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Monday, 7 October 2013

The Ministry Explains It All: Getting into museums

Recently it was the annual #Askacurator day, when twitter was flooded with questions from the public aimed at museums elusive behind the scenes staff. Questions ranged from how do museums utilize social media to what’s your favourite object in the collection, but the one question which came up again and again was, ‘How do you get a job in a museum?’

So young, so naive...
It’s a question that comes up a lot, and one which has been at the centre of a lot of debate of late. Do you need a museums studies degree to work in a museum? Is there really another way to get into the sector besides being able to do years of unpaid internships? Do you need to have an art history background? Are there any early career jobs even available in museums?

It seems every year the museum job market is flooded with a new generation of bright young things, fresh from degrees in art history, archaeology, history and museum studies who all seem to be asking the same question: what do I need to do to be a museum curator?

The almost universal response is: do a lot of voluntary work, followed almost immediately by some facts about how badly paid the sector is, how few and far between jobs are, how limited your career trajectory will be. But none of this will stem the tide of the number of people keen to work in museums. Why? Because working in museums may be underpaid and frustrating but it is absolutely brilliant.

So now we’ve given you the realistic down to earth warning about working in museums. Are you still there? Still think you have what it takes to make it in museums? In that case, the Ministry have created for you two brand new pages that bring together all our advice and insider know how.

The 'Top tips for getting into museums' page provides the Ministry's top 10 pieces of advice for how you can get yourself a museum job. We aren't saying its easy, or that we know best, but we thought it would be best to share and share alike our own experiences of working in the industry.

And if that wasn't enough, we've also pulled together a list of Ministry Resources for Museum People to bring together information from across the web that you'll need to know to get into museums or to just move up the ladder. You can look forward to links to museum job pages, details of subject specialist networks, more info on museum databases and much more.

We hope you enjoy the pages and please let us know if you have any tips you think we've missed out! 

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