A business diploma is one of the most versatile training programs you can pursue. The skills taught in this program open doors to a wide range of career options—and courses can be completed in just a few months.
We meet with hundreds of students every year, many of them considering careers in business. Are you one of them? How do you know if this program is right for you?
In this post, we're digging deep into the content, learning goals, and career outcomes of a quality college business diploma. Find out who benefits most from this training, where you could work after school, what skills you'll need to succeed, and which steps to take next.
By the end of this article, you'll know if business training is right for you, and how to select a trustworthy diploma program. Let's get started.
Who is college business training right for?
College business training (versus university programs) is fast, targeted, and aimed at people who want to get to work quickly—without investing years of time and money in school. For example, you can finish a business diploma in as little as 6 months, studying full time. This is one of the shortest college programs out there.
Here's a key point to consider: a college business diploma teaches the skills and tools you'll need to land an entry-level position. The goal is to get your foot in the door, and with experience, work your way up into roles with more responsibility. If your mission is to go straight into a Vice President or CEO role, you're better off pursuing an MBA.
On the other hand, if you've already spent a few years working in an office, but don't have the training and skills needed to change positions or qualify for promotions, a business diploma can take you to that next level.
For example, if you're working in sales or customer service, but would rather move into accounting or administration, quality business training will help you build the technical skills needed to compete for those jobs.
Or, if you want a promotion within your department, but can't advance because you have no formal post-secondary credentials, a business diploma will help prove you're ready for more responsibility.
So, whether you're just entering the workforce, or want to qualify for better jobs and pay where you currently work, a college business program is a fast, efficient solution.
What courses are included in a business diploma?
The courses you'll take to complete a business diploma are focussed on the skills you'll need to get hired, straight out of college. We're talking about fundamental business administration skills, and the ability to use standard office technology.
By the time you graduate, you will have learned how to:
- confidently use the Microsoft Office Suite (Windows, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel, and Access)
- set up and utilize a complete accounting software package (such as Sage Simply Accounting)
- process payroll and understand the federal and provincial employment standards related to payroll procedures
- handle accounting and bookkeeping procedures (general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, job costing, financial statements, trial balance, cash receipts and disbursements, etc.)
- deliver professional customer service
- understand business math concepts (such as interest and payment plans, purchase orders, selling prices, markups, and typical operations related to banking, retail, and accounting)
- communicate professionally in a business setting (include preparing memos, official documents, reports, and presentations)
What jobs will you qualify for with a business diploma?
We mentioned earlier that a college business diploma prepares students for entry-level roles. These are front-line positions where you will learn the ropes, continue to build your skills, and begin working your way up into supervisor roles.
Typical job titles for business grads include:
- accounting assistant
- payroll clerk
- marketing assistant
- administrative assistant
- sales associate/account manager
- client services representative
- business development officer
- office manager
You can expect to find work with government agencies, small businesses, corporations, insurance companies, retail outlets, and non-profit organizations. For example, our business students at the Ottawa campus have recently been hired at:
- Revenue Canada
- Carefor Health and Community Services
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency
- Earnscliffe Strategy Group
- Camco Acura Automotive Group
This career path is extremely flexible. With the right administrative skills, there are opportunities for talented business grads in every sector of the economy.
Key skills you'll need to excel in business training
So, what skillset and characteristics do we look for in prospective business students? What does it take to do well in the program, and out in the workforce?
Well, given that there is a wide range of jobs available to business grads, skills will vary a bit, depending on the career you want to pursue (sales versus accounting, for example). But, in general, all business students should possess the following strengths and qualities:
- excellent interpersonal skills (you're good at communicating with others, and can work well in a team)
- good command of English (spoken and written)
- analytical and detail-oriented (you read well, can analyze information, and are meticulous about following procedures)
- naturally well-organized
- responsible and mature (an employer can rely on you to be punctual, protect confidential information, and deal professionally with clients and co-workers)
- numeracy skills (you are comfortable performing basic mathematical calculations)
- comfortable with computers (and ready to expand your technology skills)
- genuinely interested in business operations (finance, marketing, sales, client services, office administration, etc.)
If you possess these attributes, and want to become a valued member of a business team, you'd be a good fit for this program.
How do you find the business college that fits your needs?
So, you've decided you're ready to pursue a business diploma. You'll need to look at your training options, and find a college that fits your needs.
There are so many things to consider when comparing colleges. We recommend looking into the following factors as you research each school:
- college reputation and track record (how many years has the college been operating, and does it have a positive reputation in your community?)
- graduate employment rate (what percentage of business grads actually get hired after completing the program?)
- courses for the business diploma (does the program cover relevant skills and office technology?)
- who teaches the program? (does the instructor have many years of business experience, and a true passion for teaching?)
- career services (how does the college help you find your first job? For example, do they help connect you with local employers, assist you with resume writing, and run mock interviews?)
- campus facilities (is there an up-to-date computer lab, are classrooms comfortable and well-equipped?)
- school community (is there a good atmosphere on campus, do you feel welcomed and supported, and do current students seem happy and satisfied?)
Keep a checklist of things to look for when you're comparing business schools. Think about your priorities, and what factors matter most to you.
Important: Always take the time to speak with admissions and schedule a campus tour, before you apply. This is the best way to gather information about each business program, and determine which school is right for you. Your education is the most important investment you'll ever make. It's worth taking the time to look closely at every angle.
If you're serious about business training, your next step is to talk with an admissions advisor at the colleges you're considering. The advisor will walk you through admission requirements, assess your academic background, explain the application process, and help with things like financial aid and course scheduling.
This is also a good time to setup a campus tour, and possibly arrange to sit-in on a business class. You'll get a glimpse of student life, check out the facilities, and see if it feels like a good fit.
If you're interested in learning more about Herzing's Business Administration Diploma, we welcome you to use the links below to explore the program, and connect with an advisor online. We're here to help!