How long does a Knowledge Management career last?
KM careers last on average 6.3 years, or else become semi-permanent.
For very many years, on Linked-In, I have been seeking connections with Knowledge Managers from around the world, in an attempt to understand the global KM industry a bit better. Recently I have noticed that many of these connections no longer work in KM, so I decided to do a quick survey to see how long an average KM career lasts.
I started working through my Linked-In contacts in alphabetical order, to determine
- If they no longer worked in KM, how long their career in KM had lasted (taken as the length of time they had held a job with “Knowledge” in the job title, or
- If they still worked in KM, how long their KM career has lasted to date.
For those who are no longer working in KM, the average length of a KM career was 6.3 years, and the modal length (most common) was between 4 and 6 years. There is a “hump” of between 0 to 8 years, and a “tail” up to 18 years.
For those still working in KM at the time of survey, the average length of career was 9.5 years, with a Mode of between 10 and 12 years. There were a number of responses – a “mini hump” on the graph between 0 and 6 years, and some of these might be people in a short term KM career who have not yet moved on, but we have no way of knowing. But it certainly seems to be that if you make it to 10 years or so, your career will continue.
In my data set there were more people still in KM that had left it. I counted 50 people still working in KM before I reached the 40th that had left the career.
So although I am not a statistician it seems as if we can conclude 2 things from these figures;
- Many people have a short-ish career in KM, which lasts about 6 years
- About as many people have a long career in KM, which lasts about 10 years or more.
Please note I did not analyse job types, or fields of industry – this was a simple (if time-consuming) exercise of looking at job titles and length of employment.