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going back to Uni or continuing to work

Hello,
I am an archaeologist and I am 30 years old; I started working as an archaeologist when I was 26 ( with 1 year gap in 2019). I am currently working in UK and doing a lot of field experience whilst doing trainings to become assistant supervisor. Last year I had to postpone the start of a Master in Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology in Sheffield as I was and still am, working full-time on a field project. Now I am not sure it will be a great move to stop working as archaeologist to follow this course as I am already progressing with my career and I am already in the work environment but most of all, I have met many colleagues with this master doing the same job and receiving the same paycheck as me. I feel I want a master to improve my knowledge and probably I will enjoy it but it won't change the job's reality; at the same time I have seen that there is more consideration of people with masters, specialised in a certain area of the field (depending also on the type of site excavation ) and it can take with to a higher level of hierarchy even though that doesn't mean it is the dream job for everyone. So these are my perplexities right now, I would like to know from other archaeologists that had been in a similar situation in life, what do you recommend or simply think about it? Thank you
Original post by Ikera90
Hello,
I am an archaeologist and I am 30 years old; I started working as an archaeologist when I was 26 ( with 1 year gap in 2019). I am currently working in UK and doing a lot of field experience whilst doing trainings to become assistant supervisor. Last year I had to postpone the start of a Master in Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology in Sheffield as I was and still am, working full-time on a field project. Now I am not sure it will be a great move to stop working as archaeologist to follow this course as I am already progressing with my career and I am already in the work environment but most of all, I have met many colleagues with this master doing the same job and receiving the same paycheck as me. I feel I want a master to improve my knowledge and probably I will enjoy it but it won't change the job's reality; at the same time I have seen that there is more consideration of people with masters, specialised in a certain area of the field (depending also on the type of site excavation ) and it can take with to a higher level of hierarchy even though that doesn't mean it is the dream job for everyone. So these are my perplexities right now, I would like to know from other archaeologists that had been in a similar situation in life, what do you recommend or simply think about it? Thank you

Hi @Ikera90, recent Uni of Sheffield postgrad here :smile:

Although I'm not an archaeologist myself, I thought I'd point you in the direction of our Archaeology Masters Admissions email - [email protected]. The Department may be able to give you some more information, advice and guidance. There are also postgraduate Admissions tutors' contact details on this webpage, in case you would like to contact a specific tutor - https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/archaeology/about/contact

I hope that may help!

- Danielle
Sheffield graduate
BA English and History, MA Historical Research
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by Ikera90
Hello,
I am an archaeologist and I am 30 years old; I started working as an archaeologist when I was 26 ( with 1 year gap in 2019). I am currently working in UK and doing a lot of field experience whilst doing trainings to become assistant supervisor. Last year I had to postpone the start of a Master in Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology in Sheffield as I was and still am, working full-time on a field project. Now I am not sure it will be a great move to stop working as archaeologist to follow this course as I am already progressing with my career and I am already in the work environment but most of all, I have met many colleagues with this master doing the same job and receiving the same paycheck as me. I feel I want a master to improve my knowledge and probably I will enjoy it but it won't change the job's reality; at the same time I have seen that there is more consideration of people with masters, specialised in a certain area of the field (depending also on the type of site excavation ) and it can take with to a higher level of hierarchy even though that doesn't mean it is the dream job for everyone. So these are my perplexities right now, I would like to know from other archaeologists that had been in a similar situation in life, what do you recommend or simply think about it? Thank you

Hi, fellow archaeologist here who is looking to go back to university myself. I think you are right qualifications = more pay, it seems that commercial units in particular value years of experience (as well as that valued CSCS card} above all else. The one question I think you should ask yourself is do you see yourself still in archaeology in 10 years time? If the answer is no then I would save your masters ticket to explore other options in the future. But of course that is me just been practical.
Reply 3
Friend new Grad has archaeology degree and masters and can't get job in archaeology- catch 22 on experience even with CSCS. Unfortunately turned down 1 job for another that was local during Covid and then it came to nothing. Not worth relocating south- pay too low- not that the south are offering. So if you have a job keep it. Could you do a research masters while you are working or a distance learning course.
Reply 4
This sounds odd

Original post by plinny20
Friend new Grad has archaeology degree and masters and can't get job in archaeology- catch 22 on experience even with CSCS. Unfortunately turned down 1 job for another that was local during Covid and then it came to nothing. Not worth relocating south- pay too low- not that the south are offering. So if you have a job keep it. Could you do a research masters while you are working or a distance learning course.

This sounds odd. There is a shortage of field archaeologists at the moment. Best route in has to be via a Commercial Unit like Oxford or Wessex. One challenge is that salaries aren’t high. But many major projects include accommodation, on the A14 project this was in prefabs but was included.

Best if u get on a units training scheme, which should include promotion points.
Reply 5
It's wonderful to hear about your journey as an archaeologist and your current career progression. Making decisions about further education and its impact on your career can be challenging. While I can't provide the perspective of other archaeologists in a similar situation, I want to emphasize the potential benefits of pursuing a Master's degree in Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology. It can enhance your knowledge, open doors to srdstatus opportunities, and potentially lead to higher positions within the field. However, it's important to weigh these advantages against the practical aspects of your current work and the fact that some colleagues with the same degree receive similar pay. Ultimately, the decision should align with your long-term goals and personal fulfillment.
(edited 2 months ago)

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