“You ask how I found my niche. It was somewhat by accident and political climate at the time. I was working in Archaeology for the most part and the funding dried up. I had worked in the University purchasing department and had enjoyed my time there and though that it would work well with a master’s [degree] in Anthropology so headed in this direction. I also studied several languages with the hope of doing international work and as it so happened, it did. For you, what is your favorite area? Focus on this and then look how it can be applied in the larger world.”
The job market for graduates with anthropology major is based for the most part on demand for persons with skills in social science research methodology. However, just as John Van Willigen sharply indicates, the market is not very much aware of anthropologists with these skills and there is a limited market for anthropology graduates. Moreover, although there are many opportunities for professional work, very few are designed strictly for anthropologists. This circumstance is not limited to anthropology but is typical of many of the social sciences and humanities.
The roles of anthropologists in the non-academic fields could be administrators or managers, consultants, project directors, community service coordinators, and program planners among others. Willis Sibley notes that approximately 50% of anthropologists with their Ph.D. degree find employment outside the academy. [vii] Accordingly, we can assume that great majority of anthropologists with their master degree and almost all anthropologists with bachelor degree will be employed in non-academic fields. After graduation with degrees in anthropology some may involve into various forms of private sector consulting (and will have been well-rewarded for doing so), and in fact many of them have ceased to self-identify as anthropologists, often preferring instead the more employable term “management consultant”. Private practice anthropology has thus grown as academic anthropology has either shrunk or remained stable, and as the worldwide wave of economic rationalism has privileged the short-term consultant over the permanent public servant in the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
It is possible to be meaningfully employed doing things that are consistent with one’s training in anthropology. The anthropologist seeking work must be ready to deal with employers who are unfamiliar with the true capabilities of well-trained, contemporary anthropologists, or even employers who hold grossly inaccurate stereotypes of the anthropologist’s capabilities. The most adaptive response to these conditions includes a commitment on the part of the anthropologist to educating the employer, and a strategy of self-presentation that is based on experience and capabilities rather than diploma and transcript. This does not represent a problem because these days, except for a very few occupations, it works this way for most everyone.
The cities scheduled for fielding in the near future are: Boston, Providence, Fairfield County (CT), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore/DC, TAmpa, Orlando, Gainsville FL, Miami, Tallahassee, Chicago, Denver, Dallas/Ft Worth, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, LA, San Francisco, Seattle. WE HAVE AN URGENT NEED IN ATLANTA for the end of January.
This is a great opportunity for people with social science backgrounds to practice their ethnographic and writing skills by applying them to a specific task, and to make good money at the same time. SmartRevenue always has a variety of projects planned nationwide, so this could be a helpful future source of supplemental income.
Typical Project Description: SmartRevenue researches shoppers' choices of products. Ethnographers need to interview 15-20 shoppers per store, which usually works out to one day of 8 hours. We often work at 2 or 3 stores per community, so we hire 2 to 4 ethnographers per project. Some projects last 3 or 4 days, some only 1 day, and some projects last several weekends.
Interested and qualified applicants should reply to firstname.lastname@example.org Please attach your resume/CV and describe your availability to work. Also include your city name in your email subject heading. Thank you!
The User Experience-Strategy team within User Experience is at the forefront of these efforts, developing a deep understanding of our customers through research and communicating it to product managers, user experience designers, and the product development team.
A User Experience Strategist conducts user research, analyses primary and secondary research, and communicates findings and recommendations to the organization. Personas, scenarios, documents, presentations and one-on-one conversations are used to communicate the value of customer needs throughout the organization. Competitive analyses and best practices are also used to communicate the current environment.
At AutoTrader.com, the User Experience Strategist:
• Designs and conducts user research studies
• Collaboratively analyzes the results of those studies to identify customer needs and business opportunities
• Works closely with our Product Management team to identify new product opportunities and influence the future direction of existing products
• Ensures that the voice of the customer is represented at all phases of product development
• Creates and maintains customer personas, scenarios and mental models
• Researches and documents both competitive assessments and best practices
• Clearly documents all research findings, customer profiles, and recommendations
• Communicates the value of customer needs to the organization
The ideal candidate:
• Has knowledge and experience with current user research methodologies
• Has thorough knowledge of best practices for information architecture, interaction design, usability, and web design (both e-commerce and informational)
• Has knowledge and hands-on experience with user interface evaluation techniques
• Has expertise in gathering, analyzing and synthesizing primary and secondary research
• Is well-versed in user centered design principles and processes
• Has experience in aligning customer needs with business objectives
• Has excellent oral, written, and presentation communication skills
• Can work collaboratively with cross-functional teams
• Four or more years experience in user experience and web-based products required
• Additional experience in anthropology or ethnographic research a plus
• College or university degree required in HCI, Cognitive Psychology, Anthropology, Design, or related field (advanced degrees preferred)
• Ability to travel up to 20%
AutoTrader.com, created in 1997 and headquartered in Atlanta, GA, is the Internet's leading auto classifieds marketplace and consumer information website. AutoTrader.com delivers more than 3 million vehicle listings – updated daily - attracting more than 11 million unique visitors a month.
- Advanced social science degree
- Specialization in health, technology, social media or design
- Proven experience conducting ethnographic research projects
- A keen eye for observation
- Experience conducting 1-on-1 and group interviews
- Strong writing and editing skills
- Scholarly or other publishing record
- Strong understanding of and passion for 'digital culture'
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office
- Basic film editing software (ie. iMovie) skills an asset
- User-centered design & research experience an asset
- Previous applied/business experience an asset
- Second language an asset
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