5 Graduate Certificates That Boost Your Business Resume
Contributed by Tiffany Rowe
You already know that returning to school could help you on your career path, but committing two (or more!) years of your life as well as thousands of dollars on tuition probably does not fit into your 10-year plan. Fortunately, there is a way to continue to your education and make your resume stand out without wasting time and money on a full graduate degree: graduate certificates.
Graduate certification programs are increasing in popularity around the nation as professionals recognize that they need additional education to secure the careers they want. Unlike graduate degree programs, certificates require less time to achieve ― usually a single semester ― and they tend to cut out the lengthy and arduous application process. Plus, certification programs are more focused on specific subjects, providing students the precise knowledge and skills they need to succeed.
If you are looking to become a business leader, the following five certificates might be ideal to get you into interviews and prepared for your upcoming job.
1. Marketing Management
Marketing is so vital to modern business that most business schools offer undergraduate, graduate, and MBA programs on the topic. Yet, the demand is so high that many marketers get their start in the field without any formal training. However, to advance to higher levels of management, marketers certainly should obtain some marketing education, and a certificate in marketing management is a fast, practical solution.
Marketing management certification programs are best described as lite MBA marketing degrees. In a handful of courses, students will gain the tools and techniques to research, build strategy, analyze, and communicate through multiple channels. These programs also contain a healthy dose of leadership training to ensure students can effectively manage their marketing teams.
2. Strategic Management
If your ultimate goal is to become a business’s decision-maker, you need to spend some time learning strategic management. This field entails nonstop examining, analyzing, and planning to ensure a business reaches its key objectives and goals. Strategic management is especially valuable for those interested in competing in a large or global marketplace, where smart tactics are absolutely necessary for success.
The curriculum of this certification program can vary widely from school to school, but students can expect to receive training in organizational efficiency, human resources management, strategic resource allocation, and decision-making frameworks. After earning this certificate, you will have a foundation in nearly every aspect of business, from finance to marketing, and you will understand how to organize all departments to make a successful business plan.
Essentially, a business can be boiled down to a collection of continuing projects, and if those projects aren’t run efficiently, the business fails. Effective project monitoring ensures that funds are allocated appropriately and workers are performing at peak productivity. This takes a surprising amount of finesse, which you can gain by seeking advanced education.
A program evaluation certificate provides instruction in monitoring, developing, and evaluating projects, from start to finish. In addition to vital leadership lessons, students practice planning, monitoring, and evaluating projects to help them understand how to make the process more efficient in the real world.
4. Risk Management
In business, the goal is not to eliminate risk; the goal is to work alongside controllable amounts of risk. The saying is true: With risk comes reward, and risk managers understand how to limit risk while helping the business profit wildly. Risk management frameworks must be individual to each business, and the task of developing unique systems can only fall onto one educated in risk management. Graduate certificates can be earned through risk management programs and will prepare professionals for roles as key advisors by giving them the necessary tools to identify, assess, and moderate risk.
These days, green is good business, and nearly all businesses are striving to be more sustainable. Unfortunately, those well-versed in business are not often educated on environmental practices, so stepping outside business school to obtain education in sustainability could allow you a step up in business.
Because this field is large and continuing to grow, you might seek even more specialization in your sustainability graduate certificates. For example, a corporate sustainability and innovation certificate is expressly designed to help those in business minimize environmental impact through sustainable practices. Alternatively, a green building certificate helps students understand green building practices that can help growing businesses develop green communities. Sustainability may not be directly related to business, but having a certified background in the subject is an excellent way to boost your resume.