There are quite a few KM careers, many of which might not even include “knowledge” or “management” in the title.
The need for knowledge management professionals is twofold, assuring KM professionals will always be in demand:
1. As institutions scale, there develops an increasing desire to intelligently manage their organizational knowledge.
2. Good Knowledge management skills are valuable and transferable to nearly every department or role.
Any occupation that requires management skills can produce a career path in the KM field. Since KM can be a broad major, this allows for flexibility. For instance, some coursework in KM, operations management, and information systems, would grant exposure to a wide range of topics. From there, one can hone in on a concentrated area of expertise.
A Knowledge Manager is often tasked with collecting, validating, storing and distributing organizational knowledge. Other responsibilities may include:
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You don’t necessarily need a degree to break into knowledge management. Often, companies hire candidates who have a balanced mix of education, professional training, and work experience. Since there isn’t often an explicit path towards a KM career, people follow a multitude of routes. If you’re already employed, what are the first steps? Here are some you can take right now:
Knowledge management experience, no matter the scope, can serve as a healthy launch point for a career in KM.
More often than not, a business degree is a great start. However, KM professionals have also pursued degrees in information systems, law, library systems, project management, or computer science. Those who continue on to graduate level programs can then achieve a Master of Science in Knowledge Management or a Graduate Certificate in Knowledge Management.
In the era of the knowledge economy, many businesses have recognized the need to become knowledge organizations. As a result, knowledge management careers wouldn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.
As you know, knowledge can come in various forms. Thus, some knowledge management professionals may choose to focus on the IT side, while others may focus on the personal aspect of KM. Whichever the case, with the right experience and trajectory, you can find multiple points of entry for a career in KM. Here are just a few common job titles:
Once you reach the executive level of Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO), you will be expected to define your company’s KM strategies based on the following attributes:
There are many organizations that have a need for KM professionals. Some examples include:
When you make it to the top of the heap in the knowledge management world—i.e., a CKO with 10 years of related experience—you can expect a starting salary of around $200,000—a CKO may also receive stock options or other company perks.
Concerning a more junior-level position, according to PayScale, the average salary for a Knowledge Analyst is right around $66,000. Additionally, certain companies may offer bonuses and profit sharing.