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A Web Letter from the Office of the Provost - January 2022

By Mary Jane Chew

Libraries and School of Information Studies celebrates first certificate grads, sets sights on future growth

Purdue’s Winter 2021 Commencement included an important milestone for Libraries and School of Information Studies as students graduated with certificates in Libraries’ Digital Humanities and Geographic Information Science (GIS) programs for the first time. Beth McNeil, dean of Libraries and School of Information Studies and Esther Ellis Norton Professor of Library Science, says this is a moment of achievement for the School of Information Studies, first established in December 2018 to more accurately reflect the teaching and learning initiatives of its faculty.

“Through our certificate programs and all ILS courses, Libraries offers something unique for students of all disciplines,” McNeil said. “Our faculty are experts in information and data - how to find it, how to use it, and how to analyze and organize it. These are skills that can provide an advantage to all Purdue students in future academics and careers. My hope is that Purdue faculty from all colleges will see the value in these programs and encourage their students to participate.”

Why students should consider the GIS certificate

Geospatial information plays an increasingly important role in many cutting-edge industries. The U.S. Department of Labor has defined geospatial technologies as one of the major areas of job growth in the coming decade, with a recent survey showing that the average salary for people with related GIS certification is $10k more than their uncertified peers. 

The Libraries’ Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Information Science provides a systematic training program in the area of geospatial information application, analysis, and management for students of all disciplines. It helps students gain fundamental knowledge and skills in acquiring, integrating, analyzing, evaluating, and managing geospatial information, in addition to exploring advanced topics in their own application areas. Learn more here.

Why students should consider the Digital Humanities certificate

Purdue students now have the opportunity to complete a certificate that covers important aspects of Digital Humanities (DH) such as computational text analysis, digital archives, geospatial analysis, and data management..

For many graduate students, an official DH accreditation can provide important recognition on their CVs and resumes, especially if they pursue careers outside the tenure track, in libraries or cultural organizations. For undergraduate students, a DH program offers the opportunity to combine their interests in the humanities or social sciences with interests in technology, data science, or computation. DH may even provide a pathway to meaningful careers after college in tech startups, non-profits, cultural organizations, or industry, all of which value a combination of liberal arts training and technical literacy. Learn more here.