The Ultimate Career and Salary Overview

The reason why anyone goes to a post-secondary school is so that they can begin their career doing what they love. Every degree program prepares you for a specific set of careers, which is why it is important to know what your career options are either before or while pursuing your college education.

Library and information science are typically offered as one degree, yet that only became the case as of the 1960’s, when technology began to change the way we collect, research, organize, and present data. Below, you will be able to see the similarities and differences between library science, information systems, and information science once you have read about what the career options and average salaries are available in each specific field.

Library Science

Working in the library science field specifically means working in a library setting of some kind. This does not mean that all library positions are the same, job descriptions vary depending on level of education required, library venue, and ranking. Take a look at the differences between common library positions offered.

  • Law Librarian: There are three possible career paths that fall under law librarianship, academic, government, and private. In each of these settings, you would work closely with the personnel (lawyer, student, professor, judge, etc.) and teach them how to use the research tools available and assisting them with any of their general researching needs. You would also manage the library operations by obtaining and cataloging new research materials, as well as maintaining existing information within their databases. In larger the institutions, firms, and courthouses there is more of a need for a special interest (foreign law, archives, government documents) law librarians.
  • Medical Librarian: Like a law librarian, there are three different arenas in which you can pursue a medical librarian career – hospitals, research centers, and medical schools. They must be knowledgeable of the latest technologies and practices within the medical field in order to provide assistance to healthcare professionals.
  • Academic and Public Librarian: Academic librarians may work in elementary school libraries up through post-secondary libraries, assisting students and teachers with research and curriculum materials. Often librarians working in elementary through high school level libraries are referred to as school media specialists. In addition to aiding those utilizing the services of the library, both public and academic librarians gather, organize, and scan new research into their databases and make sure that the existing information available is accurate and categorized correctly.
  • Museum Archivist: As a museum archivist, it is your job to collect items for exhibits and ensure that all of them are authentic. A museum archivist must also appraise, preserve, maintain, organize, catalog, and create films and digital copies of all documents, artifacts, etc. within the museum. The Museum Director also assists those who arrange the items within an exhibit, and they plan public events such as tours, workshops, and lectures.

As with any career, the more education and experience that you have, the more you will earn annually. Museum archivists make an average of $49,120 per year, and library directors earn the most annually, as they typically have the most experience, education, and responsibility. According to several job postings, a library director has the potential to make $85,000-$100,000 per year. Take a look at and click on the map below to find out more information about the salary statistics of a librarian per state as of 2014.


Information Systems

The information system (IS) career path is also known as information technology (IT). In this position, you would work with an organization to examine, meet, secure, and maintain their technological needs. Working in IS ensures that the company has access to any information they may need, and is able to fix any technological issues that they may have. Here are some popular career options available to those in the IS field.

  • IT Security Manager: This position works with the executives of the company to develop a way to protect their data and network processes. Any instructional programs that a company offers about information security are designed by you, and you oversee any security breech investigations within an organization.
  • IT Director: Also referred to as information systems manager, you make sure that the IT department is running successfully in accordance with the plans given to you from the CIO, CTO, and executives of the company. An important part of this position is to manage the funds allotted to this department, conduct hiring, and ensure that the network and data programs are always available to the company.
  • Chief Technology Officer: CTO’s oversee the implementation of new technologies over several different departments, and address any problems that may arise. The CTO analyzes and designs new technology that best suit the company’s needs.
  • Chief Information Officer: As a CIO, you would work alongside company executives to determine their long-term technology goals and come up with a strategy for the IT department to implement. In a larger company, the CIO has less direct contact with the IT department because there will be more lower-level managers to fulfill that position. The CIO does not always need to know a detailed amount of technical information, especially if a company also has a chief technology officer.

To find out more about information systems and each of those career paths, click here.

The annual salary of an information systems manager ranges from $78,000 to over $200,000. Pay increases are dependent upon level of education, experience, company, and location. Check out the map to see if you are in an area with a high employment rate.


Information Science

Information science is the bridge between library science and information systems. Like library science, you collect and organize new data and help others with their research, and you also have the technical skill-set to manage information systems. In this field, you bring technology to people and organizations by analyzing trends in data, improving software, and more. These are the top careers in the information science field.

  • Data Mining: In data mining, you would improve the way that data is found and organized by creating algorithms and analyzing large amounts of data.
  • Programming The way software is written is updated constantly in an effort to be more efficient for both the software developer and the user, and this software language is updated and refined through programming.
  • Robotics Your role in robotics means creating and perfecting the software in existing robots. You would work with engineers making sure that the robots performed their tasks successfully and as efficiently as possible.

More information on information research scientists can be found here.

As previously mentioned, information science is what connects library science to information systems. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average annual salary offered to an information scientist in 2014, was $108.360. When working in an area such as data mining, which is more closely related to library science (think Boolean search technique), the salary is going to be similar to what is typically offered in the library science field. A career in robotics, however, will offer a higher salary closer to what may be offered when working in information systems.

Librarians are now performing tasks specifically designed for those in the information science field due to the rapid advances in technology. Pursuing a library science or library and information science degree is a great start to any one of these exciting careers.

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