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College
Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 8949, member since Sat Jul 19, 2003
On Wed Jan 15, 2014 02:24 PM

I'm guessing not, but I'm feeling whiny. I'm in school getting my MLIS (library science). I don't love it. Career prospects are horrible if you look at number of graduates vs. how many people get a job in the field. I also worry I'll hate being a librarian. I only have 11 months left (and 6 of those months will be very part-time) so I'll stick it out, I just HATE grad school.

/vent

Commiserations? Stories from people who stuck out grad school and never worked in their field but found awesome jobs and don't regret school would be appreciated :P

14 Replies to Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?

re: Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 8600, member since Thu Apr 17, 2003
On Wed Jan 15, 2014 03:20 PM
Hmmm, I thought job prospects were something you looked at when you were applying? If not, probably should have.. but I guess hindsight is 20/20.

Personally, I have a master's in criminal justice. For awhile there, I was dead set on being a cop or going into federal law enforcement of some kind. I may still, but it's not looking that way currently. I'm still working in the medical field, which is pretty unrelated. I applied to get a second master's in social work, which is the field I intend to work in. So, yes, in a way I have a degree that does not pertain to my future awesome job that I intend on having. I also really enjoyed my program, so I don't feel like it was money down the drain.

I don't really know what to tell ya, other than continue doing your soul searching. Only you can decide whether it's beneficial to stay in this current program vs switching to another one, etc. I wish you luck!
re: Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?
By slice Comments: 1247, member since Fri Oct 15, 2004
On Wed Jan 15, 2014 04:59 PM
I mean, I knew the deplorable state of the academic job market going into this - it's kind of hard to not know. Even visiting schools after I was accepted I recall a particularly memorable part of the tour at Brown where the grad department admin in charge of professionalization gave us a spiel about how hardly anyone comes out on the other side of their doctorate with a tenure-track job and it only gets worse with each year... lol.

If you're sure academia isn't for you, then I'd start working on some professional skills to make yourself marketable out in the non-academic job market. See what's available this summer in the way of internships, visit your campus career center, speak with office staff in your department and see if they can get you in contact with graduates who went off and pursued other things (they should definitely have a record of that).

Given how bad the market is I would almost guarantee that more people come out of LIS not becoming librarians than the ones that do. There's plenty of skills in library science and other digital humanities that are applicable outside of academia. Even though you have 11 months left, I would start exploring other options very soon.
re: Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 8949, member since Sat Jul 19, 2003
On Wed Jan 15, 2014 08:35 PM
When I was applying last year, it's really not something I paid much attention to. I had two years of scholarship left, may as well go to grad school. I debated counseling and library school. Saw the terrible state of people searching for counseling jobs, did a cursory search for librarianship and didn't see much negative press about it. It's only since really digging into lesser known resources that I've gotten hard stats.

Realistically, I shouldn't be complaining because I'm fortunate. I'm also locked into a lease, so there's no reason for me not to finish. I just worry about regretting investing the time, especially when I am SO burned out.
re: Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Fri Jan 17, 2014 06:27 PM
Edited by majere (186163) on 2014-01-17 18:33:18
joblist.ala.org . . .

There are jobs.

Have you worked in a library? It is easier to get a library job if you already work for the library. My system vary rarely hires externally.

Did you enjoy the first half of your time in grad school? You could just be in a rut.
re: Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 8949, member since Sat Jul 19, 2003
On Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:20 PM
majere wrote:

joblist.ala.org . . .

There are jobs.

Have you worked in a library? It is easier to get a library job if you already work for the library. My system vary rarely hires externally.

Did you enjoy the first half of your time in grad school? You could just be in a rut.


I'm currently working in a library, getting experience many would kill for. However, it's definitely not a librarian position so I'm not getting a lot of idea about what it'll be like.

As for ALA, in the past year there have been a tiny handful of jobs in the city I'm moving to. Annoyed Librarian is FULL of commenters who can't get jobs. The actual breakdown of stats school-by-school is not wonderful.

I have a brutal schedule this semester, so I think it's contributing to my rut for sure. Professional programs are just a big commitment because they may provide you skills for other jobs, but you're sort of placing all your eggs in one basket when it comes to planning for your career...
re: Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:13 AM
Kekoa wrote:



I'm currently working in a library, getting experience many would kill for. However, it's definitely not a librarian position so I'm not getting a lot of idea about what it'll be like.

As for ALA, in the past year there have been a tiny handful of jobs in the city I'm moving to. Annoyed Librarian is FULL of commenters who can't get jobs. The actual breakdown of stats school-by-school is not wonderful.

I have a brutal schedule this semester, so I think it's contributing to my rut for sure. Professional programs are just a big commitment because they may provide you skills for other jobs, but you're sort of placing all your eggs in one basket when it comes to planning for your career...


You are wanting to be an academic librarian, right? You're working in your university library?

I work for a public library so it is probably a bit different. From what my co-workers who have already gone through the SLIS at the only real option here, is that you don't have a chance unless you already work in a library. They took classes and once someone who wasn't in the system yet found out they were, they would try to get them to help them get a job in the system. There are people who already have their MLIS trying to get a basic entry level position (shelver/library aide), just to get a foot in the door. They don't get hired for that. Because you don't even need to have a high school diploma to do that job. As I said my system very rarely hires externally and they only regularly do for shelving positions.

I looked up my school and 61% of the students work in a library. 17% in information agencies. That is the students. Not graduates. slis.ou.edu . . .

As for not knowing what it will be like? Hey, I've worked in libraries for approx. 4 1/2 years (not consecutive). I have a pretty good feel at what it will be like to be a research or reference librarian. Because I am already doing it and see other people doing it. No, I'm not a reference librarian. I was a circ clerk in an academic library for three years. I helped a ton of students with the data bases etc. Finding books. I manned the library by myself for a 2-3 hours every night. Now I am in a public library I was a shelver, but I worked the desk a lot. I got so many reference questions I had to research. Because in a public library, anyone working is viewed as a librarian to the public. They will ask the first person they see and you have to help them. I've done research on drug interactions, cars, looking up old addresses etc. Finding articles in databases. Teaching people to use the databases. I get tons of readers advisory questions too. Answering the same questions the reference librarian does and using the deep web. Now, I am a circ clerk again and it is the same deal. I work with so few people now I really have a good idea of what all a manager does. However, I have no clue about collection development and cataloging and ILL or technical services.

So, my point? What are you doing in the library? Is there another spot to try for that works closer with the sort of librarian you want to be?
re: Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 8949, member since Sat Jul 19, 2003
On Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:26 AM
majere wrote:

Kekoa wrote:



I'm currently working in a library, getting experience many would kill for. However, it's definitely not a librarian position so I'm not getting a lot of idea about what it'll be like.

As for ALA, in the past year there have been a tiny handful of jobs in the city I'm moving to. Annoyed Librarian is FULL of commenters who can't get jobs. The actual breakdown of stats school-by-school is not wonderful.

I have a brutal schedule this semester, so I think it's contributing to my rut for sure. Professional programs are just a big commitment because they may provide you skills for other jobs, but you're sort of placing all your eggs in one basket when it comes to planning for your career...


So, my point? What are you doing in the library? Is there another spot to try for that works closer with the sort of librarian you want to be?


The position I have is just sort of a catch-all. Checking the catalog, directing people to various parts of the library and campus, troubleshooting hardware, answering phones, etc. I don't dislike it by any means, but it's definitely not giving me librarian-y experience (other than the fact that librarians will step in to cover for us if we have training or something). There really isn't a way I can transfer, I could theoretically keep an eye out for reference assistant gigs, but I don't think I'd like that.

I've reworked my internship plans and am feeling a lot better about the two I'll hopefully be doing. Part of my problem is that I'm unsure of if I want to work public (youth services) or academic (instruction). Then I see the issue of there being so few entry level jobs, and get discouraged. I'm moving 1,100 miles a week after graduation. It's scary!
re: Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:50 AM
Kekoa wrote:



The position I have is just sort of a catch-all. Checking the catalog, directing people to various parts of the library and campus, troubleshooting hardware, answering phones, etc. I don't dislike it by any means, but it's definitely not giving me librarian-y experience (other than the fact that librarians will step in to cover for us if we have training or something). There really isn't a way I can transfer, I could theoretically keep an eye out for reference assistant gigs, but I don't think I'd like that.

I've reworked my internship plans and am feeling a lot better about the two I'll hopefully be doing. Part of my problem is that I'm unsure of if I want to work public (youth services) or academic (instruction). Then I see the issue of there being so few entry level jobs, and get discouraged. I'm moving 1,100 miles a week after graduation. It's scary!


What you described your job as is what you'll be doing half the time if you are a youth librarian in public library. My co-worker said one time, people need a Sherpa to find what they need in the library (I can't tell you how many people I had to walk to where the book they wanted is, that they claimed wasn't there etc). The other half would be working on programming.
re: Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 8949, member since Sat Jul 19, 2003
On Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:07 PM
majere wrote:

Kekoa wrote:



The position I have is just sort of a catch-all. Checking the catalog, directing people to various parts of the library and campus, troubleshooting hardware, answering phones, etc. I don't dislike it by any means, but it's definitely not giving me librarian-y experience (other than the fact that librarians will step in to cover for us if we have training or something). There really isn't a way I can transfer, I could theoretically keep an eye out for reference assistant gigs, but I don't think I'd like that.

I've reworked my internship plans and am feeling a lot better about the two I'll hopefully be doing. Part of my problem is that I'm unsure of if I want to work public (youth services) or academic (instruction). Then I see the issue of there being so few entry level jobs, and get discouraged. I'm moving 1,100 miles a week after graduation. It's scary!


What you described your job as is what you'll be doing half the time if you are a youth librarian in public library. My co-worker said one time, people need a Sherpa to find what they need in the library (I can't tell you how many people I had to walk to where the book they wanted is, that they claimed wasn't there etc). The other half would be working on programming.


Even that, I think I'd be fine with because I'd have a job to do during the downtime. The issue I'm facing now is that 2 of my 3 shifts each week are at totally dead times. We're talking one phone call and one question. I'm not good at sitting and twiddling my thumbs, because there's really nothing else for me to do except search the web. The one shift each week during a busy time is awesome.
re: Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:17 PM
Kekoa wrote:

majere wrote:

Kekoa wrote:



The position I have is just sort of a catch-all. Checking the catalog, directing people to various parts of the library and campus, troubleshooting hardware, answering phones, etc. I don't dislike it by any means, but it's definitely not giving me librarian-y experience (other than the fact that librarians will step in to cover for us if we have training or something). There really isn't a way I can transfer, I could theoretically keep an eye out for reference assistant gigs, but I don't think I'd like that.

I've reworked my internship plans and am feeling a lot better about the two I'll hopefully be doing. Part of my problem is that I'm unsure of if I want to work public (youth services) or academic (instruction). Then I see the issue of there being so few entry level jobs, and get discouraged. I'm moving 1,100 miles a week after graduation. It's scary!


What you described your job as is what you'll be doing half the time if you are a youth librarian in public library. My co-worker said one time, people need a Sherpa to find what they need in the library (I can't tell you how many people I had to walk to where the book they wanted is, that they claimed wasn't there etc). The other half would be working on programming.


Even that, I think I'd be fine with because I'd have a job to do during the downtime. The issue I'm facing now is that 2 of my 3 shifts each week are at totally dead times. We're talking one phone call and one question. I'm not good at sitting and twiddling my thumbs, because there's really nothing else for me to do except search the web. The one shift each week during a busy time is awesome.


I feel you. I'm currently working at a library in a very small town. It is so slow compared to my last location, most of the time I don't know what to do with my self. This past week since school has started I don't know how much of that time was spent checking my online classes. Depending on who I am working with I can weed or shelf read (but some people are like "how dare you leave me at the desk alone"... I'm just like there's only three people in here... there's not ten people in line).

During my undergrad when I worked in the university library, I spent much time doing reading assignments. Sometimes it was busy. But between 9 and 10 pm it was dead.
re: Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?
By SandraLAVixenmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 904, member since Tue Jul 18, 2006
On Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:36 AM
There were SOME schools I regret NOT dropping out of, or at least transferring.

Mostly LAUSD and some private schools, there was so many bad experiences, arguing, drama, politics, violence, etc... that I could lived without.

I think you need to demand very highly of the educational environment that you are in. You are paying them money (or tax dollars) and if they are just hurting you and not educating you, they are thieves.

As children I remember we had little reference, we thought "that was the way things were suppose to be". But when we move on to high school and college, we kind of have more experience but I think most of us (and parents) are too quick to accept this is the best education we can get.

It is not, and just because you pay a lot of money for a big name (or a promised name) and you just have that strange feeling that you are putting a lot of your life on the line and not really getting anything back, then it's time to get out of that toxic environment and find a better school or education.
re: Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?
By dancin_til_death Comments: 4381, member since Sat May 08, 2004
On Wed Feb 26, 2014 03:39 AM
I have a couple of friends who did drop continuously changed their degrees. One girl in particular had a really bad habit of not handing in assignments, and then not completing course requirements. She has now found a degree she's interested in. However the result is that 7 years post finishing highschool, she is still only 2 years into her degree of choice while most of us our out working. I would say her problem, and other's like her, forgot that it doesn't matter what you do - you've got to do it well.

If you really do desperately want to drop out - then drop out well. If you're going to stay in your current degree then do it well; apply for lowly librarian positions, do unpaid work, get references etc. Whatever you do, do it well.
re: Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?
By hannicamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 604, member since Fri Sep 21, 2007
On Fri Apr 25, 2014 05:03 PM
I regret not dropping out of envi sci. I hated the program, and after I got the diploma hated the work. Now I am going into something I want to do at 24.

Of course I wouldn't take back the friends that I made, or the skills I developed for studying. I learnt a lot of things away from the classroom as well what have been useful.
re: Anyone regret NOT dropping out of school?
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 8949, member since Sat Jul 19, 2003
On Fri Apr 25, 2014 06:31 PM
I suppose all things truly do pass, because I'm currently very content in my program and have zero desire to leave it.

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