Survey of 2016 MLIS Graduates


This survey was sent in May 2017 to graduates who completed the MLIS program during calendar year 2016. We received a total of 183 responses to our survey.

We are pleased to share the following data regarding our alumni who are working in a library and information science career environment or in a library and information science capacity.

Library and information science is the first professional career for many of our recent graduates (54%). Others are changing their career focus, having previously worked in a wide variety of fields, such as education, human resources, graphic design, law, and social work.

Now that they have earned their MLIS degree, 73% have permanent, full-time positions and are working in diverse LIS career environments, including public librariesacademic librariesK-12 schools, and special libraries.

Their job titles are just as varied as their employers and include Librarian, Metadata Analyst, Collections and Digital Assets Manager, Archivist, Cataloging Specialist, Technology Trainer, and many more positions.

Our alumni are putting their MLIS skills to work performing many different job duties. The following is a list of the top four job assignments they are responsible for in their current positions:

  1. Reference / Information Services
  2. Circulation
  3. Children’s Services
  4. Adult Services

In anticipation of graduating, many began the job search while in the final semester of the MLIS program, and 83% were hired in the information profession within six months after earning their MLIS degree.

For those who remained with an existing employer or position held prior to or while attending the MLIS program, the master’s degree helped advance their career. 60% reported that they received a promotion, got a raise, and/or moved from support staff to professional staff.

Our alumni shared that they believe the following five experiences/activities were most helpful or important in obtaining their first job in the information profession:

  1. Previous Employment Experience
  2. Technological Skills
  3. Choosing Electives from Multiple Career Pathways
  4. Subject Specialization
  5. Learning to Work Collaboratively with People in an Online Environment

Our students not only live across North America while completing our fully online MLIS program, they are also working in different geographic areas after graduation. For example, our alumni reported that their employers are located in three Canadian provinces, 30 U.S. states, Spain and Hungary.

The 2016 MLIS alumni shared these comments:

  • “The SJSU MLIS program was a truly amazing experience that I will always promote and of which I will always speak very highly. I am immensely proud to be a graduate of this world-class program at SJSU.”
  • “The SJSU MLIS program is convenient, but also diverse in its students, instructors and electives. It was an excellent way for me to gain my Master’s degree while learning practical skills.”
  • “I really enjoyed the MLIS program. I had great instructors and classmates that really challenged me and opened my eyes to other areas of librarianship. I appreciated the online ease of the program and the low cost of tuition. It made it possible for me to work full time and still attend school full time.”

We invite you to learn more about our alumni by browsing our alumni career spotlights and reading alumni stories.