Students in a media specialist bachelor's program study library and information technology, educational resources technology management and related topics. Media specialist master's programs help students explore and examine the pedagogical tools necessary for developing and implementing learning and resource activities that encourage intellectual freedom and informational literacy.
Bachelor's programs in this field prepare students for entry-level jobs, like those of library assistants or electronic resource managers. Most librarians must hold a master's degree, and librarians who work in public schools need to obtain state certification as well.
Media Specialist Bachelor's Degree Program
A Bachelor of Science in Education with a media specialist concentration is one popular related degree program; another choice is the Bachelor of Arts in Library Information Management program. Program participants can study library and information technology, educational resources, technology management and related topics. Most media specialist bachelor's degree programs may be completed in four years.
Applicants must submit standardized test scores and high school transcripts. Other requirements, such as recommendation letters or immunization records, will vary between institutions. The curriculum of a media specialist bachelor's degree program features a large dose of liberal arts and humanities courses that are designed to provide the student with sufficient knowledge in a range of academic subjects. Core media specialist course titles are included below.
- Library administration
- Database management
- Literature for adolescents
- Electronic information management
- Information resource assessment
- Fundamentals of information systems
Media Specialist Master's Degree Programs
Media specialist master's degree programs are designed to prepare degree candidates to assume library media specialist positions in K-12 schools. A large amount of class time is devoted to mastering the various media forms and formats that allow students and teachers to access information. Most media specialist master's degree programs may be completed in two years.
Individuals applying to a media specialist master's degree program need to have successfully completed a bachelor's degree program from an accredited institution. Undergraduate transcripts and standardized test scores are commonly required. The curriculum of a media specialist master's degree program is designed to introduce students to a wide range of educational and informational media. Sample core course titles are included below.
- Collection development and management
- Improving information literacy
- Management of knowledge organizations
- Cataloging and classification
- Evaluating research methods
Popular Career Options
While a media specialist master's degree may be the entry-level degree needed to teach in a public school system, there remain many employment opportunities for those in possession of a media specialist bachelor's degree. Media specialist graduates are needed in the boardroom as well as in the classroom.
- Information technology officer
- Corporate multimedia consultant
- Electronic resource manager
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for librarians was $56,880 as of May 2015. Employment opportunities will be most robust for those candidates in possession of a master's degree or related experience (www.bls.gov).
Degree-holding candidates who are interested in library media specialist positions need to examine the teacher certification requirements for the states in which they seek employment. Most states require applicants to complete teaching certification or competency exams before they can become employed in public schools. Other requirements, such as background checks, vary between states. The entry-level degree for nearly all school librarians and media specialists is the master's degree. With this in mind, most media specialist bachelor's degree programs are designed so that the degree candidate can continue his or her studies in pursuit of a media specialist master's degree.
Students ready to work with kids in the library would benefit by earning a bachelor's or master's degree for media specialists. These degrees include courses relating to library administration, literature for adolescents, and technology.