Digital Careers at a Crossroads

Human resources are at the heart of the “human-centered museum.” The responsive, impactful, community-focused museums of the future will need staff that are agile, collaborative and digitally fluent and management that encourages a digital mindset. This forum including presenters Elissa Frankle, US Holocaust Memorial Museum; Max Evjen, MSU Museum; and Chad Weinard, Independent Museum Strategist will describe the current state of digital professions in the museum sector, explore what will be required in the future, and develop practical ways to get from here to there. Where we are: In the first section we’ll discuss the current situation, including challenges and opportunities. Digital roles in museums are ill-defined and non-standardized; digital staff don’t fit well within traditional org charts; advancement paths are nebulous; skills are broad but not deep. Where we need to be: Next we’ll introduce what we see for the future and discuss as a group. Museums will need digital skills throughout the organization. They’ll need staff that are creative, collaborate across departments, and interact fluidly with visitors/audiences/people in the community. Managers will know how to leverage technology strategically and be tasked with developing staff skills. What we can do now: Finally we’ll open the conversation to compile practical takeaways--next steps for digital practitioners to build careers in the museums of the future. The learning outcomes expected from this professional forum are: The roles of digital professionals in museums are bridge builders. Management in museums can make a positive difference in the operations of museums by articulating the need for digital professionals to the museum staff. Digital should be a part of job descriptions and hiring practices. Supporting these digital positions requires organizational change. Every position in a museum has some degree of power to influence change in the organization. Speakers Session Leader : Elissa Frankle, Digital Projects Coordinator, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Co-Presenter : Max Evjen, Exhibitions Technology Specialist, Michigan State University Museum Co-Presenter : Chad Weinard, Independent Technologist + Strategist, Independent MCN 2016 Presenting Sponsor: Piction New Orleans, LA