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Diversity
#31
kevin wooldridge Wrote:I think that's absolutely right. I also suspect that these days many archaeology graduates do not even bother to dip their toes in the water, so they give up before giving up!!. The percentage of archaeologists in their 20s in the most recent PtP survey is 13%, in 2002 it was 26%...

Not sure if it's changed, but back in my Uni days (early mammals had just arisen from the ashes of the killer asteroid...) there were quite a few archaeology students who never had any intentions of pursuing it as a career. Some were using it as "a handy degree" to get office work (the legal profession particularly liked the the mix of research and puzzle-solving skills), while others were killing time before finding a mate or inheriting the family business/fortune. Of the folks I knew, I'd say less than half treated it as the start of a career. That's a large chunk taken out of the graduating class before we even get to those who either can't get started, or give up after a short stint.

With such a high attrition rate before they even start, it's no wonder we're seeing an aging population in the sector!
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#32
How many of those starting any degree go straight into a related job immediately after graduating? I suspect the number is quite low. This is going to be even more prevalent in something like archaeology, where not only is it a very small industry, but the subject holds a much wider intellectual appeal than does the reality of standing in a freezing field of sheep poo watching a machine bucket reveal yet another stretch of sod-all, or a baking hot day where you've got to shovel and barrow god-knows how many tonnes of dirt...
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#33
What's the point of studying for a subject that you've no intention of pursuing as a career ?

As for it being a ''handy degree'' to work in the legal profession I can't think of any Archaeologist who has made that transition. If you know of any legal practice that is looking for an Archaeologist then please let me know. I could do with multiplying my wages by at least five fold, not to mention working in a nice warm office.
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#34
Few years back I set a BAJR Christmas challenge...which included amongst other things something along the lines of name one thing you thought could make a significant difference to UK archaeology. My contribution (tongue in cheek obviously) was that no-one should be allowed to practice professional archaeology until the age of 35. 'course I came in for lots of flak, but its interesting that the profession has now progressed to an average age in excess of 35. I still think there maybe something in encouraging older people into archaeology both as a pastime and a profession...especially those that have got over the chasing after the wage levels achieved by their peer group in other professions. There are a million reasons other than the salary levels or taking out mortgage, that make archaeology a worthy career choice.....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#35
kevin wooldridge Wrote:Few years back I set a BAJR Christmas challenge...something along the lines of name one thing you thought could make a significant difference to UK archaeology. My contribution (tongue in cheek obviously) was that no-one should be allowed to practice professional archaeology until the age of 35. 'course I came in for lots of flak, but its interesting that the profession has now progressed to an average age in excess of 35. I still think there maybe something in encouraging older people into archaeology both as a pastime and a profession...especially those that have got over the chasing after the wage levels achieved by their peer group in other professions. There are a million reasons other than the salary levels or taking out mortgage, that make archaeology a worthy career choice.....

Agree with that! :face-approve: (Aged in excess of 35 and given up all hope of ever having money, but wouldn't trade the current job for anything right now).
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#36
Tool Wrote:Agree with that! :face-approve: (Aged in excess of 35 and given up all hope of ever having money, but wouldn't trade the current job for anything right now).

'Tell that to the kids of today and they just won't believe you....'
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#37
Mike.T. Wrote:What's the point of studying for a subject that you've no intention of pursuing as a career ?

  1. Parental pressure to pursue higher education
  2. Societal pressure to pursue higher education
  3. Being uncertain as to what to do with your life
  4. Seeing spending three years taking a degree as easier than getting a job
  5. Thinking you liked the subject before realising that you didn't
  6. Something to do
  7. Preferring the academic life to the commercial life
  8. Belief that knowledge and understanding isn't about financial gain
  9. Next...
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#38
Tool Wrote:
  1. Parental pressure to pursue higher education
  2. Societal pressure to pursue higher education
  3. Being uncertain as to what to do with your life
  4. Seeing spending three years taking a degree as easier than getting a job
  5. Thinking you liked the subject before realising that you didn't
  6. Something to do
  7. Preferring the academic life to the commercial life
  8. Belief that knowledge and understanding isn't about financial gain
  9. Next...


None of which are valid reasons to spend 3 years at University in order to pursue a career ....
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#39
Mike.T. Wrote:None of which are a valid reasons to spend 3 years at University in order to pursue a career ....

But they are part of the answer to your question. It's a circular argument, and a false premise, to say that people go to university to pursue a career therefor there is no valid reason other than pursuing a career for going to university. Whether you personally think that the only reason for going to university is in pursuit of money, and that everyone at the age of eighteen knows exactly what they want to do for the rest of their lives, is an entirely different matter. Suffice to say there are many different opinions on the matter.
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#40
kevin wooldridge Wrote:I still think there maybe something in encouraging older people into archaeology both as a pastime and a profession...especially those that have got over the chasing after the wage levels achieved by their peer group in other professions. There are a million reasons other than the salary levels or taking out mortgage, that make archaeology a worthy career choice.....

I quite agree but I do think that part of the lack of diversity is a result of the insecurity of the profession. Though we might have made the decision that money is not our driver I cannot say I am looking forward to an impoverished old age with my knees and back shot to pieces. And why should we expect other people to look at the profession as a serious option if there are no jobs for the young and no career structure that rewards the effort that has to be put in just to keep working?
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