Where Your Degree Can Take You: Explore Career Pathways of SLIS Alumni

Published: Thursday, April 10, 2014 by Kari Van Baalen

When I started the MLIS program I had already been working at a public library for over a year and I loved my job. By the end of my first semester I was positive I wanted to focus on public libraries and youth librarianship.

Maybe you came to SLIS, like me, after working at a job in a library or information center, hoping to advance a career you really enjoy. Or perhaps you are beginning your degree not really knowing what direction you want to take but very interested in what the information profession has to offer.

No matter how you got here, I recommend that you take a look around before you commit to any one career direction. I wish I would have taken this advice, if only for the chance to familiarize myself with all of the possibilities.

One of the best ways to learn about emerging job trends in the information profession is to peruse the Community Profiles that are published regularly on the SLIS website. I especially enjoy reading about the new and different things students and alumni do in the information field. Your degree can take you more places than you might imagine. Here are a few SLIS students and alumni working in new and different places.

Digital Asset Management

Current SLIS student Ian Matzen recently took a job in digital asset management (DAM), working for a luxury online retailer in London as a digital asset junior technician. Matzen maintains the company’s many digital assets like photos and videos as well as its digital asset management system. SLIS student Lauren Reid also works in DAM for a high tech company, an interest she found after taking LIBR 282 Digital Asset Management with John Horodyski.

STEM Libraries

Recent alum Marina Duff has been a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) librarian since 2009, working at a STEM-focused academy in Los Angeles. Duff’s background in education helped her make the leap from teaching to librarianship. STEM is quickly becoming an emerging focus within the education field, demanding its own curriculum, staff, and schools.

Distance Education Librarian

Alum Erin Mischak works as a distance education librarian for the University of Wisconsin where she spends the majority of her time providing reference services via Skype and Second Life, as well as creating webinars and tutorials all for distance students. As distance education becomes more and more popular institutions must provide virtual resources and assistance specifically for online students.

Taxonomy

Joni Savage works for Allrecipes.com as a taxonomy manager where she works on search engine optimization and manages the information architecture of the company’s 17 international websites. Savage believes there is a growing need for information professionals in consumer-facing Internet companies that can use the skills and knowledge of MLIS graduates.

These are just five SLIS students and alumni working in the information field, working in jobs that I found intriguing. But if you check out the Community Profiles you will undoubtedly find others whose jobs and internships sound exciting or that you didn’t know existed. You might also like to check out the Alumni Career Spotlights page for further ideas and inspiration. So before you decide which career path might be right for you, take the time to explore all of your options.

Additional pages to peruse:

Career Pathways at SLIS

Emerging Career Trends report

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