One aspect of the future of anthropological practice is reflected in a posting for a contract-status Human Factors Researcher in Mountain View, CA. Human factors research looks at how consumer products fit with the lifestyles of users by being “intuitive, purposeful and comfortable to use,” in the words of the posting. The research is used to affect design decisions and strategic planning related to how “users understand, wear, store, share, integrate the most indispensable objects in their life.” Among the many required qualifications are three years of applied research experience, statistical knowledge, and an understanding of methods. The posting is being coordinated through Adecco Staffing.
On the other side of the continent, in Bethesda, MD, a more traditional entry-level position as a research assistant is available through the Henry Jackson Foundation. The primary responsibility is to “perform ethnographic research projects, including the collection and organization of data. Makes detailed observations regarding subjects throughout experiments. Provides basic data analysis and interpretation (both quantitative and qualitative).” The position is for the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.