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Earn Gies Specialization Certificates

Gies College of Business is expanding its commitment to delivering life-changing access to business education by providing certificates.

In order to earn a certificate, you will complete a 12-credit-hour specialization comprised of 3-4 classes. The content in each specialization is delivered in a way that mirrors how you’ll actually use it on the job.

Some of these courses run simultaneously, but you are able to take one at a time. Each certificate can be completed in 4-8 months. Each class includes University of Illinois courses taken for academic credit, with an additional Coursera component. 

Cost for the certificates is assessed based on the iMBA tuition rate per credit hour.

Online Specialization Certificates

Strategic Leadership & Management Certificate

The Strategic Leadership & Management certificate is designed for professionals who want to enhance leadership and business skills for immediate impact. Practice everyday leadership, manage people, learn and apply concepts and techniques to effectively manage organizations through organizational design, and formulate and implement strategy. The specialization covers the strategic, human resource, and organizational foundations for creating and capturing value for sustainable competitive advantage.

Upon completion of the certificate, you will:

  • Effectively work with and manage people individually and in teams
  • Understand how organizations are designed and managed
  • Analyze business situations, formulate strategies, and implement those strategies to gain and sustain competitive advantage

Strategic Leadership and Management Courses: 

  • Leadership & Teams, 8 weeks
  • Managing Organizations, 8 weeks
  • Strategic Management, 8 weeks
Managerial Economics & Business Analysis Certificate

Gies College of Business the Managerial Economics & Business Analysis certificate is designed for professionals to learn to effectively manage and operate a business. Managers and leaders need to understand the market characteristics and economic environment in which they operate. In this certificate, you will build a solid understanding of the operation of markets and the macroeconomic environment with real-world examples. You will be able to identify firm- and country-level economic factors that impact business decisions, develop an analytical framework using statistical tools, and apply economic theory and data in the analysis of business environments and trends to make effective decisions.

Upon completion of the certificate, you will:

  • Analyze macroeconomic and microeconomic variables at the firm and country levels
  • Explore asymmetries and externalities as forms of market failure and as best practices for equilibrium outcomes within market structures
  • Assess market characteristics and firm level behaviors as frameworks for making business decisions
  • Create a business plan that requires the application of data analysis tools and interpretations of statistical findings

Managerial Economics & Business Analysis Courses: 

  • Statistics Management Decision Making, 8 weeks
  • Microeconomics for Business, 8 weeks
  • Macroeconomics for Business, 8 weeks
Value Chain Management Certificate

The purpose of organizations is to produce and deliver goods and services of value to customers while generating a surplus for owners. The Value Chain Management certificate focuses on understanding what different customers value, measuring inputs and outputs to assess value, and generating higher value for customers and greater surplus for organizations. In this certificate, you will gain competencies that are critical for managers in any functional area. You will learn to create, model, analyze, and maximize value in accounting, operations, and marketing.

Upon completion of the certificate, you will:

  • Understand how to apply a financial perspective of accounting for costs, understand how financial and non-financial accounting information facilitates strategic performance measurement, and integrate this information to continuously improve strategy.
  • Understand the role of operations management and process improvement, synthesize information to make decisions for organizational initiatives, and apply analytical techniques for tactical operations and process improvement decisions.
  • Understand how marketing works in the business world and how various marketing elements interact to create value for consumers and ultimately maximize value for your organization.

Value Chain Management Courses: 

  • Marketing Management, 8 weeks
  • Process Management, 8 weeks
  • Managerial Accounting, 8 weeks
Financial Management Certificate

The Financial Management certificate covers the fundamentals of strategic financial management, including financial accounting, investments, and corporate finance. You will learn to evaluate major strategic corporate and investment decisions, understand capital markets and institutions from a financial perspective, and develop an integrated framework for value-based financial management and individual financial decision-making.

Upon completion of the certificate, you will:

  • Build a solid foundation in developing an integrated framework for strategic financial decision-making
  • Develop a thorough understanding of financial statements and the financial information they provide and be able to critically evaluate and analyze cash flows statements
  • Understand the management and evaluation of portfolios and firm valuation techniques
  • Understand how to incorporate risk and uncertainty into investment decisions and understand how companies make financing and investment decisions

Financial Management Courses: 

  • Financial Accounting, 8 weeks
  • Investment Finance, 8 weeks
  • Corporate Finance, 8 weeks
Digital Marketing Certificate

The Digital Marketing certificate is designed for professionals who want to launch a career in digital marketing and will help students understand how to engage customers in the digital world.

Upon completion of the certificate, you will:

  • Learn to communicate with customers in a systematic and integrated way using multimedia channels and create effective targeted promotional campaigns
  • Understand challenges in branding, brand positioning, and strategies to address brand communication in a digital world
  • Delve in detail into the factors that shape consumer behavior and customer responses
  • Understand market-oriented creativity and innovativeness within the firm and learn the success drivers of viable consumer-centric marketing strategies
  • Perform data analysis and visualization techniques to extract useful information for strategic decision making

Digital Marketing Courses: 

  • Marketing in a Digital World, 4 weeks
  • Digital Marketing Analytics, 8 weeks
  • Digital Marketing Channels, 8 weeks
  • Marketing in an Analog World, 4 weeks
Entrepreneurship & Strategic Innovation Certificate

In a world characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, leaders require innovation skills. Thinking flexibly and developing an entrepreneurial mindset are critical to thriving in uncertain business environments. This Entrepreneurship and Strategic Innovation certificate addresses how to recognize and question assumptions and constraints so you can identify and capitalize on opportunities. Learning to change the rules of the game by creating innovative value propositions and discovering new market positions for sustained competitive advantage are some of the actionable lessons in this specialization. This certificate will be of value to both aspiring and practicing entrepreneurs as well as employees in established firms who are interested in becoming innovative leaders.

Upon completion of the certificate, you will:

  • Develop an entrepreneurial mindset
  • Understand how to manage and innovate in uncertainty
  • Understand when, why, and how to think creatively
  • Assess the feasibility of a new venture and the diversity of challenges involved

Entrepreneurship & Strategic Innovation Courses:

  • Strategic Innovation, 4 weeks
  • Fostering Creative Thinking, 8 weeks
  • Entrepreneurship: From Startup to Growth, 8 weeks
  • Entrepreneurship Capstone, 2 weeks
Global Challenges in Business Certificate

This Global Challenges in Business certificate prepares students for the global challenges that businesses face in the 21st century. The global marketplace now and in the future spans emerging markets, a world connected by social media, and rapid technological advancements. This specialization covers how business strategy is formulated and implemented in the global arena in all its complexities. It also covers the role of ethics and corporate responsibility in addressing global challenges such as poverty and the environment. The specialization enables understanding of global business and how to pursue opportunities and confront challenges in this arena responsibly.

Upon completion of the certificate, you will:

  • Understand how businesses function in the global marketplace
  • Make ethical decisions to run a responsible business in the global marketplace
  • Understand the role of business in addressing global challenges such as poverty and the environment
  • Understand how business can pursue opportunities and confront challenges in the complex global marketplace

Global Challenges in Business Courses: 

  • Global Business Horizons, 4 weeks
  • Global Strategy, 8 weeks
  • Global Impact: Cultural Psychology & Business Ethics, 8 weeks

How to enroll in a certificate program

If you are interested in earning a certificate, you will be taking University of Illinois courses as a Non-Degree student. Our graduate-level, for-credit courses start at various times throughout the year, there is a very brief application to get started.

If you have any additional questions about earning a graduate certificate, please contact us today.

Gies News and Events

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Donohoe: ‘Investigator DNA’ key to evolution of accountancy

Professor Michael Donohoe believes the next generation of accountants will have “investigator DNA” and a strategic mindset. “With the growing emphasis on business analytics, our students are becoming investigators who ask big questions, use data, and state of the art statistical methods to investigate those questions in a meaningful way."

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Examining the role of trust in negotiations

Mingshuang Ji joined Gies this fall as an instructor of business administration. In addition to researching team dynamics, trust, and negotiation, Mingshuang is teaching Business Dynamics (B201) and Business in Action (B301).