Open Classes Can Open Doors

Career Blog

Published: December 1, 2017 by Kate M. Spaulding

If you’re someone who’s considering pursuing an MLIS or MARA degree, the Open Classes program is a great way to test the waters (and start earning credits!).

Today is the day the Open Classes sign-up form for the iSchool’s Spring 2018 semester becomes available. The exclusively online Open Classes program is open to everyone with a bachelor’s degree or higher, and it’s a fantastic opportunity for two distinct groups of people.

The Info Pro
Taking open classes at SJSU’s School of Information is an excellent way for experienced LIS professionals to brush up on existing skills or develop some new ones, stay up-to-date on current issues and best practices, or learn something new in order to help advance your career. Enrolling in a course just because it sounds interesting is a totally legitimate reason, too!

iSchool classes are a great way to make yourself learn a technology like Python, for example. Or maybe you want to learn about new ways libraries are providing reference services or brush up on grant writing – there are open classes for those! Looking to make a career change and move into a law library? Consider INFO 220: Legal Resources. There are leadership and management classes, and there’s even an opportunity to sign up for Beginning Spanish.

Beyond professional development, taking an open class demonstrates to current and future bosses that you’re a dedicated employee who actively seeks to learn and grow. Depending on how interactive the course is, you could also expand and strengthen your network (which you may have heard – once or twice – is a smart thing to do).

The Newbie
On the other hand, if you’re someone who’s considering pursuing an MLIS or MARA, the Open Classes program is a great way to test the waters (and start earning credits!). You’ll be able to get a feel for going to school in an online environment as well as figure out how you might juggle the work-life-school balance that is #gradschoolproblems. It’s a great opportunity to meet some other students, connect with them on social media, and find out from them how they like the iSchool program. Going to school exclusively online is definitely different than in-person, but I’ve found it to be an excellent fit for my life. Maybe you will too!