Suzanna Conrad

Information Professional

The MLIS - Thinking outside traditional roles

One of my classmates from my MLIS posted a link on Facebook recently to an article from Forbes on the best and worst graduate degrees for jobs currently. And unfortunately (however not surprisingly), the MLIS was right at the top. As someone who recently struggled to make my second master's degree worthwhile and make myself viable within the traditional library world, I agree that this is one of the more challenging degrees to find work in, especially if you lack experience, connections or the drive to "campaign" your way into the right job opportunity (with the possibilty that your "campaign" like other similar campaigns might ultimately be unsuccessful).
What I think can make the MLIS a more viable and relevant degree however is changing the common jobs classified under "librarian" that generally require an MLIS.  The three jobs that Forbes listed as common jobs with an MLIS were school librarian, library director and reference librarian. I found this list disappointingly limited. What about the digital assets managers, the archivists (or digital archivists even), the taxonomists, the SEO and SEM specialists, the systems librarians, the information architects, the UI/UX designers and other many diverse types of jobs that would benefit from the skill sets learned during an MLIS? True, a lot of these jobs do not require an MLIS, but wouldn't the mindset of a librarian be helpful in these jobs?