What does it cost to become a conservator?
You probably guessed it!... Or did you?
Some of you signed up for this newsletter a full year ago! And yet, this is the first time I actually have the time to sit down and send you a little something.
Why did it take me so long?
If I just sent you a bunch of resources from the internet that you already saw on Facebook, the AIC distribution list, or Twitter, it didn’t feel to me like you’d be getting that much value, really.
Boy have I been busy! I am actually changing countries very soon and am currently on the lookout for a new job in heritage, so you can imagine some things had to take precedence.
I needed to figure out what I can do to actually give you something you won’t be getting everywhere else. Guess what - it’s my award-winning writing and matchless charm on top of conservation stuff and my own articles.
Will I still send you useful resources and information on conservation events and tips on how to become a conservator? Yes! But it won’t be like all the other distribution lists. I promise. I want you to feel like you’d rather read about it here, seriously.
Let’s get on with it
I started today’s newsletter with the question:
How much does it cost to become a conservator?
Talk about click-bait, eh? But, honestly? I thought the answer would be, "I will have to sell my firstborn child first.” But it turns out it varies a TON and by, a TON, I literally mean from “I don’t know because they don’t say” to US$250,000.00. Yeah, that many zeroes. It will depend on things like:
What specialisation you want
What country you want to study it in and what language you speak
What nationality you are
How long the degree is
I didn’t even intend to write an article on how much it costs! Look! This is the thumbnail I made for it too. #Proof.
I wrote this because I wanted to make a single place where potential students can find as much information as they can about masters in conservation:
where are they?
what specialisations do they have?
do they all have internships?
how long do they take?
how many organs will I need to sell for it?
Check out the full Google Sheets table I ended up with.
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The hard numbers
I found 50 programs online. I actually knew about 2 more, but I couldn’t even find their websites, so I didn’t put them in.
20 out 50 programs had no tuition fee information whatsoever.
42 out of 50 programs said nothing about graduate employability.
6 of them said things like “a very high proportion” or “nearly all” or “the great majority.”
2 of them had actual % numbers.
Believe it or not, 3 out of 50 were actually unclear as to what the language of instruction is.
The most expensive MA for conservation in the UK (as a non-UK student) costs the equivalent of US$ 99,360.00 for a three-year program, and since it’s not like you can tell them you just want to do 1 or 2 out of 3 years, that’s just the cost of the degree. A UK student would still have to pay US$ 54,000 for it, so it’s not like it’s just for anyone and their aunt.
The most expensive MA for conservation overall was for architecture and based in the US, and it cost no less than a full quarter of a million dollars for a 2-year program.
There were 2 programs in the EU which are fully funded automatically if you are an EU/EEA student. How.cool.is.that???? The only other fully-funded programs are in the States and are insanely difficult to get in, so it’s great if you get it, but the stats are really stacked against you in terms of applicant-to-space ratio.
The cheapest programs were in Latin America. The loveliest surprise here was that the Universidad Nacional de Colombia program, which is getting a shoutout here, ties the tuition to the national minimum wage so that the number of credits you need to graduate is multiplied by a per-credit value which is set to the national minimum daily wage.
And on that happy note on how maybe the rest of us should be considering the cost of higher education, I will wish you a lovely week!
Also, you should know that you are the first lucky people to receive this article as I will not be publicising it to the rest of the world until Tuesday.
Enjoy being in the know before anyone else! And let me know in the comments if I got that chuckle from you, as I promised I would.
If someone shared this with you, do consider subscribing so you can get your own chuckles from my lame conservation jokes before everyone else.
Hi Angélica, thanks for sharing your research! Wow, it's totally intimidating how opaque conservation MA programs are. The job uncertainty in the field was something that turned me off to commiting to an MA