The career outlook with a degree in library science is getting better every day. College graduates with a library science degree now have more degree options and career directions available to them. Read below to find out more about the career outlook in library science.
How Library Science Degrees are Changing
Many library science degrees have shifted their program focuses to the widely applicable skills of information analysis, organization and storage. Gone are the days when library science degrees primarily focused on traditional academic libraries of books and outdated electronic catalogs. Today’s graduates will have the ability to navigate resources, manage documentation and research information through the power of technology and the Internet. Most degree programs offer many types of online specializations, such as cataloging, digital preservation and information technology and science. These online degree programs usually offer flexible schedules, customizable majors and quality learning outcomes.
What Classes are Offered in this Major?
A Master of Science in Library may offer the following classes: database concepts, information behavior, research methods, digital management and library administration. There will be classes in resource and information selection, evaluation, design, organization, services and management. A class in library development will teach students how to create academic information centers through setting a mission, using studies, developing policies, engaging in community analysis and establishing material criteria and employee responsibilities. A health sciences information elective will prepare students to work in public and academic health care environments that come with strict policy issues, professional standards and certification requirements.
Traditional Career Options
A library sciences major may enjoy a plethora of employment specializations in universities, community colleges and specialized academic programs. A traditional academic librarianship job could involve archiving, referencing, acquisitions, indexing, cataloging, manuscripts and bibliographic support. An IT position could involve metadata, media services, technical services, system automation, web maintenance and digital management. A library sciences degree holder who earns an educational endorsement or teaching certification will be able to work one-on-one with students in public and private K-12 school settings. There are also career options available in public libraries for bilingual graduates.
Alternative Academic Career Options
Some librarians want to work in academia, but not in a traditional setting. Hospitals, research labs, law schools, medical colleges, scientific firms, government agencies and some large corporations maintain private special libraries and information centers. Graduates could find a library job at a prison, art gallery, historical society, publishing firm, advertising agency, news organizations or film and television network. Job duties could involve referral services, special collections, serials administration, genealogical research and archives management. Those who work with special collections in highly technical fields, such as criminal justice and health care, may need additional education or certification.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth for librarians and librarian technicians are both nine percent, which is as fast as average. The career outlook with a degree in library science will be enhanced if the student earns a master’s degree from a program that is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). The ALA offers a directory of accredited library science degree programs on their website.