Assistant ProfessorHistoric Preservation Program, School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, University of Maryland, College Park
Governance ChairEnvironmental Design Research Association (EDRA)
Good work Jeremy, I know this has been a subject of interest to you for a while. I did a similar exercise in parsing out HP job listings some time ago and wrote this post on a now defunct blog that you may find interesting:
EDIT: Jeremy, I wanted to suggest a subset of work types for the Arch & Construction track; these include Historic Structure Reports, Building Preservation Plans, Historic Preservation Plans, Campus HP Plans, etc. As well, Historic Tax Credit consulting is a big part of the HP work done in A/E firms today, especially in states with robust programs. I'd also note the absence of the academic track - which I assume is the result of job postings for academic positions being more rare.------------------------------Charles LawrenceArchitectural Conservator / Preservation PlannerLord Aeck SargentAtlanta GA-----------------------------------------Chair, Board of DirectorsHistoric Atlanta, Inc.www.historicatlanta.org------------------------------
Judith Wellman, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator, Historical New York Research Associates
Professor Emerita, State University of New York at Oswego
2 Harris Hill Road, Fulton, New York 13069
Discovering extraordinary people and places in time.
"All men and women are created equal." Declaration of Sentiments, Seneca Falls, 1848
"Right is of no sex. Truth is of no color." Frederick Douglass. North Star, 1848
Jeremy (& Priya),
Thanks for creating this. It's a sobering read. I'm disappointed that so many jobs are focused on regulation – 70% (!). The remaining 30% is, to me, the part that can take preservation to a deeper connection to our landscape. Of course, these fields have limited funding because of the perceived lack of value to this work.
Governments often "get" the idea of regulations and rules and therefore jobs exist where the money is. NEPA, NHPA, 106, etc. We live in an alphabet soup of a career. This attitude reduces innovative thinking about how preservation can best approach solving major issues facing our built landscapes and instead reduces it to simple formulas for protecting the basics. We get stuck in silos instead of having a broad take. Our training programs and degrees teach to help those that are seeking the 70% of positions. That isn't the fault of individual programs (they are fighting for the survival of the program generally), but is an issue that we in the field must take on. Students want to come out and have a good job – so we teach them for the jobs that exist, rather than the jobs we need. Funders fund projects that work, not projects that need tested and tried.
Interns who come here are asked "what can we do with this internship to make you feel like you have accomplished something?" They often go to research. They want to research and dig deep. My answer: "We all want to research, but there isn't money for it. So what else is there?" Most struggle to figure it out. "I like old buildings" or "I'm really into history" are common answers.
Of course, this report also misses some trends because (as they say on the second page), not all jobs are classified as historic preservation. Partnership development, fundraising, etc. are all part of the job of historic preservation. It just isn't as clean cut. I would love to see more preservation training programs team up with businesses schools to offer dual degrees in nonprofit management or public administration and historic preservation.
Good questions that were asked. I would say that the problem with downtown revitalization and preservation advocacy isn't that students aren't applying for them – rather that they cannot pay what its necessary. These fields do not get the type of funding they need to do the jobs they do – and can't pay professionals what they should be paid to do a highly complex job that has a tangible outcome.
I can't answer your second question easily, but on the third, you may have answered your own questions. Our institutions that were built for preservation are large, unwieldy, and hard to change. There are loads of the pioneers still in charge. They may be 70+ but they are still leading the charge. They believe so deeply in the cause that they are loathe to give up the mantle. These are interesting, supportive leaders – but new directions are hard to adapt to.
I once read that universities should not offer degrees in one topic like history or engineering – but instead should offer degrees in "water." You would learn a cross cutting method of attacking a major issue from the history, to the engineering, to the politics, etc. Preservation is one of the few places where we can do that. And no one at the higher levels gets it. So I wouldn't put it at the feet of the departments – but put it to those higher up.
The rising trend of public history is, I believe, a response to this increasing focus on regulation and the lack of jobs in "traditional history." Perhaps combining this information with what we are seeing in public history might give a better sense of where jobs are for a wider range of students.
Aaron Marcavitch, Executive Director
Maryland Milestones/ATHA Inc.
MAILING: P.O. Box 367, Hyattsville, MD 20781
PHYSICAL: 4318 Gallatin Street, Hyattsville, MD 20781
**Support Maryland Milestones with a contribution at GoFundMe**
2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20037
The Preservation Leadership Forum of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is a network of preservation leaders — professionals, students, volunteers, activists, experts — who share the latest ideas, information, and advice, and have access to in-depth preservation resources and training.
COLLABORATING PARTNERS National Trust Insurance Services National Trust Community Investment Corporation National Main Street Center
© 2017 National Trust for Historic Preservation. All Rights Reserved.The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The National Trust's federal tax identification number is 53-0210807.