Daily Archives: December 2, 2011

Library Science Ranks #4 in Highest Unemployment

According to the Wall Street Journal post From College Major to Career, “Choosing the right college major can make a big difference in students’ career prospects, in terms of employment and pay. Here’s a look at how various college majors fare in the job market, based on 2010 Census data.” WSJ gleaned the study data from a report by Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Click here for the full report.

When you select Unemployment Percentage – from highest to lowest – the Library Science major ranks #4 at 15%.

While 15% unemployment doesn’t sound all that bad for those entering a new career right out of college, especially in the current economy, but remember that 15% is the projected fourth highest unemployment rate for all 40 college majors studied.

Couple that with the earnings of $23,000 as the second LOWEST on the entire list, just $3,000 ahead of Performing Arts. What does this say about our profession? If it was a business, the prevailing wisdom is that a business that is shrinking is dying. Is librarianship dying?

AND, in response to commentors who are upset that the Post title is misleading, I agree that every Post needs to be truthful and undistorted, and I make every attempt to do so. However, my mistake was not emphasizing that the main point of this Post should be the fact that this Georgetown University report emphasizes that LIS undergraduate degrees are essentially denounced by ALA and these obviously talented people are discriminated against by the profession in which they want to participate. It is ALA’s fault that unemployment is so high among LIS BS degree holders – for whatever reasons ALA may have that appear to be simply elitist. The spotlight needs to be directed on the validity of a BS in LIS and its place within the profession, and within the library organization. NO OTHER profession requires a masters degree to qualify for an entry level position. It’s not only unfair, it’s detrimental to the profession.


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