Best Online Business Certificate Programs

TBS Staff Writers
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Updated March 27, 2024
Discover the best online business degrees and develop the skills to launch your career in management or business administration.

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Business certificates prepare students for administrative roles by covering fundamental financial planning, accounting, business operations, and financial reporting skills.

Earning a business certificate online builds key skills for careers in business. During business certificate programs, learners take courses in areas like entrepreneurship, financial accounting, and management. They also strengthen their analytical and decision-making skills through real-world case studies and projects.

With a business certificate, professionals can work as financial clerks, loan officers, and auditing clerks. They also pursue careers in administrative services and facilities management. These fields all offer entry-level opportunities for people seeking careers in business. Professionals can also pursue specialized certificate programs to move into new roles in their current careers.

Our list includes the top online business certificate programs to help prospective students find the best fit for their interests, budgets, and career goals. This article also covers common business certificate courses, career paths, and certifications.

The Best Online Business Certificate Programs

#1 Best Online Business Certificate Programs

Chandler-Gilbert Community College

  • Location-markerChandler, AZ
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,040
  • Out-of-state$7,824
  • Retention Rate71%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled15,585
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment22%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best Online Business Certificate Programs

Asnuntuck Community College

  • Location-markerEnfield, CT
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,984
  • Out-of-state$11,952
  • Retention Rate51%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled1,600
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment27%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Best Online Business Certificate Programs

Pima Community College

  • Location-markerTucson, AZ
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,028
  • Out-of-state$7,344
  • Retention Rate65%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled19,512
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment36%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Best Online Business Certificate Programs

Tulsa Community College

  • Location-markerTulsa, OK
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,701
  • Out-of-state$8,101
  • Retention Rate62%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled16,407
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment40%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Best Online Business Certificate Programs

Northwest Technical College

  • Location-markerBemidji, MN
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,346
  • Out-of-state$5,346
  • Retention Rate64%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled947
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment69%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 Best Online Business Certificate Programs

Phoenix College

  • Location-markerPhoenix, AZ
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,040
  • Out-of-state$7,824
  • Retention Rate63%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled11,109
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment37%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 Best Online Business Certificate Programs

Normandale Community College

  • Location-markerBloomington, MN
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,990
  • Out-of-state$4,990
  • Retention Rate61%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled9,743
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment41%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 Best Online Business Certificate Programs

Rio Salado College

  • Location-markerTempe, AZ
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,040
  • Out-of-state$7,824
  • Retention Rate31%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled19,103
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment53%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 Best Online Business Certificate Programs

Edison State Community College

  • Location-markerPiqua, OH
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,060
  • Out-of-state$8,119
  • Retention Rate48%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled3,888
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment40%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 Best Online Business Certificate Programs

DeSales University

  • Location-markerCenter Valley, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$37,200
  • Out-of-state$37,200
  • Retention Rate80%
  • Acceptance Rate79%
  • Students Enrolled3,460
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment36%
  • AccreditationYes

Best Online Certificate

Business

2022


The Best Schools

Online Business Certificate Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Rankings Methodology

Featured Online Business Certificate Programs

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What Is an Online Business Certificate?

An online business certificate offers focused training in core business areas, such as finance, accounting, and management. During a business certificate, learners study strategic planning, organizational behavior, and business decision-making. A certificate also teaches enrollees to create business plans, analyze financial reports, and manage staff.

In addition to gaining foundational knowledge in business, learners strengthen their analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills through projects and assignments. A business certificate also covers communication and research abilities.

Many colleges offer online business certificate programs, and earning a business certificate online offers more flexibility than a traditional degree. Learners can complete coursework around their other responsibilities, which appeals to working adults seeking career advancement. After gaining foundational training through certificate programs, graduates can pursue business degrees or enter the workforce.

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What’s the Difference Between a Business Certificate and an Associate Degree in Business?

Business certificates and associate degrees in business both train students in foundational business areas, like entrepreneurship, accounting, and management. However, a certificate offers more focused coursework without general education requirements. A certificate also takes less time than an associate degree.

Most certificate programs take around one year or less, while an associate degree typically requires two years. With an associate degree, graduates can work as financial clerks, account managers, and administrative assistants, and they can transfer directly into bachelor’s programs.

After completing a certificate, graduates can transfer into associate programs. Many schools offer both certificates and associate degrees in business.

Choosing an Online Program

When choosing an online business certificate program, students should consider factors like enrollment options, course schedules, and certificate specializations. Each student has unique goals and needs, so which business certificate is the best fit will be different for everybody. Learn more about choosing an online program at the links below.

Accreditation for Business Programs

Prospective students should always choose accredited schools for their business certificates. Accredited colleges meet the highest standards for educating students. Accredited colleges also meet the requirements for federal financial aid awards. For business education, regional accreditation is the gold standard.

In addition to school accreditation, applicants should also seek out accredited business programs. Several accrediting agencies evaluate business programs, including the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Accreditation demonstrates that a business program follows the best practices for training business professionals.

What to Expect From a Business Certificate

During a business certificate, online learners build foundational skills in accounting, management, and marketing. They also take courses in business ethics, strategic decision-making, and entrepreneurship. Some certificates offer focused coursework in a particular area, like finance, public accounting, or leadership. Below are a few common courses in online business certificate programs, though the exact curriculum varies by school.

Business Curriculum

  • Accounting: Basic accounting skills help professionals in every field. This course covers financial accounting systems, creating financial documents, and evaluating accounting statements. Students learn about inventory, revenue, income statements, and balance sheets.
  • Business Strategy: Business decision-makers use a variety of strategies to solve problems. In this course, learners consider strategic alternatives, learn to implement business strategies, and assess strategic plans for their effectiveness.
  • Business Ethics: In this course, learners examine ethical obligations and problems for businesses. The course introduces students to ethical decision-making, company responsibility conflicts, and personal integrity in a business environment.
  • Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurs launch businesses. This course covers the business planning process, marketing for new companies, and expanding organizations. Students also learn core principles needed for success in new ventures.
  • Fundamentals of Marketing: Marketing courses introduce learners to core principles and concepts in marketing. Topics include market research, pricing strategy, and competitor research. Coursework blends lectures with case studies and real-world projects.
  • Principles of Management: Learners explore theories and best practices for managers. The course covers organizational needs, corporate responsibilities, and management roles. Students also learn about planning, management analysis, and decision-making.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Business Certificate Online?

Earning a business certificate online typically takes around one year. Program length depends on several factors, including the number of required credits, the student’s enrollment status, and the program format.

Short certificate programs may only take a few months, while a longer certificate can exceed one year. Part-time enrollment extends completion timelines. Some online business certificate programs offer an accelerated schedule, where learners complete coursework in shorter terms.

What Can You Do With a Business Certificate?

A business certificate trains students for entry-level roles as financial clerks, bookkeepers, and accounting clerks. Graduates also use their business training to launch new companies, run small organizations, or work as office managers.

Training in accounting, management, and finance helps professionals in a variety of careers. In addition to the following fields, earning a business certificate can lead to opportunities in marketing, accounting, and financial services.

Business Certifications

Certified Associate in Project Management

The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers the CAPM credential for entry-level project managers. Each candidate must hold a high school diploma or associate degree and complete 23 hours of project management education. A business certificate meets the latter requirement. PMI requires a three-hour, 150-question certification exam. CAPM professionals maintain the credential by earning 15 professional development units every three years.

Project Management Professional

PMI also offers the PMP credential. Education and work experience requirements vary depending on whether the candidate holds a bachelor’s degree. CAPM certification fulfills the project management education requirement. Each prospective PMP then takes a certification exam. PMI reports that PMP-certified individuals earn 25% higher salaries than those without certification.

Certified Business Analysis Professional

The CBAP credential recognizes experienced business analysts. An aspiring CBAP must have at least 7,500 hours of work experience in business analysis, including at least 900 hours each in four of the credential’s knowledge areas. The certification also requires 35 hours of professional development, two references, and passing scores on an exam.

SalesForce Administrator

Professionals experienced with Salesforce, a customer relationship management platform, can pursue certification to demonstrate their expertise. Candidates take a 60-question exam on configuration options, user management, and Salesforce functions. The certification offers proctored exams at testing centers or online environments.

Oracle Certified

Professionals can pursue Oracle certification in multiple areas, including cloud infrastructure, enterprise performance management, and human capital management. Candidates start by choosing their certification and meeting requirements, then selecting a recommended training or specialized exam. Individuals earn certification after passing the exam at a Pearson VUE center.

Business Careers

A business certificate prepares graduates for entry-level roles as accounting clerks, bookkeepers, financial clerks, and administrative assistants. Professionals who add business certificates to their college degrees can advance into administrative and management roles. For example, the specialized training in a certificate can lead to a career as a general manager, management analyst, or human resources manager.

The following median salary data pertains to business careers for individuals with certificates but no degree.

CareerMedian Salary (2020)
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks$42,410
Financial Clerks$41,520
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants$40,990
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Frequently Asked Questions About Business Certificates

Voluntary certifications — like PMP, certified supply chain professional, and chartered financial analyst credentials — help professionals demonstrate specialized skills on the job market. Which certification is the best depends on your field.

Business certificates offer a fast, less expensive route to specialized training in business. A certificate helps professionals transition into business careers or advance their careers.

After completing a business certificate, professionals can work as entrepreneurs and small business owners, financial clerks, and office managers. Current business professionals can also move into specialized roles using graduate certificates.


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