Monday, July 28, 2008

The Information Professional - musings on becoming a generalist

I've been thinking to develop my IT skills more recently. I can do all the easy Web 2.0 things (I had my first blog more than five years ago, for example) at this point and I want to go beyond that. I'd like to be able to do some basic programming using mySQL and perhaps Java. I would also like to learn more about Web design. I'm still thinking about the best way to achieve this goal. I may look at taking courses at a nearby university or perhaps through a professional organization?

I wonder what other skills I should aim to develop further to become an information professional? I aspire to be flexible, to understand not only archives, but libraries and information management more generally. While the academic environment is very entiving to me in many ways, I'm not sure that I can obtain a position in that sector. I'm trying to think about the right way to mix some specialist skills and knowledge with more general abilities.


Anonymous said...

RE: " I'm trying to think about the right way to mix some specialist skills and knowledge with more general abilities."

-- think about an information sector masters degree that allows for Librarianship and Archival Studies. Within these streams you might explore the world of Systems and or Knowledge management, web use/search/and design. The course work will allow for a natural use of Social History and Science materials. Be prepared - it's two or so years out of your life.

Accidental Archivist said...

Thanks anonymous (3:20pm). Alas, I am presently half-way through a two-year Master's degree in Information Studies and don't have much desire to earn another one.

What I need is something that I can pursue on a part time basis, ideally while working in the future.

dkemper said...

AA: Perhaps you can pursue some evening courses. There are certificate programs that may take a year or two to complete. But if these courses teach you skills that can be applied to your work, or even open up more doors, then the time sacrifce will be worth it.