Sunday, 7 August 2011

Thing 10 - Graduate traineeships, Masters degrees, Chartership, Accreditation

I think that I covered my route (so far/attempted) into the library & information world in my blog for Thing 1. I still feel very much like someone on the outside of the sweetie shop looking in, career-wise, but hopefully things are starting to change (very slowly).

Graduate traineeships:
At the end of a year spent applying for both graduate traineeships & entry-level positions, I think that I have finally come to the realisation that I am just too old for a traineeship! Thank you to all the kind employers/recruiters who have said that I didn't need to be a recent graduate, but maybe this has just been prolonging the delusion. Attending the only interview I was offered for a graduate traineeship (this was for one of 6 positions so there were a large number of candidates attending on the day) made me feel extremely old & I think that I should have taken the hint then that this was not going to be the route for me. From all that I have now read & heard at first hand about them, I think that they seem a great route for someone straight out of their degree or within a few years of graduation. My chosen route now is to get myself into an entry-level position & grow old gracefully!

Masters degrees:
Throughout my whole career-change planning, it has always been my strong intent to obtain a postgrad qualification. In fact, the desire to go back to doing academic work had been strong for the past few years when I had considered doing a masters in my original subject English whilst still working in the theatre. I couldn't quite overcome the feeling that dedicating time & finances to a purely academic qualification was indulgent so when I started to formulate ideas about moving into library & info work, the thought of a LIS M.A. or MSC seemed more practical & worthwhile. The financial implications of becoming a student again mean that I am definitely considering the distance learning options & am attracted by both Aberystwyth's & Aberdeen's courses. The option of twice-yearly start dates for them both is also appealing in its flexibility. I am also keen to cover a wide range of subject areas within the course in order to keep my options open.

I can't really comment on this from a personal perspective although I suspect that in the back of my mind I have a 'grand master plan' of getting a library job (first things first), completing a distance-learning masters, achieving a position at a professional level & then working towards chartership. I know that there are differing levels of opinion on the worth of chartership, & everyone's experiences are different. Having found considerable value so far in participating in cpd23, I can see how useful chartering could be as a form of structured CPD further down the line in one's career.


  1. A very balanced post, I enjoyed reading it. I'm doing my MSc with Aber by distance-learning and have found it to be very flexible indeed, and would recommend it. There are, however, very few options for doing whatever your interests are--only a small percentage of the modules you take are not compulsory, so it may be worth looking into that as you make your decision. Thanks for writing this, it's a good read!

  2. @Helen Murphy

    Thanks for the comment Helen. I appreciate what you say about Aber's compulsory modules - from my understanding of the prospectus, there seem to be 20 credits-worth of optional modules? This does seem to compare favourably with Aberdeen's course which doesn't appear to have any optional modules, although the compulsory ones look good. It would be great to hear feedback from any RGU students past or present on this subject.