Vernacular Architecture Forum
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Learning and Training

Links for Graduate Students

As someone interested in vernacular architecture, you may wish to formally study those buildings and landscapes that are so integral to the fabric of our every day lives or to work in a job in which you deal with vernacular resources.

Knowing where to seek information on educational programs that offer coursework in vernacular architecture or where to find job opportunities can be a daunting task. While not an exhaustive guide, this section of the website offers some valuable resources for you to begin your research into the educational and professional world of vernacular architecture.

Links to Educational and Professional Resources
Employment in Vernacular Architecture
Basic Job Tips
Professional Job Tips

Links to Educational and Professional Resources

Archaeologyfieldwork.com
http://www.archaeologyfieldwork.com/forums/index.php
This website is essentially a forum for all things related to archaeology.

eCultural Resources
http://www.eculturalresources.com/
This cultural resource network offers daily updated cultural resource news, jobs, announcements, consultants and resources. Includes postings for archaeology, historic preservation, museums, and more.

Global Museum
http://www.globalmuseum.org/
This webzine offers an extensive list of museum jobs available.

PreserveNet
http://www.preservenet.cornell.edu/index.cfm
PreserveNet is designed to provide preservationists with a comprehensive database of regularly updated internet resources and current professional and internship opportunities for those in the preservation industry and allied fields.

National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE)
http://www.uvm.edu/histpres/ncpe/
The National Council for Preservation Education is a non-profit education organization dedicated to encouraging and assisting in the development and improvement of historic preservation education programs in the United States and elsewhere. The NCPE offers a useful Guide to Academic Programs in Historic Preservation and Allied Fields.  The NCPE website also offers a list of international preservation resources.

National Council on Public History (NCPH)
http://www.ncph.org/
The National Council on Public History is a professional association devoted to the study and practice of public history. The website provides information on public history degree programs and updated weekly job listings.

National Trust for Historic Preservation Forum Online
http://forum.nationaltrust.org/
Forum Online is an online information service offered as a benefit of National Trust Forum, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s professional and organizational membership program. Annual dues are $115. Membership provides access to a national listing of jobs available in historic preservation, updated frequently.

Public History Resource Center
http://www.publichistory.org/index.asp
The Public History Resource Center exists to support, promote, and disseminate the scholarly and professional work of public historians primarily through its website.  This website provides an A to Z list of public history educational programs and history-related job postings.

Savannah College of Art and Design Survey of Non-academic Careers
http://www.scad.edu/architectural-history/dept/opportunities.cfm
Interesting survey of salaries in various fields and what level of education and work experience is generally needed.

Employment in Vernacular Architecture

While there are few jobs devoted solely to vernacular architecture, there are jobs in which people work with vernacular resources on a regular basis. Some examples of employment in the fields of history, public history, architecture, architectural history, archaeology, planning, and historic preservation may include the following:

• Museums (as administrators, curators, exhibit designers, educators, and more)
• Historic Sites (which includes the above jobs, plus rangers, and tour guides)
• Private Consulting Firms (cultural resource/historic preservation firms)
• Colleges & Universities (educators and researchers in the above-mentioned fields)
• Government (historic preservation programs in local, state and federal government)
• Architecture Firms (historians and preservation professionals often work with architects on rehabilitation projects)
• Statewide and Local Non-profit Preservation Organizations

Many of these places of employment offer internships or work-study programs for students.  Obtaining work experience and exposure to your chosen field while still in school is the best way to build your resume and make important contacts.  It’s also a good way to see what a job or area of potential employment is really like before pursuing a position.

Basic Job Tips

Academic Job Resources Tips
The following is excerpted from the website of Mary Corbin Sies, an American Studies scholar
at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her website contains a useful practical guide to finding an academic job in your chosen field.

For a list of generic questions that candidates for academic jobs might expect to be asked during interviews, see Academic Job Interview Questions.

Professional Job Tips

As a job searcher in vernacular architecture, it is important to be sure that you are following the general guidelines for job searching.  Many books – such as What Color is Your Parachute – provide a wealth of knowledge about the job search process.  Concepts such as keeping your resume to one or two pages, keeping your background concise, and writing an effective cover letter are all important to making your case for a prospective employer.  Cover letters allow you a chance to explore your resume, not restate it.  Describe your background and elaborate on your areas of expertise, but make sure it’s building upon your resume.  Focus on how your experience connects to the job. Also, some job seekers find that having more than one version of their resume allows them the flexibility to apply for a range of open positions.  In vernacular architecture, one job does not fit all.

Also, when considering what types of jobs you might be interested in, consider how you might structure your background.  Most degree granting institutions provide a generalist type of program.  However, it is up to you to develop a specific type of area.  It’s not just museum studies – it’s digital interpretation.  It’s not just historic preservation – its heritage planning.  It’s not just archaeology – its underwater archaeology.  Most jobs will be looking for a technical background so learn the computer programs relevant to your area of study.  Focus yourself, but don’t limit yourself. 

Finally, watch the trends.  If you watch a few of these job sites you will notice a geographic distribution and hiring pattern for most jobs.  You will start to identify the key characteristics of each job type and when they tend to open.  (Government jobs tend to open at the start of a fiscal year.  Non-profits jobs tend to open a few months before the start of a fiscal year to allow for planning in their budgets.)  Watch the trends and you will be an effective job hunter.

Job Listing Boards

NTHP Forum
http://forum.nthp.org
(Requires joining the Forum group.)

Preserve/Net - Historic Preservation Source
http://www.preservenet.cornell.edu/employ/

University of Mary Washington – Historic Preservation Jobs
http://www.umw.edu/cas/historicpreservation/jobs_in_preservation/default.php

National Main Street Center Jobs Listings
http://www.mainstreet.org/content.aspx?page=1522&section=13

Guardian Jobs – Arts and Heritage
http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/jobs/arts-and-heritage
(Jobs in England – from the Guardian newspaper)

Public History Resource Center
http://www.publichistory.org/Classifieds/index.asp

The National Council on Public History
http://ncph.org/CareersTraining/Jobs/tabid/334/Default.aspx

US Office of Personnel Management - Current Job Openings
http://www.le.ac.uk/ms/jobs/job_titles_jobid.htm

HABS/HAER Summer Jobs
http://www.nps.gov/history/hdp/jobs/index.htm

Global Museum
http://www.globalmuseum.org/

Museum Employment Resource Center
http://www.museum-employment.com/jobindex.html

museumjobs.com
http://www.museumjobs.com/

University of Leicester – Job Desk
http://www.le.ac.uk/ms/jobs/job_titles_jobid.htm
(Some jobs in the United States, but most in England and Europe.)