Career Environments -- the Wide World of Possibilities for Your Master's Degree

Published: Tuesday, February 07, 2017 by Allison Randall Gatt

Have you been daydreaming of that perfect job, even while you’re trying to get into the groove of the SJSU iSchool’s new semester? I’m not that far from graduation, so I’ve not only been daydreaming, but polishing up resumes, posting applications and practicing for interviews. If you’re not quite sure where you’re going with this MLIS or MARA degree, or even if you’re in one of the SJSU School of Information’s certificate programs then pack your virtual bags and take a tour around the iSchool’s website.

What Do You Want to Do and Where Will You Do it?
The career pathways web pages will give you an idea of the many career possibilities that are available in the information profession. Each pathway outlines recommended courses, applicable job titles and links to resources and content specialty advisors. Each career pathway is also examined in detail on this blog.

If the SJSU School of Information’s career pathways help you decide what you want to do within the field of library and information science, the career environment pages help you decide where you might want to do it. The iSchool career environment web pages provide details about certain career fields including job titles, salary information, sample job postings and interviewing tips. These resources are so valuable when preparing for that job you’ve been daydreaming about. Make sure that you take the time to research the details of your chosen career field, the job possibilities and requirements and how to put your best foot forward in your resume and during the interview process.

Once you have an idea what course work is needed for your dream job and identify relative work environments, gain real insight from the experiences of iSchool students, faculty and alumni who work in different career environments by reading some of the community profiles.

SJSU iSchool Students, Faculty and Alumni at Work in the Real World
If you’re interested in an inspiring story in the world of academic libraries, be sure to read about current SJSU iSchool student Essraa Nawar. Not only is she a student and a librarian at Chapman College, but she is also the recipient of a fellowship from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) to attend the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Ohio this summer.

An MLIS or MARA degree can also give you the opportunity to work in archives, special libraries and museums. Check out these alumni and what they are doing: 

  • Beth Atlas and Heather Kiger both worked as interns through the iSchool’s internship program and eventually landed permanent positions with the organizations they interned for—Atlas as a senior coordinator at the San Francisco 49er’s Museum and Kiger at Yosemite National Park.
  • Sarah Smith took her love for film and her MLIS and went on to gain a prestigious certificate and exclusive internship in Hawaii to preserve and archive films there.
  • Lara Croft is a current MLIS student and library director seeking to connect her community with all that the public library has to offer. She enjoys working with the public and is motivated to advocate for better funding for her small New Hampshire library and others throughout the larger community.
  • Scott Brown has traveled from public library to academic library and then on to working in a corporate library setting. Now he teaches a variety of tech courses through the iSchool.
  • Patty Mapes started her career as an elementary school teacher but soon transitioned to working in a private school library. She decided to update her skills and knowledge by enrolling in the iSchool’s Post-Master's Certificate in Library and Information Science.

Need More Inspiration?
If you want to get an even more specific idea of what a certain career environment is like, or the kind of work you might do under a specific job title, then take a look at the alumni career spotlights web pages. Some of these alumni are willing to be contacted for an informational interview, but be sure you do your research, prepare thoughtful questions and are respectful of the person’s time.  

Your Checklist for Identifying your Ideal LIS Career: 

  1. Check out the career pathways web pages
  2. Check out the career environments web pages
  3. Identify job opportunities and requirements relative to your desired career pathway
  4. Identify course work to attain the necessary requirements
  5. Check out the community profiles and alumni career spotlights web pages
  6. Set up an informational interview

Make your daydreams your reality by doing your research and talking to iSchool faculty and alumni. Then look forward to enjoying your professional future!

Related content:

Get the Details on Your Dream Job Through the iSchool's Alumni Career Spotlights

Question Everyone to Find Your Path

Shaping Your Skillset to Fit the Career of Your Dreams

image courtesy of digitalart

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