Expand Your Knowledge, Your Skills and Your Horizons: Post-Master’s Certificate

iStudent Blog

Published: July 20, 2016

If you’ve already completed a master’s program (my admiration to you) and you’d like to broaden your skillset or update your knowledge of current technology, then the iSchool’s Post-Master’s Certificate is a great way to take your library and information skills to the next level. With new students joining the program in both the fall and spring semesters, 42 information professionals have completed the certificate since 2012.

San José State University’s School of Information offers an exclusively online program of 16 units across seven career pathways to choose from in order to fit the student’s educational and professional needs. This wide variety of specializations can update and enhance a number of careers. The seven pathways offered in the iSchool’s Post Master’s Certificate are:

  • Digital Archives and Records Management
  • Digital Curation
  • Digital Services and Emerging Technologies
  • Information Intermediation and Instruction
  • Leadership and Management
  • Web Programming and Information Architecture
  • Youth Services

Lou Kramer, recent alumna of the Post-Master’s Certificate, had been working as a moving image archivist for the last 20 years at the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives. “As the archives manager,” says Kramer, “I felt it was important for me to be more formally educated in preservation management to help me understand the special needs of these non-moving image materials and, as a result, better articulate to our staff the preservation steps that needed to be undertaken.” So she enrolled in the iSchool’s Post-Master’s Certificate program, following the Digital Archives and Records Management pathway and taking one class at a time while continuing her job at the archives.

Post-Master’s students are enrolled in graduate-level courses right along with MLIS and MARA students, and can share their experiences with others. Kramer enjoyed sharing her archive experience on class discussion boards, communicating with students who were just starting out in their library or archives careers. “You can’t be shy on those discussion board posts!” she reminds students. “I would definitely encourage students who have real-world work experience to really share as much as they can with their classmates.”

The class that Kramer found to be most relevant to real-world work experience was Digital Curation with iSchool instructor Dr. Megan Winget “The final assignment in this class was a group project in which we had to create a digital curation plan for a collection of items,” says Kramer. “This was my favorite assignment because of the real world situation and the functional curation plan our group put together. Most importantly, I could draw from everything I had learned in the previous classes I had taken: Archives & Manuscripts, Preservation Management, Photographic Preservation, and Metadata.”

As part of the Post-Master’s Certificate coursework, the School of Information requires a learning outcomes assessment, similar to the eportfolio for the iSchool’s Master’s of Archives and Records Administration and Master’s of Library and Information Science degrees. Post-Master’s Certificate students can complete the assessment requirement using a variety of media including WordPress, YouTube, and PowerPoint slides.

Recent MLIS graduates should note that the Post-Master’s Certificate program with the iSchool is geared for people who received their master’s degree a while ago and are looking to update their skillset or add to the knowledge they have in their field. Recent MLIS or MARA graduates should look into obtaining practical experience through working or volunteering in a library, information center, archives, or records position. Also note that you can’t apply units from the Post-Master’s Certificate toward a MLIS or MARA degree later.

Prospective students interested in the SJSU School of Information’s Post-Master’s Certificate should check out the program’s FAQ page or contact Dr. Linda Main or Sheila Gurtu if they have any unanswered questions. 

For related content about the iSchool’s programs, check out:

Master Your Skills with the Advanced Certificate in Strategic Management of Digital Assets and Services

Exploring iSchool Career Pathways– Teacher Librarianship

image courtesy of Stuart Miles

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