The SJSU iSchool Offers a Wealth of Options for Advanced Education and Expanding Careers

iStudent Blog

Published: July 14, 2017

So you want to be an information professional! Now that you’ve found the iSchool at San José State University, let us help you find the right program for you. The School of Information offers a variety of certificates, two master’s degrees, open classes, and a PhD program in collaboration with the Queensland University of Technology. That’s quite a menu to choose from for the inspiring information professional!

Master’s Programs
The most popular program at the SJSU iSchool is its ALA accredited Master’s of Library and Information Science (MLIS). The SJSU MLIS program offers a firm foundation in the library and information science fields, with courses that address the needs of today’s information users and best strategies for serving those needs, and courses that focus on emerging library and technology trends. Graduates of the MLIS program go on to careers in public libraries, corporate data libraries, museums, academic libraries, medical libraries and many other environments – the opportunities are really endless.

Having just graduated from the MLIS program, I can attest to its strengths. I learned early childhood literacy components that I was able to put into practice with my own children, adopted research strategies that made a Google search more fruitful and actually relevant to my needs, and read through research literature and political donation histories that gave me a whole new appreciation for the work that goes on behind local ballot measures. SJSU iSchool alumni go on to do all kinds of amazing things, and their achievements are showcased all over the website and beyond.

The Master’s of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) program offers comprehensive coursework that prepares students for exciting careers as archivists, records managers and digital assets managers. The curriculum is developed from the competencies of professional organizations, and upon graduation, students are ready to take the  Certified Records Manager and Certified Archivist examinations.

In an interview on the iSchool’s Career Blog, MARA program director Professor Dr. Pat Franks answers questions about the field of archives and records administration. She talks about the real-world skills that are taught in the MARA courses and the variety of careers that are available to graduates of the program. If archival work interests you, this post is worth reading!

Teacher Librarianship and PhD Program
If teacher librarianship is the way you’d like to direct your career, then you can focus your studies within the MLIS degree to include a California teaching credential. At the end of this program, you can become certified and have the skillset to work in the public schools. Teacher librarians are essential to any school’s curriculum and the SJSU iSchool ensures that students have current, relevant and real-world knowledge and know-how to be effective educators. Alumnae Allison Rothman, for example, used her course work knowledge and applied it to her current position as a middle-school teacher to create an original research project with the help and mentorship of Teacher Librarian Program Director Dr. Mary Ann Harlan.

SJSU iSchool instructor Dr. Cheryl Stenstrom gave a presentation at a public libraries conference in 2012 about why she chose the San José Gateway PhD program. As a public library director, she was looking for a way to find thorough answers to research questions about public library management. Like the masters programs available at SJSU, much of the PhD program is online. This meant that Stenstrom would not have to move to a snowy climate or change her lifestyle dramatically in order to be a part of the program.

Certificates: post-masters, digital assets management
The SJSU School of Information offers several shorter certificate programs offering focused concentrations within the MLIS. The iSchool’s Post-Masters Certificate program is a way for professionals, and those that already hold a master’s degree, to update their skillset or transition to another career field by gaining new and emerging skills and competencies. Current student can also complete a certificate in conjunction with their degree. The iSchool offers post-master’s certificates in seven different career pathways, or areas of study.

A recent addition to the programs at the iSchool is the Advanced Certificate in Data Assets and Services. There are three pathways to choose from and current iSchool students can incorporate the courses from their chosen pathway into their MLIS curriculum. Archaeologist and iSchool graduate Kaely Colligan earned her Advanced Certificate in Data Assets and Services to help manage and archive the data collected during archaeology digs.

Open Classes
Open classes at the iSchool are for just about anybody and everybody. Want to try out a course in the MLIS program before you apply? Take a look at the upcoming available classes. Available classes for the upcoming Fall 2017 semester include courses in various disciplines, including youth services, emerging trends and web design and programming. Perhaps you’d like to update your professional knowledge and open up the career opportunities in your field. Then the Open Classes can provide you with the current information about rapidly growing fields of cybersecurity, data mining, change management, and big data analytics and management.

Graduates of the SJSU iSchool program frequently confess that they wish they had taken a few more courses during their graduate studies. Alumni are all welcome to add a bit more to their advanced education by taking Open Classes. While graduates may want to add a bit more to their graduate studies, future students are welcome to get a head start on their credits by enrolling in an elective before they officially start their semester. Work done in the Open Classes program can also be applied toward a degree.

Whatever your educational or professional goals may be within the field of library and information science, the iSchool has the coursework and programs needed for achieving those goals. Take time and browse the website, visit the Community Profiles, Life After the MLIS, and Life After the MARA pages and learn more about how alumni are applying the skills and competencies attained at the iSchool. Then choose your desired program or course, and get started on a new and exciting career in the field of library and information science.

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Links to Your Best Resources as You Start the SJSU iSchool

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