Knowledge Management in the academia
1 August 2010
Many of us have faced one of life's most important questions: what to study and where. We all wish to learn something practical while still enjoying the learning process to a certain extent.
In this article, I wish to present an academic program that fully provided both elements: fascinating courses and a career to be pursued with the attained degree.
A few years ago, I was debating what path to take. I already knew where I wanted to study; unfortunately, I didn't know what. I flipped through the academic course manual and encountered an intriguing heading, under which an academic program I hadn't previously heard of titled "informatics" was described. The fascinating definition lead to more serious inquiring which in turn lead to signing up for a degree in informatics.
A few months later, I found myself walking into a computer lab and hearing sentences like "knowledge is power and a financial advantage" and "our power is manifested in the organization's organization, management, accessibility and information/knowledge retrieval skills".
These words have been etched into my memory since those first lessons and with each year that goes by I discover the meaning behind these words.
As an Information Studies (Informatics) alumni, I can testify that one of this program's prominent advantages is the ability to engage in a wide variety of fields that aren't merely theoretical and prove themselves practically in the field.
These fields include the field of librarianship: a librarian that can find an article that contains information a student/professor require in minimum time; the field of Knowledge management and setting up a website/portal that will concentrate the critical information and make it accessible for executing central work processes in an organization, in turn optimizing organization workers' performance.
To illustrate what this illustrious degree includes, here are some of the courses taught in the program's first year:
Introduction to data management
Introduction to internet website building
Info-ethics and law in information societies
These courses and many more provide the tools required for shifting from academic settings to the market. They allow us to learn what a portal is and what is the difference between it and an internet website, know what happens behind the internet's "scenes", begin to understand and use professional terms, and become familiar with various information sources that aren't accessible to the common user.
Besides the degree's regular academic requirements, students are obliged to complete a certain quota of internship hours as part of their studies in the department. In my opinion, this is not an obligation, it is a chance to make a better decision regarding the professional path we choose once we graduate. This requirement should be viewed as an essential experience and an excellent examination of the decision we've made; "you don't know till you try" is an extremely relevant cliché.
After I understood what I wanted to specialize in I began to search for organizations that specialize in this area. When exposed to the Knowledge management word as a practical discipline (and not merely a theoretical area) I realized I chose correctly.
The three years spent learning the academic material also included learning a little bit about ourselves, what content we relate to and how to begin planning the path to the right choice.
In my case, the first steps towards this choice began during my second year; I accumulated enough knowledge in order to formulate a clear vision of my direction and knew that Knowledge Management was the most interesting and fascinating field of all the options the degree presented.
In conclusion, it is important to note that completing a degree, find a job in the studied field and loving said job is far from trivial; however, it isn't impossible, either. I highly recommend this degree and wish you luck!