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Online Business Certificate Programs

There are so many areas of concentration within online business and MBA non-degree programs to choose from. Online Business Certificate Programs run the gamut from accounting ...

There are so many areas of concentration within online business and MBA non-degree programs to choose from. Online Business Certificate Programs run the gamut from accounting and business administration, to organizational management and international business. Ebusiness and technology management head the list as highly important in this era, along with learning advanced personal communication skills, marketing, and health administration.

Certificate Programs Online | Earn Your Business Certificate Online

But what could you do when you want to narrow that focus down, and potentially learn the specifics of one aspect of business? One option for you might be investigating Online Business Certificate Programs. Typically requiring less than 2 years of study, and focusing on a specific occupation, Business Certificate Programs may help you learn the skills you’re seeking to enhance your career.

What to Know Before Enrolling in Online Business Certificate Programs

Certificates themselves come in many shapes, sizes, and learning levels. Depending on the program, you may need to already have a certain degree to enroll, but some may be available to those who have yet to earn a degree.i Generally speaking, an undergraduate certificate might signify that the coursework is at the same level as it is for bachelor’s degree programs, and those without a degree may enroll. Graduate certificates, meanwhile, may be offered at the post-bachelor level, and may require a bachelor’s degreeii , or even a master’s degreeiii , to enroll.

How Long Might Online Business Certificate Programs Be?

Online Business Certificate Programs can also vary by the demands of earning the degree itself. Since certificates might be available in a wide array of disciplines and at multiple educational levels, not every program may have the same requirements. Some programs, in fact, may be very limited in scale, possibly with only 9 credits needed to earn the certificate.iv  Other programs, meanwhile, might require you to earn 30 credits in order to graduate with a certificate. Generally speaking, programs may typically be designed to take less than a year to complete, and might only rarely be designed to take longer than 2 years.i

As requirements for both enrollment and graduation may vary so much when it comes to earning a business certificate online, it’s important to know what you’re getting into as you investigate programs. Be sure to contact the specific school you’re interested in for more information on what it takes to earn a certificate from their institution.

What Could I Study?

To add a little more to your search for the perfect business certificate, there’s also the possibility that online business certificate programs might differ greatly by subject matter. You may find some that apply business principles and learning to a specific industry, such as non-profit management, or   You may also find online certificate programs that dive into specific skills and principles in the broader business field, with programs such as Business Analyticsvii   or Communications and Business Administration.viii  

How do you know which type of program may be right for you? It all depends on your situation. If you know you want to stick to a specific industry, you could see what certificates you might be able to earn in that field. Graduating from a program on healthcare management might not be as useful if you decide to go into the education industry, for example.
If you’re not looking to apply your business education to a specific field, though, you may want to think about what skills you do want to develop. Online Business Certificate Programs may be available in a wide array of concentrations. If you’re a wizard with statistics and want to apply that skill to pursuing a potential business career, a program in Business Analytics might be for you. Or, perhaps you’re interested in pursuing a career as an executive, in which case you could possibly look into earning a certificate in Management and Leadership to help enhance your credentials.xi

There’s also the possibility that you’re looking into expanding your business education, but can’t quite commit to a degree program. In that case, an option that might be suitable for you is the certificate in General Business that is offered by some schools.x

Coursework for Online Business Certificate Programs

So, now that you have an idea of what to look for before enrolling in a business certificate program online, what might you expect during the program, in terms of coursework? In general, coursework may be fairly targeted, possibly varying depending on the focus of the certificate. For example, courses for a Business Analytics certificate might focus on topics such as information storage, statistical analysis for managers, or data mining.xi  A certificate program in International Business could offer courses on topics such as global industry or export management.xii

Post-Certificate Possibilities

With the before and during stages of these programs detailed, you’re probably curious as to what career path you may be able to pursue after earning a business certificate online. For one, a certificate might help enhance your career by providing you with skills that may be useful in a specific role or industry. Earning a certain type of business certificate online may help you pursue a career as a procurement clerk or an energy auditor, for example.i The median salary for these professions in 2015 was $40,600xiii and $68,170,xiv respectively.

A certificate could also potentially be a stepping stone toward a degree, as some programs may allow credits from Online Business Certificate Programs to be transferred toward degree programs.i This might vary by school and program, so reach out to any school you’re interested in to get more information on their policies.

Starting the Process

No matter what outcome you’re looking for, the process of earning a business certificate doesn’t start until you take your first step: searching for the right program! Check out’s sponsored program listings, and contact specific schools for more information. Good luck!