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What’s a certificate in the College of Business, and who can earn one?

Monday, March 14 2016 12:00am

Open to any Ohio University student, College certificates combine academic coursework with applied experiences. They are a great way for non-majors to gain valuable business experience.

By Josh Staav

As the class registration deadline for fall semester approaches, Bobcats across campus can take advantage of certificate programs to expand prospects after graduation. Certificates within the College of Business are open to any Ohio University student and are a great way to gain business experience for students outside the College of Business. The College offers certificates in strategic leadership, entrepreneurship, financial planning, sales, and international business. Each certificate combines academic coursework with applied, hands-on experiences. 

The strategic leadership certificate helps students maintain a dual focus on a vision for the future and the operational mission of the present, while also helping them to develop leadership skills. A recent employer survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education found that key strategic leadership skills are even more important to executives than a candidate’s major.

“Our priority is ensuring that our students graduate with the potential to lead ethically and strategically,” said Tim Reynolds, executive director of the Walter Center. “The certificate program allows students outside the College of Business to hone these important skills as well.” 

Open only to students outside the College, the certificate of entrepreneurship includes two required courses and two pre-approved electives. Students apply their classroom knowledge to complete a consulting project or business plan development.

“Whether you want to start a business or propose a new project, you will need entrepreneurial skills,” said Luke Pittaway, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. “The entrepreneurship certificate helps students develop these competencies.”

The Ralph and Luci Schey Sales Centre is home to one of the most popular certificates in the College. More than 40 corporate sponsors work with the Centre to recruit graduates, and the 2014 senior class had a 100 percent placement rate.

“No matter your career path, sales will be a part of your life; whether it’s selling a product or service, an idea to your management, or even selling yourself to a company,” said Amy Pierce, a 2015 chemical engineering graduate in the sales certificate program.

Today, more than a million jobs in Ohio result directly or indirectly from exporting and foreign direct investment. The international business certificate helps students develop the skills to successfully operate in complex international environments.

“International business is impacted by developments in a broad range of fields, including economics, politics, anthropology, sociology, and environmental sciences,” said Ed Yost, executive director of the Center for International Business. “We focus on allowing students from various disciplines in the University to combine the international business certificate with another program of study to enhance understanding of international business issues.”

The financial planning certificate qualifies students to sit for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) exam, a popular certification that leads to strong job opportunities in the financial planning and insurance fields. Students take courses taught by instructors who have decades of experience working in the industry.

To learn more about each of these competitive certificates and to find out how to apply check out the certificates website.