Review of Navigating the Field: Education and Employment in a Changing Job Market

Posted on January 11, 2013


I am at the Society of Historical Archaeology conference in Leicester, sorry have not had a chance to post more jobs info. However, I did attend a very interesting panel yesterday, Navigating the Field: Education and Employment in a Changing Job Market. Of course lots what said but a few highlights:

Jobs in Archaeology- Most are dismal BUT one area is desperate for people. In one area 16 jobs were advertised but over the last two years only 3 people have been hired because they can not find enough qualified people. Where? Underwater archaeology (numbers from gulf coast near Texas). Before anyone jumps up and heads to the nearest scuba shop there are a few caveats to this.  One, they are looking for Secretary of Interior qualified underwater archaeologists. That means at least a masters degree. Two, they want good practical experience. Do not get an underwater archaeology degree unless you get lots of experience with it. Still it was the only area of employment that was agreed is going to be positive in archaeology for the next few years.

An interesting side was that they receive all sorts of applications for such positions, like garbage truck drivers from Florida.

Another area that was discussed were the p’s e.g. Persistent- you have to be persistent to get a job. One of panelists applied to 63 jobs before that got their current one. Passion- decide that you really want a job in archaeology. You need to have passion to get a job. Professionalism- try to be as profession as possible. They suggest checking your Facebook page and removing those pictures, you know which ones I am talking about.

The last major thing discussed was work/life balance. Yes, it is fun shovelbumming it around the world/country going from job to job. However, it is not sustainable in the long term and all of the panelists recommend finding a good job that can allow you to have a life. Though that does sometimes come at a cost in archaeology, mainly a complete lack of good pay.

Several other aspects were discussed but these were the major points that the archaeologists on the panel really went into.