There are times, especially during those energy-depleting study marathons, when you might question why you're putting yourself through it all. Here's the good news: A piece of paper on the wall (college degree) equals more paper in your pocket ($$$) throughout your career. Yes, even during a down-turn in the economy; yes, even though you've not yet finished your degree; yes, even though you've accumulated debt. Let's take a look at the numbers.

A recent PEW study indicated that when the economy is in a down-turn,

  • declines in employment and wages are more severe for those with only high school or associate degrees.
  • Out-of-work college graduates find jobs more successfully and are not "settling" for lower wage jobs--unlike their less-educated counterparts.

So let's say you've not yet finished your degree. Is there an uptrend in the hiring of college graduates or a downtrend? According to The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, the demand for college grads will outstrip their availability by some 3 million jobs by 2020. In other words, there is a definite uptrend in the need for workers with a post-secondary degree. Further, many employers are using a college degree as a screen to minimize their resume pile when they post jobs, even though the job may not be of a level that necessitates a college degree.  Indicators are that employers believe in the whole college experience, both the learning of job-specific skills, but also of soft-skills and maturity. Want more? The Huffington Post reports that,

"...Georgetown University is out with a new report that underscores how important a diploma has been in this recovery. Of the 2.9 million "good jobs" created during the recovery from 2010 to 2014, 2.8 million — or 97 percent — have gone to workers with at least a bachelor's degree, according to Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce."

And finally, even though you may have accumulated some student loan debt, the difference in what you vs. someone without a college degree will earn is significant. How significant? After factoring in lost wages due to actually being in school, and the cost of your education itself, 2010 Census Bureau data says the difference is a whopping $550,000 dollars. And even though that is stretched out over a 40-year career, it makes a big difference in lifestyle. So stay in school kids (and adults) - it's worth it!
eCore not only provides opportunities to learn, grow, and succeed, but the support provided to students by different areas are second-to-none. Take the embedded librarians for example. From History to Sociology and from English to Psychology, when you absolutely, positively have to know, ask a librarian! eCore is thrilled to now have real, live librarians embedded in our courses (all except STEM and Spanish) that are ready to help you when you need it! 

Say hello to Betsy Clark from Georgia Highlands College, who joined us in the Spring 2016 semester as one of eCore's new embedded librarians. 

Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself, your background, hobbies, and what led you to become a librarian?
I grew up in South Central Pennsylvania (close to Lancaster County/Amish Country). I have a BA in International Studies from Dickinson College and my Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. I specialized in Health Resources and Services.  In college, I spent more time reading and researching  than writing my papers. I think that's one reason I ended up doing this type of job. I  get different questions every day, and it's so interesting to see what other people are interested in reading and researching for class. Libraries are a great place to be curious about many different things.

What exactly is an "embedded" librarian

Basically, we're just online librarians. We're embedded into eCore to help with research and answer any library-related questions.  Almost all of our resources are online now, and we want to be there too!

What are some common questions you are asked each semester?

Citations! Citations! Citations! We are also asked about accessing resources in Galileo, and questions on how to narrow topics for research.

As virtual librarians, how extensive are the "stacks" you can access?

This is a conservative estimate, but through GALILEO, students can browse about 140,000 ebooks and around 10,000 journals. That's a lot of articles!

You have office hours
: must the students make appointments or can they just drop in?
They can just drop in. All of our contact information is on our homepage,  so students can e-mail us, post on discussion boards, or call us and we'll get back to them.

What is the usual turnaround when students post a question?

If you catch us on chat, the turn around time is pretty immediate. Otherwise, we try to respond within 24 hours during the week and 48 hours if it's a weekend.

If you could give students one piece of advice regarding library services, what would it be?

When you are searching in Galileo, be specific with your search terms. If, say you're searching for chocolate, what do you want to find out about chocolate?  Dark chocolate? Milk Chocolate? Cadbury? Hershey? Lindt? Are you looking for the history of chocolate? The business side of things?  The chemistry? Shopping for Valentine's Day? The more specific you can be, the better your search results will be. This is true in both Galileo databases and on Google.

Lastly, I can't resist asking if you feel anything like the librarians in the movie, The Librarian: aren't you protecting some precious relics, i.e., ways to do research in a time when there is an overload of information?

I'd be  terrible at protecting relics! If I can drop it, lose it, or break it, I will.  You should ask Karin, the other librarian, how often I lose my keys.  All that travel, though! I wish I did more of that.