Now that I am officially graduated, people keep asking me , “so now what?” I really had to ponder that because completing my degree was more of a personal goal than a professional one. Although a masters degree may have positive professional implications, I’ve been too caught up in celebrating the fact that I made it out alive and relatively sane to think about what comes next.
It was challenging selecting a masters program. I knew I wanted to study and research museums, but I really wasn’t interested in becoming a curator or an art historian. I didn’t want to relocate, so I had to narrow it down even further to programs offered locally or online.
Despite having a close relationship with The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art since its inception, University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) does not offer a formal museum studies program. There is a program at University of Kansas, but it seemed heavy on curation and conservation (kudos for offering an introduction to museum education course, though) and none of the classes were offered in the evening. I briefly considered the online program at University of Oklahoma, but I missed their application deadline and wanted to start my program right away. Unfortunately, I was a year into my studies when Johns Hopkins’ program went live. At that point none of my credits would have transferred and it would have been a colossal waste of money. Call me crazy, but I may still go for that one! As I made my decision, Nina Simon’s Museum 2.0 post on the value (or lack thereof) of museum grad programs was definitely on my mind.
My degree is a Master of Arts Liberal Studies with a concentration in Museum Education and New Media from UMKC. The program was a great fit as it was developed for working students and you were able to select your own area of study. Being cursed blessed with a multidisciplinary brain, it definitely suited my style of learning. I also chose this program because of the campus’ proximity to work and the fact that I could receive tuition assistance for some of my courses (a benefit of the aforementioned close relationship.)
So What’s Next?
- Continue researching the roles of African-American museum employees.
- Considering an arts management certificate.
- Investigating the possibility of an interdisciplinary PhD. The Roommate is pursuing a PhD in Information Science and seems to think “Dr. and Dr. Russell” has a nice ring to it.
- Completing my fundraising certificate in the fall.
- Getting decent sleep.
- Reading for fun.