A Graduate Certificate in Business is a postgraduate course that forms part of a business master’s program. Commonly, a Graduate Certificate in Business represents a third of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.
You can study for a Graduate Certificate in Business for different, sometimes multiple, reasons. The course is open to people without a business education as well as business graduates. Depending on the course you choose, you can build foundation business skills, develop specialist skills, or use the course as a pathway to an MBA or other master’s degree.
Graduate Certificate in Business Administration
What’s the difference a between a Graduate Certificate in Business and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration? In practical terms, the difference isn’t great. The two courses and qualifications can look very similar.
A Graduate Certificate in Business Administration is more likely to be part of an MBA program. With respect to postgraduate study, the term business administration is also associated with a bundle of competencies that includes leadership, management and business skills.
A Graduate Certificate in Business could be any business-related course. The content may potentially cover any business field, including business administration. The business skills you learn may be broad or specific, such as being aimed at a discipline like business analytics, finance or marketing.
Fixed vs Variable Course Content
A graduate certificate course may consist of a fixed set of core business subjects. At the other extreme, you may be able to choose from a large set of electives.
The difference reflects how the grad cert fits within the business school’s postgraduate program. The course can be treated as a foundation for a masters, or as a one-off training investment. You can choose which style you prefer when deciding on a business program to enroll in.
Why Do a Graduate Certificate in Business?
A Graduate Certificate in Business course allows you to pick up business skills and establish a platform for further learning and development. Most courses are introductory in nature since they usually represent the initial part of a master’s program.
Joining a course is not a huge commitment. In Australia, a grad cert in business almost always consists of 4 subjects. This equates to about 8 months of part-time study.
By studying online, you have the flexibility to put in study hours when convenient. You can do a course to see if like studying business online and which subjects interest you.
Completing the program rewards you with an accredited university qualification. That looks good on a resume, which can help land you interviews and jobs.
You also qualify for certain types of work if you do a specialised business course, such as a Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management or Graduate Certificate in Project Management.
Pathway to Higher Qualifications
Graduate certificate courses can be used as pathway programs to a graduate diploma or masters. If you lack an undergraduate degree, you have a better chance of gaining entry to a graduate certificate course. Entry requirements are generally more relaxed, such as just asking that you have a bachelor degree (any discipline) OR a reasonable amount (say, 2-5 years or more) of professional experience.
In Australia, qualifications available to students starting a graduate certificate are the graduate certificate itself (4 subjects typically), a graduate diploma (8 subjects), and a master’s degree (12-16 subjects).
Completing a Graduate Certificate in Business demonstrates you are academically capable of doing a graduate diploma or masters in the field of business. The experience you gain also better positions you to decide if you want to embark on a longer program.
Future study credit
If you want to keep studying after earning a Grad Cert, you’re easily able to do so. You would automatically be accepted as a student by most business masters programs.
As well, the four completed subjects will fully count as credit towards your next qualification, at least if you stick with the same university program. That means you would be just 8 subjects away from a 12-subject MBA or other business masters degree.
Best Online Graduate Certificate Courses
The best online Graduate Certificate in Business courses allow you to achieve your learning goals in a convenient way. You can do accelerated study, meaning courses are available throughout the year.
As well, you should be easily able to balance study with holding down a full-time job or taking care of other commitments. Most online courses are designed in this way, with working professionals well catered for.
Ideally, the grad cert offers subjects you’re interested in. If considering further study beyond a graduate certificate, the full masters program should also teach subjects that align with your career ambitions.