Q: Would I still be able to get a library job after my PhD? Or will this just inhibit me?

Q: I have two master’s degrees already, and am pursuing an MLS. I was thinking maybe I should get my PhD in Library Science instead. Would I still be able to get a library job after my PhD? Or will this just inhibit me?

SM: It depends on what you want to do with your career. If you want to work as a librarian, I would suggest holding off on pursuing the PhD until after you’ve worked in libraries for a while. Library (or information) science programs are quite different than other graduate programs. They are more like professional programs and the degree (MLS) is a prerequisite for a job. If you do not have an ambition to teach library science, but you still want to pursue a terminal degree, a PhD in a different field might be more beneficial to you as a librarian.

Will a PhD inhibit your job search? Perhaps. You will certainly be overqualified for most librarian positions. However, a lack of experience will inhibit you more. There are some librarian positions, and some institutions, that require or prefer PhDs, but typically these would be PhDs in a subject area, not in library science. On the other hand, there are many more library jobs that require just a second master’s degree. Until you acquire library experience, your master’s degrees will serve you better than a PhD when it comes to finding a job as a librarian.

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