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Why employers value Archaeology graduates

Recognising skills developed during your degree is a crucial aspect to career planning. You will find useful information via the Cambridge Skills Portal and also in the Careers Service CV's and Application Forms book.

Employers generally are looking for candidates with these skills/attributes:

  • Willingness to learn
  • Self-motivation and desire to achieve
  • Teamwork
  • Communication skills (oral and written)
  • Rapid identification of key issues
  • Problem solving
  • Initiative and creativity
  • Time management producing work to deadlines
  • Research and investigative ability

An Archaeology degree should give you all of these and more.

e.g. Transferable skills from a vacation spent on a dig may not be obvious. Think of the experience from a skills perspective rather than just content and you may find that you developed skills in teamwork, eye for detail, analysing, presenting, reporting, budgeting, managing others, finding solutions to interesting problems, cultural understanding (depending on where the dig was) and more than likely many others.

Through studying Archaeology you can:

  • Absorb and retain complex information and identify key issues
  • Articulate complex ideas clearly (essays/discussion)
  • Use imagination and creativity
  • Take a logical approach approach to problem solving
  • Develop investigative, analytical and critical evaluation skills, taking decisions about relevance of information
  • Understand and take a sensitive approach to different cultures and beliefs
  • Show a real curiosity in people and world cultures

You may also have acquired other skills through extra-curricular activities or vacation experiences:

  • Persuading and negotiating (through a committee or team position)
  • Fundraising and handling finances generally
  • Co-operation and initiative (setting up societies or developing one)
  • Organisation: social events, sporting activities etc
  • Creativity: directing plays, musical involvement
  • IT competence: web design, graphics etc