Career Success

Provided online via distance learning
Program Overview

This series of courses will help you build, develop and hone the essential skills needed to improve your employability and advancement in today’s dynamic workforce. The courses in this Specialization may be taken in any order. Each course can also be taken independently. The Specialization concludes with a Capstone project that will give you the opportunity to integrate and apply the skills you have gained throughout the courses to your individual and organizational needs.


Project Management: The Basics for Success

This course combines the essential elements of Project Management and Team Leadership into one course. Through class engagement and reflection, you will acquire further understanding of the responsibilities of leadership and become better prepared to apply this knowledge to the project environment. Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Learn about the role of high performance teams and leadership in project management
  2. Learn about the tools and techniques for developing and strengthening high performance teams and team members
  3. Learn about the stages in project cycle
  4. Apply best practices to develop competencies and skills in planning and controlling projects to ensure successful outcomes
  5. Learn how to monitor project activities and assess progress
  6. Learn to communicate proficiently to report project status and performance to stakeholders and contribute to organizational knowledge base.

Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal and Professional Productivity

You will be able to gain and apply your knowledge and understanding of personal and professional awareness, organization and commitment, and use the tools, methods and techniques that you have learned in goal setting, prioritization, scheduling, and delegation to overcome time management challenges and enhance productivity. Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Learn to plan effectively to achieve your personal and professional goals
  2. Learn to recognize and overcome barriers to successful time management
  3. Identify specific time management tools and use them effectively
  4. Manage resources both effectively and efficiently
  5. Keep your sense of perspective to prevent and manage crises
  6. Learn to delegate effectively
  7. Learn to manage expectations and say “No” when appropriate

Finance for Non-Financial Professionals

Impact your financial decisions and learn how to affect the performance of your unit’s profitability and of your organization. In this course gain a basic understanding of finance and accounting concepts to drive your organization’s growth. Upon completion of this course, you will have gained general financial knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the impact of your decisions outside your functional area. Content of the course includes selected aspects of finance from a non-financial specialist perspective. Specific topics include: financial analysis; planning, forecasting, and budgeting; cash flow, and strategic financing. This class will be interactive and will require the active involvement of the participants in finance related activities. Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Explain the importance of finance and interpretation of financial information
  2. Apply the concepts of accounting and finance to analyze financials
  3. Learn about key accounting and finance terms
  4. Examine financial statements by using key ratios
  5. Explain the importance of budgeting process
  6. Learn about key components needed to improve profitability

Communication in the 21st Century Workplace

In today’s fast-paced business environment, employees at all levels find themselves being asked to handle more tasks, meet more deadlines, take on more responsibilities, and adapt to more change. Added to these challenges is the constantly shifting diversity of the workplace, where coworkers cope with generational, gender, age and cultural differences. Communication, both verbal and nonverbal, is at the foundation of everything we do and say, and is especially important in the 21st century workplace. The good news is that communication is a learned skill, and can be improved upon with the right training. The focus of this course is to heighten students’ awareness of workplace communication, and add new interpersonal skills, with the end result of becoming a more competent communicator overall. Target areas include: the process and functions of communication, behavioral patterns, perceptions as reality, verbal and nonverbal cues and behaviors, confidence, assertiveness, tact, anger management, criticism and constructive feedback, conflict resolution, team building, leadership, interviewing, and communicating more effectively with technology (email, Skype, texting, etc.). Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Define communication and its role in the workplace
  2. Describe benefits of effective communication in the workplace
  3. Identify and explain most common audiences and techniques for communicating with each audience
  4. Identify and solve common obstacles to effective communication
  5. Summarize the 5 Step Technique and explain its usefulness in communicating with your manager
  6. Discuss the best approaches and communication techniques for delivering bad news to your manager
  7. Describe ways to make positive connections with your staff.
  8. Discuss techniques for deciphering the communication styles of executive managers
  9. Discuss techniques for identifying the characteristics and drivers of executive managers
  10. Discuss techniques for persuading executive management
  11. Identify best practices for working successfully with virtual/remote teams
  12. Apply proven techniques for effective conference calls and webinars

High Impact Business Writing

Effective writing is a powerful tool in the business environment. Learn how to articulate your thoughts in a clear and concise manner that will allow your ideas to be better understood by your readers. Improve your business writing skill by learning to select and use appropriate formats for your audience, use the correct medium and adjust your writing style accordingly, as well as identify your objective and communicate it clearly. You’ll also learn to spot, correct and avoid the most common writing pitfalls, and gain valuable experience analyzing, writing and revising a wide spectrum of business documents. From a simple interoffice memo to a twenty-page business proposal, learn how to put good business writing to work for you. Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Write effective business communications, including bad news, good news, persuasive writing, presentations, emails, memos, business reports and press releases
  2. Learn how to edit and proofread business documents
  3. Learn how to write for a global market

The Art of Negotiation

The art of negotiation comes into play daily in the life of employees at all levels and in every position. Participants explore how current approaches to negotiation strategy and tactics are used, what negotiation entails, types of negotiation relationships that exist from hard bargain to win-win, to fully partnered relationships and personal ones. The course explores the personal and behavioral characteristics of an effective negotiator. Participants discuss how empowerment, power, and authority affect the negotiation process and outcome. Topics include how important it is to plan and prepare for a negotiation session. Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Learn about the nature of negotiation and how it differs from selling
  2. Gain awareness of the basic doctrines of negotiation and barriers to effective negotiation
  3. Explain the role of authority and how to address it in negotiations
  4. Explain the role of power in negotiations and how to address power inequities
  5. Explain the positive and negative influences of empowerment
  6. Learn the different “stances” or negotiation styles negotiators might adopt
  7. Demonstrate the factors that influence which negotiation style is implemented
  8. Describe the personal and behavioral characteristics of an effective negotiator
  9. Demonstrate your grasp of emotional intelligence and how it impacts the effectiveness of a negotiator
  10. Assess your own values and personal style and how they affect the negotiation process
  11. Learn about the critical importance of planning and preparation in the negotiation process

Fundamentals of Management

Are you about to enter the workforce? Are you an emerging professional? Are you new to your role in the organization? All prospective new employees benefit from understanding management principles, roles and responsibilities, regardless of position. Now you can acquire an in-depth understanding of the basic concepts and theories of management while exploring the manager’s operational role in all types of organizations. Gain insight into the manager’s responsibility in planning, organizing, leading, staffing and controlling within the workplace. It’s never too soon to plan your professional path by learning how the best managers manage for success! Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Describe the difference between managers and leaders
  2. Explore the focus of a manager’s job
  3. Cite the required skills for a new manager’s success
  4. Describe the five functions of management
  5. Explain the new model management operating philosophy
  6. Describe the hierarchy of planning
  7. Use the SMART goal setting technique
  8. Discuss the concept of evolution of leadership
  9. Explain how customer satisfaction is linked to controlling
  10. Discuss the power of building a network

Effective Problem-Solving and Decision-Making

Critical thinking – the application of scientific methods and logical reasoning to problems and decisions – is the foundation of effective problem solving and decision making. Critical thinking enables us to avoid common obstacles, test our beliefs and assumptions, and correct distortions in our thought processes. Gain confidence in assessing problems accurately, evaluating alternative solutions, and anticipating likely risks. Learn how to use analysis, synthesis, and positive inquiry to address individual and organizational problems and develop the critical thinking skills needed in today’s turbulent times. Using case studies and situations encountered by class members, explore successful models and proven methods that are readily transferable on-the-job. Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Choose and apply appropriate problem solving and decision making processes and methods
  2. Identify common obstacles to effective problem solving and decision making
  3. Recognize the human variable in problem solving and decision making
  4. Assess major conceptual blocks and significant situational challenges
  5. Apply concepts to enhancing personal development and organizational performance
  6. Explain the key elements of problem solving and decision making and the barriers associated with them

Essentials of Entrepreneurship: Thinking and Action

Success in business can be greatly enhanced with an understanding of key entrepreneurial characteristics and competencies solutions. This interactive course provides potential entrepreneurs with the knowledge of succeeding in an entrepreneurial opportunity. Topics include: how creativity, opportunity and feasibility are best evaluated; business strategies for new businesses; importance of a business plan; achieving success in a new business. At the end of the course students will have the skills and confidence to evaluate starting a business, in addition to becoming more enterprising in how they approach their roles should they decide to work in organizations. Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Learn about the many faces of and contexts for entrepreneurship
  2. Learn about the entrepreneurial process and how to manage it
  3. Learn about what it takes to be an entrepreneur and your own potential to be one
  4. Learn to recognize opportunities to generate and assess your own business idea
  5. Explain the business planning process
  6. Apply entrepreneurial approaches, concepts and methods to your own business idea
  7. Learn about the operational issues in developing new business ventures

Career Success Project

The purpose of the Capstone Project in the Career Success Specialization is for you to apply the methods and techniques you learned in the series of courses to a personal experience, giving you a way to communicate your value to potential employers. You’ll focus your communication, management, negotiation, problem solving, business writing, time management, finance, entrepreneurship, and project management skills into a single project that demonstrates your career readiness. Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Apply the methods, techniques and skills you have learned throughout the Specialization to add value, every day, to your organization by effectively gathering, synthesizing, analyzing and presenting information
  2. Develop and hone your critical thinking skills as you evaluate ideas, concepts, approaches and assumptions to arrive at a practical, yet innovative, solution to an organizational problem
  3. Learn to skillfully use a powerful strategic planning tool
  4. Effectively communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to senior-level decision makers