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Graduate Certificate Programs in Business Administration Overview

Majors Overview May 4, 2015

Get information about graduate certificate programs in business administration and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Information on Business Administration Graduate Certificate Programs

Individuals who hold a master’s or bachelor’s degree in a non-business field, but seek foundational education about business would benefit by enrolling in a graduate certificate in business administration.

Professionals whose commitments prevent them from being able to enroll in a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree program can complete similar courses in business operations, management, and leadership in the certificate program of shorter duration.

Most programs emphasize technology as demanded in a business environment that is becoming increasingly global in character. Courses may include subject areas such as technological literacy, financial software, information security, technology and business integration, or information systems.

Armed with a graduate certificate in business administration, individuals can seek executive or management positions in various businesses. Some may join the program after gaining career advancement to more business-oriented roles in the workplace, while others may seek entrepreneurship training.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. Prerequisite coursework in subject areas such as economics and statistics may also be required to be completed by applicants.


Both management skills and business operations comprise the focus of coursework in these programs. Topics in operations cover marketing, production, and finance. Management subjects include resource optimization, communication, and leadership. Core coursework may commonly include topic areas such as the following:

•Principles of entrepreneurship
•Small business finance
•Human resources management
•Business development
•Ethics and legal issues in business

Career Choices

Armed with this certificate, students can seek various mid- to senior-level positions in business. They may also seek to run their own businesses. They may choose from popular career options such as:

•Marketing manager
•Financial analyst
•Vice president
•Chief financial officer
•Human resources manager

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2013, top executives, including chief financial officers and vice presidents, brought in an average annual wage of $171,610 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). During that year, marketing managers banked $123,220 on average, while human resources managers earned an average annual wage of $100,800. Financial analysts, who brought home an average annual wage of $78,380 in 2013, are projected to enjoy a job growth rate of 16% over the 2012 – 2022 decade (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Armed with a graduate certificate program in business administration, individuals may pursue continuing education by carrying over their credits into a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program offered at some schools. The study of management, leadership, collaboration, and business theory forms the focus of an M.B.A. High-level management positions are available for graduates of this degree program.

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