Edward’s Journey to a Master’s Degree

Edward Sumcad works as an archives and records manager for Los Angeles County.

When you become an “accidental archivist and records manager,” like Edward Sumcad did, many factors come into play when weighing whether or not you can go back to school. Family commitments, job responsibilities and life can be real challenges to earning a master’s degree. That’s when online programs come to the rescue.

“I chose San Jose State because it’s a fully online program. I don’t have a lot of time to go to class every day, so it just makes that easier. I have two kids, and I want be able to spend more time with them but have the flexibility to work and study during the times when they’re asleep,” Edward explained.

More than just convenience and flexibility, Edward also needed a program that would put him in the thick of new technology and give him the skills and knowledge to establish an archives and records management system. The iSchool’s Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) online program did just that.

The archives and records manager for Los Angeles County points to his electronic management systems courses in the MARA program as “particularly useful” for his job to coordinate the preservation of county records and make them more accessible to the public.

“I think one thing that we often talk about is the difference between open source and proprietary software and what that means in the digital age, when maybe 50 years from now, we may not be able to have access to some of our official records. Thinking about ideas like that has helped shape some of the perspectives we have for our records program at Los Angeles County,” he said.

Edward’s career path may have come about accidentally, but his education is purposeful. “With records management taking off in the digital age, the skills that I am learning today are going to be very applicable to what I am going to be doing in the future.”

Interested in a career in archives and records? The iSchool offers exclusively online master’s degree and certificate programs. Visit ischool.sjsu.edu for more information.