I Want a Masters in Content Management

By Deane Barker on September 29, 2006

I want a masters in content management. Sadly, none exists.

I have a bachelors in Government and International Affairs. I was going to be a lawyer, but I got into I.T. during my senior year in college, and I’ve never really looked back. Content management is where I’ve settled – I live, eat, and breathe it. I’m to the point where I want to move beyond “just” implementing systems and really dig in and explore the fundamentals and theories of the science. But how?

A Library and Information Science degree is close, and there are a number of schools that offer degrees in LIS. However, LIS would just tackle the theoretical, information architecture concepts of content management and organization. While that’s obviously important, there’s a big technical component to content management as well.

The nearest I can find to what I want is the Masters of Information Management program at the University of Washington. I found this by reading Bob Boiko’s treatise, the Content Management Bible. Bob is part of the faculty for this program. The MSIM course list makes me drool.

But, alas, there’s no distance learning for an MSIM. With a wife, three kids, a mortgage, and a thriving business, I can’t go wandering off to Washington any time soon.

So, I come to you, Gadgetopia readers. Do you know of any other programs that offer what I want – essentially, the closest I can come to an explicit “Masters in Content Management” – with a distance learning option?

Comments (11)

Bob Boiko says:

You might look into the distance MLIS program at UW. Students in that program can take a lot of the same courses as MSIM students.

Scott Abel says:

I want one, too! Actually, I probably have the eqvivalent from my real life experience. That said, technical communication students are also looking for such educational opportunities as many existing techcom programs do not provide students with the overall content management focus that is requied in today’s marketplace.

It’ll be interesting to see what others have to say about this. Maybe, just maybe, there are programs out there about which we are unaware.


Deane says:

I received this via email:

I just graduated this summer from Syracuse’s Information School (ist.syr.edu) with an MSLIS that was done mostly via distance; they also have a distance IM program.

Distance format: http://ist.syr.edu/academics/distance/index.asp

MSIM program: http://ist.syr.edu/academics/graduate/msirm/index.asp

I thoroughly enjoyed my LIS degree and would highly recommend the school; though I haven’t looked carefully at the course offerings to see what they have that’s strictly CM in nature, at a quick glance it looks like SU’s IM program courses are similar to those at Washington. I took a couple of them as part of my LIS degree as well (IST659 (Database) ; a version of 614 (management); and 618 (survey of telecomm & info policy) , 631 (theory of classification) ).

Bob Doyle says:

Hi Deane,

Once we locate Masters Programs in CM, we have an excellent place on the website for them.

Have you looked at http://www.cmprofessionals.org/education/iSchools?

There we list all the schools (mostly MLIS, of course) we know in North America. http://www.asis.org/Board/educationprograms.html

We also have an international listing which is a bit broader than library schools. http://informationr.net/wl/index.html

Hope this helps.


Hilary Marsh says:

What, exactly, do you want a master’s degree in – managing content? developing a CMS? implementing a CMS? creating the business and governance structure of a CMS?

“Content management” involves business, editorial, and technical issues, and people with each of those skills.

I suspect that complexity is why programs don’t exist already. Just like MBA isn’t one degree but any one of many, a masters in content management (MCM?) would have to specialize in one aspect of the field.

Deane says:

Another few programs I received via email:


UC Berkely School of Information: Masters in Information Management http://www.ischool.berkeley.edu/programs/masters


Syracuse University: Masters in Library and Information Science http://istweb.syr.edu/academics/graduate/mls/index.asp

Scott Smith says:

While I don’t know of a graduate program in content management, your blog reminded me of a presentation that Ann Rockely put together a while back.

I think the skills inventory – pages 11-18 – provides a pretty good glimpse of what a graduate of a “Content Management Studies” program might look like.

To Hilary’s point on complexity, the way I envision a mature graduate program is that there would be tracks that the students could follow depending on their interests. The program might begin with required courses – “Intro. to Content Management” – that provide overviews of the various components of CM (editorial, governance, project management, accessibility....) followed by more in-depth courses like “Advanced Content Analysis” or “Technical Architectures for Content Management Systems.”

Moni says:

I’m looking for the same thing. You might try these programs:

Rochester Institute of Technology http://www.rit.edu/ Online Masters in Learning and Knowledge Management Systems.

Bentley College http://bentley.edu. Online and low-residency MS in Human Factors in Information Design.

Rensselaer http://www.llc.rpi.edu/ Distance learning – Masters in Human Computer Interaction

Robert Gordon University (UK) www.rgu.com Distance learning – Masters degrees and certificates in Electronic Information Management, Knowlege Management, Electronic Publishing

You might also try looking for online graduate certificate programs in informatics, knowledge management, and learning management systems.

Finally, consider looking for related distance learning programs in the UK and Canada.

Good Luck!

Cheryl says:

Check out The Whole Library Handbook 4 by George M. Eberhart. It provides a thorough and helpful overview of librarianship as a whole, including library types, library people (librarians, friends, trustees, staff, etc.), the profession, materials, operations, special users, promotions, technology, issues, and some really interesting librariana. (I should say, this is what the WLH 3 included. I haven’t seen #4 yet.) I like the sense of humor Eberhart brings to the book.

Another interesting and insightful book is The librarian’s career guidebook edited by Priscilla K. Shontz.

While these are not the seminal works I think you requesting, I immediately thought of both books, because they can give you a feel and info about LIS and librarianship. Good Luck – Cheers! Cheryl

Bill Albing says:

Don’t underestimate the multidisciplinary approach of the so-called “i-schools”. For more information on them check out www.ischools.com. Though starting as a merging of information and library science with IT programs, these will have the degree you want. They are changing much more rapidly and seem to be keeping up better than so-called “technical communication” programs that typically are tied to English or Engineering departments. Also, I wouldn’t recommend being too specific with your degree. “Content Management” could sound broad to you but to some of us it sounds very narrow – you can’t study content management without studying people and technology and content. If you have ideas for curriculum and research, don’t hesitate to let us know – either by communicating with these schools or by posting such ideas on keycontent.org’s web site. – Bill Albing Knowledge Developer www.keycontent.org

John Mancini says:

You should save your grad school money. Take our ECM Masters course. One week. www.aiim.org/training