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If you wish to begin a career in knowledge management consulting, you will need to establish your expertise in knowledge management through a combination of professional experience, education, and credentialing. Furthermore, you will need to demonstrate your commitment to the discipline by working with recognized trade and professional associations in the areas of knowledge management as well as the industries in which you want to offer your services. As you begin your knowledge management consulting business, you will need to draw on and continue to develop your personal network. You may also wish to donate your services to a worthy nonprofit organization in exchange for gaining experience and receiving a letter of reference that you can use to attract paying clients.
Knowledge management, colloquially known as KM, is a relatively new discipline that manages knowledge held by various members or employees of an organization or business. Recognizing that the knowledge gained by these individuals represents a significant amount of capital, some forward-thinking businesses now hire knowledge management consultants to assist the business in capturing this knowledge and distributing it throughout the organization so it can be used effectively. While some companies may keep knowledge management professionals on staff, many prefer to hire someone from a knowledge management consulting organization who can then teach organizational leaders how to integrate KM into their business's everyday culture.
There are numerous educational programs that can train you in knowledge management techniques and theory. Many knowledge management consultants hold a postgraduate degree in library science, as many library schools now teach knowledge management as part of their standard curriculum. Some schools also offer certificate and degree programs in knowledge management itself. Some knowledge management businesses in professional organizations also offer certification programs. By obtaining an educational credential, you will not only increase your knowledge of knowledge management, but you will increase your marketability.
In situations where you are currently working in an organization or business, talk to your superiors about developing a knowledge management program. Like obtaining an educational credential, having real-life experience as a knowledge manager can add to your credibility when you begin your knowledge management consulting practice. Be sure to join knowledge management professional associations, as you will be able to learn much about the discipline through meetings and organizational literature while developing a strong professional network. Professional organizations may also provide you with various continuing education opportunities that will allow you to learn about various types of knowledge management techniques and software platforms.