South Carolina Masters in Library Science
Today’s librarian has a very different set of daily responsibilities than they might have had just a couple of decades ago. That’s because modern librarians must be experts in emerging fields like informatics and information science. They’ll be expected to help students, visitors and others access information across diverse systems, and that requires advanced education in information science.
Librarians and library science professionals can work in fields like education, law, medicine and more, but such a career typically begins with a master’s degree. Let’s take a look at graduate study in library and information science in South Carolina, as well as what students can expect when they hit the local job market.
South Carolina Library Science Programs
Library science professionals have many options for earning a master’s degree in library science, information science and informatics, and most graduate schools offer a few concentration areas, which lets students further narrow down their interest areas.
Schools typically offer only one or two types of library and information science degrees, but these degrees tend to come with similar acronyms, like MLS (Master of Library Science), MSLS (Master of Science in Library Science), MIS (Master of Information Science), MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science) or MSI (Master of Science in Information).
Students in South Carolina would be well-advised to limit their search to degrees from programs that have been accredited by the American Library Association, which is a state requirement for many positions within schools and other public facilities. For jobs that aren’t covered by state mandates, employers strongly prefer candidates who have earned degrees from ALA-accredited programs.
One university in South Carolina offers an ALA-accredited master’s in library science, so let’s explore what students need to know about the program.
University of South Carolina
- Institution type: Public
- Delivery method: Online or hybrid
- Campus: Columbia
- Total expected tuition: $20,601 in-state; $24,291 out-of-state
- Degrees offered: Master of Library and Information Science
- Graduate certificates offered: School Library
A Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) at the University of South Carolina is the only ALA-accredited library science graduate degree offered in the state of South Carolina. Hosted in a hybrid format on the system’s main campus in Columbia, as well as being offered online, UofSC’s MLIS requires completion of 36 credit-hours of coursework.
Students can opt to specialize in school library media through a program that culminates in state certification, while the general MLIS allows students to pursue electives like storytelling, children’s literature, digital archives and planning library facilities, among others.
The average completion time is two years, or six semesters, and the vast majority of graduates are employed in the library and information science field in job titles that include teen services coordinator, public affairs research librarian, web content editor and school librarian.
South Carolina Library Science Outlook
The average librarian in South Carolina earns just under $59,000 per year, which is around the national average of $58,000 for annual librarian salaries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Hilton Head Island boasts the highest average librarian wage in South Carolina. Librarians and media collections specialists in that community earn just over $70,000, and the Charleston-North Charleston metro area has the second-highest average, just over $67,000. Librarian wages are lowest in the Florence area, where the typical professional makes about $43,000.
South Carolina is expected to see librarian jobs expand at a rate that’s similar to the projected growth rates for the U.S. as a whole, according to the Department of Labor. Librarians and media collections specialists are projected to see employment expand by 5.8% through 2028, which is just under the national average for the occupation of 6.4%.
All other library and education workers should see job opportunities grow by about 5.4%, which is barely below the national average for these workers of 5.7%.
The sheer volume of information and information systems expands constantly, seemingly by the moment. It’s never been more important for professionals who are trained in these complex systems, and the career outlook in South Carolina looks to be largely positive for the next several years.