Arizona Masters in Library Science
Though their field’s origins may be rooted in the past, today’s librarians need to be masters of cutting-edge approaches to gathering and understanding information. Librarians and professionals with related backgrounds most often work in schools, libraries or museums, though they can also work in specialty information environments or even in business settings.
A career in library and information science, regardless of what job title a person holds, typically means earning a master’s degree in the field. Let’s take a look at what students in Arizona should know about the educational options in the state and what job market awaits them in the state.
Arizona Master of Library Science Programs
The standard degree in the field is a master’s in library science, but there is a broad range of degrees, both in name and focus area. The ideal degree will depend on the individual student’s career goals and interests.
A list of potential master’s degrees in library science, informatics and related areas is a lengthy one, indeed. Still, the most common are Master of Library Science (MLS), Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS), Master of Science in Library Science (MS), Master of Information Science (MIS) and Master of Science in Information (MSI).
SEE ALSO: Best Online Library Science Programs
For those who are planning on pursuing careers in schools, museums or libraries, it’s important to limit the search to programs accredited by American Library Association (ALA). The licensure that’s typically required for jobs in schools or public libraries means getting an ALA-accredited degree, while most private employers strongly favor candidates with these degrees.
In Arizona, only one school offers an ALA-accredited master’s degree, so let’s explore what students need to know about this program.
University of Arizona
- Institution type: Public
- Delivery method: Traditional or online
- Campus: Tucson
- Total expected tuition: $33,300 (online)
- Degrees offered: Master of Arts in Library and Information Science, Master of Science in Information, PhD in Information
- Graduate certificates offered: Archival Studies, Digital Information, Instruction & Teaching for Librarians & Information Professionals, Law Librarianship, Legal Information & Scholarly Communication and Medical and Community Health Information
Led by a Master of Arts in Library and Information Science, the only ALA-accredited library science program in Arizona is offered at the University of Arizona. Students can pursue the degree in-person in Tucson or online, giving them the flexibility to what works best for their lives.
Several concentration areas are available — academic librarianship, archival studies, digital information management, law librarianship, legal information and scholarly communication, medical and community health information, public librarianship and special librarianship — and many of those concentrations can also be earned as standalone graduate certificates.
Arizona Library Science Outlook
On average, librarians and media collections specialists in Arizona make about $50,000 per year. This figure is considerably lower than the overall national average for this occupation ($58,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Library workers in educational settings make even less in Arizona, earning about $48,000, though this disparity is common in the states.
Salaries for librarians are highest in the Flagstaff area, among cities for which data is available. Librarians and media collections specialists in Flagstaff earn about $54,000 per year, while both Phoenix and Mesa have salary levels near $52,000 for librarians. Flagstaff also has the highest average salary rate in the state when it comes to library workers in educational settings. Yuma has the lowest salary rate for librarians ($43,000) and one of the lowest for educational library workers.
Over the next several years, employment of librarians is expected to grow, according to information from the U.S. Department of Labor. Librarians and media collections specialists should see about 3.1% growth in their employment rates through 2028, which is lower than the overall U.S. growth rate for this job of 6.4%.
For library workers based in schools and other educational institutions, the outlook is more positive. These jobs are projected to expand by 10%, which is nearly double the 5.7% growth projected for the entire U.S. It’s also a high enough rate to rank Arizona at No. 10 among the states.
Demand for professionals who can help others access and understand the growing volume of human knowledge will only expand as the information age continues. Fortunately for students and professionals in Arizona, the state’s employment outlook for these professionals is largely a positive one.