Survey of 2017 MLIS Graduates


This survey was sent in June 2018 to graduates who completed the MLIS program during calendar year 2017. We received a total of 132 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 (55%). Others are changing their career focus, having previously worked in a wide variety of fields, such as education, communications, performing arts and non-profit sectors.

Now that they have earned their MLIS degree, 80% 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 Media Archive Manager, Adjunct Librarian, Teacher Librarian, Data Analytics and Visualization Librarian, Youth Services Librarian, Web Services and Student Engagement Librarian, 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 five job assignments they are responsible for in their current positions:

  1. Metadata, Cataloging and Taxonomy
  2. Children’s Services
  3. Reference / Information Services
  4. Other (included a range of responses, such as: facilities management, project management, etc.)
  5. Archives and Preservation

In anticipation of graduating, many began the job search while in the final semester of the MLIS program, and 91% 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. More than 50% reported that they received a promotion, got a raise, became eligible for tenure, 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. Subject Specialization
  4. Internship, Practicum, or Fieldwork Experiences
  5. Choosing Electives from Multiple Career Pathways

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, 28 U.S. states (includes District of Columbia), Switzerland, and Japan.

The 2017 MLIS alumni shared these comments:

  • “The best things about the program was its flexibility and technology. The flexibility was great because I worked full time during the program and I was able to complete my school work around my professional work schedule. It’s also great that the school allows you to go at your own pace and doesn’t force you to take a minimum number of units. Blackboard Collaborate sessions with professors and meetings with classmates made the experience much easier with voice and video interactions in real time. This made me feel more connected to students and faculty during the program than I would have felt without the sessions.”
  • “I think this program really gave me the option to explore multiple areas of interest before settling on a focus. The selection of classes available was fabulous. The career path class suggestions were the most valuable resources for me to consult and helped me ensure I was gaining experience in areas I was unaware of.”
  • “I enjoyed the flexibility of the MLIS. Great program with exceptional faculty and research opportunities for students! I recommend it to others.”

We invite you to learn more about our alumni by browsing our alumni career spotlights, reading alumni stories, and scanning a list of employers of our alumni.