United States Graduate Business Certificate Programs
At the graduate level, a business certificate is a short-term program that often consists of about three to seven thematic courses. While a business graduate certificate is a non-degree, it may still serve various purposes. For instance, some students may work towards a certificate to expand their current knowledge base, build expertise and enhance skills in one area. Others might use a graduate certificate in business to prepare for a future graduate degree. Finally, the credits from a certificate may help an individual fulfill national license requirements.
Why Consider a Business Certificate Program?
The type of business certificate program you gravitate to should help you update your professional profile, develop new skills, and potentially advance your career. That said, business is both a field in and of itself, as well as an umbrella term for other programs – operations, IT, finance, hospitality management, e-commerce, entrepreneurship, international business and so on. Moreover, there are certificates in business programs for different levels of education. Although some students may hold a Bachelors in Business, others may come from diverse business disciplines and educational backgrounds.
- Post graduate certificate in business – students hold a bachelors degree
- Post masters certificate in business – students hold a masters degree
FACT: 12% of Business Analysts have a post-bachelors certificate.i
Business Certificate vs. Masters Degree in Business
Both the business certificate and the masters degree in business expose students to graduate-level knowledge, so how do you know which one to choose? First off, a masters degree is often a two-year, full time commitment beyond the bachelors degree in a field of study. Students may earn a Master of Arts, Master of Science, or a highly-focused degree such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Keep Your Options Open with a Business Certificate
On the other hand, the average full-time student may complete a graduate business certificate in a year or less, as there are fewer courses. While it does not take the place of a degree, business certificates may provide a great forum to come up to speed with new research, best practices or current theory. At the same time, a certificate may offer a way to take the next step in one’s education and keep the door open to future studies at the same time.
What Might I Learn in a Graduate Business Certificate Program?
Some business certificates are geared for non-business students who may seek more familiarity with general practices in a specific field. In some universities, a graduate Business Certificate program consists of the about six courses that may total about 18 credits. In this case, students who successfully complete their certificate may apply into the school’s MBA program later. Below is a sample course of study.
- Financial Reporting and Analysis
- Law and Ethics in the Business Environment
- Business and the Economic Environment
- Principles of Corporate Finance
- Marketing Management
- Managerial Principles and Communication
What Types of Business Certificate Programs Are There?
Often, a university will propose a business certificate as a concentration area. Students in a degree program focus several courses around one theme along with core courses. Those who work towards a certificate as non-degree students may at some point transfer those credits forward into a full degree. Make sure to evaluate each school and syllabus to see what is required as programs may be unique.
An Accounting Certificate may help students to grasp some of the basic principles needed to make informed managerial decisions. While there may only be about four courses in a program, these often consist of a core topic and electives, such as nonprofit accounting. Graduates may be able to apply this type of certificate to a Masters in Finance or Masters in Management degree.
Business Administration Certificate
A Certificate of Business Administration (CBA) program may provide non-business students a chance to obtain a versatile, practical business education. Some programs may consist of about four or six courses that highlight functions central to any business operation. One or more of these courses may also serve as part of a more focused masters degree such as the MBA. As an alternative, a management certificate could also be designed to add value to a business student's resume without the time commitment of a full MBA program.
Business Information Systems Certificate
A Graduate Certificate in Business Information Systems may be designed for people who work with IT departments, have clients or customers in technology fields, or who want to take a wide lens to grasp information systems. Through it, students may gain expertise in business software applications and develop a deeper knowledge of how information systems support company business functions. A future degree might be a Master of Science in Information Systems.
A post-masters Certificate in Economics may help a grad student with a degree in statistics or economics refine their niche in a much broader field. Courses may revolve around topics such as forecasting, analysis, and econometrics.
Environment & Agriculture Certificate
Students in a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Practices program may explore topics such as the basics of energy modeling and life cycle assessment. For current professionals, this may be a great way to build up credentials in the field of sustainable design. At the same time, when time permits, credits might be transferrable to a Master of Science in Sustainable Design Program.
Healthcare Administration & Management Certificate
Healthcare Administration & Management certificates may help students to address one type of industry, such as elder care management. This type of certificate may mix courses in financial management, business processes and gerontology. As part of a broader Master of Science in Management degree, this area of emphasis may help graduates refine the type of managerial career they hope to pursue.
Human Resources Management Certificate
Students who earn a Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management may develop enhanced strategic HR skills. Some universities offer 12-credit certificate programs that take students through topics such as compensation, employment law and international staffing. Plus, credits can sometimes be transferred within the same college to a Master of Science in Human Resource Management degree.
Marketing & Advertising Certificate
A Marketing & Advertising certificate may address current strategies, trends and tactics to reach key audiences. Whether it is marketing analytics or integrated marketing communications, this type of short-term program may help current professionals. Through targeted courses, they may add on skills to their resume, or help drive results in their work environment. Future degrees might include Master of Science in Marketing Analytics or Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications among others.
Nonprofit Administration Certificate
Current and future managers who want to understand the ins and outs of the nonprofit sector might choose a Nonprofit Management Certificate. In some universities, the certificate is linked to a Masters in Public Management or Master of Science in Management degree.
Organizational Leadership Certificate
Students who want to build practical leadership skills might opt for a graduate certificate in Organizational Leadership. In some schools, this type of certificate might cover advanced topics such as how human behavior applies to leadership activities. Often, these courses may be applied towards a full Master of Arts in Organizational Behavior Program.
Project Management Certificate
As an add on to a Master of Science in Management, a Project Management Certificate may provide students with a specific skillset. Through their courses, students could develop the ability to manage a project plan, define project goals and objectives, specify tasks of how goals will be achieved, and ensure the plan is well-carried out.
Public Administration & Policy Certificate
Students in a Master of Public Administration (MPA) program may be able to refine their expertise with a Graduate Certificate in nonprofit management, public sector service, healthcare policy or government analytics.
Sports Management Certificate
A Graduate Certificate in Sport Management may be designed for students from varied Bachelors programs to gain the essential business and marketing principles of sport hospitality. Coursework may stress topics specific to sport facilities, sport events, and sport sales. As part of a full degree, options might include the MBA as well as Master of Science in Sport Management.
On-Campus or Online Business Certificate?
Many universities offer students a choice of an on-campus or online business certificate program. An important thing to consider is to earn your credits at a regionally accredited school. One of the reasons for this is that should you decide to return to university for a Masters or Doctorate degree, your future school is likely to look at this side of your transcripts. Aside from that, an institution whose quality is assured is likely to teach relevant courses.
Take the Next Step
Easily read about business certificates in the field of your choice. Use the on-page menu bar to browse paid programs in a specific subject. Then, use the button to request more information from the schools on your list. Get started today!
Johns Hopkins University
Advanced economic modeling, forecasting, analysis of rapidly incoming data, and econometrics have become the backbone of decisions made in governments, international organizations, and businesses.
Pennsylvania State University
Earn a master's or graduate certificate in Organization Development and Change — 100% online!...
Colorado State University-Global Campus
University of Management and Technology
UMT's Executive Certificate in Project Management offers individuals an opportunity to take advantage of the combined knowledge of UMT’s renowned project management (PM) faculty.
The Graduate Certificate Program in Business Analytics is designed to facilitate integrating business analytics into enterprise business processes. Business Analytics is a crucial tool to guide business operations towards achieving strategic objectiv...
North Central College
Master of Nonprofit Management & Leadership (MNM) degree educates nonprofit professionals to be competent, confident changemakers making a difference in the world...
- Waltham, MAWaltham, MA
The Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program effectively integrates technology into the curriculum to give graduates a competitive edge in th ejob market. Our world class Hughey Center for Financial Service- Trading Room is well equipped with state...
- Waltham, MA
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Loyola University Chicago
The Graduate Certificate in Business Ethics has been developed as a flexible course of study, focusing on ethical issues in business and the challenges of managing corporate ethics programs.
- Madison, NJMadison, NJ
Fairleigh Dickinson University
The Master of Science in Taxation is designed for those who currently practice in the field of taxation, such as accountants, attorneys and financial advisers, as well as those who wish to enter the field by conducting an intense study of the subject.
Kansas State University
The graduate certificate in business administration provides an opportunity for students to gain business knowledge without having to participate in a full MBA program. Students will attain an understanding of the functional areas of business a...
University of Louisville
The online Certificate in Accounting Program (CAP) is intended for individuals who have a non-accounting bachelor’s degree and want to pursue an accounting career, but are not interested in completing a second undergraduate degree.
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to manage conflict in interpersonal, institutional, and intercultural..
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University)
he Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Practices is a 12 credit part time on-line program for those seeking knowledge in the field of sustainable design, engineering and construction of the built environment.
- Baltimore, MDBaltimore, MD
Morgan State University
Position yourself for career success with the only Project Management Master's Degree program in Maryland that is offered by an AACSB- accredited school. Morgan's Master of Science in Project Management degree program (MSPM) is designed for the needs of...
- Tacoma, WATacoma, WA
Pacific Lutheran University
PLU offers two options for completing an MBA - an MBA or an MBA with a concentration in Technology and Innovation Management (TIM). Both options feature an integrated evening curriculum and offer year-round admission and enrollment. The MBA-TIM program...
- Jamaica, NYJamaica, NY
The Master of Arts in Public and Private Management program is designed for persons who currently hold mid and upper level management positions. It is an innovative graduate program in management education, designed to develop the skills necessary for s...
- Saint Paul, IASaint Paul, IA
University of Northwestern-St. Paul
The Master of Organizational Leadership (MOL) is designed to integrate a Christian perspective into the context of leadership and management, prepare leaders for a fast-paced administrative environment and provide skills and knowledge to incorporate lea...
- Flagstaff, AZFlagstaff, AZ
Northern Arizona University
The Business Foundations Certificate is designed for students/professionals who wish to increase their knowledge of business.
- Wilkes-Barre, PAWilkes-Barre, PA
Part-time program, evenings and weekends. Off-campus location at Trexlertown, PA (Saturdays only).
Trident University International