Monday, September 14, 2009

And our ranks will grow…

Kirsten hinted in her last post that I had some fun data to share. Well, I am not quite finished, but it is interesting even in these early stages.

I was wondering how many people graduate each year with a museum studies degree vs. how many entry level jobs come out a year. I think that the supply-demand relationship may be one of the biggest hurdles to our overcoming the much-too-little pay scenario.

So, first, I present the data for the USA, since degree types are delineated so clearly by the very useful National Center for Education Statistics. Data is for 1992-2007 graduation years, as that is what is available.


If it is hard to see, please comment and I will post again elsewhere.

Basically, in 1992 we had 67 grads, in 2007 we had 226. Mind you, this only counts degrees awarded in the USA, not including US citizens who got Museo degrees abroad. It also does not include people who got related degrees, it is just “Museum Studies.” No offence, I am just trying to illustrate a point.

So I am not going to do any fancy statistical analysis on this baby, mostly because I cannot for the life of me remember how to do a chi square test. I leave that up to my more sophisticated readers. What I will say is that I did a quasi statistical thing and put in the trendlines for the data, one being linear and one being exponential.

At the rate we are going, if we assume linear growth, in 10 years from this data (2017) there will be 319 degrees awarded that year. (If you want to assume exponential growth, there would be 468 degrees awarded. I am going to avoid assuming exponential growth because that seems impossible.)

I wish I had data on how many of 2007’s 226 grads are gainfully employed in musuems. I don’t. All I know is, in 2008 AND in 2009, there were probably another ~230 Museos per year added to the pack. That means 460 more on top of the 2180 Museos shown on that graph above that represents 16 years.

Approx. 2,640 Museos added to the job market since 1992, joining in the competition with thousands of non-Museum-Studies grads, long-time volunteers and interns, and career-changers for the same jobs.

With that number in front of you, is it any wonder that museums can get away with offering $20,000/yr salaries at this point?

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