Knowledge management is a relatively new field of study that focuses on the spread of information in a business. The few degree programs available online are at the master's degree level. These programs allow business professionals to learn to use technology to disseminate information and to understand how information is shared. Most programs can be completed totally online, although some do have a few requirements that must be met on campus.
Most of these master's programs require that applicants hold a bachelor's degree and have some previous coursework in information technology or programming. Many programs call for work experience as well.
These master's degree programs generally require that students take core courses in the foundations of informatics and knowledge management. They study organizational dynamics, organization informatics and decision-making skills. Many programs require a final project.
Master's Degree in Knowledge Management
Knowledge management programs bring together the traditional business degree with a comprehensive understanding of corporate information. The degree program is geared toward working professionals. Graduate students learn not only to manage the technological tools of an organization but also to understand the ways in which it shares information. The program can also go by titles such as organizational informatics or technology management, provided the latter offers courses in knowledge management.
Program Information and Requirements
Students can expect to take between 18 months and two years to complete the graduate program. Online programs tend to break up coursework into weekly tasks, and assignments can be completed at any point throughout the period. Most students earn their credits remotely, though some colleges give students the option of enrolling in a combination of online or in-person classes.
Ideally, students should have their own computer with ample hard-drive space, plenty of memory and access to high-speed Internet. They should have recent versions of widely used operating systems and Web browsers. Speakers are also recommended to listen to any audio lectures.
List of Common Online Knowledge Management Courses
Understanding the ways in which a company's information flows is at the heart of the degree program. Ultimately, the courses teach students to be leaders within an organization using the tools of knowledge management.
Introductory Knowledge Management
The history of knowledge management is explored in this course. Students learn the techniques and technology used to assess and optimize information within a corporation. The course covers topics such as organization and process creation.
Students learn to collect data within an organization, analyze the data and harness it to make decisions. They also become familiar with the variety of media available in a corporate setting, how it's used and the ways to organize it.
The course focuses on preparing leaders to reshape an organization and streamline its practices using knowledge management techniques. Students learn a variety of strategies and the best practices for implementing them.
Employment as an information systems manager or a chief operating officer is an option for those who hold a master's degree in knowledge management. Annual salaries for computer and information systems managers depend on the specialty; on average, these professionals earned $141,000 yearly as of May 2015, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Growth is expected to be 15% for computer and information systems managers from 2014-2024, as reported by the BLS. For chief executives, the average annual salary was $185,850 in May 2015, and the growth rate for top executives--a job category that includes chief executives--was expected to increase 6% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov).
Careers in knowledge management are likely more accessible to individuals who have completed a degree program in the field that exposes them to concepts in organizational leadership and management. These online degrees will afford students the flexibility to continue working while enrolled and prepare them for very lucrative careers after graduation.