With the huge increase in technology in the last decade, earning a library science degree provides you with many exciting career paths. A master’s degree in library science, or Online MLIS, can give you the communications and research tools that you need to not just work in a library, but as a research analyst or a data miner for a large corporation.
Some of the key benefits of a library science degree in the 21st century include the following:
#1 Multiple New Specializations Available
As the world and technology change, it has been necessary for library science programs to change as well. Many top ranking library science programs now offer many types of specializations, some of which are strongly focused on the evolution of technology in the 21st century.
For example, the University of Pittsburgh offers the following specializations: Archives and Information Science; Academic Libraries; Health; Reference; Youth; and Digital Libraries.
The Digital Libraries specialization is a common addition in many library science programs around the country. This specialization provides you the knowledge and skills that you need to have a rewarding career in digital libraries, with a focus on information technology, information organization and end user needs.
Digital libraries are growing rapidly around the US and there are many job opportunities in this area. This specialization will prepare you to become an information specialist who can design, develop and manage digital libraries. You also will be able to work as a digital content manager, a digital curator and information architect.
#2 More MLIS Degree Programs Online
There has been a major shift in recent years towards online education, and the library science field is no exception. There are now many master’s in library science degree programs that you can complete fully online. For example, the MLIS degree at Drexel University can be finished in two years online, and it is currently ranked by US News and World Report as one of the best graduate schools in the US. At Drexel, you can specialize in many areas, including Information Systems, Digital Librarianship and Health Librarianship.
#3 Evolving Program Emphasis
As the Internet and other forms of technology have grown, we have seen the focus of library science programs shift. More library science programs have started to focus more on the information gathering and analysis aspect of such a degree. These days, a master’s degree in library science can provide you with a skill set that will not limit you to merely working in a library. Having the ability to manage and navigate information can make you well qualified for many positions, including research, documentation specialist or even creative project manager.
#4 Growing Demand in Other Information-Related Fields
While it is true that the demand for librarians is not as strong as other fields, there are many other positions for which you can be very well suited with this degree. Someone with strong research and analytical skills can find strong employment possibilities in other fields, including market research and computer system management.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the demand for computer and information systems managers is going to grow by 18% by 2020, which is faster than average when compared to other positions. Growth in this field is being fueled by organizations that are improving their information technology, and they need strong managers of data and information to lead these projects.