PD Research - Handout

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  • 1. The Future of the Profession: Student Professional Development at the iSchool About the project We launched this survey in October of 2008 to answer two broad questions: 1. What professional activities students had undertaken in the summer between their first and second year of their Master of Information Studies (MISt); and 2. What professional development opportunities do they desire from the Faculty? Bruce Harpham is a recent graduate of the Master of Information Studies program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information. You can contact him via his website, www.bruceharpham.ca Meghan Ecclestone is a newly-appointed Business Librarian at York University’s Bronfman Business Library. You can contact her via her website, www.meghanecclestone.com Results  There was little change between students’ career choices before and after the summer.  Academic libraries and public libraries are doing well: Students wanting to enter these fields are gaining positions in these types of libraries, although the nature of their work is generally not as challenging or meaningful as they would like.  Government libraries and special libraries needs to do better: Students interested in government work are not finding their way there.  However it is encouraging that there was generally very little change among students’ preferences before and after their summer work experiences implying a high degree of satisfaction in their choice of field.  Though many students reported hourly wages over $20 per hour, a significant minority reported lower wages.  Students desire greater opportunities for professional development during their degree. Conclusions  A majority of students found well-paying work in fields of interests, and had high levels of job satisfaction.  This suggests that information organizations are doing well at matching students with their desired areas of work.  Nonetheless there is potential for more challenging, meaningful work for students.  There is a need from the Faculty of Information to provide greater professional development opportunities during the school year. References Duff, W. M., Cherry, J.M., and Singh, N. (2006). “Perceptions of the Information Professions: A Study of Students in the Master of Information Studies Program at a Canadian University.” Archival Science 6(2):171-192. Eso E., and Keirstead R.G. (1989–1990). “A Survey of Students of the Master of Archival Studies Programme at the University of British Columbia 1981– 88.” Archivaria 29:104-127. Ard. A. et al. (2006). “Why Library and Information Sciences?” Reference & User Services Quarterly 45(3): 236-248.