Poll: Were you ready for Commercial Archaeology after Uni?
This poll is closed.
YES - I definately was
30 21.43%
YES - but I had no idea it was like that
29 20.71%
NO - Why did nobody tell me it was not like my 2 weeks in the Med!
25 17.86%
NO - but it was not hard to pick up
49 35.00%
Not Applicable - I did not go to uni, and did not need to
6 4.29%
Not Applicable - I did not go to uni, but I wish I had now.
1 0.71%
Total 140 vote(s) 100%
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When you came out of Uni were you ready for commercial work
It is often said that universities produce people with degrees and debts. not archaeologists

So, did you feel equipped to be a commercial archaeologist when you came out of uni (did you even go to uni)

vote and post...
Any chance of another category/choice…something on the lines of “I went to Uni as a mature student to get a degree, because it was getting harder to get a job interview, without a degree, despite having the experiance”?
guess you were the last choice... but now you have Wink
Personally speaking I wouldn’t employ anybody straight out of uin, unless we could offer and had the time to conduct on site training, and the best situation for that would be to use them on small evaluations/watching briefs, involving a crew of two, before exposing them to a large excavation site with developers breathing down you neck.
I don't think a fresh graduate in any field is fit to walk straight into a professional role, without some sort of supervised induction period as described by Smaze.

When I worked in I.T. and we took on graduates direct from uni, it was accepted that they had a theoretical grounding, but teaching them how to actually do a job in a professional environment was the responsibility of the employer. Having work experience as part of their course helped, but it still didn't allow them to hit the ground running. I usually allowed six months before they could be viewed as "settled in".

Archaeology is in the same boat as any other employer when it comes to the freshly-graduated.
Must say I went for the 2nd option down. Spent far too long in Uni, fun though it was and my contact with Michael Shanks didn't really help my mattock technique but I wouldn't trade it in as it at least ensured a vaguely open mind.... Time spent as a very young volunteer at West Heslerton certainly helped, as weeks spent shovel scraping in the rain is as good an introduction to fieldwork as anyone could wish for - at least for coping with drudgery alongside excellent archaeology which is as inevitable as Tea and Tequila. First year of 'pro' work was a real mixture of good and bad both on and off site. Just glad that I only read 'A Month in the Country' after a couple of years of this so had no illusions. Weirdly, at times in my 'career' (as in 'careering' - out of control) moments have been just as idyllic. As I'm sure at least Hosty and Wooldridge would agree it can be. Some compensation perhaps?
Definately not IMHO.

Big Grin :face-kiss:
Actually I know this student who believes they are... even calls themselves Site Director Smile well you can call yourself grand High Poobah but it don't make you any good
archaeology is possible in the same position as other graduate jobs that (should) require significant ammounts of techical knowledge - but it also has parrlels with crafts and 'traditional' apprentice workshops...
You do defintely get a few who think they are, which always makes me smile when I'm re-writing their context sheets.

I don't think we can or should expect people to be entirely confident and fully trained when they first walk onto site. It isn't possible to train people to do archaeology in a class room - you have to get the "knack" in real life. University training digs are ok but many students need to do paid work during the holidays simply in order to live.

I like looking after new kids, it's refershing to work with somone who isn't totally cynical and still has a bit of enthusiam left, as opposed to all of the miserable old codgers I put up with usually (and I include myself in this).

We all have a duty to train them.

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