A career in Museology – A career for a History enthusiast

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Do old buildings attract you? Are you interested in History and Archaeology? Till a few years ago, the general conception of history was that it is a storehouse of dates, endless names and some age-old description of the past which we have never seen. Very few used to opt for history as a career option out of interest but mostly went for it with the aim of cracking any competitive exam. In other words, these national level competitions were one of the main reasons why history was alive as a subject among the students. The notion that study of history can be interesting or fondle with historical data can be a career option was very remote, especially among the students. But in recent time, history has succeeded in pushing aside these general perceptions and has emerged as a career option for many enthusiastic young people, who are fond of mystery, adventure and thrust for discovery. Museology is such a subject that has gained a lot of popularity of late, especially in the western countries and in the national capital of India. So, here is all you need to know about a career in museology

A career in Museology

What is Museology?

Museology is defined as the science of the administration and management of museums. Museology teaches how to handle the museum and the collection that is posses keeping in mind the necessity of the visitors. Museums are no longer a house of wonders but are regarded as a live document that has attached our present with the past. Gone are the days, when museum used to ensure the durability of the excavated materials, but now it tends to safe gourd the tangible and intangible heritage of the society, that has tended to lose its existence in front of big notions like globalization, boundary-free world etc. This course is closely related to Archaeology and those who are interested in study and collection of Archaeology and those who are interested in study and collection of archaeological things can pursue this course.

The job of a Museologist

Museologists are primarily involved in documentation of artefacts and collection management. They also conceptualise exhibitions and workshops. Some time ago, NMI held exhibitions for blind children. Museologists work in museums, galleries as well as non-government organisations. Museology professionals can work as education specialists, who spread knowledge through objects.

The duty of a Museologist is not only to take care of the collection of the Museum but in the same time is to take care of the management system; its various outreach programs, planning different socio-cultural activities and maintaining an atmosphere intellectually healthy to fulfil the needs of the visitors. That is what is taught in the master level study of Museology. The course material contains a comprehensive study of everything that has been mentioned above.

Skills required to be a Museologist

  • Immense interest in artefacts and knowledge of their historical importance
  • Ability to assimilate and analyse information
  • Aesthetic skills and good colour vision
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Scholars of history
  • Patience
  • Scientific awareness to comprehend materials, the ground of deterioration etc
  •  Foreign language such as Arabic, French, Sanskrit, Latin, Spanish etc.

Colleges, courses and eligibility criteria

1. National Museum Institute, New Delhi

Course: M.A. in Museology

Eligibility Criteria: Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Fine Arts in any discipline under Humanities and Social Sciences/Science with 50% marks.

2. Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

Course: M.A. in Museology

Eligibility Criteria: Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Fine Arts in any discipline under Humanities and Social Sciences/Science with 50% marks.

3. Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh

Course: M.Sc. in Museology

Eligibility Criteria: Bachelor’s degree of the University or its equivalent in Zoology, Botany, Wildlife Sciences, Geology, Chemistry, Anthropology, Engineering, Computer Applications, Archaeology, Industrial Chemistry, Geography, Agriculture, Forestry, Environmental Sciences, Biochemistry, History or Fine Arts with not less than 55% marks in aggregate.

4. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai

Course: Post Graduate Diploma in Museology and Conservation

Eligibility Criteria: The candidate should have passed Graduation with 50% marks from any recognized College or University.

5. Jiwaji University, Gwalior

Course: Post Graduate Diploma in Museology

Eligibility Criteria: The candidate should have passed Graduation with 50% marks from any recognized College or University.

Job Prospects for Career in Museology

The major employment for Museologist will come from museums run by the government. The jobs profiles for this career areas Museum Director, curator, conservation specialist, exhibit designer etc.

Through UPSC or SSC exam you can enter the government sector. If you want to do a research you can take up a SLET or NET exam. Those of you in art, history, education, administration, and public relations a career in museology will quite suitable for them.

Pay scale

The initial pay package may not be very alluring especially in the government sector. However, the private sector may give considerably good package when compared to the government sector companies. The basic package is between Rs.15,000 to Rs.30,000. With experience and position, you hold you can expect a sizeable increase in your pay package.

Museology as a career though new is filled with tons of opportunities. India being the country of unity in diversity is a lucrative name for the Museology field worldwide and henceforth there is demand for Indian musicologists everywhere. Even foreign Institutes are also offering opportunities with fat financial support for the higher level of study like PhD abroad. So if you have flair for history, why not go for this unconventional career option.

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