Knowledge Management Degree Programs
Companies rely on the successful communication, acquisition, dissemination, and organization of huge amounts of information. Oftentimes, large companies will employ individuals who specialize in managing this information and making it accessible to the right people. Knowledge, information, and data managers help optimize an organization's efficiency and can ensure an organization can grow or change without the loss or confusion of information. There are numerous college programs in knowledge management across North America, including certificate, bachelor's degree, and master's degree programs. Many of these programs are intended for working professionals, so students may have the option to attend school part time, online, or during the evening. Read below for further details regarding admissions requirements, coursework, and potential careers available to those with a degree in knowledge management.
Admissions Requirements for Knowledge Management Programs
Admissions requirements will vary depending on the type of program and the college to which someone is applying. Bachelor's degree programs will likely require a high school diploma and submission of ACT and/or SAT scores. Some programs may also ask for a personal statement regarding the applicant's interest and experience in the field, letters of recommendation from past employers or instructors, and possibly even an interview either in person or via telephone. Certificate programs will likely require applicants to possess at least an associate's degree, but certificates offered at the graduate level will require a bachelor's degree for enrollment. Some online certificate programs might not require any higher education degree, but they may expect applicants to have a certain amount of work experience in order to complete the program successfully. In addition to a bachelor's degree, some master's degree programs also require at least five years of demonstrable and relevant work or leadership experience. Master's programs also typically expect an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and require the submission of an applicant's GRE scores.
Knowledge Management Program Coursework
As a manager of an organization's information and knowledge flow, graduates must be able to work well with both the technology and the people involved with knowledge management. Programs in knowledge management aim to train students in both of these realms, ensuring students know how to research organizational culture and implement proper strategies via complex digital networks or personal team management. Below are descriptions of courses that students may come across while obtaining a degree in knowledge management.
Technology of Knowledge Management
Successful knowledge management relies on advanced digital networks, information systems, and data management technology. Many programs teach students how to utilize these technologies effectively as well as the theory behind them so that graduates may be well equipped to determine the best strategies for their company or organization. Courses like these may overlap with a college's information technology programs as well.
Courses in change management teach students about what happens within an organization's culture before, during, and after that organization experiences major change. Strategies to manage an organization's productive momentum and transference of knowledge are explored. Specific instances may be analyzed through case studies and students may be expected to conduct some research of their own.
Planning Management Strategies
Good managers of knowledge and information must be able to develop a wide range of management strategies to address the various needs of their organization. This includes developing strategies to ensure short-term project success as well as planning out long-term project completion. Among other topics, students might be introduced to concepts like gap analysis, business analytics design, and information architecture.
Leadership and Knowledge Management
Most programs offer a variety of leadership courses related to the responsibilities of knowledge management. Students may be taught effective team organization and management techniques. Emphasis on cross-generational and cross-cultural mediation, communication, and team management could be offered and would prove highly relevant to today's market and executive demographic.
Global Collaboration Leadership
Developments in communications technology have made it possible for someone to work for a company based halfway across the world. In addition, companies increasingly rely on group collaboration rather than individual ideation. This means that the contemporary knowledge manager needs to be able to lead the collaboration of global teams. Students should expect courses in global collaboration to emphasize cultural understanding, communications technology, and principles of excellent collaboration.
How to Choose a Knowledge Management Program
Students should consider their own professional goals before accepting a school's offer of admission. Some people may be professionals working in a different field looking only to familiarize themselves with the subject of knowledge management, in which case online classes or a certificate program may be the most fitting option. Others may want to become experts in knowledge management and should instead consider a full bachelor's or master's degree program in the subject. Certain schools may only offer one of these types of degrees, so options as to which college to attend may be restricted solely by an applicant's goals.
Career Options with a Degree in Knowledge Management
Though it is a fairly specialized field, knowledge management programs teach many of the skills associated with information technology, project management, and business analytics. In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listed the median annual salary of computer and information systems managers as $142,530. The BLS also projects that job prospects for computer and information systems managers will grow 11% from 2018 to 2028. Listed below are some careers that someone with a degree in knowledge management could pursue: