of college. They don't care what your degree is in...just that you have one. And these are high-paid positions, albeit very stressful and time-consuming.

 

For example, one of the Safety representatives...has a degree in anthropology. Is this person "using" their degree? Well, yes, in that the degree qualified them for the job. But this person is doing zero work in anthropology.

 

Do you want to simply GET the degree or would you like to USE the degree in that specific field?

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Being through college and graduate school, here is my best advice:

 

Find a field you enjoy and intern/volunteer as much as you can to get experience. If there are no internship/volunteering opportunities for that field, do not go for that major. Because no employer will want to hire you with just a college degree. If you can secure internships related to anthropology and it has a growing job market (or you are damn good as networking with career professionals), go for it. If not, rethink your whole career path before you waste time and money/student loans.

 

Don't just pick a field. Research the job market growth of that field AND find organizations you can volunteer for that will apply to what you are studying. Recreational college clubs are bogus and a waste of time.

 

 

In choosing anthropology and geography, I would choose geography. There is growth in GIS careers and they pay well. I almost went for it because I loved the college professor who taught it, but did better as a writer and went for an English degree (big mistake!).

 

 

The career adviser who told you to take 18-20 college is a joke. I did it once and was super stressful... Worse than taking full time graduate classes even though I was scheduling my workload. You will not have a life at all. 15-16 credits per semester is a better range to see how well you manage workload. You don't want to bomb classes, retake them and further delay your graduation because you couldn't keep up with the workload.

 

I went to a public college. I got excellent career and professional advice from various faculty and staff there including one who told me not to go into a certain field because I could do better

It entirely depends on what kind of college you go to. I went to two community colleges and two 4-year state universities, and community college advisers from both schools were a F'ing joke. They didn't connect with the department chairs when I had questions about the career path/courses/programs, and are only good for helping freshmen sort out their school schedule, not help you plan for 4 year degrees or transfers. If I were the OP I would request a different adviser because someone suggesting her to take 20 credits is insane.

 

The most productive thing she should do is take full time courses at the minimum mark and do volunteering/internships to help her network for a job before graduating college. It sucks working for free, BUT it is better to have related experiences to the field than just working behind a cash register, pushing carts, or waiting tables. The OP will never have time to do internship/volunteering if she's taking 18 credits. I personally wish I knew the advice I'm giving before I graduated with my bachelor's degree.

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Not entirely accurate that "no" employer would hire you with just a degree. Like I mentioned, my employer does. And I'm talking about a global employer, a company whose philosophy is that a degree shows dedication and commitment. The "college hire" positions are very, very well-paid and include a signing bonus, but as I also mentioned, these jobs are stressful and require a big time commitment...like, you need to be available and reachable every single day.

 

If you want to work in the field you are majoring in, Snny's advice is very good imo.

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You are more desirable if you are either working or have job experience. Most businesses work that way. The easiest way of getting a job is by networking with organizations/employers. In the OP's case, anthropology will land her a job at a museum. Museums are going to want you to volunteer first before hiring you. Even big museums like the Smithsonian put a higher emphasis on hiring volunteers first over outside candidates with the qualifications.

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I am going back to school as a non degree seeking student to take some science classes, and I am pursuing a career in the Nursing field now.

Good luck with Nursing. It is a very overly saturated field at the moment. I have a family member who is a job headhunter and has told me recently that she came across multiple people with Nursing degrees and can't find work. At the most, you'll start working grave night shifts. My husband topped other candidates when getting his RN position because of minority status quote and that he spoke a second language, but got out of nursing because of inflexible hours, low pay, and longer work hours.

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I would take 18 credit hours only if you have the goal of actually taking 12-14. Elect 18, then start your first week and drop the class that is most inconvenient in your schedule, etc, or where you didn't get the optimum professor. I know someone who majored in cultural anthropology and ended up becoming a computer teacher because they decided to master in computer science. But you can do other things with that degree- -work for a museum, teach, etc. You could parlay that into becoming a researcher and writing. I agree with Snny in trying to intern during the schoolyear or summer.

 

Good luck with Nursing. It is a very overly saturated field at the moment. I have a family member who is a job headhunter and has told me recently that she came across multiple people with Nursing degrees and can't find work. At the most, you'll start working grave night shifts. My husband topped other candidates when getting his RN position because of minority status quote and that he spoke a second language, but got out of nursing because of inflexible hours, low pay, and longer work hours.

 

I know people who have added to their nursing degree by being a nurse anesthetist and are in very high demand or have added another specialty like that. There is a strong need for nurse practitioners who can prescribe medications, etc, and join a busy large practice where the doctor is spread thin and PA and NPs can handle colds/flu/muscle strain just fine. I always see the doctor at my specialists unless, but at my GP, i see a PA -- I have never met the doctor that is over the practice even though i know people who have seen her.

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^ that's probably regional. My friends who got nursing degrees were pursued heavily.

 

Agree. My cousin was offered a job right away and they hired her "contingent on passing her nursing boards". They hired her already before she graduated. She would have lost her job if she didn't pass, and her spot would have gone to someone else, but because she did, she moved into the department she wanted. No relative or friend who went to school for a medical field job is jobless or in a job that doesn't suit them.

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I would get my general requirements near completion before worrying about a major. Meanwhile, when possible, I would take all of the personality tests available through your placement office, the internet, etc. and research the recommended career matches that come up from the results of those tests.

 

I would not consider bachelor level college to be career training, but rather a completion of the basic education requirements for most jobs. Lots of companies cross hire people from ANY major for entry level jobs in their firms, which allows them to learn your work ethic, soft skills and trainability for specific roles if they consider you an overall asset to their environment.

 

Most people do NOT end up working in a field related to their major unless they've trained heavily for a specific vocation, so I'd take that pressure out of your cooker. Target a major that you will thrive in studying because it interests you rather than as a career path.

 

As for number of credits to carry, it depends on your private degree of difficulty with the subjects you're selecting. If the math class is heavy but math comes easily to you, you'll have the mental and time resources to balance other areas of study. But if you have a hard time with math, then consider dropping one of the other subjects to compensate for the time you'll need to devote to extra math help--and seek out that help from a tutor.

 

Consider whether your Mom's negativity is based on your past school performance or whether she's just negative with you in general. If you've had trouble managing your course loads in the past, then taking on a heavy credit load is something to ease yourself into a few semesters down the road if you take to college well. Otherwise, you're just setting yourself up for a rough time--and why do that? College will be as enjoyable as you make it, so why start off with a grind that can sour you on studying and harm your self confidence when it's NOT necessary to do that?

 

Head high, and leave the major question for later.

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