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Knowledge Management from Academy to Industry

1 April 2023

Waseem Khalil

There has always been a gap between academia and industry. And yet, the gap we experience today is different from even the reality of recent years.

Nowadays, the world is facing some transformations and developments that we have not seen before, and these transformations are no longer isolated from university education. This means that the rate of change of occupations, and even the change of professions, is very high, while the universities too often train the future generation for the needs of the past.

It seems that academy graduates do not have enough skills required for the renewed labor market, and the university outputs are decreasing.

As a bachelor's degree graduate and a master's degree student in information and knowledge management who completed his bachelor's degree during the Coronavirus period, and went to work immediately after it ended, a period that is considered a catalyst for the acceleration of digital change, I personally experienced this gap. I have seen how a significant quality gap emerged between the curriculum I studied and the work market needs I face. During the studies, especially in the first degree, many students who understood, some consciously and some subconsciously, the depth of the gap also regarded the studies themselves with doubt, manifesting the following phenomena:

  • Focusing on grades and the diploma they will grant them while minimizing their interest and understanding in the field of study

  • Common changes in classes and fields of study

  • Lack of self-satisfaction as a result of the university's difficulties in appropriately adapting itself to changes in the labor market.

Personally, after recently joining the work market, I realized the gap and, in some cases, the contrast between the system in which I studied and my workplace. This was manifested in the lack of availability of tools for practical application that I was supposed to acquire and receive as part of the study obligation. Practicum is mainly found in master's degrees, and undergraduate students are likely to feel the same as me.

How does this relate to knowledge management?

Knowledge provides a competitive edge only when it is used to make decisions, solve problems and promote business performance.

Therefore, successfully implementing knowledge requires:

  1. Transferring relevant knowledge: providing students with knowledge and updates on what is happening in the industry.

  2. The extraction of knowledge for its implementation: directing students to adopt and extract the knowledge in business contexts.

The solution to the problem lies, in my understanding, in a combination of several factors:

  • Studying the theoretical and methodological basis while training the students to adopt this knowledge for different models in the industry. The ability to adopt knowledge in different contexts will prepare the students for future adoption, also in another, in the future work field they will reach.

  • Establishing mechanisms for deepening the permanent connections to the industry: more reliance on lecturers from the industry (lecturers from abroad), extended practicum, and more.

  • The academy's use of technological infrastructures that allow lecturers and students significant experience with the digital platforms used in the industry while frequently updating the platforms in accordance with recent developments.

  • Teaching methods and assignments reminiscent of the operating patterns used in the industry: practice on professional social networks such as LinkedIn, searching for new tools, self-learning, and more.

I assume this is only the beginning.

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