The MLIS is the WORST

So Forbes just came out with an article that listed the ten best and worst master's degrees for jobs (based on median pay for mid-career and estimated job growth rate) and the Master of Library and Information Science was the NUMBER ONE WORST.

Now, of course, judging on a mostly financial basis is a bit unfair, since if you're going into library science, you're not really in it for the money anyway. In fact, this survey shows that, for the most part, librarians are pretty happy with their degree.  Except for those recent graduates in the past five years, who, I assume, are still looking for a job. (I was especially frightened by page four with the quotes and chart of positive and negative comments.)

This leads me to a couple reflections.

One, I am so lucky and grateful to have a job working in a library now. I have never given two thoughts to the "job market" because I've never had to go shopping. This is a relief, but it also makes me wonder if I have a totally skewed idea for what job prospects really look like for a holder of an MLIS. I tell people all the time that there are tons of jobs you can do with the degree, if you just get creative. And I really believe that (even though I'm on the traditional, librarian-working-in-a-library route).

But two, I can see how people might be dissatisfied with the degree. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm learning a lot. But the program is caught somewhere between academic and vocational, with a bit of theory and a bit of practical application, but not enough of either to make it one or the other.

I'm interested to see how my experience pans out in the next couple of years, and where I'll be once I graduate. I wonder where I'll fall in assessing the degree's value to me.

My boyfriend Curtis has chimed in about this article on his blog.
So has the University of Washington iSchool.