Pairing Anthropology with Data Analytics

Josh Roberts C’22, G’23 shares his academic path at Drew

November 2022 – Josh Roberts C’22, G’23 declared anthropology as a major after taking a Business Anthropology course during his first year and “fell in love with it.” 

Knowing he wanted to take advantage of Drew University’s 4+1 Dual-Degree programs, Roberts decided to build upon his degree in anthropology with a Master of Science in Data Analytics (MSDA).

Roberts shared his path with us, and his plans for applying his degrees towards a successful career in the future.

Why did you choose Drew for your undergraduate degree?
I originally chose Drew because of the swimming program as well as the many opportunities that Drew presents. The head coach of the swimming and diving team presented Drew as a school with a vast array of opportunities, like the New York Semesters. I was able to participate in the New York Semester on Wall Street during my senior year. 

What prompted you to continue your education at Drew to explore the Data Analytics Dual-Degree?
I am looking to go into a job market where data analysis is a large part of the work. My cousin, who works in the field, told me that Drew’s Data Analytics program sounded like a great way to have a leg up on competition and enter the job market ahead of a lot of people. For these reasons I decided to continue my education, as well as athletics, at Drew.

Tell us about the Drew’s Men’s Swimming team and participating as a graduate student.
I had an extra year of NCAA eligibility granted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheduling is a little hectic, but my professors and coaches have been very understanding. I am enjoying my last year of swimming very much and I look forward to the success of the team this year.

How does Drew’s MSDA compliment your undergraduate degree in anthropology?
When I am observing data and representing it graphically, I can start to understand why the data is shaped the way it is. Anthropology is the study of culture and humans. As an undergrad, I took a lot of business anthropology courses that studied consumer culture and used ethnography to save dying businesses or look closer into how humans are reacting to certain aspects of a market. 

Having the knowledge to be able to study the culture surrounding say, NBA fans, I can look at trends in data and understand why an anomaly may exist or why trends of the data are the way that they are. Instead of making guesses or simply treating the data as numbers, I can look at ethnographies that have been written in the field and possibly learn more about the consumers than simply looking at just the data. 

What are your career aspirations post graduation?
Hopefully, I will get a job in the mobile gaming market. I have connections through family in this market and it is one that interests me. I have always been a fan of video games growing up and mobile gaming is a fast growing industry that has a lot of potential at the moment. 

I love looking at the data for the market. Mobile gaming is growing much faster in comparison to playing video games on a Playstation or Xbox because of the accessibility. Almost everyone has a phone, but not everyone has access to an Xbox or Playstation. I would love to be able to work in this field and learn more about this subject. 


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