Supply, demand and a failure of understanding: addressing the culture clash between archaeologists' expectations for training and employment in 'academia' versus 'practice
Aitchison, K. (2004) Supply, demand and a failure of understanding: addressing the culture clash between archaeologists' expectations for training and employment in 'academia' versus 'practice. World Archaeology, 36 (2). pp. 203-219. ISSN 0043-8243
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/0043824042000260988
A university degree is effectively a prerequisite for entering the archaeological workforce in the UK. Archaeological employers consider that new entrants to the profession are insufficiently skilled, and hold university training to blame. But university archaeology departments do not consider it their responsibility to deliver fully formed archaeological professionals, but rather to provide an education that can then be applied in different workplaces, within and outside archaeology. The number of individuals studying archaeology at university exceeds the total number working in professional practice, with many more new graduates emerging than archaeological jobs advertised annually. Over-supply of practitioners is also a contributing factor to low pay in archaeology. Steps are being made to provide opportunities for vocational training, both within and outside the university system, but archaeological training and education within the universities and subsequently the archaeological labour market may be adversely impacted upon by the introduction of variable top-up student fees.