On Museum Studies Programs
We are entering an age in which people don’t just want to be lectured to by experts, they want to contribute and curate their own content. In this environment, curators may evolve from being lecturers and authors to being moderators of discussions and editors of content. This requires a different set of soft skills, and calls for a different set of training.
This is all part of a bigger discussion I’m interested in. I read this article from 2009 (but still relevant!) about how museum studies programs are out of touch with the actual, practical requirements of museum jobs. The fact that The Center for the Future of Museums recommended museums to stop hiring museum graduates is quite troubling, right?
Even my old classmates in the UK read advice published by the Museums Association (can’t find link) to work in other industries like marketing and boost their CVs with those soft skills the quote above is referring to.
Conundrum! I do agree that the nature of museum jobs are changing, and marketing skills, for instance, are very useful. But how discouraging to graduate from a Museum Studies MA program, only to be told that you should learn different skills elsewhere to become more of an eligible candidate. Maybe I’m feeling defensive, but these are some of my thoughts…