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What to Take in High School for Archaeology?

Prepare for a career in archaeology by taking classes in high school. Your school may not offer beginner archaeology classes or electives; but by studying some of the core subjects, you can get a jump start on your career path to becoming an archaeologist. An archaeologist is someone who studies people by examining the things they left behind. In addition to a high school diploma, you'll also need a bachelor and master's degree to become a professional archaeologist.

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Archaeologists often have to speak in front of the public. There's a lot more to being an archaeologist than knowing how to dig for artifacts. According to Students of Archaeology, professional archaeologists write more than they explore or search for artifacts. As an archaeologist, you have to be able to write well. Archaeologists also have to be good speakers. While in English class, work on your presentation skills because archaeologists do a lot of public speaking. You can't be afraid to stand in front of a group of people to present your latest findings.

Math and Science

Archaeologists are expected to perform data analysis on their findings, as well as apply mathematical and statistical concepts. When an archaeologist works out in the field, he will use a grid system to determine where exactly to dig for artifacts. Taking algebra, geometry and calculus classes will help you prepare for the math courses you'll take in college. Archaeologists perform scientific investigations that involve biology, physics and chemistry concepts. Understanding the basics concepts covered in these high school classes will help in your future studies.


Archaeologists study history through people. It's important to study world and U.S. history in high school, as well as take an interest in geography. You never know where you may travel to as an archaeologist to research artifacts and perform digs. An understanding of ancient cultures and history, economics and politics is beneficial to your research as an archaeologist. Reading and researching about European and North American history is also helpful.

Computer Classes

Outside of the laboratory, most of the work an archaeologist does today is on a computer. Taking computer classes to improve your keyboarding and word processing skills is a must. You should also take a course in presentation software. Archaeologists must be well-versed in the area of computers, so having a basic knowledge of how to keep and maintain records on a computer will help in your future studies. Also, being able to put together a professional presentation using software like PowerPoint or creating a slide show of images or video is also expected of working archaeologists.

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