Professions and Skills for Cultural Heritage

    Professions and Skills for Cultural Heritage

    Not only protection and conservation: Our Heritage needs digital, marketing and communication skills 

    The world of culture is looking for new professionalism and innovative and transversal skills: this is the appeal launched by the Fondazione Scuola Beni e Attività Culturali which, during 2020, carried out a survey on the theme, as topical as ever, of the profiles, skills and training required for the management of cultural heritage in Italy.

    In fact, the research findings relate to the professional needs that our cultural heritage requires in this particular historical context.

    The survey considered 916 cultural sites, including museums, archaeological sites, archives and libraries, 51% of which are managed by local authorities, 20% by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and 29% by public and private organizations.

    Protection and Conservation of heritage remain the main priorities of Culture Professionals, however, in synergy with these objectives, the need to enhance the value of the assets and the need to create a system that includes the public and private sectors in the sharing, financing and promotion of heritage is growing strongly.

    As far as the acquisition of new skills is concerned, the survey seems to reward Specialization for professions dedicated to the Protection and Conservation of the asset, while Transversality for those related to Marketing, Communication and Economic Planning. 

    Another need is the rethinking of educational systems (first and foremost the University) in the sense of multidisciplinary training offerings so as to integrate the historical-artistic background with hybrid tools and methodologies capable of responding to the needs of sustainability, effectiveness and internationalization. 

    The analysis of the reference literature, starting above all from the most recent European documents, has allowed the creation of a mapping of 23 professional profiles, 120 roles/functions and more than 150 activities.

    Among these, for the revitalization of the cultural sector, there is a need for Educational Services Managers, Communication, Marketing and Fundraising experts, not to mention Registrars

    In Italy, there are two strategic figures on which investment should be concentrated:

    • The Online Cultural Community Manager (OCCM), responsible for the museum’s communications strategy and relationship management with online audiences;
    • The Digital Strategy Manager (DSM), who is responsible for the museum’s digital strategy and a figure who can foster technological innovation to move museums into a new era.

    In addition to these, additional professions emerge that require the possession of digital skills such as Digital PR or Social Media Manager, as well as those professions dedicated to the challenges of social inclusion and participation, such as Cultural Mediator.

    At the same time, in order to address the issue of economic sustainability for cultural heritage, the new profiles of Cultural Fundraiser, Cultural Manager, Cultural Planner have appeared.

    And you, are you ready to discover the new professions for Culture in Italy?

    Photo Credits:  Fondazione Scuola Beni e Attività Culturali

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