What are the Top MLS Degree Programs?
Earning a Master of Library Science (MLS) degree will give you a complete foundation in research and practice in the fields of library and information science. With this master’s degree you will learn a set of highly valuable skills that does not merely limit you to working in a library.
Recent data shows that having the skills to navigate and manage information will help you to qualify for many information-intensive careers, including researcher, information resources specialist, meta data analyst, creative project manager and documentation specialist. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of archivists and librarians is expected to grow at 14% by 2020, which is about as fast as average when compared to other occupations. The median pay in the field for librarians is $55,200 as of 2010. The top 10%, which usually includes those with master’s degrees, was $80,600.
Featured Online School Offerings
Some of the online MLIS degree programs we recommend include:
- University of Southern California – (100% Online & Highly Recommended!) – LibraryScienceList.com Featured Partner – This program offers a Master of Management in Library and Information Science that is designed to give you the leadership skills that you need to manage information centers and libraries in universities, government institutions, digital environments and private businesses. This online program features a strong focus on leadership, management and information sciences both on paper and on the Web and other digital sources.
- San Jose State University – With your Master of Library and Information Science master’s, you will be prepared for many exciting information-related careers. No matter if you are striving to be a digital asset manager, a virtual services librarian or even a web developer, this program will teach you the skills online that you need to meet your career goals.
- Drexel University – The Master of Library and Information Science at this university is known as one of the best in the field of digital information management. US News and World Report recently ranked Drexel’s degree in the field as one of the best. You can select to specialize in the following areas: Archival Studies, Competitive Intelligence and Knowledge Management, Digital Libraries, Library and Information Services, School Library Media and Youth Services.
- University of North Carolina – This Master of Library Science will provide you with a superior grasp of the foundations of librarianship and information services. You also will learn a great deal of applied knowledge in information systems and research methods. You can choose either a school media librarian track, or academic/special/public librarian. Required coursework in this online degree program include Foundations of Librarianship, Selection and Use of Information Sources, Organization of Information and Management and Systems.
- Texas Woman’s University – This Master of Library Science degree is 100% online and will provide you with the with the skills and background to work in many environments, including academic, school and public libraries, as well as corporate and other types of special libraries. Some of the core classes that you will take include Foundations of Library and Information Studies; Information Organization and Retrieval; Information and Communication Technology; Collection Development; Information Sources and Services; Library Management and Practicum.
- University of Buffalo – If you are naturally curious and enjoy working with all types of information, and sharing it with others, you should consider the Master of Library Science with a Reference Concentration. With this master’s degree, you will have special knowledge and training in many kinds of reference services. You will have the skills that you need to help all users with their reference needs, and to help them evaluate information from electronic sources.
- Wayne State University – This Master of Library and Information Science prepares you for many types of leadership roles in libraries and many other information organizations. You will be educated in the core areas of librarianship, such as information access, organization, management and services. You also will learn critical information about electronic media, including digital collections, competitive intelligence, information architecture and website development.
- University of Pittsburgh – The Master of Library and Information Science degree is fully accredited by the American Library Association, which will assure you that you have the maximum amount of career flexibility and mobility. This master’s program also is ranked in the top 10 programs in library science by US News and World Report. This online program may be completed in two years. You can specialize in Archives, Preservation and Records Management, Digital Libraries, Information Technology, and Resources and Services.
- Kent State University – The Master of Library and and Information Science is accredited by the American Library Association. Kent State is well known for scholarship in library and information science, and is one of the top such programs in the US, according to US News and World Report. Required classes are Tools for MLIS Success, Access to Information, Organization of Information, IT for Library Professionals, and Foundations of Library and Information Science.
While the job opportunities for librarians is limited in some ways, always remember that your library science education will qualify you for work in many fields.
YouTube Special Feature
Meet Dr. Sandra Hirsh, professor and director at the San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science (SJSU SLIS), and learn more about the nationally ranked information school and the fully online Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) graduate degree program.
People who have a library science master’s degree are able to use their skills to develop entirely new businesses. For example, the Professor of Practice Jill Hurst-Wahl of the Information School at Syracuse University earned a master’s in the field and created a consulting firm for digitization initiatives.
Over the coming decade, there also appears to be other non-library related jobs that will develop. Some graduates may be able to find work as information brokers for private companies, nonprofits and consulting firms, and other related positions.