Should I Get My Masters in Library Science?

School Rules- Should I Get My MLS

I’ve been toying with the idea of going back to school. It’s something I’ve been thinking about (and doubting) for a long time. I usually run into two major issues:

  • What should I study? How do I reconcile what I want to learn with viable career growth opportunities?
  • The cost. Student loan debt isn’t the worst debt to have, but I already have a lot of other debt, and it just feels very risky to take more on.

One of the ideas I keep coming back to is becoming a Web Services/Digital Librarian. This would combine a lot of things I prize: learning (and the facilitation of helping other people learn and better themselves), creativity, and technology. I could work as a school librarian if I chose to, and have the summers off with my teacher fiancee, or work at a university or public library. I’d also have to continue to learn coding, as web librarians often need knowledge of programming. There is a lot of competition for library jobs, but maybe I could set myself apart with all of my other valuable skills as a career-changer. I think my experience in digital communications, higher education, and the nonprofit sector would all help me in this new career path, but I’m not ready to commit. I could continue to pursue a career in web development/communications without much more schooling (I’m teaching myself to code, slowly but surely). I’ve also had conversations with a colleague in the industry who changed careers just as I’m thinking of doing, and he expressed frustration at career librarians’ resistance to change, in terms of how technology is impacting libraries. BUT, I have bookmarked a couple of universities that offer ALA approved online Masters in Library Science degrees and am going to spend more time researching them.

Should I take the plunge? Tell me what you think in the comments.

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