Knowledge management jobs help create centralized points of reference for the entire body of human information a company or organization has through its personnel, ranging from executives all the way down to the most junior positions. There are several different types of jobs in an organzation that can help achieve these goals, but this is a field still in the process evolving, meaning many organizations are continuing to focus on defining job descriptions and titles.
Individuals pursuing careers in the field usually have job descriptions that support the main premise of the department, which involves searching all of an organization's documents and electronic files for information that might contribute to future success, interviewing employees to gather key information that has not been written down or documented, organizing everything into easy-to-understand communication packages, then sharing the information within the organization.
These job titles are becoming more important as many baby boomers are approaching retirement age, meaning these employees will no longer be in the office to provide specific pieces of company knowledge. Firms are creating new knowledge management jobs or expanding the ones they currently have to counteract this. Most jobs in the field fall under the area of research and a title similar to knowledge management analyst. Such analysts, like counterparts in information technology, or IT, departments are often asked to explore a project's needs, establish requirements that must be met in fulfilling the needs, and assist team members who are implementing solutions.
An analyst may be required to do research, gather and enter data, perform standard and optical character recognition scans of documents, personally interview employees, and participate in audio recording sessions. Analysts are also often asked to support team members in other knowledge management jobs such as technical writers, software engineers/developers, library science specialists, and database administrators.
Typical support roles might include indexing, cataloging, organizing, refining, summarizing, data mining, and publishing data. Data mining is the use of sophisticated high-technology techniques and tools to uncover information that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Knowledge management jobs at the supervisory and senior levels tend to have much the same titles and responsibilities as similar jobs in general business and IT. The primary two differences are that the titles are generally preceded by “knowledge management,” and the jobs usually require specific experience in the field. The desired qualifications for a position at the manager level often seek someone with solid credentials in business administration, background in information technology, research experience specifically in knowledge management, and proven management skills. That pattern of job titles and qualifications typically continues all the way to the top job in the field for those organizations who have it: chief knowledge officer.