Online Business Certificate and Diploma Information

Dec 03, 2019

Research online business certificate and diploma programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

There are many online certificate and diploma programs in business, most of which can be completed totally through distance education. Students can usually log on to view lectures and complete assignments on their own time. They can communicate with classmates and instructors through e-mail and message boards.

Both certificate and diploma programs take about 12 months to complete. Credits can often be transferred to a degree program. Diploma programs have some general education requirements, such as courses in English, science and social studies, while certificate programs do not. Students in a certificate program may be able to choose a concentration such as finance or marketing.

Courses in online business certificate and diploma programs cover the fundamentals of business. Students will get an overview of topics, including financial management and project management. They can learn about computer systems, business communications and business math.

Certificate in Business

Many schools offer online certificates in business, some of which allow students select a concentration, such as management or administration. Certificate programs typically take a year to complete, and may afford students the opportunity to transfer credits to a degree program. Students in an online business certificate program learn about the basic concepts used by business professionals, such as finance, marketing and entrepreneurship.

Program Information and Requirements

Online certificates in business can be completed entirely online and typically take a year to complete. Students use software programs to access assignments and lectures, and to communicate with instructors and peers.

Prospective students will need reliable access to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection, and may need specific software depending on the course delivery.

Course Topics

Courses in a business certificate program provide students with the latest business practices. Some programs may also offer students the option of choosing electives in areas of their interest, such as non-profit management or entrepreneurship.

Project Management

A class in project management covers the basic steps involved in project cycles. Students learn about organization, evaluation procedures, in addition to examining potential problems and solutions.


This course introduces students to the theories and techniques used in finance. Topics covered include financial markets, cash flow, budgeting and acquiring capital.


Students in a marketing course learn about the concepts used to develop marketing strategies. Topics covered include domestic and foreign markets, consumer behavior, pricing, distribution and promotion.

Small Business Management

This course introduces students to the challenges involved in running a small business, such as strategic planning and types of small businesses. Additional topics include marketing, pricing, inventory and customer service.

Human Resources

This class introduces students to the role a human resources department plays within an organization. Topics covered include recruiting, performance evaluations, compensation and training.

Diploma in Business

Online diploma programs in business are offered from a number of schools and typically take a year to complete, and usually offer similar core coursework to that found in certificate programs, in addition to electives and general education requirements. Graduates of a diploma program are prepared for a number of entry-level positions, such as administrative or project assistant.

Program Information and Requirements

Coursework for diploma programs can be completed entirely online and can typically be completed in a year. Students will need reliable access to a computer with an Internet connection to access lectures and assignments. Students can view lectures and assignments online, along with having the ability to interact with instructors through the school's website.

Diploma programs usually require incoming students to have a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Course Topics

Coursework for a business diploma consists of general education coursework, such as English and science, in addition to core business courses. Business related coursework provides students with an understanding of the basic business practices and teach students various techniques used to increase profits and productivity, among other topics.

Business Communications

This course introduces students to the different styles and approaches used in developing effective communication materials. Students learn about creating written materials, such as reports, memos and proposals.

Business Math

Students in a business math course learn to apply mathematical knowledge to business situations. In addition to basic math, the course covers topics banking, insurance, statistics and financial analysis.

Computer Applications

In this class, students learn about simple functions, in addition to learning how to use specific software applications, like word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software.

Financial Management

Students in a financial management course learn the financial aspects of running a business. Topics covered include cost-benefit analysis, taxes, financial forms and asset management.

Career Information

Graduates are prepared for jobs in a number of areas, such as project management, administration or starting a business. Job growth in the field of administrative service management is expected to grow at a faster than average rate of 7% between the years of 2018 and 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Median salaries in 2019 for those with a business certificate were $60,000, according to

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of a diploma program in business are prepared for a number of entry-level careers. Those who want to pursue advanced positions may find opportunities within their company with experience, or may go on to pursue additional education in business or a related field in an associate's or bachelor's degree program.

Students wanting to complete a fully online business program have several options at the certificate and diploma level. Students learn about financial management, project management, computer systems, and business communication.

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