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Linking Anthropology Graduates to the Job Market

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1 Linking Anthropology Graduates to the Job Market
Committee for Practicing, Applied, and Public Interest Anthropology (CoPAPIA) Wendy Bartlo Keri Brondo Elizabeth Briody Shirley Fiske February 26, 2011

2 Outline Background: CoPAPIA efforts related to applied anthropology programs Goals and design for applied program interviews Some applied program commonalities Some applied program differences Suggestions for potential CoPAPIA initiatives Student/recent graduate ideas Faculty ideas Areas of agreement Next steps

3 CoPAPIA has embarked on four recent and linked efforts to assist applied anthropology programs in their development Conduct 20 interviews in 10 applied anthropology programs 10 faculty interviews and 10 interviews with graduate students or recent graduates Timeframe: March – September 2010 Gather “Delphi” survey data from 15 applied anthropology programs 19 faculty surveys Timeframe: December 2010 – February 2011 Use Delphi survey results to organize discussion at the 2011 SfAA Session: “Bringing Practice into Your Department: Obstacles and Opportunities” Organize 2011 AAA Section Summit: “Changing Job Market and Student Training: Linking Anthropology Departments and Practice”

4 CoPAPIA has been engaged in other initiatives related to applied programs
2010 AAA Section Summit Focused on tenure and promotion guidelines Participants cited changing job market and responsibility to train students for careers within and beyond academy AAA Employer Expo CoPAPIA worked with the AAA Department of Practicing and Applied Programs to support the 3rd and 4th annual Expos organized under NAPA leadership Event features employers interested in talking to anthropologists about practicing anthropology Well-attended by students, faculty, and practicing anthropologists 2011 Report: “The Changing Face of Anthropology” (2009 M.A. Career Survey) Focused on understanding how M.A. graduates craft career paths, assess educational experiences in applied programs, and evaluate membership in national organizations 883 respondents, with 758 meeting stated criteria for inclusion as primary respondent group (an M.A. degree prior to 2008 from a North American institution)

5 Goals and design for applied program interviews

6 Three overarching goals characterize the research design of the interview data set
Identify the array of strategies used by applied programs to prepare students for the job market Examine similarities across programs Explore differences (e.g., in philosophy, approach, local circumstances) Compare and contrast student and faculty data Compile a list of potential CoPAPIA initiatives that Reflect the mix of student/recent graduate and faculty views Could support and strengthen applied programs

7 Data and Methods Applied anthropology programs sample: 8 offer M.A. degrees and 2 offer M.A./M.A.A. and Ph.D. degrees Interviewee sample: 3 current students, 6 M.A. graduates, 1 Ph.D. graduate, and 10 faculty members Key interview questions What is your department currently doing to prepare students for the job market? What more could your department be doing to help prepare students for the job market? (Asked of some students/recent graduates) What can CoPAPIA/AAA do to help link graduates to the job market?

8 Some applied program commonalities

9 What are the 10 applied programs currently doing to link their graduates to the job market?
Practicum/Internships (9) Integration of job skills into core curriculum through methods courses, applied courses, grant and resumé writing (7) Networking opportunities with alumni (6) Bringing students to/encouraging them to attend conferences (5) Workshops or exercises to help students translate skills (4) Networking with practitioners, including adjuncts (4)

10 What are some of the features of the internship/practicum experience in applied programs?
9 programs have a formal internship, while the 10th is developing it Although the structure of each program is different, there are some common goals Emphasis is on translating classroom training to job market Students engage in networking to identify internship prospects Students are typically responsible for finding and planning their own internship First semester is typically a preparatory phase involving Discerning the type of internship Exploring own, faculty, peer, alumni and/or adjunct networks for opportunities Learning “professionalization” skills (e.g., writing cover letters, resumé) Conducting informational interviews Second semester is the internship Following the internship, students typically write a report – both for the degree requirements and the client

11 Program alumni and adjuncts may play important roles in graduate training and in linking graduates to employment Some alumni and adjunct roles include: Being invited to campus for department events, talks, and networking opportunities Serving as instructors Mentoring students Helping students network Hiring interns or providing practicum experiences for students Hiring graduates of the program Providing critical feedback and evaluation of their training to the department Some programs do not reach out much to either alumni or adjuncts

12 What else do students/recent graduates say they need to prepare for the job market?
Coursework More methods training (e.g., “learning about focus groups,” qualitative data analysis software, quantitative analysis and statistics training, survey methods) Written comments/feedback from professors on student papers “Sometimes the classes were not offered frequently enough” More “professionalization” preparation “Greater focus on interviewing, job search” “Developing proposals” Better preparation about how to “sell” anthropological skills More “real world” experiences “Smaller projects on tighter deadlines” “More work experience,” “an internship project” Some training tailored to the local/regional job markets Mentoring and guidance – both internal and external (e.g., “someone pointing out my strengths and skills”)

13 Students/recent graduates generally find their own jobs post-graduation, but are often aided by their applied programs Receive offers from their practicum/internship experience Access the contacts from their internship to find employment Network with alumni and classmates to find employment Work with faculty and advisors to identify job opportunities Put key words such as “ethnography” and “qualitative research” on LinkedIn profile; firm initiated contact Apply for posted positions

14 Some applied program differences

15 Applied anthropology programs are culturally distinctive
Specific program elements (e.g., philosophy, community roles) shape program functioning Saliency of these program elements depends on such factors as the number of mentions, extent of elaboration, and where those program elements appear in the transcript Tone/quality of voice (e.g., enthusiastic responses) suggests that these distinguishing elements are highly valued by interviewees Decided to examine interviews from 4 of the 10 programs to capture some of these distinctions Developed a visual to illustrate program culture Selected key quotes consistent with that program culture

16 “Everyday activities” of the program “Everyday activities”
University of Memphis integrates community members, particularly alumni, into all aspects of program functioning “Our graduates are in the (local) job market. A lot are called back (to campus). We’ve had opportunities to meet with them. We can network with them. We can volunteer our time with them to get our foot in the door.” “We ask them for a critique and evaluation of the program.” “Once they (the alums) have taken on a student, they will take on another.” “When the SfAA meetings took place in Memphis a couple of years ago, 150 alums came. At the time, this number of alums represented about half of our alums.” Alums as “lifeblood” “Everyday activities” of the program Community Advisory Board “Everyday activities”

17 University of Maryland, College Park calls upon the experience, contacts, and energy of its adjunct faculty “The value of the adjunct is enormous. It is important to reach out to them. They can help you understand how your interest in anthropology can translate to a career.” “Our department uses the adjunct members well. Yesterday, an M.A.A. student defended his proposal. The student will work at the Bureau of Land Management. An adjunct faculty found that opportunity.” Adjuncts Give lectures Facilitate internships Offer independent studies Provide career advice Year Year 2 Internship

18 Northern Arizona University uses the structure of the cohort progression to build and extend student networks “The cohort effect is a deliberate part of the job search process. Even after the end of the program, they (applied students) are helping each other.” “The cohort networks (of archaeology alums) maintain that level of staffing (locally in the National Parks and National Forests).” “The thesis students asked if the department could create a cohort progression for them.” “Student centered” “cohort philosophy” Faculty teaching, advising, and networks 3-part internship sequence Permissible to switch to or from applied track to thesis track

19 Project experiences involving clients
University of North Texas stresses multiple client interactions over the course of its applied program Professor The professor “set up a project before the class even started. So they sort of used their connections in the community or wherever.” “Half of the required classes had a client attached to them and almost all of the electives had them.” “Each advisor connects each student (to some practicum experience).” For the practicum, the students “have a formal agreement (with the client). There is a three-way between the student, the professor, and the (client).” Project experiences involving clients Students Client

20 Suggestions for potential CoPAPIA initiatives

21 There are many potential sources of applied program enrichment
Program’s linkages with other university departments and institutes and colleges Program’s linkages with professional associations Professor knowledge, mentoring, and networks Community organization, firm, and government agency relationship with program Student commitment, entrepreneurial spirit, and peer learning Applied Program Funding Alumni involvement in program culture On-line networks and discussion boards Adjunct involvement in program culture

22 Most student/recent graduate ideas for a CoPAPIA initiative focused on access to practitioners – whether in person or virtually Practitioners taking about “real-time experiences” “At the (anthropology) meetings, if they had sessions where people talk (about things like) ‘Here's how you get to this job,’ ‘Here are some real-time experiences,’ ‘Here's what to expect when you go out there’… In school…you could also bring in guests who could speak, or who could give an inspirational talk…Webinars would be great.” Mentoring “…in terms of the mentoring experience, for me personally I would think, ing, talking, maybe eventually meeting up at a conference. You know, going out for dinner … I see it as more a long-term relationship building.” On-line networked communities “Having a more active on-line community…to learn about professional opportunities…For example, students who are looking for internships right now for the coming summer could really benefit from that.” Database of applied graduates “Another idea is that it's hard to track folks after they leave the program. Maybe the AAA could create a database on applied graduates.”

23 Some student/recent graduate ideas emphasized the acquisition of applied skills and knowledge
“How do you sell yourself in terms of the skills that you have? That’s lacking…But I also think…highlighting more on the website…what are the…specific skills that you…need…” Sharing innovative methods across departments “Try to encourage students to innovate in research methods. Try to think about how to address problems from a methodological way, in an innovative way, not necessarily picking up on what’s already out there. I think all of our projects would get better results that way.” Applied sessions “I think having more (AAA) sessions that are relevant to the applied field…You flip through the book and last year there were only maybe 2 or 3 sessions that were really applicable.”

24 One other student/recent graduate idea focused on access to more employers at the AAA Meetings
Expansion of AAA Employer Expo “I think the job fair (AAA Employer Expo) is key…We need to get more relevant companies represented there. Because I think (there are)…a lot of companies who want to hire anthropologists and would like to have a presence at the AAA but don’t (because they) probably don’t know about it.”

25 Faculty ideas for a CoPAPIA initiative can be grouped into four categories, one of which is developing an applied program Kit for applied programs “What I think is needed is a kit, or a white paper… The introduction could include the demographics of the field, the kinds of settings in which applied anthropologist work, the career development area generally. Then if you are evaluating your current curriculum, (the kit might suggest): ‘Here are some key issues to think about. Here are some best practices. Here are sample syllabi. Here's why it's important to build a strong alumni network.’ With us now, it's happenstance. But (the kit could suggest): ‘Here is what people do to have a strong alumni network.’ And then there might be a section from the vantage point of the employer or the skills that they are looking for. And it could be modular. (Another thought is) ‘Here is what departments could do on their own as a self study. ‘” Program models “…models in terms of the curriculum to prepare students for both traditional and applied work [and] models for internship programs and how they operate.” Tools “We need more tools to show the relevance (of applied anthro.).” Consulting services “CoPAPIA could have a set of experts providing consulting to strengthen what the departments are doing.”

26 Advocacy of applied programs and access to employers were two other faculty ideas
“The AAA has the power to bolster applied programs. They can act as the advocacy or policy arm for federal funding for universities offering applied anthropology training…We need the AAA to help sell applied anthropology to the wider community and to our administrators who are not anthropologists.” Employer information “A list of job placement sites for applied anthropology, tips on what those organizations are looking for such as ‘You must have a Ph.D.,’ or ‘Our focus is on environmental issues,’ or the anthropologists placed there and who they would hire.” “Maybe CoPAPIA could have more events that are internship-based? Maybe they could share their opportunities for internships and apprenticeships?” “I guess one thing that our students always need is networking and informational interviews and practicum placements.”

27 The remaining faculty ideas for a CoPAPIA initiative emphasize access to practitioners
Practitioner network “If we had a network of applied anthropologists to ask questions to, or even a set of frequently asked questions, that would be very useful.” “Maybe there could be an on-line network where students could contact individuals (anthropologists). This is where we are weakest.” Practitioner bios “If there are little bios of people (practitioners) who are out there, the students could learn who are they, how they got there, and the relevance of what they're doing.” Networking events at meetings “Put on networking events at the national (anthropology) meetings.” Speakers’ bureau “A speakers’ bureau. It would be helpful to have a set of visiting professionals who would be available to come to campuses.”

28 Two potential areas for a CoPAPIA initiative are shared by the interviewees: access to practitioners and access to employers Strategies for developing applied programs Access to practitioners Applied skills and knowledge Access to employers AAA advocacy of applied programs Student/recent graduates Faculty

29 Next Steps Discuss the array of interviewee ideas for a CoPAPIA initiative Identify an option that could strengthen applied programs, taking into account factors such as Timeframe to develop a successful initiative Required material resources CoPAPIA members’ interest CoPAPIA members’ time and energy Interest and input from applied programs to partner with CoPAPIA

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