Any Anthropology and/or Physics majors on here? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 10-31-2013, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey guys!  I've wanted to be an Anthropologist since I was a young teenager and more recently I've decided that I'd also love to have a degree in physics.  I'm in my 30s, no degree in anything yet although I am very close to an Associate in Science and even closer to an Associate in General Studies.  The A.S. degree is the more important one because I can use it to transfer to a four year college.  Eventually I really want to accomplish my life-long goal of having a Ph.D.  If anyone on here has a degree of any kind in either Anthropology or Physics, or even better both, since I'm thinking about getting a major/minor or double major (gasp!) I'd be super thrilled to hear your stories and advice.  Thank you!!

 

:Sheepish


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#2 of 5 Old 10-31-2013, 12:49 PM
 
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I don't have a degree in either, but I do work at a university and deal with graduate students and faculty all the time.  Personally, if I were you, I'd be thinking hard about what you hope to use the degree for.  If you are independently wealthy or otherwise don't need to earn a living, obviously then that isn't important.

 

I hate to be a downer, but here goes...In terms of the job market, a PhD in Anthropology is pretty close to useless, unless you want to be a college professor.  And the competition for those jobs is incredible.  There are very few spots that open up and a million highly qualified applicants for each one.  We graduate far more PhDs than there are openings for. The trend in many universities is to shift teaching courses, particularly general education courses, to adjunct faculty, rather than hire on faculty lines.  Adjuncts are paid, and paid very poorly, by the course, with no benefits and no security. Outside academia, job opportunities are few and far between.

 

Physics is considerably better.  There are still relatively few openings in academia and they are competitive.  But there are a lot more places that employ PhDs in physics--government laboratories and research centers and industry.  Many physicists end up working in related technical fields, as well.

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#3 of 5 Old 10-31-2013, 05:04 PM
 
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I have a PhD (and other degrees) in physics and I am a professor, so I can speak to the topic about majoring in physics.  

 

As the pp said, you want to think about how to make yourself marketable before you graduate, rather than after graduation.  I would suggest double majoring in biology or economics because it is these interdisciplinary fields of physics that will make you more effective in the areas of anthropology than majoring/minoring in anthropology itself.

 

Needless to say, you need to get your math up to speed quickly.  Take calculus, up to and including Differential Equations, ASAP.

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#4 of 5 Old 11-01-2013, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the great answers so far.  I'd love to hear from more people.  I'm interested in both the positives and negatives of these fields.  :)


Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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#5 of 5 Old 12-29-2013, 11:37 AM
 
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I majored in anthropology. It was fascinating, and definitely helped me learn to think with an open mind, but it's pretty darn useless as a career path. There are a few sub specialities that have career potential, usually overlapping in public health kind of stuff, but in general, not a major if you want to work. Google graduate study anthropology and the blog savage minds and read what those phd students have to say, and you'll go right to something employable like engineering.

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