I could really use some career advice from some librarians who've been around the block.
I'm currently working on my Master's in Library Science and certification to become a Media Specialist at IUPUI (ALA acredited). The problem is, I don't have a degree in education (I have a bachelor's in engineering). Now I'm trying to figure out if I should just take the education courses needed to get my certification, or if I should try to get a Master's in Education (if I can). The Master's in Education would limit me to teaching in either elementary or high schools, but would school administration prefer a degree? Also, should I consider getting certification to teach computer lab? With the job field the way it is, I really want to make myself as marketable as possible! Plus, we probably won't stay in the state of Indiana forever, so I want to be qualified to teach anywhere.
I would really, really appreciate your help on this... it's keeping me up at night!
It depends on the requirements of your state DOE. I got my MIS at University of North Texas thinking I would become an information broker (keep in mind, this was the late 80s and the internet was not what it is now). As life threw some changes at me, I ended up going back and getting certified to teach in Psychology and Sociology. In Texas I could be a school librarian with my masters and teacher certification. My undergrad double major was Psychology and Sociology, so that was my quickest route to school librarianship. I have relocated to SC, and my credentials are good to go here as well. The great thing about my certification is that it is k-12, giving me a great deal of flexibility.
So would you say having the flexibility of a K-12 certification is more useful than maybe having a degree in education? Or would the best thing be to find a program that would give me a master's and k-12 certification? As a librarian first starting out, do you think it would be hard to get hired with 2 master's degrees?
I can definitely get my certification along with my MLS, but how easily does that transfer from state to state?
Thanks, Paula! With the job and funding situation the way it is, I have a feeling I'm going to have to move out of Indiana to get a job after I finish school. It's good to know that the certification is transferable.
I'm curious, have you ever been questioned by potential employers about having the certification instead of a degree?
No, because it's the MLS that you really need, not a degree in Education. That's why all I needed in NY was 15 credits in Education beyond my MLS. Some people do education as part of their MLS. I didn't because when I was in library school my objective at the time was to be a children's librarian in the public library.
I do have to say that as a result of taking those extra credits, I was able to start at the Masters + 15 salary level, which was a nice little bonus.