New Business Certificates Answer Essential Job Skills Gap

New Business Certificates Answer Essential Job Skills Gap

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), data analysis and communication are among the top skills missing from candidates’ resumes. Meanwhile, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects plenty of opportunity for people willing to acquire those skills, including 142,000 new job openings for project management and business operations specialists and 11,600 data entry job openings annually over the next 10 years.

To meet the urgent need for critical skills training and retraining to fill jobs available now and in the future, the Minneapolis College School of Business and Economics will introduce two new certificate programs beginning in the fall: the Applied Professional Skills Certificate and the Business Essentials Certificate.

The Applied Professional Skills Certificate (one semester, 17 credits) focuses on Microsoft applications including Excel spreadsheets and Power BI data visualization software combined with business communication skills. The technical skills classes will be limited to 26 participants for increased personal attention from instructors.

The Business Essentials Certificate (two semesters, 19 credits) focuses on economic theory and principles, basic business decision-making, computer applications, communication skills, accounting and financial reporting.

Classes will be offered both online and as hybrid on-campus/online synchronous programs, consistent with the collaborative on-site and remote work environments that are becoming the norm in business careers. Both certificates are eligible for financial aid and there are no prerequisites.

“Students will learn to work in teams, focusing on practical application of their new skills in a business environment,” said Jennifer Malarski, business management faculty. “These certificates are the ideal path for learners aiming for a career in business, especially one that requires data analysis and reporting skills, which applies to more jobs now than ever,” she said.

“Showing that you have business communication skills is a big deal, too,” said Jennifer Stauffer, accounting faculty. “Not just being able to properly compose an email, but the ability to put data analysis reports into lay terms and translate complex financial scenarios for managers to use—those are skills that employers are begging for now,” she said.

The SHRM Skills Gap Survey (September 2018) showed that employers are investing in employee training, hiring from more diverse pools of talent and collaborating with educational institutions to remedy the skills gap addressed by the new certificate programs.

According to the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the employment landscape in the state between now and 2030 will continue to shift from manufacturing toward professional and business services, health care and social assistance, and other service activities. That means an increase in the need for education and training in hard skills such as data analysis and soft skills like business communication.

“The classes in both certificate programs ladder up A.A.S. or A.S. degrees while giving students a way to quickly achieve awards to beef up their resumes,” said Malarski.

Once a student has completed a certificate or degree program, they can benefit from Minneapolis College connections to local employers through Career Services.

For more information, go to Applied Professional Skills Certificate, Business Essentials Certificate, and the School of Business and Economics.

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