#247 College - GET IT OVER WITH!


I recently chatted with a friend on Facebook about what she should focus on for her undergraduate degree. She asked whether she would be fine with an Anthropology BA or with An Anthropology BA with a focus in Archaeology. She's already taken a lot of archaeology classes and has extensive lab experience. 

Essentially, I told her to do what she has to do to graduate. Don't over-complicate things. In the end, most employers aren't going to care what you did in college and just want you to walk in the desert or dig holes. I'm not saying to take fluff classes. Certainly, if you need the credits and can take a fun class that pertains to your interests or your career then, by all means, take the class. I wouldn't, however, take an extra semester just to get an archaeology focus, or, something that you don't really need for CRM. 

I didn't take any specific archaeology classes during my undergrad. It's not that I wasn't interested...I just didn't know what I wanted to do. My focus was on bio classes and paleoanthropology topics. Did that prevent me from getting a job a couple weeks after I first applied for one? Not at all. Did it hurt me when I went to do my first job? Maybe, but, I learn fast and I ask a lot of questions.

Unless you take a class that specifically covers the things you'll typically see on survey in a given region then no class is going to really prepare you for a CRM-style survey. I'm already cringing at Tom King commenting on that last phrase!

What it all boils down to is GET OUT OF SCHOOL AND GO TO WORK!!! You can take more classes later or during grad school. For now, just get your degree and go to work. You might find that your interests will change or that you don't even like CRM-style Archaeology. Don't worry, you won't be the first. My own wife has a BS in Archaeology and a BA in Biology and decided after six years of fieldwork that it wasn't for her. Now she's doing what she loves and is much happier. Don't let student loans and guilt keep you in a field you don't absolutely love because you'll hate yourself for it.