If you’re interested in working in the heritage field but don’t know if you’re the right kind of person, have no fear. It’s a field that enthusiastically welcomes people from all walks of life, and there are many routes into rewarding jobs, according to Olivia Keegan Carr, a speaker from English Heritage.
“There’s not a ‘one mould fits all’ when it comes to working in heritage,” Carr told a group of University of Roehampton students as part of a series of talks on employability that the university has offered. UR Employability Week is taking place from 23-27 October and features speakers from a variety of industries.
“People in this kind of work come from varying academic backgrounds such as English language, marketing, or even just people with previous social media experience,” Carr told attendees.
Carr, who works as a community engagement coordinator, focused her talk on
key aspects of employability within heritage industry. She highlighted the wealth of opportunities in the sector, including museums, archival work, conservation, education, events, archaeology, and work with historic buildings.
Carr recognised the evolving educational landscape in heritage.
“For areas such as conservation or if you would like to become an archivist, it’s likely that you will need a postgraduate degree,” she said. While some are pushing for change, employers are looking for postgraduate degrees in many roles. However, she also emphasised that in roles like business development, marketing, PR, and communications, degrees in history or archival studies are not always required.
“You don’t have to want to work with collections. If heritage is something that interests you, then marketing can be a really fulfilling role as well,” she said.
Carr stressed the significance of practical experience and volunteering. She shared her personal journey, stating, “It was my volunteer experience that really got me to where I am today.”
This experience, whether within the heritage sector or involvement in university societies, provides valuable skills and demonstrates genuine interest to potential employers.
By Jack Gittens, UR Journalism student