In April 2014, the MLS Program surveyed graduates from December 2012, May 2013, and August 2013. In the survey we asked graduates to tell us about their post-graduate experiences; specifically we asked for current place of employment, type of industry, geographic location, as well as the skills they saw as most valuable for their current and future positions. We were thrilled to receive a 46% response rate to the survey. Below are some key findings from the survey including a handy infographic.
What are our grads up to?
Much has been written about the current economic climate and on the job climate within LIS, but our survey finds that iSchool graduates are well equipped to find positions. Within one year of graduation 93% of respondents were employed; of those, 90% were employed in a field directly related to their degree. Reflecting the evolving nature of information services, graduates are employed in a wide-rage of settings, including:
- Governmental Institutions: National Oceanic an Atmospheric Administration, US Department of State
- Colleges/Universities: UMD School of Law, Towson University
- Nonprofits: National Geographic Society, Maryland Historical Society
- Public Libraries: District of Columbia, Frederick County, and Baltimore County Public Libraries
- Information Providers: ProQuest, Ancestry.com, Alexander Street Press
No matter the setting, respondents indicated that the most valuable skills for their positions are (in this order): flexibility, communication, and collaboration/teamwork. Three skills that are stressed throughout coursework at the iSchool…that’s right folks those group projects are important.
During focus groups conducted in Fall 2012, current supervisors of MLS alums placed a similar value on these skills. The focus group participants also stated that our alums:
“Possess profound ‘people’ skills.”
“…have a strong ability to communicate and persuade, coupled with the ability to organize information in ways that is [sic] useful and retrievable.”
“Graduates are ‘self-starters,’ ‘problem-solvers,’ and people who ‘take initiative.”
“iSchool graduates are the most prepared…”
As part of our ongoing effort to respond to the needs of our students, employers, and the information field, we asked our recent grads what skills they’d like to have developed further and what sorts of courses/programming they would have liked during their studies. We’re currently reviewing the survey results and having discussions with current employers, and as always we’ll work to incorporate our results into the curriculum and programming. Stay tuned to blogMLS for more on…