Information School Careers Information
This guide provides careers information for library and information work. It has been produced principally for use by students in the Information School, but it may also be useful to a wider audience, including anybody interested in pursuing a career in the information sector who wants to know more about finding a job, or finding a relevant postgraduate course.
Careers in Information and Libraries
Information and knowledge-based industries are an area of growth in the developed economies. At the heart of the success of modern organizations lies the efficient gathering, processing, storage and dissemination of information and the parallel development and maintenance of suitable information systems. The globalization of markets and the 'turbulence' of the business environment means that in most industries and employment sectors information or knowledge systems play a major role. The growing use of information technology in the workplace has increased the awareness of the role that information itself plays in our lives. Consequently, graduates with information or knowledge management skills are widely employable.
Information for undergraduates
Learn about the career opportunities you can open up with an undergraduate Informatics degree at the Information School.
Job titles in the Information field
The range of information work is suggested by the diversity of job titles:
Archivist, Assistant Librarian, Business Intelligence Officer, Careers Information Adviser, Cataloguer, Clinical Librarian, Communications Officer, Computing Biologist, Content Manager, Database Administrator, Data Mining Analyst, Digital Projects Librarian, Digitisation Project Manager, E-content Manager, Editorial Assistant, Electronic Resources Librarian, Freedom of Information officer, Head of e-Strategy and Development, Information Advisor, Information Literacy Coordinator, Information Manager, Information Officer, Information Scientist, IT Consultant, Knowledge Officer, Learning Advisor, Learning Resources Manager, Learning Technologist, Law Librarian, Online Database Administrator, Patent Examiner, Publisher, Reader Services Librarian, Records Manager, Repository Librarian, Systems Analyst, Technical Support Scientist, Tourist Information Officer, Web Editor, Web Page Designer.
There are a number of activities and tasks that are central to jobs in the library and information sector and these are listed below:
- Finding, researching, retrieving, organising, evaluating and presenting information. These activities are the basis of all information work.
- Selecting, buying, cataloguing and managing information products and resources.
- Providing support in the use of information resources, information services and IT systems and providing physical and virtual reference services.
- Designing and maintaining web sites and databases. Writing guides and support materials.
- Teaching people to become information literate so that the can find, use, evaluate manage and present information effectively.
- Developing and managing IT systems.
- Studying how people use information and design systems to help them.
- Managing less formal forms of knowledge and fostering collaboration.
- Managing information services and developing corporate strategies and policies to recognise the value of information. At this level, in the role as head of service, you are responsible for the entire range of activities within an organisation relating to information use.
Other skills in Information work
There is scope for graduates of any discipline to take up a career in information work. In addition, to the technical professional skills required to achieve the tasks listed above, such a career will mean developing a working knowledge of IT and computer systems. Most jobs in information work will also involve communicating with people, whether they be the general public, your colleagues in your own organization, or your clients in other organizations. You will need to have good interpersonal and communication skills to succeed. A logical and methodical approach to work is also important. Good levels of general knowledge and the ability to develop new specialist knowledge are important too. Some work may involve complex tasks such as devising and implementing new systems so a creative approach to work and the ability to work in teams is essential.
Graduates in information work are always required in the education and IT sectors. There is a long standing area of work in public libraries and in other public sector organisations, such as the NHS. In business, information and knowledge are increasingly recognised as critical to competitive advantage. There are always opportunities in publishing.
General Information career information
The Prospects website is a major source of information for graduates, providing guidance and advice about jobs and employers, the graduate job market, work experience and working abroad, job vacancies, postgraduate study opportunities, Prospects Planner (an online career exploration program) etc. In partnership with AGCAS careers advisers, it also provides a comprehensive range of graduate occupational profiles including amongst others:
For further information, please contact Pam McKinney, the School's Careers Liaison.
firstname.lastname@example.org 0114 2222650
Sarah Kettlewell is the Careers Officer responsible for Information School students. Please make an appointment with her to discuss your career options. She does not just work with finalists or those with a clear idea about what to do after graduation. Some students may want help with applications and interviews or have specific issues to tackle before job seeking. Others may be unclear about the future and need help with career planning, work experience, skills development or entrepreneurship.