Many schools offer graduate certificate programs in business administration that can be earned entirely through online study. Some programs are also offered in a hybrid format.
Courses in a graduate certificate program in business administration cover advanced topics, such as business ethics, managerial accounting and managerial finance. Students might also study information technology for managers, marketing management and organizational behavior.
These programs take about a year to complete. An undergraduate degree is typically required for enrollment in a graduate certificate program in business administration. Relevant work experience is sometimes preferred, and some schools may require a minimum score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Credits earned can usually be applied to a master's degree program.
Graduate Certificate in Business Administration
A graduate certificate program in business administration is intended to give students an advanced business education in just five or six courses. After completing a graduate certificate in business administration, students are prepared for professional advancement and higher levels of responsibility. Many schools offer business-related graduate certificate programs online. These related programs also sharpen key business skills.
In these programs, students can access video lectures and complete class assignments as their schedules permit, within set guidelines. They can interact with their classmates and instructors through online message boards, chat functions and e-mail.
Online graduate certificate programs in business administration are usually completed through the use of an interactive Web-based system such as Blackboard or Moodle. These programs utilize a message board-style environment to allow students to communicate with each other and with professors. Some programs may include hybrid courses combining classroom meetings with an online system for posting assignments and grades.
An undergraduate degree is typically required for enrollment in a graduate certificate program in business administration. Relevant work experience is sometimes preferred, and some schools may require a minimum score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Coursework in a graduate certificate program in business administration usually focuses on ethics, finance, human resource management, information technology and marketing.
The ethical considerations and consequences of business decision-making are key concepts in this course. Ethical dilemmas that come along with technological advances and increased access to information are also examined.
Human Resource Management
Concepts and issues related to equal employment opportunities, employment discrimination, compensation regulations and performance evaluation are covered in this course. Students will develop a wide range of skills that are essential for dealing with human resources challenges.
Students learn to analyze customer needs, manage customer relationships and perform market research in this course. Effective marketing communications are also examined.
Career Information for Graduates
While not the same as completing an advanced degree in business administration, students who complete a graduate certificate receive advanced education in key business principles. A graduate certificate can prepare students for the challenges of high-level executive positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected 7% employment growth for general and operations managers from 2014-2024. Job growth for top executives is expected to come mostly from fast-growing industries such as health services. As of May 2015, the BLS reported an average annual salary of $119,460 for general and operations managers (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education and Certification
Many students choose to pursue graduate certificates in place of more extensive master's degree programs. Some schools allow credits earned in a graduate certificate curriculum to transfer directly to an advanced degree program. General and operations managers sometimes pursue professional certifications to advance their careers, such as the Certified Manager (CM) credential offered by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers.
In online graduate certificate programs in business administration, students take courses in advanced business and managerial topics. These courses are taken in a virtual classroom, so working professionals can maintain full-time jobs while they complete the program.