The iSchool’s MARA Program–The Best Way to Prepare for a Career in the Growing Field of Information Governance

iStudent Blog

Published: August 10, 2016

If you enjoy learning about data governance, government regulations, records management and archival strategies, then the iSchool’s MARA program is a perfect fit for you.

Current MARA students are interested in the lifecycle management of information and eager to learn about policies and procedures that relate to cyber security, information assurance and issues related to government regulations and litigation support. Many are looking to increase their skills and be more competitive in the field by getting an advanced degree which will prepare them for professional certifications in archives and records management. Many students become interested in pursuing a MARA degree because they are interested in policy development and enjoy the challenges that come with the management of records and information from creation through disposition, including long-term digital preservation. Does that sound like you? Then please read on, my friend.

Professional Outlook for MARA Graduates
The just-released Archives and Records Management Job Analysis lists job postings in three major categories: Archives, Records Management and Information Management and Governance. The report lists the vast majority of unique job postings in the Archives category, using search terms including archivist, archive technician, digital asset coordinator and project archivist. This makes the SJSU School of Information’s MARA program a good choice for the growing fields of archives, records management and information governance. The jobs analysis lists the certifications, technical skills and software knowledge necessary to qualify for many of these jobs. For a more detailed look at the job analysis, go to this iSchool webpage and download it.

The field of information governance is expanding and the need for skilled professionals is increasing. “Recordkeeping legal and regulatory requirements are growing. Industry regulators, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as one example, set records management legal and regulatory requirements that organizations must comply with,” says MARA instructor Dr. Lisa Daulby.

The good news is that new regulations create a high-demand for professionals familiar with these important rules, especially within the oil and gas, financial and healthcare service sectors. “The iSchool’s MARA degree provides information management professionals with an excellent combination of theoretical knowledge and industry best practice practical experience,” says Daulby.

MARA graduates are in high demand in a wide variety of environments to fill positions such as digital assets manager, records analyst, technical information specialist and knowledge manager. To be a knowledge manager—how cool is that? It sounds so wise and all-knowing.

Why Choose the iSchool MARA degree?
The iSchool’s MARA degree at San José State University has garnered attention for its unique approach to combining theory and practice in both archives and records and information management. It has been recognized by KMWorld, a leading publisher of resources and information for the information governance professional, as one of several universities offering programs promoting Knowledge Management. The curriculum requires 42 units of credit, comprised of 11 required courses and three electives. Students are required to complete either an internship course or conduct a consulting project. Graduates, who meet the experience requirements, are also well prepared to take the Certified Records Manager (CRM) exam.

Students in the program are kept abreast of emerging technologies and topics—including Information Governance and Information Assurance—by completing two offerings of MARA 284-Seminar in Archives and Records Management. A recently added course, MARA 283-Enterprise Content Management and Digital Preservation, provides students with hands-on experience completing projects in Office 365/SharePoint Online and the Cloud Edition of Preservica (a digital preservation solution based on the OAIS reference model).

“Information professionals are responsible for capturing and managing records and information from creation through final disposition,” says iSchool professor and MARA program coordinator Dr. Pat Franks. “This includes destruction or long-term preservation, and these professionals must be comfortable with the variety of technology and records formats in use today.”

MARA students are also allowed to choose three elective courses from a long list of the iSchool’s MLIS courses. These courses allow MARA students to gain knowledge and skills in records and information related topics, including Digital Curation, Project Management, Web Usability, and Information Privacy. 

The MARA Community: Resources Beyond the Classroom
Students of the MARA program, gain access to a variety of resources that they can use to find out more about the rapidly growing field of information governance. They also become directly involved with the iSchool community, by following the MARA blog and joining the iSchool’s MARA Facebook Group, and students are encouraged to become active members of student groups like the SAA and ASIS&T. First year MARA students have their choice of a free one-year membership to either one of these professional organizations.

If the iSchool MARA program sounds like the right fit for you, check out the SJSU School of Information MARA brochure and feel free to contact Dr. Pat Franks with any specific unanswered questions. 

For related content, be sure to read these articles:
Teamwork and a Passion for Archiving Make the SAASC a Success at the SJSU iSchool

The Latest in Technology for iSchool Students in the MARA Program


Image courtesy of renjith krishnan


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