MLIS Degree is it worth it?

Some of you may have had the fortune to to read this article regarding the value of obtaining a MLIS degree in comparison to other options. Perhaps you are a liberal arts soul like myself and saw librarianship as a way to have a stable (ish) job after graduation and do something I enjoyed. Everyone knows that this is not the job market our parents and grandparents had the pleasure of living in. Good jobs with a nice growth rate are hard to come by and succeeding nowadays requires sacrifice coupled with continual hard work.  So with the publishing of this article by Forbes in 2012 which can be accessed here http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2012/06/08/the-best-and-worst-masters-degrees-for-jobs-2/

Library and information science degree-holders bring in $57,600 mid-career, on average. Common jobs for them are school librarian, library director and reference librarian, and there are expected to be just 8.5% more of them by 2020. The low pay rank and estimated growth rank make library and information science the worst master’s degree for jobs right now.”

Lovely. It should be made in a motivational meme. Or did other MLIS students also feel kicked in the gut after reading this article, as I did? Many responses from other librarians starting showing up on the internet.  However, I feel that there is no yellow brick road to this idea of success and “making it” whatever that may constitute. Instead scholars of any field need to work harder to be successful, volunteer, take opportunities and not be afraid to fail. An MLIS provides its students with skills that are applicable beyond the field of library science. As displayed in this post http://infospace.ischool.syr.edu/2011/12/23/61-non-librarian-jobs-for-librarians/ Creative Project Manager Among the listed were Director of Community Service, Web Analytics Manager, Information Resources Specialist, Technical Information Specialists, Documentation Specialist, Geographic Information System Map Specialist, and Digital Reference Librarian just to name a few.

Through out my educational career I have seen students filled with the desire to have their future career be very lucrative. Yet what I think librarians have that may appear to others a poor substitute for salary compensation is the satisfaction of helping others. As the annoyed librarian said, “We librarians aren’t in it for the money. We’re in it for the relaxation and the goodwill.” So fellow MLIS students have you encountered similar dissuasion? How did you respond?

jj

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