How do I Choose the Best Knowledge Management Training?

Lainie Petersen

Many companies and organizations are now aware of the importance of knowledge management, which entails identifying, disseminating, and maintaining the knowledge gleaned by their employees and members. Effective knowledge management training programs teach participants how to develop and implement knowledge management throughout their organization. Knowledge management training is available through several sources, including full-fledged academic programs, as a specialty within schools of library science, as well as seminars, online training programs, and self-study of knowledge management books, magazines, and websites. Selecting the best program depends on your professional goals as well as your economic and time resources.

Many knowledge management consulting firms offer professional knowledge management training.
Many knowledge management consulting firms offer professional knowledge management training.

For individuals who are already working but who want to introduce knowledge management concepts to their office, a professional certificate program may be the best way to get knowledge management training. Many knowledge management professional association and consulting firms offer professional knowledge management training, often during weekend sessions or via online education. These programs are designed for working professionals. While these programs can be expensive, your employer may reimburse you for your training costs, and you may also be able to get some sort of a tax deduction on your tuition. Another advantage of professional certificate programs is that they are designed for quick completion, as opposed to the semester-based schedules offered by academic institutions.

If you want to specialize in knowledge management and perhaps even develop a consulting practice or work in academia, getting an academic degree or post-graduate certificate can be an excellent knowledge management training option. Instead of obtaining training through a consulting company, you'll attend classes through an accredited college or university. In some places, you can earn a bachelor's degree with a concentration in knowledge management, while several other schools offer master's degrees, post-graduate and post-master's certificates, and even doctoral degrees. For example, many library and information science graduate programs not only include knowledge management in their curriculum, but also offer students the opportunity to earn specialist certification in the discipline either during their degree program or after they've graduated.

The advantages of getting knowledge management training through a university are numerous. A course completed through an accredited school has a high level of acceptance by employers, professional associations, and other schools. Even if you don't complete a degree, your credits can often be transferred to other schools and educational programs. In some cases, there is a cost benefit as well, as tuition at a university, particularly a public university, may be lower than what is offered through a private company or consulting firm. On the downside, university courses often take a considerable amount of time to complete, though many schools now offer online options. Time constraints aside, if you want to make knowledge management your profession, an accredited academic degree is probably your best bet.

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