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Online Master’s Degree in Library Media

Library media is a specialization within the field of education that focuses on the latest technological advances in school research and learning services. This type of degree is often offered as a track within, or in conjunction with, a general education program. Graduates who earn an online masters degree in library media are qualified to work in school libraries, classrooms, or in a curriculum development capacity. The strong technical skills individuals gain with this type of degree will position them strongly in the job market, since many schools are incorporating digital learning resources and activities into their curriculums at an increasing rate.

A masters degree in library media will typically take one to three years to complete, depending on the school’s specific requirements. In addition, the student’s level of enrollment throughout the program and any breaks that they make take can influence time to completion for online masters programs. Those who already have a master’s degree in library science may be able to complete an accelerated degree track, depending on the school’s transfer policies.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Library Media

Course work for an online masters degree program in library media is designed to prepare students to become educational leaders in technology. The curriculum will often include foundational courses in learning psychology, literature, instruction materials, and classroom management. In addition, specialized courses covering the ethics of technology, integration of technology in the classroom, instructional design, and digital research are all common topics for online masters programs in library media. Some specific examples of courses students might be required to take include:

  • Digital Research and Information Literacy
  • Technology Integration for the K-12 Teacher
  • Production of Instructional Resources
  • Assessing Learning Through Technology
  • Instructional Design

Most online masters degree programs in library media will require a capstone research project or thesis. This may be an instructional design or research project in an area of particular interest for the student. Those interested in becoming fully licensed library media specialists may be required to complete some field experience as well. The specifics of this field work can vary based on state requirements.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Library Media

Graduates of an online master’s degree program in this field are qualified to work as library media specialists. These positions may be found in schools or with private education companies. With their technological expertise, library media graduates may also work in instructional design or in a consulting capacity for schools and educational companies trying to integrate digital materials and resources into their curriculums. According to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, audio-visual and multimedia collections specialists earned a mean annual wage of $46,990 in 2011. Those working in elementary and secondary schools earned the highest salaries at an average of $49,080 a year. Note, however, that actual salaries can vary based on a number of factors, such as geographical location, level of experience, education, and the type of employer.

Most positions in this field require a master’s degree and proper licensure. This is particularly important for those looking to work in public schools. Some states may even require library media specialists to have teacher certification. With the growing use of electronic resources and digital media in libraries, graduates with a specialization in library media have good job prospects. The demand for education, training, and library occupations is expected to grow by 15% over the projection period of 2010-2020. However, due to the increasing demand for professionals with high-level technical skills, library media graduates may find they have an advantage in this job market.

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