Careers in Knowledge Management

In this section I am going to take a look at what one needs to pursue a career in knowledge management. Below I will start by talking a bit about the kind of KM educations and courses one can find from a general perspective. In the other subsections I will take a look at the positions that are available within this field and then at the skills that are required for a knowledge management career.


KM Programs

knowledge management careersKM can be taken as a standalone discipline or as part of a broader education. KM courses and certifications exist at all levels, though it is usually taken as a graduate level subject. As with all subjects, the depth of the course will affect the kind of position that you are qualified for within the spectrum of KM-related positions (see "Knowledge Management Positions and Roles"). The types of educations that might include KM (but not mention it in the title) typically deal with subjects such as innovation, IM, technology management, intellectual capital, and so on.

Generally speaking, KM programs tend to have either a managerial/business or an IT focus. Since KM is now inextricably linked to technology at least to some degree, there will be a certain degree of overlap; however, the educational programs available in the various institutions do tend to have a "business school" or "IT school" focus. Similarly, positions in companies often reflect this. This means that some programs will focus more extensively on the details of KMS architecture, the design/implementation of expert systems or intranets, and so on, while others will focus more on the tacit nature of knowledge, on organizational culture issues, and on the management of people & teams.

Whichever kind of program you choose, it is important to remember that even though technology is an important part of KM today, it is never a solution in itself and it should be used carefully as part of a broader KM strategy.


Alan Frost M.Sc., 2010 - Updated 2015

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Download "A Synthesis of Knowledge Management Failure Factors" by Alan Frost. Free paper released Jan. 2014.






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