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What are my career options with a Master’s in Library Science?


Don, an alum of UT Austin, asked:

I have a Master of Library Science and a Bachelor of Science in Radio-TV-Film.  I recently wrapped up fourteen months as a contract archivist with the United Nations archives  and am looking for my next job.  I enjoy information sciences but don’t know how strong the job market is in that field.  I also think public relations would be interesting.  Given my education and background, what careers do you recommend I explore?

Hi Don –

I don’t think you should give up on Library and Information Sciences just yet!

As long as you are flexible about where you are willing to go to find work, there is opportunity for library and information science professionals.  Have you connected with the professional associations in your field or checked out their career and job search resources?

lis.headCheck out the information and opportunities in library and information sciences on the following sites:

American Medical Informatics Association

AMIA Career Center

American Library Association

ALA Job Database

Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

ASIS&T Careers Page

Association of Research Libraries

ARL Career Resources

Have you looked at other options in government or with non-governmental organizations (NGOs)?  You might be able to parlay your United Nations experience (which is pretty unique) into other opportunities in the domestic or international public sector.

Check out the following Government & Public Service Career Resources

art-get_a_government_job_525x250America’s Job Bank
Army Civilian Personnel Career Site
Bureau of Land Management Career Site
Call to Serve
Centers for Disease Control Career
Central Intelligence Agency Career Site
Coast Guard Career Site
Environmental Protection Agency Career Site
FBI Jobs
Federal Career Intern Program
Federal Communication Commission Career Site
Federal Emergency Management Agency Career Site
Federal Government Jobs
General Services Administration Career Site
Internal Revenue Service Career Site
NASA Career Site
The National Park Service Career Site

National Security Agency Career Site
Partnership for Public Service
Peace Corps Career Site
Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) Program
Social Security Office Career Site
U.S. Census Bureau Career Site
U.S. Census Bureau Regional Offices Career Site
U.S. Department of Commerce Career Site
U.S. Department of Defense Career Site
U.S. Department of Education Career Site
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Career Site
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Career Site
U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development Career Site
U.S. Department of Interior Career Site
U.S. Department of Justice Career Site
U.S. Department of Labor Career Site
U.S. Department of State Career Site
U.S. Department of Transportation Career Site
U.S. Department of Treasury Career Site
U.S. House of Representatives (Non-Legislative)
U.S. Marshals Service Career Site
The U.S. Mint Career Site
U.S. Secret Service Career Site
United Nations Career Site
USA Jobs

You also mentioned an interest in public relations. While your skills may make you as good candidate to transition into that field, realize that it will be a transition.   You will likely have to start at the bottom and work your way up, competing with recent grads that have backgrounds in public relations. You will have to prove to PR recruiters that you understand their industry and what it takes to be successful.  They are going to be less inclined to hire you purely on potential (and train you in PR), unless you offer some skill or expertise that is hard to find in candidates that have PR skills.

public-relations-malaysia-2Check out these Public Relations Industry Career Resources

PR News Job Center
Public Relations Jobs
Talent Zoo

You have a lot of options, Don, but it is up to you to (first) explore your options and reality-test your options against your unique wants, needs and priorities for your career and then (second) pursue those opportunities that appear to be the best fit.

I hope these suggestions help.

Good Luck!


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