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Nervous about so much debt


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I've been accepted to one school so far, Rutgers. It's out of state and I'd have to pay $22,000+ a year just for tuition. That doesn't include housing, or fees, books................I'm so nervous about taking on that much debt. (my other option Buffalo, if I get in is cheaper)

I had no news about any sort of funding at all, so I assume it is all going to be loans. (work study perhaps? Hopefully?)

Please reassure me that this is worth it. I haven't been able to find steady work after my undergrad, and I can't imagine what this would be like with 30K+ of debt on my back.

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The general consensus is that a MLIS degree is not worth going into debt for considering the state of libraries in today's economy. There are a large number of blogs out there written by current librarians or graduate students who are quite honest about the reality of the job market, despite what the ALA will have you believing about the "graying of the field". If you are that concerned about being without a job and handling that much debt, then the MLIS is not for you, at least not at this time.

I'm considering a MLIS after I complete my MA in Museum Studies since I want to go into archives/collections, but I refuse to go into debt (for either degree) since the job market for libraries, museums, non-profits, historical societies, etc. is not good. I've worked in this area for six years and its not showing any signs of improvement currently.

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The general consensus is that a MLIS degree is not worth going into debt for considering the state of libraries in today's economy. There are a large number of blogs out there written by current librarians or graduate students who are quite honest about the reality of the job market, despite what the ALA will have you believing about the "graying of the field". If you are that concerned about being without a job and handling that much debt, then the MLIS is not for you, at least not at this time.

I'm considering a MLIS after I complete my MA in Museum Studies since I want to go into archives/collections, but I refuse to go into debt (for either degree) since the job market for libraries, museums, non-profits, historical societies, etc. is not good. I've worked in this area for six years and its not showing any signs of improvement currently.

Thanks for your honesty.

My undergrad degree seems relatively worthless (History and Geography) But I am lucky to have no debt from it (in state, work, grandparents)

I live in a relatively rural area so work hasn't been easy. The only work I've gotten is minimum wage.

I'm willing to work myself senseless to get a job with a MLIS. I am very good with computers, so am hoping that might give me a leg up (I take to HTML etc pretty easily) I am trying to teach myself Spanish as well. I'm volunteering now at my town library, which I enjoy. Relocating is not a problem. I don't need a great career at a top notch job. I'd be fine with a job that allows me to live modestly and do something fulfilling. I love the environment of the community college/ state college and would be fine working at a place like that.

I'm cursed with not being a hard science person. I wish I was, I'm just not. Math either. I suppose those fields are "worth" going into debt over. But they aren't for me.

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My undergrad was also pretty worthless. I have a BFA, but then decided I didn't want an MFA and to go into teaching. However, I stuck it out so I could graduate on time. And you're definitely better off than many undergrads who leave school with significant debt, myself included.

From what you've written, I think you have a better idea than most of what it will take to pursue a career in libraries. Learning a second language, volunteering at a library, accepting the reality of having to relocate, and that it will never be a lucrative career, puts you far ahead of many MLIS students. Quite honestly I'm surprised by those who think that the MLIS degree alone will get them a job. You're willing to put in the hard work and that says a lot about who you are.

It wouldn't hurt to contact Rutgers and ask about work-study and if you can apply for Fall positions now. If you haven't already, go through Rutgers website and find anything about financial aid/scholarships or contact the office there to see what options you have. Also, look for scholarships from library associations.

Have you read http://hacklibschool.wordpress.com at all? I've found it pretty interesting and they cover a range of topics from career advice to comparing MLIS programs to current technology and more.

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Hello

I agree it's great you are volunteering and also prepared to relocate. This will help.

Taking all you've said in different threads together, I think you're ready for a change and this is a good one for you. Going to Rutgers is exciting, it's a great school. So I wouldn't rush through it at crazy light-speed just to save a semester of costs. Rather I think you should go at a normal pace, get the best grades you can, network and enjoy what's on offer as much as you can, and keep up any volunteering or library work you can during study.

There really aren't any perfect choices and I think part of making a good choice is making the most of the positive aspects of the one you HAVE chosen, if that makes sense.

Edited by littlewing
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Also maybe try to convert your IT skills into something concrete for your resume - through part-time work or volunteering at something I guess?

Plus you're very young so as long as you do well at what you're doing and enjoy it, you can't go too wrong I don't think... obviously try to keep costs as low as you reasonably can, which I think you will.

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I'd actually enjoy relocating :D I need a change of scenery, at least for a while. I love my part of the world, and would like to maybe come back someday, but 23 years so far is enough for now. And I've never been to NYC, which Rutgers offers the opportunity to do. ;)

I'm gonna see about maybe a few IT certifications, I went to a vocational high school and did IT, but never took the certification tests. I think with a little study I could get an A+ cert at least. I W3 offers certs in HTML etc, and I'm gonna do some research into whether those are worth anything or not.

I'm definitely going to try to find any kind of work-study I can at Rutgers, also any sort of volunteering/internship I can find in some sort of library while I'm there.

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woo hoo! It will be great. You can enjoy being excited now!

By the way, if you get in to Buffalo, might you accept there? If so what are your feelings about conditional accreditation? I ask because one of my schools is conditionally accredited at the moment.

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woo hoo! It will be great. You can enjoy being excited now!

By the way, if you get in to Buffalo, might you accept there? If so what are your feelings about conditional accreditation? I ask because one of my schools is conditionally accredited at the moment.

I strongly prefer full accreditation, But if Buffalo somehow gives me a bunch of money, I'd have to consider it.

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