Post-MBA Certifications and Courses

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How MBA Concentrations Can Help You Advance Your Career

Many MBA graduates enter the world of business only to realize that they could use more preparation in their chosen field of expertise. These people often decide to supplement their education with post-graduate courses and certifications that boost their skills — and their hireability.

Washington State University’s Online Master of Business Administration is one program that offers post-graduate coursework, including four MBA concentrations that allow students to focus their educational experience on their career-specific interests and goals.

To give students even more flexibility, each of these four concentrations can be taken as part of our online MBA program or as a standalone 9-credit MBA certificate that can be taken outside of the formal MBA program.


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Marketing. Students will take an in-depth look at consumer behavior — and the psychology behind it — as they learn to analyze and react to consumer trends, examine the differences between foreign and domestic markets, and discover strategies to help navigate those differences. See Marketing Concentration Details

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Finance. Students study financial practices and principles from an international perspective; learn about financial management of multinational corporations and international investments; and explore critical topics, such as asset management, investment analysis, interest rates, and financial futures. See Finance Concentration Details

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International Business. Students explore the ethical, economic, and societal challenges associated with doing business in a foreign marketplace while coming to understand how risk management applies in the context of the international marketplace. See International Business Concentration Details

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Hospitality Business Management. Students looking to pursue a career in this growing, fascinating industry will gain a thorough and modern understanding of business and practices operations across the hospitality landscape. See Hospitality Business Management Concentration Details

The 8 Most Popular and Respected Post-MBA Certifications

In the past, earning post-MBA certification often meant quitting work to attend a program full-time. Today, however, the path to specialty study has been greatly simplified thanks to the proliferation of accredited online programs. Hundreds of programs offer 100 percent online coursework, allowing students to earn an advanced education on their own schedule—even while working full time.

In short, there are few barriers to earning the exact certifications that will further your knowledge and career, and the following list features the most popular post-MBA offerings. These are the eight certifications that are highly respected and recognized while offering useful information that candidates can apply immediately in their careers.

CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)
Offered by: CFA Institute

The CFA certification is a good option for anyone interested in a career in corporate finance, investment banking, portfolio management, equity research, and other areas of finance. The certification has three levels, and the exam for each level requires at least 300 hours of preparation. Because only 40%-50% of people pass all three, this remains a somewhat exclusive — and desirable — certification to receive.

CRMA (Certification in Risk Management Assurance)
Offered by: Institute of Internal Auditors

Designed for internal auditors and risk management professionals, CRMA designation may be a great fit if your career objective is to become a trusted advisor to the audit committee and handle management in the critical areas of risk assurance, governance processes, quality assurance, or control self-assessment.

CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor)
Offered by: Information Systems Audit and Control Association

The internationally recognized CISA certification provides core auditing competencies and has sprung from the growing demand for professionals with the skills to monitor the IT, business systems, and processes of any organization

FRM (Financial Risk Manager)
Offered by: Global Association of Risk Professionals

FRM certification provides expertise in the specialized area of financial risk management and is very helpful for anyone pursuing a career in traditional areas of financial services (such as investment banks, asset management firms, or insurance companies) or the finance and treasury department of any corporation.

CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management)
Offered by: American Production and Inventory Control Society

CPIM certification is a globally recognized certification for those who wish to pursue a career in supply chain management and provides a thorough understanding and knowledge of the production planning and inventory management of any company.

PMP (Project Management Professional)
Offered by: Project Management Institute (PMI)

The globally recognized PMP certification gives professionals in project management the expertise and competence they need to be recruited. Because it requires a significant commitment — with an investment of time, money, and effort — those who earn a PMP can expect a higher salary compared to others in this field.

Offered by: Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM)

Certification from this organization shows employers that fresh graduates have acquired some basic knowledge in the human resources area.

SAP Certification
Offered by: SAP

SAP is a recognized name in business solutions and software. It offers a wide range of certifications with international acceptance. Most popular among them are SAP Business Intelligence (SAP BI), SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC), SAP FI (for financial accounting), SAP HR Human Capital Management (SAP HR HCM), SAP Material Management (SAP MM), and SAP Sales and Distribution (SAP SD) certifications.

Additional Options

These are some of the most popular offerings available, but they only scratch the surface of a graduate’s possibilities. MBA grads can seek certification in practically any skill or sub-specialty they desire. Earning certifications can be valuable in any job search process and can also just be satisfying. For the lifelong student, there is no reason to ever stop learning and improving.

About WSU’s Online Master of Business Administration Program

Washington State University’s Carson College of Business delivers one of the top-ranked MBA programs in the nation. WSU offers an Online MBA course curriculum designed to equip students with the tactics, knowledge, skills, strategies, and other resources utilized by today’s high-profile business leaders.

WSU’s Online MBA degree program offers several MBA concentrations—marketing, finance, hospitality business management, international business, and general MBA. For more information, visit WSU’s Online MBA website.


Recommended Reading:

Work to School: Changes to Expect and How to Manage Them

Five Fast-Growing Industries for Executives

Benefits of Flexible Online Learning Environments for Professionals


Most popular certifications –   MBA Crystal Ball

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MBA concentrations – WSU MBA