A couple of points on doing an archaeology degree (which I did a couple of
years ago now).
1. A degree in archaeology is packed with transferable skills combining the
academic and the practical. It is also just plain interesting, which helps
in getting a decent degree grade.
2. If you want to work as an archaeologist then like Sarah take the
opportunities to do as much practical work as possible whilst you are a
student. I was at York, they had plenty of opportunities to work on a wide
range of projects. The York Archaeological Trust also welcomed volunteers.
This should give you enough experience to get a foot in the door as a
digger, but progessing from there is a bit more difficult.
Fieldwork seemed to weed out those who were most interested in simply
getting a degree and those who wanted to work in archaeology. I know plenty
of my contemporaries who are now working as professional archaeologists but
are having difficulty seeing a career structure ahead of them. It seems to
be increasingly neccessary to use the ever growing range of Masters degrees
to improve your professional standing in terms of qualifications whilst
attaining as broad a range of practical skills too!
Basically Yusuf shouldn't be put off by this debate because his degree in
archaeology will still serve him as well as any other in the general jobs
market. Many of which are on short contracts without clear career paths just
like archaeology anyway. But if he wants to pursue archaeology great. Its
not that easy to make a living at it (forget the new BMW) but the other
rewards can be worth it. Do the degree and give yourself the chance to
decide if its really for you or do Accountancy and watch Time Team (or help
the local archaeology society out at the weekends- sorry Mr Selkirk nearly
forgot that possibility).
The Lodge, Loxley, nr Warwick, Warks.
Tel 01789 840090
From: Sarah G. <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: 17 May 1999 10:10
Subject: Re: field skills/education
>As an archaeology student (and lurker on the list) I've also found
>this thread rather disheartening, but I never assumed there was much
>money in archaeology, it's just something I've always wanted to do!
>> Does anyone know how much or how little various Universities teach about
>> field skills and techniques, and how much practical experience they
>At Newcastle all students have to undertake at least 2 weeks of
>excavation at an approved site, but many of us choose to do more.
>Personally I'm trying to do as much as I can, as all the job adverts
>I have seen require experience of excavation.
>What is the opinion of *Britarchers* on further degrees in
>Archaeology? The advice I've had is conflicting, some say specialize,
>others tell met ot keep my options open. I'm particularily interested
>in forensic and funerary archaeology.