Alexis M Waide

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We’re number 1!

Forbes says we’re number 1!: The Best and Worst Master’s Degrees for Jobs

Oh, wait, we’re number 1 but it’s not good – Library and Information Science is named the number 1 worst degree in the Forbes article, based on mid-career median income ($57,600) and projected employment increase for common jobs in the field (8.5%).

I know this has been making the rounds since it came out a week ago and a lot of people I know have expressed dismay and outrage.  Several of my program-mates have said, speaking for themselves as well as librarians they know and fellow MLIS students, that they went into the program because they love libraries and happiness in a career doesn’t rest solely on income.  I agree completely with these statements and the indignant feelings from which they stem, i.e. how dare Forbes suggest money is the only thing that makes a degree valuable!

However, that projected employment increase is disheartening, not only for the general picture it paints for all information professionals in the field but also the outlook for new ones just entering it.  8.5% employment increase for common jobs?  It does not bode well for me and my peers who have just graduated or are graduating soon, or for the thousands of people entering programs in the fall.  Yes, it seems the majority of people go into MLIS/MLS programs because they genuinely want to do it and believe working in the field will provide them with professional happiness.  I know no one in my program who entered thinking, “I’m gonna make millions as a librarian!”  But we did all enter thinking, “This degree will help me get a professional position.”  That thought and that 8.5% don’t really mesh well.  It’s hard to be happy in a job I don’t have.

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