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University or not university? Is there an alternative
#1
Stealing a march on part of the discussion in another thread....

The Independent ran a story today stating the case for a University education irrespective of what you might end up doing for the rest of your life afterwards...

http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/09/05/28188/

I think I am in broad agreement with the article and suggest that to get into archaeology there really is no alternative on offer at the moment other than university. Furthermore I'm not sure there really has ever been any alternative other than university. Once upon a time there were a few technical colleges offering vocational qualifications in archaeology, but these have either attained university status or have ceased to offer the course.

I am well aware of the oft-told tale that the MSC spawned a host of non-'degree qualified' diggers in the early-mid 80s, but does anyone have any figures of how many entered the profession and what they managed to achieve. I knew a few of these people at the time but can't think of any that are still pursuing an archaeology career, or if they are, they have attained some kind of formal qualification in the interim period.....Further can anyone point to more recent entrants into the profession having got there, without some kind of formal qualification. If so how far have they progressed in their career?

Just interested in 'mythbusting' this one - Is it really sensible to suggest there is any alternative to university as entry point into archaeology as a career?
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#2
Good question, when I first started in the mid 1990s there were people around who did not have degrees most started on the MSC a handful are still around but many MSC people I knew of went on to do archaeology degrees then came back into the profession. There are also a few like me who have first degrees in non archaeological subjects but did archaeology based MAs. I do not know anyone who has come into the profession since 2000 without an archaeology degree.

However do not forget the real change in the number of people who now take a degree, when many of use started out it was only a very small proportion of the population who undertook degree courses. (This gets us into the question of the dumbing down of degrees). When I did my first degree I could not have taken an archaeology degree even if I wanted to as I did not have the required O Levels (no modern language, Latin, or Classics)
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#3
I can think of one we started from scratch in 2002 with, as far as I'm aware, zero academic qualifications beyond 16, certainly not in archaeology, who I believe is currently still employed by one of the bigger outfits down south. We just took him on as a useful bod and he got into it immediately (Roman silver ring on first day) and seems to be regarded as eminently employable elsewhere - mind you, maybe not quite your normal candidate being 40-something and having had careers at the dirty end of the building trade, off-shore and godknows what else. Hi Paul if you're reading this, give us a bell if you're up this way and fancy a beer :face-kiss:
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#4
Degrees these days are worthless.........every bugger has one ! ..............and those with archaeology degrees are useless at most things.particularly digging xx(
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#5
Plenty of MSC diggers still at it.......from still digging to Project Managers SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile
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#6
Kevin: even with everything people have said on here, if I thought there was any way to get a career in archaeology without a degree I would not be going to uni next year. In other words, while a few people have suggested it may be possible I've never really got the impression it was a viable course to aim for.

I have run into a few working professionals who do not have degrees (or did not when they started).
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#7
monty Wrote:Plenty of MSC diggers still at it.......from still digging to Project Managers SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

I was wondering though whether those MSC diggers still in the profession, have later gone on to get an academic qualification (in archaeology or another subject) that enabled them to stay working in archaeology...
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#8
i can think of a county unit which is led by an msc digger and that employs several other msc diggers to this day
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#9
P Prentice Wrote:i can think of a county unit which is led by an msc digger and that employs several other msc diggers to this day

Are you saying though that the leader of the county unit has no formal qualifications...that he or she has attained their post based solely on experience that began with an MSC scheme and without attending university?
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#10
I know of a few county and uni set ups which the wonderful leaders dont have degrees nd they are throw backs from the late eighties /ninties when ppg was set up. And yes they set a very poor standard, smile a lot and are counting their pensions.

but I think that I am with you kev on I dont think that nowadays there should be an alternative to university and thats for a digging job but as we have seen from the other thread they dont want it to be in anyway a standard requirement for a digging job let alone call a digging job an archaeologist.
Reason: your past is my past
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