Business Management Certifications and Certificate Programs

Oct 20, 2019

Business management certificate programs are designed to provide students with a fundamental knowledge of relevant skills. Students can expect to learn about financial, legal, and human resource issues as they pertain to business management.

Essential Information

Certificate programs in business management are available mainly from community colleges and extension campuses of 4-year colleges and universities. Certificate programs cover business management basics such as accounting, finance, business law and human resource issues.

A community college certificate program can prepare a high school graduate for an entry-level business career, especially in programs that require an internship. In some cases, a community college certificate program can transfer into a 2-year associate's degree program. Sufficiently educated and experienced professionals who want to obtain certification can do so by passing a qualifying examination.

Certificate in Business Management

Many postsecondary schools feature certificate programs that are designed to give aspiring business professionals a glimpse of the skills needed to build careers in business management. Most programs require a high school diploma or GED equivalent, although some programs are specifically designed for people with a college degree who are looking to change careers. In the latter case, the school may offer a similar business essentials certificate designed for less-experienced students. Most schools require applicants to demonstrate a proficiency in English and have a strong background in math and composition.

Certificate programs generally focus on small business management, school business management and green business management. Coursework also is typically available in a project management certificate program, which generally prepares business people to initiate, oversee and complete projects. Courses cover the basics in business and management principles. Courses may include:

  • Financial accounting basics
  • Fundamentals in business law
  • Human resources for managers
  • Computer software for management
  • Principles of business marketing
  • Essential skills for supervisors

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Depending on an individual's educational background, completing a certificate program in business management could open the doors to business management jobs such as:

  • Restaurant manager
  • Office manager
  • Human resources specialist
  • Marketing coordinator
  • Small business owner
  • Management analyst or consultant

Individuals who have work experience and a certificate in business management might find work as administrative services managers. Employment of these professionals was expected to grow 7% between 2018 and 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which was about average. Administrative services managers earned median salaries of $96,180 as of 2018, per the BLS.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Professional organizations often offer both opportunities to increase knowledge through continuing education, and a chance to prove knowledge and skills through certification. The Association of Professionals in Business Management has two certification programs for individuals who want to sharpen their skills as managers (

The Certified Associate Business Manager (CABM) credential is a program for those starting their careers in business finance, marketing or human resources. Certification is awarded to applicants who pass a 4-hour exam. The association also provides training materials necessary to help people prepare for the test.

The master's degree-level Certified Business Manager credential is for people with more education and experience, and requires individuals pass a 4-part, 16-hour exam. As with the CABM, the association provides training materials, if needed.

The Institute of Management Consultants USA has a Certified Management Consultant designation that requires individuals to have a certain level of education and experience, submit client reviews, and pass an exam whose length is determined by the applicant's educational and professional background ( The designation is not required for consultants but may give someone an advantage, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (

A business management certificate, which can function as a standalone program or as a complement to a traditional degree, teaches students the basics of managing a business. Many organizations, such as The Association of Professionals in Business Management and The Institute of Management Consultants USA, offer graduates professional certifications in business management.

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