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Choosing Options For Work In Museums

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#1 Wiz007

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:42 PM


This is my first post. I'm in Year 9 and im taking my options soon. 2 - 3 weeks in fact. I want to take History for definite but I would also like to take media. Is this a wise choice? I think it would help because I would like to work in a museum doing presentations for tours etc. I'm unsure about what GCSE's im gonna need. I know I will DEFINITELY need a history degree. What else is required? I dont know where to research this so I decided to use this forum.

Thank you in advance.

#2 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 01:24 AM

Really, you need to talk to your Careers Adviser at school.

If that's difficult, you can email a Careers Adviser or even book a phone call from one at this government site.

On the web:
I thought this page from the Museums Association was of some use.

But this site - although it is American - has a really interesting section on the qualifications needed.

This ppt lists all the main jobs in British museums and this handout from york university is essential reading, I would guess.

Even though you may well end up going into the Museum service, at this stage in your education, my advice would be to do History, butto keep the rest of your education broad and balanced. Choose subjects which you enjoy and will help you develop a wide range of interests. And leave specialising to a later stage of the educational process.

A former pupil of mine went into museums/archives. I have lost touch with him now, but I do know tha the last time he made contact he was very very happy in his work.

Edited by Mr. D. Bryant, 07 November 2011 - 03:33 PM.
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#3 Mr. D. Bryant

Mr. D. Bryant
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Posted 07 November 2011 - 03:34 PM

In case anyone else is thinking about a career in museums, I will mention some of my experiences.

As the Museums Association website says, GCSE and A-Level choices are not so important, but you will generally need a relevant degree in order to have a real chance of becoming a museum professional. That might mean History, or Education (if you want to go into Museum Education) or even Chemistry (if you want to become a Conservator). Of course, you are more likely to take a History (or related degree) if you took it at GCSE and, particularly, A-Level.

I worked in museums for a number of years and I really enjoyed it. However, do not choose museum work as a career if you want to earn a large salary. It can take a very long time to move up the career ladder and this generally requires doing extra professional qualifications. If you are lucky you might get help funding these from your employer; if not, you will have to pay. Having said that, there is a lot of competition for museum jobs and it cn be very difficult to find a permanent job. Therefore it is a very good idea to get some work experience; there are some details on volunteering on this page.

So, why bother? Well, you get to work with real 'pieces of History', sometimes with an amazing story to tell. If you love History it can be a very rewarding way to expand your knowledge and put it to use. I also had the chance to do some work on the education side, which led me on to a teaching career.

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