Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Employment prospects

The information field (library science and its related avenues) is supposedly hot. We keep saying that we need more librarians (information professionals), but graduates have a hard time finding jobs. Meredith talks about her job search and give some statistics in her blog. What she found, looking at ALA Placement Center Statistics, is that there are more job applicants than jobs. Now this is limited data, but I've heard the same thing from my students. Finding a job with appropriate duties, with a good salary, and in the geographic area that you want to be in can be very difficult (if not impossible). Staying in your geographic region might mean working for a corporation instead of a library, being a consultant instead of a full-time employee, or working virtually.

Although people with skills related to digitization can take their careers in many directions, there is still a need to be flexible. There are library-related projects/programs as well as projects with other cultural heritage organizations, corporations and government agencies. One might work for an institution or for a vendor, and have a very fulfilling career. There are roles for consultants and teachers. The sky may not be the limit, but there are many possibilities. Is there competition? Yes, and more coming each day. But there are also more projects being launched, more products needing development teams, and more students looking for teachers (professors) with these skills.

There are possibilities...and that's all we can hope for.

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