Careers for Scholars & Other Deep Thinkers [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Blythe Camenson
eBook Category: Business
eBook Description: Careers for Scholars and Other Deep Thinkers lets career explorers look at the job market through the unique lens of their own interests. The book reveals dozens of ways to pursue a passion and make a living--including many little-known but delightful careers that will surprise readers.
eBook Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies/VGM Career Books, Published: 2002
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2002
Studying the Options
There are those who can't wait for their final year of school. Graduation comes, up fly the caps, down go the books, and the only noise heard is the sound of feet rushing through the door and out into the real world.
Then there are those -- you, most likely, if you're reading this book -- who prefer the red brick and ivy, the musty stacks in the back of the library, the quiet halls during class time, the noisy conversation in the cafeteria.
You have spent years working on your undergraduate degree, preparing yourself for not a foray into the real world but yet another stint of educational pursuit. The world of academia is your calling, and, whether your goal is to stay within those hallowed halls or move into a comparable setting, in Careers for Scholars, you will find a variety of choices to suit your degree and interests.
Do You Have What It Takes?
What is a scholar? The dictionary defines it as a learned or erudite person, an individual who is educated and well read, an intellectual and a thinker. A scholar is also a student, pursuing knowledge for knowledge's sake -- and to pass it on to others.
Scholars are often experts in a particular body of knowledge, U.S. history, for example, or the culture of the Kalahari Bushmen in the deserts of Africa. They can be sociologists, historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, psychologists, animal behaviorists, botanists, horticulturists, museum curators, librarians, archivists, teachers, or they can wear a score of other academic and professional designations.
Although their academic training may vary, they share many same skills and interests. Scholars are excellent researchers; they spend a great deal of their time perusing reference books, periodicals, abstracts, and the growing volume of information available on the Internet.
Scholars often make excellent teachers, as well. Through their research and academic studies, they have become immersed in particular disciplines and are able to pass on their knowledge to others, whether through classroom interaction, talks and presentations, the written word, or any combination thereof. But teaching, research, and writing are not the only ways in which scholars use their skills and talents to make a living. Though most are thrilled by the discoveries of research, others are collectors or catalogers by nature. Whatever particular interest you, as a scholar, hold, you will find almost as many settings in which to work as areas of study to pursue.
Settings for Scholars
Universities and colleges are the most obvious settings for scholars, and it is true that a wide range of research and teaching does go on within those ivy-covered walls. However, scholars also find employment in the following settings:
- botanical gardens
- archaeological sites
In addition, certain scholars -- often anthropologists, sociologists, or archaeologists -- conduct research in the field, in Africa, for example, or in Samoa, Papua New Guinea, and even within the shores of North America.
Throughout this book we will explore a variety of settings where you, as a job-hunting scholar, might find your niche.
Job Titles for Scholars
Frequently, many job titles are common to each particular setting, but the job description will vary depending on the institution. Curators, for example, are found in almost every kind of museum, from art and science to history museums, as well as in botanical gardens, even though the collections they deal with and their specific duties are very different.
In Careers for Scholars, we will examine the following job designations:
- university professor
- museum curator
- botanical garden curator
- animal behaviorist
This list is far from comprehensive -- the settings and job titles for scholars can stretch to include all the different "ologies." As you set out on your job search in your own specialized area of study, you will be able to add to the suggestions here and create your own tailor-made inventory.
Heaven-Sent Jobs for Scholars
Job-hunting scholars dream of finding positions where their skills and interests can be combined. Would any of these help-wanted ads send you racing to the post office to mail off your resume?
Researcher University department seeks experienced researcher for project helping dissertation students.
Dig Site Assistant Position open for energetic student or recent graduate at major archaeological dig site in New Mexico. Duties include cleaning and recording discovered artifacts.
Information Officer Historic site preservation board has opening for officer to disseminate information to the public. Good writing skills necessary. Bilingual, Spanish/English a plus.
University Instructor Four-year liberal arts college seeks to fill a tenure-track position in the anthropology department. Duties include classroom teaching and student advising. Research budget available.
Assistant Collections Manager Prestigious New York museum seeks master's level or above historian to work in the collection department. Knowledge of eighteenth-century European art a plus.
Do You Have the Necessary Qualifications?
Required qualifications vary depending on the job. Although many employers prefer their applicants to have master's degrees or even doctorates, others are satisfied with bachelor's degrees. In some situations, the following qualifications are equally important: experience, extensive knowledge of a particular time period or region, the ability to communicate with diverse groups of people, good writing skills, and research skills.
Salaries vary widely from position to position but are generally low, as are most pay scales for education-related fields. Factors such as the source of funding or the region of the country have more impact on salary levels than the complexity of the job or the level of the candidates' education and experience.
Some jobs pay only hourly wages; others follow the federal government's GS scale. Most jobs provide benefits such as health insurance. But all the professional scholars showcased in the pages to come stressed that financial rewards were not the main reason, or even a consideration, in pursuing their chosen professions. The low pay is far outweighed by the satisfaction of doing work they love.
The Job Hunt
Although many scholars can find employment in their own hometowns -- in a local university or historic house museum, for example -- in order to broaden your opportunities, chances are you'll have to relocate. If you have a spot in mind where you'd like to work, a phone call or an introductory letter sent with your resume is a good way to start. If you would like some more ideas on possible locations, there are several directories listed at the end of various chapters that can lead you to interesting destinations.
Many professional associations produce monthly or quarterly newsletters with job listings and upcoming internships and fellowships. Some key addresses have also been provided for you in the Appendix.
Copyright © 2001 by VGM Career Books