“Agile” is more than a business project management methodology. Agility is a good way to grow your business skills and advance your career. That means responding to changing circumstances with skill and solid decision-making. Earning a professional business certificate is one of the best ways for early- and mid-career professionals to stay agile.

An article in Forbes cites an Institute for College Access and Success statistic showing that the “number of people who hold post-baccalaureate certificates has increased by more than 50% since 2005—and the numbers continue to grow.”

Are College Certificates Worth It?

Non-degree professional college certificates are a great value both in terms of financial cost and potential for career growth. Writing in Forbes, Michael T. Nietzel cites a 2019 study conducted by the Strada Educational Network together with the Lumina foundation that bears this out.

Here are a few key findings:

  • Among certificate holders, 60% say their education “made them more marketable to employers.”
  • Adult workers with no college degree were more likely to be employed, with 85% employed, higher than for those without a certificate at 78%.
  • Two-thirds of certificate holders surveyed say they would recommend a certificate program to others.

The bottom line is that a business certificate from a reputable institution gives students a fast track to the specific practical business skills and acumen employers look for. It also prepares budding leaders with the decision-making and analytical skills needed to lead teams, boost performance, and increase profitability.

For working professionals, the return on time and money invested in a business certificate makes it an attractive option for broad career advancement. It is the shortest and most direct essential forward path for your business career.

Online Business Essentials Certificate at the Kelley School of Business

The business certificate programs from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University provide a variety of skill-enhancing courses for the modern, motivated business professional.

The online certificate in business essentials is your chance to apply your motivation, talent, and experience to the most cogent business concepts. The program offers students new skills, a plan of action, and a post-program follow-up on that plan.

“The Business Essentials certificate program provides an accessible, effective way for participants to create and chart their own course for professional development,” said Carl Briggs, faculty lead for Kelley’s Business Essentials Program. “It includes the primary business functions one would expect to find in an MBA program, but in a condensed format that works for the busy professional. More importantly, each course is designed for maximum engagement—both with peers and with a member of the Kelley School of Business faculty. The application-oriented experience and the connections provide value well beyond the duration of the classroom experience.”

The 12-week program is divided into four 3-week courses. Each course requires three to four hours of study per week. Students have the option to register for all courses at once to earn the certificate or take courses à la carte as their schedules permit.

Courses include:

Setting Direction for Your Business

Explore the strategy and function of business. Gain an overview of the functional areas of business. Examine why some businesses thrive and others fail. Begin developing your own professional development plan.

The Financial Foundation of Business

Understand the concepts and language of finance and accounting without being an accountant. Understand TVM (time value of money), the trade-off between risk and return, valuation techniques, cash flow, capital, budgeting, and more.

Understanding the Customer: Marketing

Understand your customer and their journey. Learn targeting and segmentation, understand how to position your brand to get in front of your customers, and develop a marketing plan.

Performance and Insight: Operations Management and Business Analytics

Processes are the framework of businesses. Learn the basics of process analysis and development. Understand the value of data and how to turn raw data into meaningful, actionable information. Get hands-on experience modeling spreadsheet data using Microsoft Excel to identify business problems and their solutions.

Step Forward with New Business Skills

The online Certificate in Business Essentials is perfect for early- or mid-career professionals or those with limited formal business education.

After completion of the program, students will:

  • Understand the functional components of business, including management, accounting and finance, management, marketing, operations, and analysis.
  • Be able to map and model all these components to understand how they fit together. Learn the skills to gain insight into any business’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Create, critique, iterate, and implement your professional development plan.

As you progress through the program, you’ll work closely with Kelley School faculty, staff, and your peers to maintain accountability and understand how to best implement what you learn. To reinforce your hard work, one final class convenes 90 days after the last session to review progress on your professional development plan.

Make the most of your time, talent, and investment with this transformative program from the top-rated Kelley School of Business.