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Library & Information Science Major

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Library & Information Science

99 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
5,044 Master's Degrees Annually
#282 in Popularity
$61,530 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Library & Information Science Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many library and information science graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 5,044
Graduate Certificate 423
Bachelor’s Degree 99
Doctor’s Degree 39
Associate’s Degree 35
Undergraduate Certificate 3

What Library & Information Science Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to library science and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Library Science Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in library science should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills for Library Science Majors

A major in library science prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Library Science Majors

A major in library science will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Library & Information Science Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with library science:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Archivists 14.7% $52,240
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Librarians 9.0% $59,050
Library Science Professors 8.3% $71,560
Loss Prevention Managers 8.0% $107,480
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Security Managers 8.0% $107,480

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Library & Information Science?

99 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
88% Percent Women
20% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 99 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in library and information science in 2019, making it rank #282 in popularity. The major attracts more women than men. About 88% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of library science majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Library Science Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 1
Black or African American 7
Hispanic or Latino 7
White 79
International Students 0
Other Races/Ethnicities 5

How Much Do Library & Information Science Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in library science was $30,500 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $26,950 (25th percentile) and $34,050 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to library science so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Library Science majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $56,400 to $75,450 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Library & Information Science Major  ( 56400 to 75450 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with library science may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for library science careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 2.8%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 2.5%
Some College Courses 2.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 5.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 36.8%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 2.2%
Master’s Degree 37.0%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 3.0%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.6%
Doctoral Degree 7.1%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.9%

Online Library & Information Science Programs

In 2018-2019, 87 schools offered a library science program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 1 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 3 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 8 5
Bachelor’s Degree 24 11
Post-Baccalaureate 1 0
Master’s Degree 67 44
Post-Master’s 35 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 13 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Library & Information Science Worth It?

The median salary for a library science grad is $61,530 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 54% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $432,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to library science.

Major Number of Grads
Library & Archives Assisting 422
Other Library & Archives Assisting 139

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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