People who love art, are fascinated by archaeology, or are history buffs may have considered the idea of working in a museum. But experience as a museum visitor reveals only the public-facing side of the museum, and not its complex, dynamic internal structure. So You Want to Work in A Museum? helps to demystify museums as institutions and to prepare prospective museum staff to explore the field further.
After reading this book, readers will be able to:
With decades of museum work under her belt, Young is uniquely qualified to answer the titular question. Indeed, this is a thorough, thoughtful book that will be of interest to a variety of job seekers, from teens just starting to consider a path to subject specialists looking for a career change to committed potential museum workers who aren’t sure if a professional degree is necessary. Young begins by laying out different types of museums and explaining how different sizes of museum are organized and governed. The bulk of the book walks the reader through the typical museum departments (exhibitions, development, etc.) and details the most common jobs in each area. After describing job duties, she lists the skills, experience, and education necessary to get hired and, most helpfully, the personality traits most suited to the job as well as things to “keep in mind,” like the possibility of working weekends. Each chapter ends with a profile of a museum worker that describes their career path and the best and worst parts of the job. A realistic, practical guide.
Profiles of nine museum professionals sharing what their jobs entail, their favorite parts of their jobs, and their challenges relay a realistic sense of what museum work is.