Gain essential business acumen through new USD certificate program

Feb. 4, 2019

This paid piece is sponsored by the USD Beacom School of Business.

Are you leading or preparing to lead in your organization without a business degree?

Or did you attend business school years ago and would benefit from enhancing your skills?

The USD Beacom School of Business is introducing a new Essential Business Acumen certificate that could be an ideal fit for you.

“We’re excited to bring this program to the Sioux Falls area,” said Venky Venkatachalam, Ph.D., dean of the Beacom School of Business.

“As the flagship business school in the state, we are committed to helping businesses recruit and retain high-quality professionals by extending our resources into the business community.”

The certificate program involves many of the core components of a business degree: management, entrepreneurship, marketing, accounting and finance, critical thinking, decision-making and strategy.

“Bundling them into a certificate demonstrates a focused study and commitment to professional development,” Venkatachalam said.

Through professional development and executive education programs, working business professionals learn skills to help their organizations achieve higher productivity and enhance their competitiveness, said Linda Halliburton, director of graduate business and executive education programs.

“The Essential Business Acumen courses and certificate allow people to access high-quality content and faculty that may not have been available to them earlier in their careers,” she said.

“And as people move into new roles, they need new knowledge. By packaging these courses into a certificate, that new knowledge is centered on the core business acumen that they need to succeed.”

The USD Beacom School of Business has just started accepting registrations for the certificate program.

Upcoming courses include:

  • Navigating from strategy to results: Taught April 5 by Michelle Lavallee.
  • Leadership essentials for supervisors and managers: Taught April 9 and 10 by Stephanie McGovern.
  • Creative thinking and problem-solving: Taught April 26 by Greg Bertsch.
  • Developing an integrated marketing plan: Taught June 7 by Emily Paulson.
  • The language of business: Accounting for decision-making: Taught June 13 by Matt Heard.

All classes meet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the University Center in Sioux Falls and include lunch.

“Each course is a stand-alone course. People can take as many or as few as they need for their own professional development, making it a totally customizable learning experience,” Halliburton added.

“These courses and others will be offered throughout the year. Participants can take up to two years to earn the business acumen certificate.”

Participants will find they gain skills and knowledge to tackle some of the biggest issues facing them today:

  • Optimizing strategic planning goals.
  • Being an effective and motivating leader.
  • Bringing profitable products to market.
  • Creating more effective solutions to business problems.
  • Making good decisions based on sound financial information.

“This is an especially good fit for high-potential individual contributors who want to advance in their careers or be more valuable to their organization — managers and leaders who are looking for a way to obtain new skills, improve leadership skills, learn new business tactics or brush up on current business practices as they assume positions of greater responsibility,” Venkatachalam said.

“It’s appropriate for all industries, including manufacturing, health care, nonprofit, finance and many others. And it’s especially valuable for those who are ready to take the next step in their career.”

The program is modeled after others offered at exceptional universities nationwide, “so people who live and work in the Sioux Falls region now have an opportunity that otherwise would not be available to them without traveling to another region,” he said.

Courses also are delivered in small class sizes, typically 30 or fewer students, connecting students with a collaborative learning environment and faculty who bring real-world experience and knowledge of the latest developments in their field to provide a variety of perspectives.

Thinking of approaching your company to finance the certificate?

Here’s some advice:

  • To be most effective in justifying attending, you need to articulate the connection between your organization and what you will learn.
  • Focus specifically on what you will bring back to the organization as return for the investment.
  • Link what you will learn to a challenge or need your organization is experiencing.
  • Offer to prepare and deliver a short presentation and Q&A to your colleagues to share what you learned. That way others in your unit will get the benefits of your attendance too.
  • Be ready with a plan that shows who will cover for you while you are attending the course.

Whether a business has its own training department or not, USD Beacom’s executive education programming helps maximize talent for organizations.

Since launching executive education 18 months ago, USD Beacom has worked with almost 400 professionals from almost 50 organizations.

“We offer real-world learning that your employees can put to use the very next day. And when you send several employees or a team, they all benefit from shared knowledge and vocabulary,” Halliburton said. They help hold each other accountable for bringing real change back to your company.”

To learn more and register for individual courses as well as the Essential Business Acumen certificate program, click here. 

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Gain essential business acumen through new USD certificate program

From strategy to problem solving, marketing to accounting, you can up your skills in all of these through a new business acumen certificate being offered by the USD Beacom School of Business.

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