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New Business Certificates

Expanding options?

October 15, 2013

In the past few months there have been many new business-oriented certificates announced.  The program focus, the admissions process and program requirements vary widely.

Certificate in Sustainable Business from Antioch University New England

  • 3 required courses
  • 1 elective from the MBA in Sustainability curriculum


Certificate in Business Process Optimization from University of California, Irvine Extension

  • 5 required courses
  • 2 electives
  • Grade of “C” or better


Executive Certificate in Transformational Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

  • 100% online
  • 3 required courses


Master Certificate in Business Intelligence from Villanova

  • 3 required courses
  • Project and final exam


Business Analytics Certificate Program from the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas

  • 100% online
  • 12 credit hours

These are just a few new certificate offerings.  According to the AACSB, non-degree offerings such as certificates are generally on the rise at AACSB-accredited institutions, increasing from 55% in 2007-08 to 57% in 2011-12. 

There are a few trends that may prompt more institutions to expand their certificate offerings. First, institutions want to package their existing content in different ways to attract more students.  Professionals are seeking less expensive ways to gain more specific knowledge.  Employers may be increasingly receptive to credentials like certificates that demonstrate a targeted skill.

A potential wild card in the certificate landscape is the continuously expanding array of MOOCs. If students can ultimately package these courses as certificates that employers value, traditional universities may need to respond with a revised value proposition.



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