Graduate Certificate Programs Help Build Credentials to Earn MBA | Lerner
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University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics

By Jen Hendrickson July 20, 2021

We’ve all been there. Your employer is launching the latest technology to help improve processes and you quickly realize that your knowledge is outdated. In some fields, new systems and skills can become obsolete in as little as 18 months.

“We hear from working professionals that their toughest challenge is staying on top of new skills in technology and management because innovations happen so quickly,” Jack Baroudi, senior associate dean of academic programs at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, said. “They are looking for ways to fast track their knowledge in areas such as business analytics.

“Everyone needs to know something about analytics because analytics are driving so many of the business decisions,” Baroudi continued. “If you don’t really understand how analytics work, that can be career limiting.”

In fact, Glassdoor ranks business analyst as one of the 50 Best Jobs in America.

Conversely, some professionals have spent time out of the workforce for various reasons, but now are looking to up-skill and return to the workforce with relevant knowledge. As life begins to return to normal and more professionals start to head back to the office, the need to keep knowledge current and the desire to learn new skills in shorter periods will be ever present.

UD’s Lerner College recognizes this need and provides a unique opportunity for those looking to advance their leadership skills or technical knowledge to take MBA-level courses and earn MBA credit, without having to commit to an MBA or graduate business program. The Lerner College’s graduate certificate programs help working professionals gain advanced knowledge and skills in areas essential to any career with certificates in the following areas: business analytics, entrepreneurship, finance and strategic leadership.

Completion of a certificate provides students with 12 credits that they can use towards earning an MBA at the Lerner College or any AACSB-accredited business school. The knowledge and skills learned are immediately transferable to the workplace and can assist students in positioning themselves for a promotion or raise. In fact, 54% of Lerner MBA students have changed careers, received a promotion or received a raise while pursuing their degree.

“Providing opportunities for lifelong learning is part of our mission,” Baroudi said. “Our graduate certificate programs provide several benefits depending on where you are in your career. If you wish to develop specialized expertise to advance or redirect your career, these programs will benefit you.

“For those who already have an MBA but realize they need to update their skills, they now have the option to get an in-depth course of study in those areas on top of their existing MBA,” Baroudi continued. “For those who aren’t ready to commit to a full two year MBA or part-time three year MBA program, they can get their feet wet by doing a certificate program. Those credits earned will transfer into the MBA should they decide that they would like to continue on.”

Each Lerner Graduate Certificate program offers instruction in person, online or through a combination of both. Courses can be taken one at a time, which allows the student to become familiar with the level of instruction, workload required and makes the program realistic for any budget. Lerner MBA advisors are available to help with course recommendations. Students will also interact with other graduate students across multiple programs to build a professional network in a collaborative academic environment.

Admission requirements are the same as for the Lerner MBA and are made on a rolling basis throughout the year. You may start in the Fall or Spring semester only. Contact mbaprogram@udel.edu or visit our webpage to learn more about the graduate certificate requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.