Below is a copy of the Letter to the Editor of Forbes by AAA President Leith Mullings:
October 31, 2012
60 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10011-8868
To the Editor:
The American Anthropological Association read with concern Forbes’ recent article entitled “The 10 Worst College Majors.” Concluding that anthropology/archeology is “the worst choice of college major in economic terms” because other undergraduate majors earn a higher salary at graduation is less like comparing apples to oranges than comparing aardvarks to toaster ovens.
First, an undergraduate degree is sufficient to be credentialed as, say, a professional engineer, but professional anthropologists/archeologists require a graduate degree for most entry-level positions. Anthropologists/archeologists with those credentials have a much better than average job outlook, with a 50% higher than average growth in jobs between 2010-2020 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Further, many business, law and medical schools encourage applicants to obtain an undergraduate degree in anthropology as good preparation for their programs.
Assessing whether contexts for comparison are equivalent is one of the skills anthropologists teach, and the American Anthropological Association regrets that it is one Forbes has not learned.
American Anthropological Association