You could do worse than an undergrad degree in pure math, especially if
you're interested in doing "hard" CS at some point. In general, math gives
you lots of good background for things like data and object structures,
flow control, etc. Math is also really useful for framing the world as a
series of problems to be solved, which is often productive in a work
context, especially in areas like application development, tech services,
As others have mentioned, undergrad degrees in library science are not
particularly useful. You might find an information science degree useful if
you're interested in something like data analysis, text mining, hardcore
metadata stuff, though. For a systems librarian gig, you might not even
need a masters degree in LS or IS -- it depends on the institution --
though having a theoretical understanding of the principles behind library
operations can be really handy.
In the library jobs sphere, your actual on-the-ground experience ultimately
matters a lot more than what it says on your transcript (except for the
whole "ALA-accredited degree required" thing, as applicable). As long as
you keep pursuing interesting projects and challenging yourself with the
kinds of things that matter to libraries, it almost doesn't matter whether
you get an undergrad degree in theater, math, comparative literature,
whatever. But if you know the direction you want to go, and it interests
you from an academic perspective, it'd be hard to go wrong with something
like math, computer engineering, systems engineering, even chemistry. One
valuable thing you can try to get through an undergrad degree is the
ability to think about problems in some sort of formal way, so any pursuit
that gives you a means to do that could be of value.
Regarding liberal arts, you'd be surprised at how much a little background
in language, history, art, etc., can inform your work in a science or
On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 7:38 AM, Ross Singer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> If you want to be a systems librarian, I wouldn't bother with the MLIS,
> honestly. Yes, it's still a requirement on a lot of job postings _now_,
> but more and more that's being dropped from systems roles in lieu of
> relevant experience.
> The other sad reality is that an entry level systems librarian position
> probably makes less than a developer or sysadmin position in the same
> Fwiw, I have no masters in anything, a BA in theatre (the BEST degree, but
> that's another thread), and have worked in library technology
> professionally for 20 years (oh, hey there, ravages of time). While not
> having an MLIS has kept me out of consideration for some jobs in the past,
> almost all of them just wanted a masters in _something_, which, in that
> case, get a masters in CS or CE.
> On May 28, 2014 11:18 PM, "Riley Childs" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > I was curious about the type of degrees people had. I am heading off to
> > college next year (class of 2015) and am trying to figure out what to
> > in. I want to be a systems librarian, but I can't tell what to major in!
> > wanted to hear about what paths people took and how they ended up where
> > they are now.
> > BTW Y'All at NC State need a better tour bus driver (not the c4l tour,
> > admissions tour) ;) the bus ride was like a rickety roller coaster...
> > Also, if you know of any scholarships please let me know ;) you would be
> > my BFF :P
> > Riley Childs
> > Student
> > Asst. Head of IT Services
> > Charlotte United Christian Academy
> > (704) 497-2086
> > RileyChilds.net
> > Sent from my Windows Phone, please excuse mistakes