Business Courses: Short Courses to Help You Upskill

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 24 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Upskilling is an effective way to learn new skills, improve your work performance and create more career opportunities. Enrolling in a short business course can be beneficial for entry-level professionals or experienced professionals across a wide range of roles, from administrators to managers to entrepreneurs. These courses are shorter than a standard university degree and may help provide valuable skills and knowledge to apply to your career. In this article, we define business courses and list 10 short business courses for you to consider.

What are short business courses?

Short business courses are those that you can complete in less time than a traditional university educational degree. These courses can vary, with some being only a few days long and others lasting for a little over a year. The delivery style of the courses can also be different, with some being online only, face-to-face only or offering a combination of the two. They can be a viable alternative for people whose time, resources or finances may not allow them to take a traditional degree or want to upskill.

There's a wide range of business courses available, with some covering a variety of subjects and others focusing on one skill. If you're eager to study and improve your professional development but unable to commit to a three or four-year course, a short business course could be a suitable alternative.

Related: 12 Types of Business Jobs

10 business courses that are short

Here's a list of business courses that are short to consider:

1. Diploma of Business

Despite being one of the largest courses offered on this list, completing this diploma only takes you a maximum of a year and a half if you study part-time. If you want to commit to full-time study, you can finish all nine subjects in a year. This self-paced course covers various subjects, including critical thinking, developing workplace policies and procedures, managing business risk and other related topics. This diploma is a good option for anybody already working within an administrative or business-related industry who wants to learn additional skills to advance their career and knowledge.

You can complete a Diploma of Business through various online providers or in-person at a university, registered training organisation (RTO) or a Technical and Further Education Facility (TAFE).

Related: FAQ: What Is a Diploma?

2. Certificate IV in Business Administration

Suitable for administrative professionals looking to broaden their skills and advance their current careers, this certificate offers a variety of foundation business skills like organisation and time management. It's an online course you can fit into your weekly schedule. This course is also self-paced. You can complete it in 12 to 18 months, depending on your schedule. Some subjects covered in this course include project management, office procedures, complex business documentation and financial reporting.

Multiple institutions offer this certificate IV, so you can choose the class schedule that best suits your lifestyle. Some institutions require you to complete the Certificate III in Business Administration prior to you enrolling in this course. Others require your current place of employment to recommend you and other institutions offer this course with no strict eligibility requirements.

Related: Business Skills (Definition, Examples and Development Tips)

3. Digital Transformation Leadership

More recently, many organisations have adopted digital technology and software to help streamline work processes and improve efficiency and innovation within the workplace. This digital transformation process is common in many companies across the country. If you want to learn more about this area of business, this six-week online course may be a suitable option for you.

This class can teach you how to promote change in the organisation you work for, identify new technology opportunities, develop skills essential for your work performance and set long-term strategies for the business you work for and its clients. This course is a part of Deakin University's stackable short courses.


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4. Driving Performance in a Changing World

You may consider this course to improve your leadership and management skills. The Melbourne Business School runs this course over six weeks, making it suitable for even the busiest corporate professional. It focuses on learning to use initiative to solve new challenges, building collaborative teams and adapting to fast-changing work environments.

It also focuses on design thinking, which concentrates on learning to use the consumers' needs as the main focal point when trying to solve problems. The facilitators for this course are subject-matter experts in leadership development and innovation.

5. International Business Environment

If you're interested in working in business, you may be curious about the global marketplace and how it works. Many businesses don't want to restrict themselves within domestic borders, as some may want to enter the international market to compete against other large corporations and try to maximise profits. A thorough understanding of different international marketplaces and practices can be an advantage if you're employed in a global business.

The course covers topics such as international trade and investment, cultural issues in international business, emerging markets and global strategic structure. It's available at many universities, including the University of South Australia.

6. Social Media Marketing Strategy Course

Social media has become more and more widespread in marketing new products, businesses and entrepreneurs prevalent to the public and, when done effectively, to their target audience. Using social media can help you market your business effectively and ensure you're reaching your potential clientele to the best of your ability.

The one-day course includes an overview of social analytics, content management and strategy, creating a publishing calendar for consistent posting and more. The virtual classroom is available for you to enrol in on the Association for Data-Driven Marketing & Advertising (ADMA) website. This course covers various social media courses and the different ways you can adapt your marketing material for different sites.

Related: What Is Social Media Marketing? (Including Helpful Tips)

7. Certificate IV in Entrepreneurship and New Business

This 12–18 month course, available from several universities and training organisations, covers many aspects of new businesses. The course includes information on building networks and marketing skills to help build and maintain a client base. It also covers legal requirements for businesses, branding and design of official business documentation, development of a business plan and integration of digital technology.

Related: How to Become an Entrepreneur (Including 7 Top Tips)

8. Payroll Administration Training Courses

Businesses often require expertise in a particular area, and this course focuses on one of these key areas. Payroll, balancing budgets and accounting are all important factors a company may want to consider. This free online course may be useful if you work in an administrative or clerical job that requires bookkeeping or financial skills. The Payroll Administration course offers variations for MYOB, Xero or QuickBooks software, so it may be beneficial for many professionals working across different systems.

This is a free course offered online at the Australian Small Business Centre website. They also offer a free manual template for you to refer to during and after your studies.

Related: 13 Accounting Skills to Include in Your Resume

9. Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication

This six-month course is a good option for those working in marketing, advertising, media or public relations. The course offers a combination of online and face-to-face learning, allowing you to maximise your learning and fit your study into your existing schedule.

It explains how to determine a target audience through the concept of profiling and complete practical assignments that focus on thinking of creative communications, preparing marketing documents and developing audiovisual production. This course is available in multiple educational facilities.

10. Change Tools

A change tool is any action that can help to alleviate risks or problems during a shift in workplace structures, staff, software or other processes. Knowing how to use change tools and adapt to the latest trends or technology is an important skill for managers and leaders in an ever-changing economic climate.

This short course can help you recognise fundamental tools, create a change management plan or template and learn how to apply these in your workplace. This curriculum is a part of Deakin University's stackable short courses.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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