Tennessee Masters in Library Science
The typical librarian today is a master of informatics and information science with the training to help students, visitors and others access a range of information types. These professionals can find jobs in a variety of areas. Yes, public libraries and schools are at the top of the list, but opportunities exist in specialty libraries or even within corporate America.
Whatever their end goal, most library and information science students will need to begin their training with a master’s degree. Let’s take a look at what library and information science students in Tennessee should know about their educational options and what job market might await them when they’ve finished their degree.
Tennessee Library Science Programs
Earning a master’s degree is considered the best educational step in becoming qualified for librarian positions, especially when it comes to working in a school. But that doesn’t mean there’s only one potential degree to earn. In fact, the reality is that whatever your interests, there’s probably a master’s degree in library science or informatics that applies.
Still there are a few degrees that tend to be most popular. Those include Master of Library Science (MLS), Master of Science in Library Science (MS), Master of Information Science (MIS), Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) or Master of Science in Information (MSI).
SEE ALSO: Top 5+ Online Library Science Programs
Library science students hoping for careers as professional or school librarians should plan to attend a program accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). ALA accreditation is required for most school librarian positions, and it’s strongly recommended for other librarian positions, as well as many museum and other specialty library positions.
Tennessee is home to one ALA-approved library science graduate program, so let’s take a look at what students need to know about it.
University of Tennessee
- Institution type: Public
- Delivery method: Traditional or online
- Campus: Knoxville
- Total expected tuition: $25,200 Tennessee, Arkansas, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia resident online; $27,900 nonresident online
- Degrees offered: Master of Science in Information Sciences, PhD in Information Sciences
- Graduate certificates offered: School library media licensure, health informatics, youth informatics
Tennessee’s only ALA-accredited master’s in library science is a Master of Science in Library Sciences offered at the state’s largest educational institution, the University of Tennessee. Students have the option of earning their degree entirely online or going the traditional on-campus route.
A wide array of concentrations are available in the MSIS degree, including academic librarianship, archives and records management, data curation and data management, geographic information information organization and youth services.
Tennessee Library Science Outlook
On average, librarians and media collections specialists earn about $56,000 in Tennessee, which is just under the national average of $58,000, according to data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Library workers whose jobs are based in schools and other educational settings make even less, and their average wage is just under $51,000.
Across the state, wages for librarians reach their highest annual average in the Clarksville area, which includes portions of Kentucky. The average librarian in Clarksville makes just over $74,000. Wages in Morristown are the lowest in the state at just over $51,000. Clarksville is also home to the highest average wage for library workers in educational settings ($54,000).
The next several years should be positive in terms of job growth for librarians in a variety of settings. Job openings for librarians in Tennessee are expected to grow by about 8.1% through 2028, which is No. 9 among all states, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor. Nationally, these jobs are expected to grow by about 6.4%, while all jobs in the U.S. are projected to expand by about 5%.
Openings for library workers within school settings have a slightly less robust outlook, but the projected growth rate of these jobs is still above average in Tennessee. For all library workers in schools and other educational settings, job openings should expand by 7.4%, quite a bit higher than the national growth rate of 5.7%.
As the volume of knowledge in the world continues to expand constantly, the need for professionals who can help others navigate data and information should continue to grow. While average salaries in Tennessee are on the lower end of the scale today, the long-term growth picture is good.