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Leading-edge programs delivered online or in-person

Our commitment to developing and providing transformative educational experiences does not stop with a degree. The changing world of business requires leaders who continually evolve to meet new challenges. Professional and Executive Education at Gies College of Business provides continuing education that empowers senior executives, managers, and all lifelong learners to achieve their potential.

We offer certificates, noncredit workshops, and digital badges for individual learners as well as custom solutions for enterprise partners. 

Online Courses, Certificates, and Badges

Not every learner wants to earn a degree. Some are looking to upskill or reskill; others want to pursue noncredit courses as a first step toward earning more advanced credentials. We have the online learning expertise and infrastructure to serve these lifelong learners with professional and executive education. Our stackable options provide direct access to Gies online content and allow all learners to choose their point of entry and their path on the continuum, from skill development to degrees. This flexible, stackable structure makes a Gies education accessible for all lifelong learners.

Data Analytics and Visualization for Accounting Professionals

Data Analytics and Visualization for Accounting Professionals

Designed to help professionals develop an analytical mindset and prepare them to use data analytic programming languages like Python and R.

Skills iCademies

Skills iCademy: Business Analytics

The Business Analytics iCademy provides foundational and advanced resources to help ease the burden you face when learning data analytics.

Earn CPE Credits

CPE Credits

CPAs who are licensed in Illinois and any states who have reciprocal agreements are eligible to earn CPE credits with our courses.



Enterprise Partnership Programs

Our Enterprise Partners program offers employers the opportunity to advance their workforce through customized online and on-site educational experiences. For employees, the program helps accelerate their careers. For employers, it advances the organization. We invite you to partner with us to access customized, high-quality, and engaging content to cultivate your employees’ business skills. From information about the fundamentals of business to disruptive technologies, we provide the global workforce access to the highest quality, stackable, in-demand content.

"Developing the program with Gies as the partner was a very strong message of how serious we were about [internal promotion]."

Dr. James C. Leonard
MD President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
The Carle Foundation

Gies News and Events

Those who can, teach: bringing real-world experience, right to the front of the class

Oct 23, 2020, 08:35 AM by Aaron Bennett
Sue Pachera is a clinical assistant professor of accountancy. Prior to joining Gies, Sue served as director of accounting policy and research at Exelon for nearly 12 years and spent more than 15 years as an auditor at Deloitte.

From auditing clients like Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley for Deloitte to guiding accounting policy for one of the country’s largest utility companies, Sue Pachera has had a fascinating career. And she owes much of it to a teacher who inspired her. “Like a lot of other people, I went into accounting because I had a dynamic accounting professor, and it just made it seem like something I could envision myself actually doing,” said Pachera. Now she hopes to return the favor, using her experience to inspire a new generation of accounting leaders at Gies.

Pachera says it wasn’t only a professor who gave her the teaching bug. She also has an uncle and a brother who chose the noble profession. But after graduating with a BA in economics from Albion College, she chose a different path, accepting a job at Deloitte.

It was the start of a long and satisfying career with the firm, which included stints in Detroit, the Czech Republic and finally Chicago, where she currently calls home. It was in Chicago that she eventually made the leap to Exelon, becoming the director of accounting policy and research for the largest regulated utility company in the country with more than $33 billion in annual revenues.

For the next 10 years, she helped guide Exelon’s accounting decisions, working through major mergers, implementing new accounting guidance, and developing the accounting required for significant transactions. That’s where she learned one of the key lessons that she hopes to impart to students at Gies — accounting choices aren’t always cut and dried.

“I think one of the things that surprises people about accounting is how much judgment needs to be applied,” said Pachera. “I want to emphasize that to students and work with them on how to do good research and how to support making those judgments, because there’s a lot of ambiguity. I think it’s a skill to get comfortable working in those ambiguous places and developing a good, consistent rationale for how you make decisions.”

She also hopes to equip her students with solid communication skills. “Being able to communicate clearly with people, understand where they’re coming from and have respect for their viewpoints when they don’t agree with you — I think those are really important skills,” said Pachera.

Pachera will be teaching ACCY 303: Accounting Institutions and Regulation at Gies while also helping develop new materials for the school’s online offerings. “I’m really looking forward to that too,” said Pachera. “Obviously the pandemic is very challenging for higher education, but when you’ve got a program like that that’s designed to be online, I think it’s extremely attractive.”

Pachera says she was drawn to Gies both by its reputation and by all the people she worked with in Chicago who were graduates of the program. That positive impression was reinforced when she visited the school earlier this spring. “I really liked the atmosphere on campus and the energy in the accounting department,” said Pachera, adding that she was “blown away” by the welcome she received from the faculty.  In the end, she said her decision to join Gies wasn’t a difficult one. “When you have the chance to be part of a program of that caliber, it’s a no-brainer.”