New Jersey Masters in Library Science
Though their career origins are firmly rooted in the past, today’s librarians need to be masters of modern and innovative approaches to information. Librarians, media collections specialists and professionals with related backgrounds often work in schools, libraries or museums, while some work in specialty information environments or even in business settings.
A healthy career in library and information science, whatever the job title, typically means earning a graduate degree in the field. Let’s take a look at what students in New Jersey should know about the educational opportunities in the state and what they can expect upon graduation.
New Jersey Master of Library Science Programs
The specific degree that’s ideal depends on each individual’s goals and dream job. Still, the standard degree in the field is a master’s in library science, but technological innovation has brought new degree options, and colleges and universities have continued to evolve and expand their educational offerings.
Today, potential master’s degrees in library science, informatics and related areas are quite diverse. The list includes 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) — and more.
Students who are planning on pursuing careers in schools, museums or libraries should plan to attend a program that’s earned accreditation from the American Library Association (ALA). The licensure that’s usually necessary to work in schools or public libraries means getting an ALA-accredited degree, while most private employers prefer these degrees as well.
In New Jersey, only one school offers an ALA-accredited master’s degree in the field, so let’s explore what students need to know about this program.
- Institution type: Public
- Delivery method: Traditional and online
- Campus: New Brunswick
- Total expected tuition: $36,000 (online)
- Degrees offered: Master of Information, Master of Health Communication and Information, PhD in Communication, Information and Media
Home to the only ALA-approved library science degree in New Jersey, Rutgers’ offering gives students the option of completing their degree either on-campus or online. A Master of Information degree, students choose from a handful of concentrations that speak to their career goals. These include archives and preservation, data science, library and information science, interaction design and informatics, school librarianship, and technology, information and management.
Library and information science majors can further customize their education by adding a concentration from a vast list of subjects that includes information retrieval, digital libraries and transformative library leadership. The school librarianship concentration fulfills the state’s requirements to become a certified school library media specialist.
New Jersey Library Science Outlook
On average, librarians and media collections specialists in New Jersey make nearly $70,000 per year, well above the national average of $58,000. In fact, according to data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Jersey librarians rank No. 11 among their counterparts across the country, while librarians whose work involves schools and other educational institutions earn just under $62,000, which ranks ninth for that job.
Librarians and media collections specialists in New Jersey should put the city of Trenton at the top of their list, as the state’s capital city is home to the highest average salary for these workers, $74,230, though the New York City area isn’t far behind with an average of $73,670. The lowest average salary for librarians is in Ocean City, while library workers whose jobs are in educational institutions can expect to reach their salary high in New York City, where the average is about $74,000.
Job openings for librarians will grow modestly in New Jersey over the next several years, according to Department of Labor data. Employment of librarians and media collections specialists is projected to rise by about 2.3% in New Jersey through 2028, which is lower than the national rate of 6.4% projected for these workers.
Positions for school-based library workers have a more robust outlook, though, with those openings projected to grow by 8.8%, which is well above the national growth rate of 5.7%
In this information age, demand for trained professionals who can help people access and understand the growing volume of human knowledge will only continue expanding. Fortunately for students and professionals in New Jersey, the state’s employment outlook for these professionals is one of the best in the U.S.