What Are Online MLIS Programmes? (With Career Options)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) programme covers advanced library principles and concepts. Many universities and colleges offer this programme as both full-time and part-time courses, with an option for distance education. If you are planning a career as a librarian, you can benefit from knowing more about these courses. In this article, w e define online MLIS programmes, describe the admission process and eligibility criteria for these programmes and share some common types of jobs you can pursue after completing an MLIS programme.

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What are online MLIS programmes?

Learning about online MLIS programmes can help you determine if this is a suitable career choice for you. An MLIS programme is a post-graduation course that focuses on the development of research and teaching skills of the participants. Often, graduates of an MLIS programme pursue careers in library science or research. The duration of this programme is usually one or two years, and the participants can choose to attend this programme either full-time or part-time.

Online MLIS programmes are the courses in which you get the option to attend your classes from your home, without having to be physically present at the college or university. Your college may request your attendance only for specific occasions during the programme. These occasions vary depending on the college or the type of programme. In some programmes, you may require visiting your college venue for taking an offline examination, while you can attend all your classes online. The study material and the course videos are also available online in these courses.

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Admission process for MLIS programmes

The admission process for MLIS programmes varies among colleges. Usually, each college or university specifies its eligibility criteria. Some institutions may also hold entrance exams for admission to their MLIS courses. You can check the websites of the universities for more details. Once you know the eligibility criteria, you can apply accordingly with all the required documents. You can download the application form online or purchase it offline. After purchasing or downloading the application form, the next step is to fill it out accurately. Finally, pay the required fee to complete the application process.

After you apply, the university or college may ask you to write an entrance exam or wait for the release of the merit list. Once the merit list is out, you may get shortlisted for the next rounds in the admission process. These rounds may include a group discussion or a personal interview. Some universities may offer admissions directly based on the merit list without additional rounds. The exact admission process for each university varies, so check the university's official website for all the details.

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Eligibility criteria for MLIS programmes

The eligibility criteria for admission to an MLIS programme vary among universities and colleges. Universities usually ask for a minimum grade of 50% to 60% at the undergraduate level. Some institutes may also limit admissions to students based on their age. Several universities also have a requirement for minimum marks in higher secondary school, though this may be as low as 50%. Graduation with any specialisation is usually acceptable for getting admission into MLIS, but a Bachelor of Library and Information Science (BLIS) degree can be helpful since the coursework in MLIS is an extension of the BLIS curriculum.

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Why choose an online MLIS programme?

Below are some benefits of pursuing an MLIS programme:

Flexibility to learn

Such courses provide you with the opportunity to complete your MLIS while pursuing employment opportunities or without having to relocate to another city for an extended period. The cost of these courses is also usually less compared to full-time courses. The daily time commitment required for such courses is also way less than what a full-time course requires, but an online course may have a longer course duration of three years.

Several options for higher education

Pursuing an MLIS programme enables you to pursue higher education, like an MPhil degree or a doctorate in the same field. A master's degree is a common prerequisite for getting admission to these programmes. So, completing an MLIS degree can help you become eligible for an MPhil or a doctorate programme in library sciences or related fields.

High job prospects in both private and public sectors

An MLIS degree may help you get a job in both the private and the public sectors. There are several career options you can consider after completing your MLIS. You may choose to work as a librarian, teacher or even research scholar.

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Career options after MLIS

An MLIS programme is a specialised post-graduate degree that offers good job prospects for those who complete it. Here are a few career options you can pursue after completing your MLIS:

1. Academic librarian

National average salary: ₹21,200 per month

Primary duties: A librarian manages the academic material-based repositories of colleges, schools or universities. They are responsible for ensuring that all common academic items, books and other documents are in order and well maintained. They also work on issuing these items to students and maintaining records of their disbursements and returns.

2. Library assistant

National average salary: ₹21,132 per month

Primary duties: A library attendant or assistant assists the librarian in their work. This job position is common in large libraries. In smaller libraries, the librarian usually performs all the necessary duties. A library attendant or assistant performs functions such as sorting and managing books and other materials, managing the issuing of library cards, keeping an account of the library credit history of all the students and maintaining the records of all the issuances and returns.

3. Research student

National average salary: ₹32,692 per month

Primary duties: A research scholar or student gets the opportunity to assist a research scientist in their research. After the MLIS degree, research students may work as research scholars in fields related to library sciences. They usually conduct research on the topic of their choice in detail. Working as a research student can also help in pursuing higher studies in the future.

How to select the right MLIS programme

Here are a few steps you can follow to select the right MLIS programme for you:

1. Conduct thorough research about the institute

The first step is to conduct proper research about the institutes where you are applying. It is essential to get complete information about the duration of the course, the course fee and whether it is a full-time or part-time course. Based on your requirements, you may shortlist the institutions that are suitable for you.

2. Consider the eligibility criteria

The next step is to make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria for all institutes where you wish to apply. Check the eligibility criteria for each of the colleges that you have shortlisted. You may further prioritise the application process based on your eligibility and preference at this stage.

3. Check the admission process and apply

After shortlisting the institutions you want to apply to, the next step is to check the admission process and schedule. Some colleges may only require you to send an application form with relevant documents, but others may ask you to appear for an entrance exam or several rounds of interviews. Review the admission process carefully and apply to all the colleges where you think you are eligible for getting admission.

You can also consider other factors while applying for relevant colleges, such as location, fee, placement assistance and faculty. If possible, you can also visit a college before applying to it to assess its facilities and campus.

4. Check the final placement reports of the institute

One important aspect of an MLIS programme you can consider before applying to it is its placement records. Find out how many students got a job after completing the programme. This information is usually available on the institute's website. You may go through the placement reports for the past years to determine where students from the institute gain employment. It is important to select an institute with the potential to get a good job offer after completing the programme.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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