2 thoughts on “What Skills do Future Museum Professionals Need?

  1. I seem to remember that Diversify was good news for the people who actually participated, but has failed to really shift the wider sector. This doesn’t surprise me. I remember talking to an excellent conservator, with decades of experience under her belt, who was offered work in a major London museum – for about 15k per year. As she said, as she turned down a job she would have loved to do, only ‘ladies who lunch’ can afford these sorts of contracts. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t good careers out there to be had in the sector, (I’ve always been lucky), but there are also plenty of traps.

    As the cuts bite, it’s scarcely reasonable to expect museums to decide that payrises all round are a really good idea. But I wonder if the demographic data collected by HR departments should have a weather eye on the background wealth of applicants – just as much as it does on ethnicity or gender or orientation. There will always be plenty of people who want to work in museums but never find their way through. But it would be nice to know that it’s not just sheer lack of money locking talented people out – particularly at the very beginning of their careers.

    Paul Kingsnorth wrote in the Guardian recently that the most wealthy families in the country are still those who came over with William in 1066. So entrenched privilege is a remarkably resilient thing. But as the museum sector goes (perhaps just in the last twenty years?) from being a protectionist elite history to an everybody history, it would be great to see that reflected in the staffing too.

  2. I’m training to be a museum professional at national museum institute .new delhi and I feel if the museum professional has to change then this evolution should first begin with the teachers in all professionals colleges .thinking out of the box , sharing new developments with students, regular stimulation of a positive kind has to be imparted to the students by the teachers so that we acquire the new set of skills necessary today in museums . But first the teachers have to acquire them,understand the need to acquire them and constantly go for training and self betterment sessions themselves.

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