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RockerChick14's avatar

Do you think I'm doing the right thing by wanting to be an archaeologist?

Asked by RockerChick14 (948 points ) December 2nd, 2013 from iPhone

I’m 17 and I want to be an archaeologist because I have always loved history, world cultures, and I want to explore the world but my mom is making me have doubts about it wasting my time yet I really want to be an archaeologist.

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27 Answers

Coloma's avatar

It’s your life and your mom should be supportive of whatever you desire.
Archaeology is an amazing science, and you could end up doing all kinds of interesting things from actual field work, digs, to being a museum curator someday, carbon dating artifacts, specializing in one particular culture, the possibilities are endless.
Tell your mother she better support you, or you will mummify her and put her on display. lol

XOIIO's avatar

Does it matter what we think? Do what you want to do, fuck sake. Don’t go looking for peoples opinions or permission. Go after what you want and screw anyone who says otherwise.

nikipedia's avatar

What are your mother’s concerns about it?

WestRiverrat's avatar

My nephew is a religious archaeologist, kind of a narrow field but he likes it.

talljasperman's avatar

Depends… if you have dug in the back yard then yes.

XOIIO's avatar

@WestRiverrat LOL, well, thats certainly interesting.

snowberry's avatar

I’d suggest you be practical about this as well. How likely are you to get a job in this field? Maybe in a museum somewhere (I’m guessing more likely). Field work is research. Who pays for that, and how many jobs like that are there?

It might be a good idea to get a minor in another field just so you’re more marketable.

LDRSHIP's avatar

I would suggest watching this video. You might find it helpful or not…I don’t know. Figured it might be so let me know if it does or not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Xgjb8spwew&list=TL5b7TU8MPJ1CD9uFll_uukEttp0XWy3CP

fundevogel's avatar

When I was younger I wanted to be an archeologist….I let it go and having just recently learned about forensic archeology and the ICMP I can’t say I’m not a bit sad I didn’t go that way. I just want you to know there is more going on with archeology than you might have known, and this is a good thing should you choose to persue it.

YARNLADY's avatar

I suggest you would be more likely to find out if it is right for you by signing on as a volunteer intern with an archaeologist.

If you want my opinion, I say a resounding YES.

Pachy's avatar

Follow your passion and go dig—even if your mother can’t dig it.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Life-Physical-and-Social-Science/Anthropologists-and-archeologists.htm

You’ll be in school for a while for less than average pay but if you are happy doing this as a hobby then it probably would make a good career. Better plan on a Master’s degree at minimum. Bottom line is do what makes you happy but have a plan to succeed.

ETpro's avatar

Follow your passion. A life doing what you love and earning a decent living wage doing it is a far better life than one earning 6 or seven figures and hating every day of work. And while the typical archaeologist on an expedition or a dig isn’t highly paid, they do earn a decent living. If your love for the subject makes you a dedicated enough undergraduate student, there are also possibilities for graduate work and stipends as a research assistant. Get a PhD, teach and work your way up to full professor, and the pay is good, the working conditions are extremely interesting, and you even have prestige. Not a bad career decision at all.

nikipedia's avatar

I would caution strongly against any career path that relies on getting a professorship at the end. The odds are very very very strongly against success.

ETpro's avatar

@nikipedia That’s not the only career path open to someone interested in archaeology. Your cautionary not therefore carries no more merit than warning that getting a bachelors in business administration won’t likely lead to being the CEO of a fortune 500 company. True, but what’s that got to do with pursuing a career you enjoy? I just cited professorship as the pinnacle of success in archaeology.

Smitha's avatar

It’s your choice to choose your career. If your Mom disagrees with your decision, you can ask your teacher at school, a career counselor or somebody who has that career to tell your Mom about the advantages and disadvantages. It’s natural for all parents to have their dreams for their children, it might take sometime to convince your Mom, but love goes along way to bridge the gap.

ETpro's avatar

@RockerChick14 I have a niece who is doing her doctoral work in Anthropology and I am enormously proud of her. I bet if you reach that point your mom will feel the same way about you. But without her support on the journey, you’re going to have to struggle to stay in school and work for a good number of years to reach your goal.

ragingloli's avatar

Do what you want to do.
You are already in a better position than most your age, already having a passion for a particular field.
Most do not know what they want to do at 17 or even at 20.

Cupcake's avatar

Are you familiar with the day-to-day work of an archaeologist? Have you shadowed or spend any time with archaeologists? I think this is a crucial step in determining a possible future career.

That said, if you are passionate about it, will enjoy studying it (and all related/required subjects) and will enjoy a career in it… do it. Don’t worry much about job forecasts and salary, unless they appear totally undesirable to you. Follow your passion and your intuition.

But be able to coherently, logically and respectfully respond to your mother’s concerns. In doing so, you prove that you are mature and well-informed enough to make this decision on your own.

nikipedia's avatar

@ETpro, all I’m saying is, have a backup plan.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Just remember most archeologists spend more time in a classroom teaching or library researching than they do at a dig.

deni's avatar

You should do what you want!!!!! Archaeology is a really interesting field to be in, I’m sure, especially if you have a passion for it. DON’T LET YOUR PARENTS TELL YOU WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT THE ONES THAT HAVE TO LIVE IT. Sorry that’s in caps, but a lot of people succumb to their parents suggestions for no reason other than the fact that they are too scared to speak up for themselves. Then they live a life of misery. You do not want that! Anyhow, why’s she being a hater about it? Jeez, at least you have an interest!

ETpro's avatar

@nikipedia Why? What’s wrong with getting an undergraduate degree and doing field work in something you truly love. Here’s the average salaries for beginners with BS degrees up to PhD’s not yet at the pinnacle of career development. All earn a living wage. I’d opt for a living wage doing something I truly love any day before following some career path I hate just because some adult thinks it’s the happening thing right now.

nikipedia's avatar

Getting a job as a tenured, full professor is extremely unlikely. To my knowledge, in every existing academic field, students who graduate with a PhD are more likely to fail to get a tenured faculty job than to succeed.

http://chronicle.com/article/From-Graduate-School-to/131795/

http://www.npr.org/2012/05/15/152751116/why-so-many-ph-d-s-are-on-food-stamps

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/23/1123345/-Ph-D-to-Food-Stamps

http://philip.greenspun.com/careers/women-in-science

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/information-culture/2013/04/11/may-the-odds-be-ever-in-your-favor-academic-tenure/

I think following your dreams and getting a fun job that makes your soul sing is a wonderful plan as long as you have another way to pay the bills.

ETpro's avatar

Once again, you do not have to be a tenured professor to pay the bills if you live like an ordinary person. Being a field worker on an archaeological dig pays roughly twice the starting wage a Walmart associate earns, and it’s a hell of a lot more interesting.

LostInParadise's avatar

What is the worst that could happen? You still end up with a college degree. I don’t know if you can major in archaeology, but you could major in history and take some courses related to archaeology. If things do not work out in archaeology, you should still be able to get a job.

snowberry's avatar

I just did a search for “archeology jobs”. There didn’t seem to be that many, especially entry level jobs (and maybe I don’t know where to look for jobs like this). I’m not saying not to follow your dream, but be prepared to “keep your day job”. In other words as others have said, plan for an alternative if need be. http://www.indeed.com/q-archaeology-jobs.html

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