More businesses plan to hire those holding a Master's in Business Administration, or MBA, each year, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council. One tremendous benefit for MBA graduates is the ability to add certification after obtaining the master's degree, increasing the depth and breadth of education and, therefore, job marketability.
Schools design post-MBA certification programs for graduates of master's programs already working in a business field. These programs aim to keep managers, administrators and other business professionals abreast of changes occurring in business and broaden understanding of MBA areas of expertise such as marketing, global business, finance, entrepreneurship, technology, analytics, leadership and human resources. Some schools include certificates focusing on particular industries, such as health care and pharmaceuticals.
Applying to a post-MBA certificate program typically requires the same process as applying to any school. After obtaining the MBA, certification aspirants submit a school application, resume and school transcripts indicating the graduate work. Some schools waive transcript requirements if you attended that institution's MBA program. Additional entrance requirements may include a writing sample that focuses on career and academic goals. Avoid applying until you are ready to pursue the certificate. Once accepted, students usually complete the certificate within a certain time frame, such as four years, to keep the information current.
Most schools allow students in post-MBA certification programs to individualize the curriculum. Coursework may focus on one single area, such as marketing, including courses such as International Marketing, Marketing Communications, Consumer Behavior, Negotiation and Persuasion Strategies and Marketing Research. Often students can take classes from a variety of disciplines, which allows students to update their knowledge since receiving the MBA, take classes they were unable to complete during the MBA experience or focus on a particular business area to fulfill current job requirements.
The number of credits and time required to complete the post-MBA certificate varies depending upon the school and the certificate focus, but most programs require between 12 and 15 semester credits of work, which typically translates to four or five classes. Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, tells students they can finish a certificate in as little as nine months. Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana, points out most students need between one and two years to finish, depending upon how many classes they take simultaneously.