Alternative Careers for Information Professionals


This week we were asked to look at alternative career choices for information professionals. Interestingly, one student found a list of 61 non-librarian roles for LIS students on a blog by Mia Breitkopf, it also links to some great resources like INALJ (I need a library job). Although, it is my ambition to go down the ‘library’ route (which in itself has plenty of choice), this assignment really got me thinking about the transferable skills that librarians have. I know I could go out into the world after this course and be very capable of doing a variety of things.

1. Obviously the ‘traditional’ library skills, cataloging and organisation of information, are useful in many roles. These organisational skills are also transferable to organisation of people and with the amount of group-work we undertake it is very likely you will have some experience with organizing both people and projects. So think:

  • File Management
  • Event Planning
  • Project Management

2. Most of us have gained a huge amount of social media knowledge while in this course. We know that libraries need to make use of ‘free’ marketing and a lot of us have started to navigate the sea of social media quite effectively. I have seen students become influential on Twitter, use Facebook effectively and student blogs have been really successful this year. Think:

  • Blogging for a living
  • Social media companies
  • Marketing

3. Group-work has been difficult at times but breathe a sigh of relief, team-work is a skill that is transferable for a LOT of careers.

4. Those of us that have taken subjects like Information Architecture and Web Publishing can move into the world of IT. There is also the area of usability and conducting studies and research in this area. Think:

  • User Tester
  • Web Publisher

5. We might have held our head in our hands in despair with the thought of Research Methods modules but now we are almost finished and it really wasn’t that bad at all. We have developed skills in interview techniques, transcription and coding as well as using SPSS for all our statistical needs. Think:

  • Research Assistant

This isn’t even nearly an extensive list so while I am happy to take all my new skills to the library world it is good to know that there are other options and that our skill-set lends itself to many different types of careers.

Happy job-hunting LISers!


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