Online certificate programs in management are varied and can be useful to people working in many fields. Most programs can be completed entirely online. Some certificate programs are designed for people with no prior college training, while others are designed to provide management training that supplements a prior degree. Certifications are generally offered through professional organizations and require meeting education and experience qualifications, as well as passing an exam. Some certificates will qualify for continuing education credits, while others do not.
Management certificate programs are available online in several different formats. Such programs can help individuals seeking managerial positions, while allowing experienced or recently promoted managers to update their skills. Programs may or may not earn academic credit that can be applied to a degree program; some programs may offer continuing education unit (CEU) credits. Certification options are often separate from online certificate programs, and usually require an exam which may not be offered online.
Program Information and Requirements
Structure of programs vary; some offer independent self-study courses in which students have a period of several months to complete a class. Other programs offer more interactive support. In some cases, video lectures may be viewed online. Printed material or DVD lectures may be sent to students by mail. Quizzes and other assignments may be posted online, with varying lengths of time allowed for completion.
Completing an online program will require a computer with an Internet connection, browser and e-mail. Required software may include virus protection, Microsoft Office, and several plug-ins that can be downloaded for free. Required hardware may include a sound card and CD-ROM drive.
Coursework in management programs typically focuses on ways managers can improve efficiency and interpersonal interactions in the workplace. At least one course in legal issues is usually also included.
This course focuses on leadership in the workplace. Students will learn to effectively communicate with team members, set an example and motivate others in pursuit of a goal.
A course in conflict resolution provides managers with the necessary tools to prevent or resolve interpersonal conflict in the workplace. Instruction will cover ways to recognize and avoid potential conflicts between coworkers or subordinates, along with how to effectively settle an argument before it adversely affects productivity and morale.
Time management strategies are emphasized in this course; students learn to complete work efficiently in a busy workplace environment. Topics covered include prioritizing important tasks, minimizing stress, planning and delegating work to subordinates.
Effective communication is emphasized in management programs; courses cover the importance of word choices, body language and listening skills. Students learn techniques for clearly conveying a message to another person or to groups of varying sizes.
Legal and ethical issues in management are discussed in this course; students learn the laws governing management decisions, including hiring and firing practices. Laws discussed will include the Civil Rights Act, Americans with Disabilities Act and Family Medical Leave Act, among others.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (BLS) reported that in May of 2015 the median annual salary for general and operations managers was $97,730. However, managers' salaries can vary widely based on the size of the company, ranging from $163,930 for computer systems companies to $96,570 for local government agencies. Managerial careers are also possible in human resources (median annual salary of $104,440 in May 2015), training and development (median annual salary of $102,640 in May 2015) and related fields (www.bls.gov).
A management certification may increase job opportunities, according to the BLS. Several certification programs exist, offering exams in which students can demonstrate their mastery of management concepts. The Institute of Certified Professional Managers offers a Certified Manager credential (www.icpm.biz). For individuals interested in human resource management or more specialized fields, certification options are available through organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management. More specialized certifications are available through the American Society for Training and Development (employee training) and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (benefits and compensation).
Continuing Education Information
Advancement to top executive positions often requires education and extensive experience. Many executives hold a Master of Business Administration degree, which is sometimes offered online. A bachelor's degree in business or social sciences, particularly with a management concentration, may also be an asset in this career field.
For individuals considering an online management certificate, they may find that pursuing such a certificate will teach them very valuable skills to be successful in a number of careers across a variety of industries, including human resources, training and development, and many more.