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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

Disruption marches on through skunk works at Gies

Jun 9, 2021, 13:37 PM by Aaron Bennett
Building off the successful launch of Gies' Disruption Lab, a new "skunk works" operation will bring together collaborators from inside and outside the university to develop projects with practical application for Gies, the larger University, and partners in the business world.

Projects ranging from robotic process automation to prediction models powered by artificial intelligence have flourished since the official launch of the Disruption Lab at Gies College of Business in January. The Lab has garnered participation from some 60 students from 28 disciplines spanning the campus, six faculty and staff members, and a handful of interested foundational partners from outside the University.

With those early successes in hand, Dr. Robert Brunner, director of the Disruption Lab, is leveraging the momentum and setting his sights on launching a new phase of the fledgling Lab’s ambitious agenda: a skunkworks operation that will bring together collaborators from inside and outside the university to develop projects with practical application for Gies, the larger University, and partners in the business world.

Robert Brunner photo“We’ve made strong progress since January,” said Brunner (left), who also serves as Associate Dean for Innovation and Chief Disruption Officer for Gies Business. “We’ve launched student-led projects and recruited mentors from the faculty, staff, and outside companies. We’re getting some recognition and gaining some traction. We are now taking the next step toward longer-term projects developing concrete solutions to real business problems.”

Gies announced the launch of its Disruption Lab in January 2021. It's an effort to prepare students and corporate partners to succeed in a business world being rapidly reshaped by unprecedented technological innovation and social pressures. Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) has agreed to support the lab as a founding corporate member. EY has been a longtime collaborator for the college and has successfully hired many Gies students into fulfilling careers.

While Brunner is never short of ideas, he’s also a realist. The first months of student-led projects, while exciting, also exposed the limitations of working within a 14-week semester.

“We discovered that by the end of semester students were delivering prototypes. But we believe there is a real need to provide actual products – products that have been tested, re-considered, and improved based on actual application,” he said.

He envisions, for example, the development of a mobile app for students, utilizing the Rokwire open source mobile ecosystem developed by Smart, Healthy Communities, an interdisciplinary initiative based at UI. Among the first Rokwire applications was campus-wide test-tracking and notification for COVID-19, and Brunner and his colleagues believe that the platform offers a myriad of powerful applications for other uses.

“The key to the technology is that it authenticates each user, which opens the door to a wide array of customized applications,” he said, reeling off potential projects such as virtual advising and other academic support services for students; augmented reality avatars that provide interview coaching for job-seeking students and alumni; workforce development for University faculty and staff; and student recruitment marketing.

“But it will take time, and that’s where the skunk works model can really be an asset.”

Brunner envisions bringing in a director – a faculty or staff member, or a partner from the business community – someone who could ensure continuity for projects that extend a year or longer. The director, he says, would establish key performance indicators, stay on top of immersive technologies (existing and emerging), keep abreast of needs and opportunities, and conduct continuous impact assessment of the products throughout the development lifecycle and launch.

Brunner’s enthusiasm is contagious, and one has the feeling that he’s always several steps ahead when it comes to thinking about disruption.

“You know, Gies began using Zoom about six years ago with its online graduate program, when that platform was in its infancy and nobody paid much attention,” he said. “And in the past year everyone in higher ed has adopted it. We have a long history of disruptive innovation; it's part of our DNA, part of our mission. But when the target is to be the most innovative business school in the world you can’t just sit still.

“What we want to do here is all about future-proofing, giving both Gies College and our students the opportunity to develop the skills and agility to see and define the path ahead, determine what needs to be done to stay relevant, and help others manage complexity and rapid change.”