Many schools offer certificate programs in business leadership at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate certificate programs teach the fundamentals of management, marketing and strategic decision making. These programs are designed for business professionals seeking advancement to move up to supervisory positions. Previous experience or coursework in business is not always required, but is highly recommended. Graduate-level programs are aimed at executives and teach students tactics and strategies needed in a leadership role, in addition to assessing and upgrading their own management styles.
Certificate programs at both levels usually consist of 5 or fewer courses and can be completed entirely online. Students communicate with instructors and classmates through message boards or chat functions. Some of these programs are divided into sections and award a certificate after each part is completed, with an all-encompassing certificate awarded at the end of the program. Programs are also available at the bachelor's, master's, doctoral levels.
Business Leadership Certificate
All levels of professionals benefit from an online Executive Certificate or Certificate of Completion in Business Leadership program, which are designed to train students for promotion in management. Coursework emphasizes leadership, team-building and decision-making skills. Students with previous experience and coursework in business may have an edge for success. Some programs provide college credit for the classes taken.
Program Information and Requirements
These programs are designed for business professionals and allow flexible, self-paced schedules. Some programs have continuous enrollment, while others follow a semester schedule with a specific start and end date. They typically require the completion of 3-5 courses, and each course ranges from 8-18 weeks in length.
All students must have a general knowledge of how to use a computer, mouse, keyboard and the Internet to be successful in these programs. Tutorials, video cases, homework problems, activities and assignments are all accessed online. Students and faculty usually communicate via e-mail. Some schools have online assessments to help a prospective student decide whether online learning is a good individual choice.
Study topics focus on supervisory, management and leader development skills. The following subjects are commonly included in the curriculum:
Effective Leadership Fundamentals
Students learn about mission and goal implementation, employee coaching and development, motivation strategies, personal style and conflict resolution for leading teams and individuals. Additional skills involve evaluating effectiveness, managing change and controlling resources. The class also explores employee-manager relationships and guidelines for transitioning into the leadership role.
Team Building Skills
Professors teach enrollees about the dynamics of team-building, including risks, roles, developmental stages, empowerment, accountability, delegation and leadership. The benefits and challenges of group work versus individual performance are also a heavy focus of the curriculum.
Supervisory and Management Strategies
This course covers day-to-day supervisory skills of staffing, training, problem-solving and team motivating. Students explore management and executive strategies, climates and levels of responsibility. They learn to lead teams and individual employees at all levels in business organizations.
Chief executives earned a median annual wage of $175,110 in May 2015, while general and operations managers made $97,730, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). For both classifications, the highest level of employment was in management of companies and enterprises.
Continuing Education Information
On top of holding a certificate in business leadership, many executives and managers have an undergraduate or graduate degree in business, finance or accounting. Having such a degree can increase an individual's chances for advancement. Online programs at the bachelor's, master's or doctoral level are available.
Online undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in business leadership provide students with team-building and decision-making skills, as well as discuss management strategies. Programs are designed for working professionals who wish to enter higher-level roles.