BAJR Federation Archaeology
Catch 22 - Printable Version

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+--- Thread: Catch 22 (/showthread.php?tid=3556)

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Catch 22 - monty - 8th November 2010

Its bad enough in 'normal' times for newbies to get work...in the present climate we're all in the same shit............ maybe best for fresh grads to to do something else until the green shoots of recovery start to appear...though no sign of any to my knowledge


Catch 22 - Dinosaur - 9th November 2010

Hope McDonalds etc aren't cutting back too, or aren't unemployed diggers the backbone of their workforce like they used to be in the '80s?


Catch 22 - trowel monkey - 9th November 2010

chiz Wrote: Archaeology is not a Graduate Profession, it is a profession that just happens to have a lot of graduates doing it
Very true.
However, as someone else on the thread has noted, the low wages in the sector are deterring the highest achievers (academically) from working commercially.
The current AHRC stipend for a PhD is ?13,590, (more in London) which is tax free and doesn't contribute to your personal allowance.
Add in the fact that you don't have to pay council tax, and that's another ?1000 or so.
This equates to needing an income of ?19-20k before tax to have the same take home pay.
Compare this with the BAJR rates for G1 and G2, which are at the high end in the sector.
G1 : Training Position) ?14,462.33 (?278.11 pw)
G2 : (ie Basic Site Assistant) ?15,396.71 (?296.09 pw).
People do the maths, if they can get a scholarship, they won't even bother with commercial archaeology when the money's less than you'd get to be a student...


Catch 22 - brazier - 9th November 2010

Kevin

Thanks for heads up on that thread, good to know that the minimum wage is still likely to be enforced, unless it becomes one of those issues mouse-pushers can vote on along with reductions in numbers of hanging baskets to save money at the local level in the new decentralisation of power to the online people....


---

I guess employers didn't expect so much experience and so many skills from diggers in the past, though the basics of excavation, recording, finds, processing are much the same, which definitely is and should be taught even more, if you don't get that basic stuff after a few months, then maybe the job's not for you.

As for the catch 22 guess it's wrong to say it and not wishing to sound patronising....but just be a little more creative with the cv. Hello, there must be loads who have...it's all about applying the techniques one has learnt anyway, noone can tick every box on the wishlist of commercial experience.


Catch 22 - Mike.T. - 9th November 2010

trowel monkey Wrote:Very true.
However, as someone else on the thread has noted, the low wages in the sector are deterring the highest achievers (academically) from working commercially.
The current AHRC stipend for a PhD is ?13,590, (more in London) which is tax free and doesn't contribute to your personal allowance.
Add in the fact that you don't have to pay council tax, and that's another ?1000 or so.
This equates to needing an income of ?19-20k before tax to have the same take home pay.
Compare this with the BAJR rates for G1 and G2, which are at the high end in the sector.
G1 : Training Position) ?14,462.33 (?278.11 pw)
G2 : (ie Basic Site Assistant) ?15,396.71 (?296.09 pw).
People do the maths, if they can get a scholarship, they won't even bother with commercial archaeology when the money's less than you'd get to be a student...


Most people want to work and contribute something to society rather than doing a ( probably pointless ) PhD, spending their life being a student. Yes, the money in Archaeology is bad but presumably an uber intelligent ''high achiever'' would have realised that from the start and done something else instead.


Catch 22 - the invisible man - 10th November 2010

Err, I would dearly love to do a PhD - didn't quite make it with a funding application last (this) year though. I would like to think that it would involve "work" and I rather thought (and intended) that it would indeed contribute something to society. How dissappointing to learn that it would have been "pointless"! A lucky escape perhaps.

I wonder how much every piece of commercial work contributes to society?


Catch 22 - Odinn - 10th November 2010

Mike.T. Wrote:Most people want to work and contribute something to society
I dispute that. 'Most people want to work and have a decent standard of living' would be a better way of putting it. Contributing to society seems to be of less interest to most these days, if I may judge by comments on the internet and in the news.

Quote: a ( probably pointless ) PhD
Pointless? Darn it, I have wasted all my savings from my years in archaeology funding my PhD when I could have spent them on booze and women instead. I personally think that knowledge is an end in itself and that most people that do PhDs will at least disseminate more of their findings more widely through papers and articles, than most commercial archaeology units do.

Quote:Yes, the money in Archaeology is bad
Money in archaeology is appalling considering that the recruitment pool is predominantly graduates.

Quote:presumably an uber intelligent ''high achiever'' would have realised that from the start and done something else instead.
Don't equate intelligence with common sense. :face-stir:


Catch 22 - Dinosaur - 11th November 2010

The only real difference between a well-researched commercial big-project report and a lot of PhDs that I've had the (dis)pleasure of reading is that I've been paid for the former and writing my name is quicker without all the letters after.... :face-stir:


Catch 22 - BRahn - 12th November 2010

Oh goody, yet another thread turning into 'bash someone else's life choices'..


Catch 22 - ZSilvia - 13th November 2010

it might pay pennies comparable to someone who did an MBA and has gone off to sell some product no one really needs, but I'd rather dig holes for close to nothing than waste behind a desk selling my life away. Maybe it is a matter of naive pride I have, but I cannot stand the thought of a life like that. It isn't about intelligence, I'm sure at least half the people posting on this board could run circles around your average Joe Businessman the difference is we opted to fight for something more fulfilling out of life. You'd be hard pressed to find an archaeologist that isn't satisfied with their career choice. Why else would you travel to the ass end of nowhere for low pay, poor accommodation, spending time away from the people you care about? It isn't because these people are unintelligent. I'd say it is an excellent part of their character to have a little more self-respect. Not everything is about money.

Also, how is a PhD socially irresponsible? If you are lucky enough to get the work, and have what I think a right state of mind, not only should your research contribute to general knowledge in some small or large way, but you should feel a real sense in pride as an educator. I know there are a lot of professors who aren't thrilled on teaching but there are a lot who are fantastic educators. Ultimately the entire field of archaeology is about education and that should always be the motivation regardless of a commercial or an academic career. Thats what I am working for in life anyway, whether it works out, I'll keep my fingers crossed. Even if I don't get there I'll die knowing I gave it my best shot. If you settle for less, you've lost.