Post # 1
Hey Everyone. I’ll be finishing up my undergrad degree in Library Science in two years and I fear I may not get a job in my field when I graduate. I’m looking at my options in hope I can get out of retail when I graduate so what should I do
1. Go to grad school and work in retail
2. No grad school and find a career then grad school
3. Grad school and work part time in a college library
Post # 2
I would definitely suggest getting schooling out of the way before you consider career. It is extremely difficult to juggle both. If you can afford it, get it out of the way NOW. I’ve been trying to do both for the past 2 years and I feel 25 going on 56.
Post # 3
I think option 3 is a great idea because you get your education done but you also will get hands on library experience. Experience means more than anything on resumes these days (even for “entry” level positions), so having that will only help you get your foot in the door. Who knows, maybe a full-time position will open up at your college library while you’re there!
Post # 4
- Wedding: July 2017 - State Park
Grad school, part time in the library, add retail if you need a little extra. Tons of library jobs, especially at colleges and universities require master’s degrees, and the related work experience will be great on a resume.
You might also consider jobs at the school’s testing center or student support/tutoring. These are typically tied-to or are part of the library in higher ed and will give you another angle.
Post # 5
3. One of my biggest regrets is going straight from undergrad to grad school without getting much experience first. I had a couple unpaid internships along the way, but otherwise I graduated with a Master’s and no experience. It made me the perfect combo of over and underqualified that discouraged places from hiring me.
Post # 6
school and work in the library. does your job offer tuition reimbursement for classes related to the field?
Post # 7
For me, taking three years between undergrad and grad school was really great. I was lucky to start a career in a field related to my undergrad, was able to confirm that I really did want to do this kind of work and spent those three years developing some practical expertise and an interest in some particular topics and sub-sectors of the field that weren’t even on my radar before. The grad school program I ended up picking was not one I would have thought to choose coming straight out of undergrad, but during my years working I met several grads of the program through my professional network, and realized it was a place with a lot of expertise on some of the new and specific issues in which I was developing an interest. Once I was in grad school I had some experience and an informed perspective to bring to my classwork — stories to share in class discussions, ideas for issues to write essays on, familiarity with and contacts in a good research site, etc.
When I finished grad school I got a job in my field right away. Several of classmates from the same program struggled to find work, and have ended up working outside the field of their masters.
The years working had also given me a chance to save a little money, and with that plus my funding package I was able to come out of grad school debt free.
Obviously this is different in different fields. If you want to work in library science, a Masters probably is necessary. But why not give it a couple years and try to do some library-adjacent work to see how you actually like it? Even if you can only find part-time or volunteer opportunities while doing other work. This might give you a chance to get to know professionals in the field and get a better understanding of what their lives and careers are actually like.
Post # 8
sarahparkview : good point. The problem is I don’t want to be in retail while in grad school because I fear I won’t have time for my studies.
Post # 9
I just received a masters degree, so speaking from experience. I would not spend/waste money on grad school unless I was going into something very specific that required it, you need a clear path to justify the cost.
How will grad school be paid for? If it’s out of pocket or loans, I’d look in the other direction.
My advice is to find a job and get some work experience first. Higher education doesn’t always mean a better paying job. In fact, it could just mean more debt.
Post # 10
- Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY
anonymousbee10 : You should look into programs with graduate assistantships. I had one while I got my master’s degree. It covered my tuition and fees and I got a small stipend to work on campus (I work in higher education) in my field, which is a great resume builder.
Post # 11
After I finished my BS in Accounting I worked with a company who later paid for my Grad school and further for my CPA exam. I’d suggest this route if it’s an option as the only obligation you’d have is to stay with the company and it’s really nice that they cover the cost
Post # 12
ladyvictoria : what is graduate assistantships?
Post # 13
- Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY
anonymousbee10 : It’s a position on campus that is often affiliated with some graduate program (or multiple programs) on campus. Some graduate assistantships are open to all graduate students while others require you to be in a specific graduate program to apply. It’s pretty much what I described – they often come with some form of tuition coverage (a class or two to full tuition), and/or a stipend, which could be large or small – the ones I applied to ranged from ~$2000 with tuition coverage up to $12,000 without tuition coverage; it just depends on what they offer. Assistantships give you the chance to get hands-on experience in your field. They’re common in programs that have a theory-to-practice model, because you’re using what you learn in the classroom in your work as a grad assistant. Check out the websites of the programs you’re looking at or even call and ask if these are options. I’m of the belief that you shouldn’t pay for a graduate degree when opportunities to get it funded are out there. Best of luck!
Post # 14
Option 3! I’m not sure what career you could get with your current degree. I don’t think you can do much with library science without the graduate degree. Option 3 would give you experience and the degree.
Post # 15
You are still two years away from your undergrad degree, so honestly I wouldn’t make a plan now. It’s good to have a sense of your options and what you need to do to work toward them, but you are in a great position to keep your options open for now. As far as which path to follow, I’d suggest talking with your professors and professionals in the field and seeing what they recommend. I’d also recommend figuring out what you need to do to stay competitive for grad school admissions and fellowships and working toward those things (e.g. Taking the GRE, trying to work in a library now to build your resume, etc.). And lastly, do some research on schools and how much they cost, what their placement levels are like post graduation, and how much starting salaries are in your field. The last thing you want to do is take out 100k in loans only to be qualified for a 50k a year job. I think for now, your best bet is doing your research and keeping your options open.