MLIS Student Experience


Student Experience — MLIS

As you consider earning your MLIS degree, we thought you’d like to know more about our students’ experiences. Here are some statistics pulled from a recent exit survey of graduates who completed the MLIS program in May 2018. Note percentages are rounded and may not always equal 100. (n=139 responses)

  • 97% said they would recommend the MLIS program. “I had a positive experience with professors and other students. Most assignments helped me grow as a learner and allowed me to develop better LIS skills,” explained a recent graduate. Another commented, “The entire program is wonderfully executed! The professors and staff are incredibly supportive and helpful. The MLIS program is extremely valuable and worthwhile!”
  • 89% rated their overall educational experience at our school as either very good (66%) or good (23%). A survey respondent shared, “I loved that the program had opportunities in new technology and modern approaches to librarianship. I also thought the professors were knowledgeable, prepared, and responsive.” Another wrote, “The San José State University MLIS program offers a quality library science education at an affordable price.”
  • According to survey respondents, the top five strengths of the MLIS program are our flexibility, curriculum, online learning environment, cost, and faculty. A graduate shared, “SJSU has the most afforable and versatile program that allows students to explore different career pathways in the library and information science professions.” Another survey respondent summed it up with this comment: “Outstanding faculty, incredible courses, cutting-edge information, great preparation to enter the field and actually find a job. Individualized attention, excellent classmates, superb opportunities to intern at world-class institutions.”
  • Our MLIS students can customize their studies to their interests and career goals by taking classes from a variety of specialization areas. Of the 13 exciting career pathways students can explore when choosing electives, 15% selected public librarianship, 9% chose academic librarianship, and 9% chose archives and preservation.
  • 73% completed the MLIS program in three or fewer years. Did you know that you can complete the MLIS program at your own pace, choosing the number of courses you want to take each semester? You have up to seven years to earn your graduate degree, but you could earn your graduate degree in as quickly as 12 months as a full-time student. View full-time course load scenario.
  • As an online school, we know the importance of timely technology help. When asked about our technology resource center and technology support, 96% of those who used the services were satisfied or felt neutral. “Every time I had a problem, I reached out and someone got back to me right away,” attested a recent graduate.
  • We help students to become the best job candidate by offering career workshops, a dedicated career blog, job search tips and guidance, access to job listing sites, and one-on-one consultations with our expert career counselor. 76% of survey respondents took advantage of our school’s career development resources. For those who did not use them, they cited they were already happily employed. A survey respondent shared, “Thank you for the great experience! I received a librarian job offer within three days of graduating. I was pleasantly surprised.” Another graduate enthused, “This program changed my life. I have already secured a position as a law librarian.”
  • We provide advising tools and resources to help our students plan their course work. We also have content specialists who can provide insight about the different career directions and electives. 91% took advantage of the advising support and ranked the advising toolkitas most useful of all of the MLIS advising tools and resources we provide to our students. “The Excel sheets were extremely useful and things I keep recommending to new students,” a graduate commented.
  • 100% of the survey respondents completed the e-Portfolio for their culminating experience. Did you know that you have a choice for your culminating experience? Students can choose to complete the e-Portfolio or a thesis. Learn more.

Our students also took advantage of a range of informal learning opportunities and activities that helped them expand their professional network and aid them with future job seeking. For example:

  • 91% were members of professional associations. Did you know we give new MLIS students a free one-year membership to the American Library Association, the Special Libraries Association, the Association for Information Science and Technology, or the Society of American Archivists? Learn more.
  • Extracurricular activities abound at our school. Among the vast opportunities for networking and resume building, 19% attended professional association conferences while enrolled in the MLIS program. They also participated in student chapters of professional associations, the peer-reviewed Student Research Journal, the Library 2.0 worldwide virtual conference series, and the iSchool Connext student and alumni group. A graduated shared, “The best part of my experience were the opportunities that presented themselves as a result of being a student at SJSU. I never intended on contributing work to a publication at the onset of my studies. I also did not dream I would go to an international conference.”
  • Nearly 30% expanded their skills, knowledge and work experience by completing an internship. Although not a requirement, internships are highly encouraged. In fact, in a recent survey, our alumni strongly advised students to complete internships. Employers are looking for work experience, and internships are a great way to build your resume. Did you know that we offer both place-based and virtual internship opportunities at companies located around the world? Learn more.

In addition, you’ll be in good company in the MLIS program. Here are some facts about our graduating MLIS students as reported in the spring 2018 exit survey:

  • While earning their MLIS degree, our students lived in various countries, including the United States, Canada and Europe. Our MLIS program is offered exclusively online, and there are no on-campus orientations or other required in-person events.
  • The online program allows students the flexibility to continue working while pursuing their MLIS degree. 83% were both students at our school and employees at public libraries, K-12 schools, academic libraries, and a host of other types of career environments. A survey respondent affirmed, “It is the perfect program for people with jobs or families, who may require flexibility when pursuing a degree.” 
  • 88% were between the ages of 21 and 50 at the time of graduation, with the highest concentration age group of 26-30 at 31%.
  • 27% identified themselves as an ethnicity other than “White, not Hispanic” and 3% declined to answer.
  • 86% marked female, 12% marked male, 1% marked not listed, and 1% preferred not to answer.