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Tuition fees and the future of fieldwork
To add my two pen'north...

The pensions issue is a bit of a red herring. I just got sent a stern letter from the government telling me the I could expect £133 a week as a pension unless I started to save. £133! Tax free and for no work! Sounds OK to me. But seriously, by the time I retire in 2050, I expect the sea levels to have risen, completely ruining the economy. And the ants will probably have taken over...

As for the tuition fee issue, I reckon in ten years or so, the number of people willing to be archaeologists will be tiny. We'll end up with most of the digging being done by unskilled labourers, probably Eastern European, and a tiny upper layer of managers who come from wealthy families.
So a return to the past then. Well, the idea that archaeologists can be skilled professionals rather than interested amateurs has never really caught on with the public (or some unit directors come to think of it!), maybe they know better.Sad
Since my early days in archaeology I have been told that the discipline is in "CRISIS". It has constantly been the case that people have bemoaned the pay, accomodation and working conditions and lack of experienced staff. There are obvious solutions to these problems if they were to be actually addressed! However, they never are and things go on pretty much the same (despite the fact that some of us at the ground level try and run our jobs in a manner that shows consideration to our staff). In respect to this you have to say that field work is probably one of the most consistent and stable work environments.:face-huh:
Quote:quote:Originally posted by Oxbeast

To add my two pen'north...

The pensions issue is a bit of a red herring. I just got sent a stern letter from the government telling me the I could expect £133 a week as a pension unless I started to save. £133! Tax free and for no work! Sounds OK to me.

Rent/mortgage, food, drink, gas/electricity, living, chocolate biccies, cream eggs...

£133 is peanuts - please reconsider a pension :face-huh:

It occurs to me that archaeologists may be uniquely prepared for the privations of retirement with a tiny pension, by their profession.
Achingknees, I was sort of joking. Even about the ants taking over.
I was just having a gloomy moment, centered around "how the hell am I going to afford to start a family before I get too old?"
The average wage in the UK for a new graduate is 20k. I have been working in archaeology for 4 years - not long I know - and for the 1st time I am earning more than 15k. I have spent the last 2 days pulling my hairout trying to budget paying off loans, credit cards and overdrafts, all stemming from my stint at University, paying rent, bills - oh yeah and eating.[xx(] I worked out that if I payoff my Student Loan at the current rate I'll be free of debt in mmm 150 years! I look at my non-archaeology friends who graduated with me, or never went to Uni earning 25k plus, and ask why? I love this job, but loving it doesn't pay the bills or feed me (and I don't want to live with my mum and dad for the rest of my life). With tuition fees, massive loan debts etc, graduate archaeologists cannot be expected to live off these wages, we need to rethink our entire attitude to archaeology. The only way is to properly professionalise our careers, not this semi-legislated mire that we seem to work in at the moment. Once we truly start to take ourselves seriously, then perhaps others will too. Then perhaps 2 years or so down the line promising graduates won't be leaving to get a 'proper job'.
Four years seems like a pretty long time to me. With qualifications and in a "face fits" environment you could be a junior/middle manager in many other jobs with proper career structures.

Of course the problem is that for the majority of those four years in archaeological employment you were probably treated like an overgrown child - given little responsibility, opportunity, or training.

Please disabuse me of my cynicism if your employer/employers were sweetness and light, although don't confuse amiable management and/or relatively stress free working environment with the benefits that provision of proper training and reponsibility bring.

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