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PD Research - Poster

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  • 1. The Future of the Profession: Student Professional Development at the iSchool  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? Using an web-based tool, we solicited students to participate in a survey of 25 questions pertaining to their activities, their views on professional development, and their professional goals. We targeted upper-year students, in the months after the summer, to best capture their recollections from this time period.  There was little change between students career choices before and after the summer. When asked if “Yes, now I am leaning towards special their summer exlibraries as a future career” periences affected their career “No; I knew before starting at the iSchool that I choices, students has a range wanted to work in a special library. That has not of responses: changed.” “Yes. I no longer want to work in an archive.” 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. Students' Career Preferences  Government libraries and special libraries needs to do better: Students interested in government work are not finding their way there. 60.00% 50.00% 40.00% 30.00% Before the summer Today 20.00% Methodology The study collected both quantitative and qualitative data from Master of Information Studies students over a period of approximately one month. Several reminders were sent to students by e-mail to encourage them to participate. The study did not offer an incentive, but nonetheless received 96 responses - a response rate of approximately 46%. Meghan Ecclestone is a newly-appointed Business Librarian at York University ’s Bronfman Business Library. You can contact her via her website, at www.meghanecclestone.com Results About the project We launched this survey in October of 2008 to answer two broad questions: Bruce Harpham is a recent graduate of the MISt program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information. You can contact him via his website, www.bruceharpham.ca 10.00%  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. Faculty of Information Job Fair (February 2009). 28 students commented that the Job Fair was a faculty event that they found most helpful or beneficial to their professional development. Conclusions In this project, we noted that a large majority of students found well paying work in fields of interests, and had high levels of job satisfaction. These promising results suggest 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 also a need from the Faculty of Information to compliment this work experience with greater professional development opportunities during the school year. 0.00% Library - Public   Library Academic Library – Special Library Archives Government Government Archives Archives Records Information University Private Sector Management Systems Web Design Other Rates of job satisfaction were quite high: 80% of students were satisfied, or very satisfied with their summer work experiences. Though many students reported hourly wages over $20 per hour, a significant minority reported lower wages. Hourly Rates of Pay $10-16 40% $21-29 45% $17-20 15% In future, research could be improved in several ways. Surveying the impressions of employers could supplement students’ views. As well, a broader picture could be attained by contrasting the positions of new graduates with mid-program summer positions. Finally, the survey construction could benefit from more focused questions.