To be sure, the current economic recession has had far-reaching effects even beyond the financial sector. The negative repercussions of the downturn in our economy has unfortunately trickled down into academia as well. In the academic world, and in the little known field of heritage studies especially, the number of openings in PhD programs has diminished severely--with total applications only increasing--and the amount of money being "invested" in postgraduate research has all but dried up. (In the last two months alone, I have sat in on a lecture about how to write a CV for jobs in the cultural sector and attended an Institute of Archaeology event titled "Career in Ruins," about archaeology careers in academia, consultancy, government, museums, and in the field.)
Still, I am thrilled at recent signs pointing towards the versatility of a postgraduate education. My most recent find: the Master of Arts in Cultural Sustainability offered by Goucher College (Baltimore, MD, USA). The description of the MACS reads,
"We teach our students how to work closely with individuals and communities to identify, protect, and enhance their important traditions, their ways of life, their cherished spaces, and their vital relationships to each other and the world. In this era of increasing homogeneity and globalization, local history, traditions, and ways of life are among our most endangered resources and precious assets. By strengthening and building on the foundations of these resources (their emphasis)--whether artistic, linguistic, musical, economic, or environmental--we can begin to counter the powerful forces that endanger communities around the world."
[Here is the original NYTimes article in which I first heard of Goucher's Cultural Sustainability master's program. Here is a link to their blog, Cultural Sustainability.]