Over the next eight years, those who study human life, history and culture are expected to unearth a cornucopia of vocational opportunities. A 19-percent spike in employment prospects for archaeologists will be bolstered by the construction industry, projects the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Los Angeles, this viable specialty, awards these modern-day sleuths yearly salaries that are inching toward the six figures.
“Major excavations for construction work demand the presence of trained archaeologists and, if necessary, their participation,” said Dr. William Fulco, a National Endowment for the Humanities professor of ancient Mediterranean studies at Loyola Marymount University (LMU).
Moreover, an increasing number of corporations are now utilizing anthropological research to better understand consumerism within specific ethnic groups. In effect, a fusillade of career options has been created.
“There are opportunities for photographers, architects, botanists, palaeontologists, anthropologists and a variety of laboratory specialists, as well as artifact analysts and excavation experts,” said Dr. Fulco, a Santa Clara University alumnus and Jesuit priest who earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from Yale University.
How is LMU helping archaeology graduates become more employable?
“Our students participate regularly in summer archaeological digs in Israel, Jordan, Italy, Spain and elsewhere, and are helped financially to do so.”
What is the best way to prepare for a career in archaeology?
“Besides learning field methodology, one would pursue one of the technologies used in archaeology, such as metallurgy, photography, dating methodologies or the analysis of a given type of artifact, including fabrics, pottery, human and animal bones, and botany. Above all, one should participate in an actual excavation.”
What makes archaeology a meaningful course of study?
“Archaeology gives a dimension to almost any human enterprise. Many of our archaeology students come from majors in film and television, biology, engineering, business and other surprising disciplines because they find archaeology enriches their primary field of study. As it turns out, many of these students get hooked, and each year we have students going on for graduate studies. Any field that involves art, art history or any of the social sciences fits in very well with archaeology.”
Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.