SLIS Director Sandra Hirsh Discusses Job Market for Information Professionals


Dr. Sandra Hirsh, director of the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San José State University, was recently interviewed for a post on the Next Libraries blog. During the interview, Hirsh discussed what it means to earn a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree in a field that is rapidly changing.

Hirsh described new types of career pathways for individuals who hold an MLIS degree, both in traditional and non-traditional settings. According to Hirsh, the information profession is changing. Job opportunities for information professionals who choose non-traditional work environments are growing, especially in technology-based environments, where information experts are valued. At the same time, new types of jobs are available for information professionals who choose to work in libraries or archives. 

“The information age has created a demand for user-friendly, service-oriented people who are adept at organizing, managing, and making sense of information,” wrote Putnam, a SLIS faculty member who interviewed Hirsh and authored the blog post. Hirsh said people in the library and information science field understand user-centered design, which is critically important as information systems become more complex.

“There’s a huge range of opportunities for someone with a degree in our field, and it’s constantly evolving,” said Hirsh. “There are so many interesting areas—digital asset management, information architecture, virtual reference services, and social media.” Hirsh believes there are “a whole suite of opportunities” to engage with information of all different types. As an information professional, “how you think about and apply your skills is only limited by your imagination,” said Hirsh.

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