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Languages, Information and Culture

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Find out about jobs in:

Cultural heritage

Information

Languages

Cultural heritage

This sector includes a wide range of museums, historic houses and sites, galleries and arts organisations.

Jobs include:

Archaeologists preserve, record and analyse any material remains excavated on archaeological digs - including fragments of bone or pottery, buried structures or microscopic organisms. This information is used to help understand the past, and archaeologists may also become involved in conservation, publicity and educational activities, such as the interpretation and display of finds in museums.

Art exhibition organisers plan the programme of exhibitions - which may be permanent or temporary - in a gallery or museum, and mount and maintain displays.

Conservators/restorers carry out preventative or remedial work to keep works of art or other historic objects in good condition or working order. They may look after a range of objects, or specialise in a particular area such as furniture, paintings, textiles or books.

Museum assistants/technicians are mainly responsible for the specialist handling, movement and display of artefacts such as paintings or sculptures in museums and galleries. They mainly do practical work or, if they have technical ability, may also do carpentry, lighting and maintenance work. Technicians may also get involved in cataloguing new exhibits or those going into storage.

Museum visitor services assistants work in museums and art galleries and are mainly responsible for customer service, but also for the care and security of museum artefacts and exhibits.

Museum/art gallery curators manage and care for collections of objects of artistic, scientific, historical and general interest, helping to bring these collections to life, in a way that's both educational and appealing to the audience.

Information

This sector includes the collection, storage and retrieval of information in a range of formats and jobs include:

Archivists manage and maintain collections of books, papers, maps, plans, photographs, prints, films, tapes, videos and computer records. These items help the work of researchers, providing a record of how people lived in the past. Increasingly, archives that have widespread interest are being digitised and made available over the internet to make them more accessible.

Information Scientists are specialist researchers who produce often highly technical reports for commercial organisations, government departments, the education sector and research institutes. The reports are often used to help plan business strategies and keep track of competitors. They source and check information, catalogue and index, analyse results, write reports, produce graphs and spreadsheets and archive information.

Librarians organise information in libraries and keep it available for access. The information may be kept in books, newspapers, microfiche, videos, DVDs, audio CDs or cassettes. Increasingly, information is stored on computer files, CD ROMs or DVDs. They update their collection by choosing new materials and clearing out the old, advise users face to face, over the telephone, or by email, about available resources and materials, organise outreach work, such as school visits, creative writing workshops or readings by authors and manage the library, training staff and keeping accounts within the budget 

Library assistants are part of a team who help in the day-to-day running of a library. They spend a lot of their time dealing with enquiries and helping people to find the information they need.

Languages

There are only a limited number of specialist jobs involving languages but don’t forget that there are also jobs in many other sectors where language skill would be a positive asset – so don’t rule out other sectors. The CILt language works site has job sector pages that enable you to find out how languages are used in a wide range of careers .

Specialist jobs include:

Interpreters convert one spoken or signed language to another, to help people who do not speak the same language to understand what is being discussed. They may interpret the language while a speaker is talking or during deliberate pauses to allow interpretation to take place. Interpreters may work in a wide range of different places and may need to travel for example from international conferences and business meetings to courts and doctors’ surgeries or be employed as a special ‘in-house’ interpreter and be based mainly in one place.  Interpreters need to know not just about the language but also the culture of the country or countries where the language is spoken.

An interpreter may specialise in one or more foreign languages. They usually interpret from a foreign language into their native tongue, but some may work in both directions.

Language service professionals (LSPs) facilitate communication between people who are deaf or hard of hearing and people who can hear. They may work with people who use British Sign Language (BSL) or other communication systems. Some specialise in working with people who have both a hearing and a visual impairment.

Translators transfer written text from one language to another. This is normally from a foreign language into their own mother tongue. Translators have to ensure the new text matches the original as closely as possible. They need a thorough knowledge of the subject as well as the languages involved. They may use the internet, reference books and specialist translation software to aid their work.

The most commonly used languages are the major European ones. There is also increasing demand for translators skilled in Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Japanese and Eastern European languages. There is also work for translators in the UK using Welsh or languages from countries such as Pakistan and India.

Want to know more?

The information in this jobs section is a summary of what’s involved in each of the jobs and only a few jobs are highlighted to give a snapshot of this sector.

You can also Watch a video made by the EC’s interpreting service to find out what life is like for an interpreter at a major international organisation. Visiting the European Union on YouTube or Facebook will also give more helpful  information.

You can also use the National Careers Service website to find out about 100s of jobs and careers, including the ones listed above and many, many more……..