Author Topic: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?  (Read 4253 times)

ElGrillo

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Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« on: March 02, 2016, 09:53:44 PM »
Hello everyone,

So I am a sophomore in college and am planning to double major in journalism (multimedia concentration) and anthropology (archaeology concentration.) I originally wanted to major only in journalism and do my best to secure a decent-paying job in what is a pretty quickly diminishing field - however, I added the archaeology second major because it seems more practical and realistic and has more opportunities for stable jobs, such as working for the U.S. government.

I've done some research on average pay but I was wondering if any of you MMMians work in either of these fields, and what your pay is, if you are comfortable sharing that. What can I expect to make in these fields?

eostache

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Re: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2016, 10:42:53 PM »
I am not an archaeologist but I worked for a few years for archaeological consulting companies. I worked there as a cartographer (GIS Specialist) but I got laid off when the oil and gas started to downturn. Later, some really good project manager archaeologists in that company were laid off too.

Most archaeologists work in Cultural Resource Management for consulting companies. If a company wants to develop a well pad, road, or pipeline on public lands it needs to have a visual survey done to see if any prehistoric or historic artifacts are there. It can be as small as a 40 acre wellpad or as large as a 100 mile long pipeline corridor. It does not pay a lot, ever. Maybe $50-60k if you are at the top level project director. Field techs might get $12-$15/hr + per deim. Working in the field on surveys requires long hours in sometimes harsh conditions. People with only a 4 year degree may only be able to find seasonal work. You need a Masters degree to get ahead.

It's very hard to get a Federal Job as an archaeologist. You definitely need a Masters degree for that. I know the archaeologists at the local BLM office. One of them got her job by SCEP (student employment program) and the other had the job description written for her to be hired there (she told me.)

There is a yahoo group called Shovel Bums that posts job openings.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2016, 10:49:47 PM by eostache »

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2016, 07:14:13 AM »
My wife (writer) and I (PJ/video) both trained in journalism (Syracuse), and both work in marketing now. I don't think either one of those degree paths will lead you to a high-paying job, though they may be fun.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2016, 07:56:00 AM »
I'm looking out the window at archaeologists now.

It's raining, freezing, and they are looking at a hole in a building site getting paid minimum wage.

This is in London, they have degrees, are looking at actual Roman ruins and working on the site for a multi-million pound apartment complex.

I'm an engineer, warm and dry, in between writing a report and skiving on mmm and about to have another (free) coffee.

Don't do it for the money.

partgypsy

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Re: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2016, 09:35:45 AM »
I ditto the above. 25 years ago I momentarily considered anthropology/archeology degree. But my advisor at the time (anthropology professor) said what I wanted to do (designing exhibits/dioramas in museums, combining my love of science and art), that there were maybe 50 jobs in the entire US. So I changed majors to psychology.
Marketing and business seem like good companions for journalism. Or choose archeology but realize you are doing it for the love of it.

jrhampt

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Re: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2016, 11:26:42 AM »
I'm not an archaeologist, but since I majored in geology/geophysics and we were in the same building, I knew several (mostly unemployed) archaeologists.  We used to joke about how rare it is to find an employed archaeologist.  You can, however, get a job in the geology field.

ElGrillo

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Re: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2016, 03:20:21 PM »
Thank you everyone for your replies, this is all a little bit disheartening, but I think I'll stick with archaeology for now.

Is >$60k per year possible, with a masters in archaeology and job experience?

I'm not an archaeologist, but since I majored in geology/geophysics and we were in the same building, I knew several (mostly unemployed) archaeologists.  We used to joke about how rare it is to find an employed archaeologist.  You can, however, get a job in the geology field.

Jrhampt, are you saying an archaeology degree can put me in a job in geology, or are you saying I should get a geology degree?

merula

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Re: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2016, 03:51:47 PM »
Is >$60k per year possible, with a masters in archaeology and job experience?

Sure, anything's possible. But given the glut of archaeology PhDs, making over $60k with a masters will probably either be after 20+ years of work or in a job with no relation to archaeology at all.

Just going to put in another plug for business in general and marketing specifically: I was making $60k within 5 years of graduation, no MA required.

lhamo

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Re: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2016, 05:57:14 PM »
Is >$60k per year possible, with a masters in archaeology and job experience?

Sure, anything's possible. But given the glut of archaeology PhDs, making over $60k with a masters will probably either be after 20+ years of work or in a job with no relation to archaeology at all.

Just going to put in another plug for business in general and marketing specifically: I was making $60k within 5 years of graduation, no MA required.

Cultural anthropologist (with a Ph.D.)  in the house.  I agree with I would not count on being able to get a long-term, professional level job in archaeology with just a master's degree.  WAAAAAAY too many un/underemployed archaeology Ph.Ds. out there.

The Society for American Archaeology's career site currently has just six jobs listed.  Six.  All require a Ph.D.-- well, one Executive Director position says a BA is required but an advanced degree is preferred.  And that one requires several years of relevant high level management experience.  http://careers.saa.org/jobs/

If you are really interested in this, try to find some actual practicing archaeologists and do an informational interview with them.  But a quick look at reviews for the BLM and other major employers tends to reinforce my impression -- it is an area where there is an oversupply of skilled labor already, and therefore not likely to be a lucrative profession.

I would look into geology or geography and getting good GIS skills that could be used in other fields as well, maybe with cross application to archaeology.

superone!

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Re: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2016, 12:15:42 AM »
Another cultural anthropologist Ph.D. here--I have to second what lhamo said. The market is awash in un- and underemployed PhDs.

What's your main interest in archaeology? I was very interested in archaeology as an undergrad, especially historical and underwater archaeology, but I ended up going the cultural anthro route for grad school, and I'm an applied practicing anthropologist now, with a corporate job.

If you're in archaeology for the digging in the dirt, then geology might be a more lucrative alternative, but if you're in it for the people, you might want to look into applied anthropology.

jrhampt

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Re: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2016, 05:35:15 AM »
I'm not an archaeologist, but since I majored in geology/geophysics and we were in the same building, I knew several (mostly unemployed) archaeologists.  We used to joke about how rare it is to find an employed archaeologist.  You can, however, get a job in the geology field.

Jrhampt, are you saying an archaeology degree can put me in a job in geology, or are you saying I should get a geology degree?

Haha, no, I was not suggesting trying to find a geology job with an archaeology degree, but to go for the geology degree instead.  Geological careers at least have some things in common with archaeological ones (with the primary difference being that you can actually find employment) - you'll still be looking at things in the ground and there's a lot of work outdoors, if those are some of the things that are drawing you to archaeology.  It's just a more practical and lucrative field to go into since it has industry applications, not just academic ones.

Making Cents

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Re: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2016, 06:51:58 AM »
I'm currently a tenure track assistant professor of archaeology making $50k ($55k-$60k if you include summers). Before I had my PhD, I worked with a masters for NPS, CRM firms, etc for several years. At that level I never made more than $12/hr or $30k. My advice is don't go into archaeology if money is your priority. Go into GIS if money/security is what you want, and get your archaeology kicks as a temporary field tech in the meantime. I also would not advise getting a PhD in archaeology post-recession. I was extraordinarily fortunate to get my position, but I can count literally dozens of friends with PhDs or MAs in archaeology who have left the field due to unemployment after spending as much as a decade in graduate school.

acepedro45

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Re: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2016, 10:45:32 AM »
Wow, I would have never guessed there would be this many archeologists and not even a single journalist. I'll bite though.

I spent most of my twenties writing for The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. I graduated in 2003 with a bachelors degree in English, bummed around for a while and then took a job as an administrative assistant with Dow Jones, the parent of Newswires and the Journal. Starting pay was exactly $36,000 out of Washington, DC.

A year plus later, I moved into an entry level reporting role digging up news from SEC filings about public companies. Those jobs usually went to graduating college seniors who had previously interned with the company and paid somewhere in the $39,000 range. I graduated to reporter pretty soon after and made a little more than $50,000. Later I took another promotion to become an editor in the New York office and got another pay bump to the $65,000 or so. When I quit I was at $70,000 with the prospect of 2-3% annual raises.

I know my salary experience was a lot better than most of my peers. Many of my colleagues (or their parents) had shelled out the cash for a masters in journalism from somewhere fancy-sounding like Columbia or Stanford.

Working for a flagship company like the WSJ or the NYT will have fetch a better salary and job security prospects but they still aren't much to write home about. I was laid off once and was fortunate enough to find another job (a promotion, to boot!). By the time I was plotting my exit from the industry, rumors were again swirling about another round of layoffs and indeed a few months I left the executioner's blade fell again. (I had been hoping it would coincide with me getting out of the industry so I could volunteer for a buyout and leave with an extra nice goodbye, but alas.)

It's a tough business all around. I had a friend working as the business editor at a regional daily paper who had three reporters working under her. Her salary was $10 an hour. I felt like there was no room for substantial salary growth or advancement and I was one of the lucky ones to be working for a major media player and making a living wage in NYC. I even thought my salary worked against me a couple of different times looking for other opportunities. Companies would want to hire cheap recent grads who could do the job 75% as well as me for 50% of the money.

It was a lot of fun, though. I got to meet a ton of amazing people and put my heart into a couple of different projects and stories. And yes, despite the low pay and other complaints I've lodged here, working for the WSJ is a dream job for lots of people, me included at one time. If I had been connected with the right roles and possibilities to do the kind of work I wanted to do, it is likely I would still be there.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 10:53:32 AM by acepedro45 »

TravelJunkyQC

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Re: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2016, 03:25:48 PM »
Anthropology (archaeology concentration) major here. Graduated in 2008 with a BA. Master's in Archaeogenetics. Europe is easier to work in the field honestly (all my "work" and internships were over there). I now work in communications and marketing. I will reiterate the above - do it because you love it, not for money. I don't regret either of my degrees, nor do I regret my career path - just don't be surprised when life throws you curve balls.

trix76

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Re: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2016, 05:16:48 PM »
Another cultural anthropologist here. I'm working as a user researcher/ethnographer in the tech industry. It's a great gig, and there's quite a bit of demand at the moment. (There are a lot of companies trying to more deeply understand their customers through a variety of methods, from big data/data science to user research to ethnographic research, etc.) Not sure if this area is of interest to you, but if you want to learn more, feel free to PM me!

Tris Prior

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Re: Any journalists or archaeologists in the house?
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2016, 10:04:52 AM »
Former journalist here. I worked at a daily in a small city in downstate IL, then at a weekly in a suburb of a major city, then at a major daily. I never made more than $30k/year, though I got out of reporting about 15 years ago, and now I am in book publishing.

I ended up in my current field and job because I learned graphic design and page layout at the suburban weekly. I had to - we did everything, from reporting to photography to page layout. If I'd only been a writer, I'd have been hosed.

Most everyone I worked with at the various papers have moved on to trade publications or marketing or PR roles. I don't think I actually know any full-time reporters right now. Everyone wants to try and get by with poorly-paid freelancers.