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Languages, Information and Culture

Ways in

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Find out about the ways into jobs in:

Cultural heritage

Information

Languages

Ways In to cultural heritage jobs

Creative Apprenticeships may be available - one of the pathways on offer is Cultural and Heritage Venue Operations, which covers:

  • Front of house staff and administration
  • Attendant or gallery staff
  • Customer/visitor service staff
  • Guide demonstrators
  • Sales staff
  • Schools liaison

See the Creative & Cultural Skills careers website (http://www.creative-choices.co.uk/) for details about training and entry requirements for creative Apprenticeships.

 Archaeologist

  • Around 90 per cent of archaeologists are graduates. Archaeology can be studied as a single honours degree or combined with subjects such as ancient or medieval history, geography or anthropology.

Art exhibition organisers

  • Art exhibition organisers usually need a degree. This is normally in a relevant subject such as fine art, art history or archaeology. Some entrants also have a professional postgraduate qualification.  

Conservators/restorers

  • Conservators/restorers usually need a degree or postgraduate qualification. There are specific qualifications in conservation, and related subjects such as chemistry are also relevant.

Museum assistants/technicians and visitor services assistants

  • There are no set academic requirements for entry to these jobs. Employers will generally look for people with a strong interest in the subject area of the museum/gallery collection.
  • However, some larger museums and galleries ask for at least four GCSEs (A*-E) or equivalent qualifications, while others may require candidates to have a foundation degree in museum and gallery studies or a degree in, for example, arts and cultural/heritage management, history of art, or museum and gallery studies.

Museum/art gallery curators

  • Most curators have a degree and many hold a postgraduate qualification as well. Qualifications are often in related subjects such as arts and cultural/heritage management, history of art, museum and heritage studies or archaeology.

Ways in to information jobs

Archivists

  • To  train as an archivist, you need a  degree - many archivists have degrees in history, classics, languages or information science, but the class of the degree is more important than the subject. At least a 2.1 honours degree is normally required.
  • The minimum requirements for a degree course are two A levels and five GCSEs grades (A*-C), or equivalent qualifications. Those without the usual entry qualifications can take an Access course.
  • After gaining a first degree, students then study for a postgraduate qualification in archives and records management, recognised by the Society of Archivists.
  • Apprenticeships in information and library services, which cover roles in libraries, archives and information services may be available.

Information Scientists

  • Most information scientists have a degree in:
    • information management or librarianship, approved by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)
    • any other subject, plus a postgraduate qualification approved by CILIP. 
  •  Entry to a postgraduate course usually requires a good first degree and at least one year's relevant work experience. Competition for places is strong.
  •  The minimum requirements for a degree course are two A levels and five GCSEs grades (A*-C), or equivalent qualifications. Those without the usual entry qualifications can take an Access course.
  • Individuals with GCSEs or A levels may start as an information or library assistant in order to gain valuable work experience. It may help their promotion prospects to gain NVQ Levels 2 and 3 in information and library services. To become an information scientist, a degree or HND is generally required at some stage.

Librarians and library assistants

  • Most librarians have a degree or postgraduate qualification accredited by CILIP.
  • The minimum entry requirements for degree courses are usually five GCSEs (grades A*-C) and two A levels or equivalent qualifications. However, the full academic requirements for entry onto a degree course may be waived for applicants with five years' experience as a library assistant or two years plus relevant training (such as an NVQ in information and library services at Levels 2 and 3
  • For graduates whose degrees are not related to librarianship, there is a Graduate Training Opportunities scheme run by CILIP.
  • To work as a library assistant, most employers expect at least five GCSEs (grades A*-C) or equivalent qualifications, including English. In industrial or commercial libraries, assistants may need A levels or equivalent qualifications
  • Experienced and certified library assistants can work towards Chartered Librarian status.
  • Apprenticeships in information and library services, which cover roles in libraries, archives and information services may be available.

 

Ways in to language jobs

Interpreter

  • Interpreting is a specialist skill. Not only do you need excellent language skills but also a clear speaking voice, confidence, a good memory and concentration and the ability to react quickly and to stay calm under pressure.
  • A qualification in Interpreting (or an equivalent level of professional experience) is normally needed to become a member of one or both of the professional associations for individuals, the Institute of Linguists and the Institute of Translation and Interpreting.
  • Most interpreters, especially conference interpreters, need a degree. This may be in:
    • modern language subjects, or languages combined with another subject
    • translation
    • another subject area, such as business, economics, engineering, law, technology or science, followed by postgraduate training in interpreting. (This knowledge may be acquired in the workplace and can be an advantage when trying to secure specialist assignments later.)
  • For a degree, entry requirements are normally five GCSEs (A*-C), plus at least two A levels, including languages, or equivalent qualifications. It can be an advantage to be able to show first-hand experience of another language through living and working abroad.

Language service professionals

  • Many people start by learning British Sign Language part time. Courses are available around the UK.
  • There are two different ways to train as a BSL/English interpreter:
    • completing NVQs in BSL at Levels 3 and 4 and NVQ Level 4 in interpreting (BSL/English), usually while working with deaf people on a paid or voluntary basis
    • taking a university course meeting approved standards; courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level in BSL/English interpreting or deaf studies are offered at a small number of universities.
  • The minimum academic entry requirements for degree courses are five GCSEs (A*-C) and two A levels, or equivalent. For postgraduate courses, entry is with a first degree. As entry requirements to courses are likely to vary, candidates are advised to check with individual institutions.
  • For all types of language service roles, an understanding of the deaf community is important. This can be through social contact with deaf people or through voluntary work.

Translators

  • Most translators hold a degree in:
    • modern language subjects, or languages combined with another subject
    • translation
    • a subject which could become a translation specialism, such as law, finance or engineering, and which could be followed by postgraduate training in translation.
  •  For a degree, entry requirements are normally five GCSEs (A*-C), plus at least two A levels, including languages, or equivalent qualifications. It can be an advantage to be able to show first-hand experience of another language through living and working abroad.
  • Masters degrees are offered by several universities, while the Chartered Institute of Linguists (IoL) offers a postgraduate-level Diploma in Translation.
  • Experience of using the specialist language by living in a country where it is spoken is an advantage. People with very strong language skills and specialist expertise, such as law, healthcare, finance or engineering, may be able to make a career in translation without formal qualifications.

For more information about the courses on offer locally for 14-19 year olds - including the new Diplomas - why not check out your local area prospectus?

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