How to Earn a Business Communication Certificate

Wondering how to stand out and get ahead in your career? Learn how a business communication certificate can lead to higher pay and new opportunities.

portrait of Alison Plaut
by Alison Plaut

Updated June 1, 2022

Edited by Madison Hoehn
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How to Earn a Business Communication Certificate
Image Credit: Hinterhaus Productions / DigitalVision / Getty Images


Warren Buffet told Columbia University business graduates that they could increase their value by 50% by learning communication skills, including public speaking. The ability to convey ideas with nuance and depth is essential in most fields. A business communication certificate demonstrates dedication to building these essential skills and understanding effective communication.

Eighty-five percent of students with a business communication certificate from UCLA feel that the certification enhanced their careers. Twenty-five percent received a salary increase after starting the program. Getting a certificate in business communication can help candidates stand out in many fields, including business, sales, writing, public relations, and government positions.

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Ready to start your journey?

What Are the Requirements for a Business Communication Certificate?

Many colleges and universities offer business communication certificates. There is no standard business communication certification test. Certification requirements vary by program.

For example, Emory University requires six core courses plus electives, satisfactory attendance, and passing test scores. Harvard University requires three business communication graduate courses with a minimum "B" grade. UCLA requires five courses plus two electives for a business communication certificate.

Coursera features over 1,330 courses related to business communication. These courses vary in length, but many of the top-rated courses last 5-6 months. Udemy has 10,000 results for courses on business communication.

What Skills Will I Learn With a Business Communication Certificate?

A business communication certificate enhances written, verbal, and digital communication. It can benefit anyone entering a person-centric profession such as marketing, sales, human resources, or public relations. Communication is also an important skill for anyone in a leadership position or working with a team.

Transferable business communication skills learned include:

Is a Business Communication Certificate Worth It?

A business communication certificate builds valuable skills transferable both at work and at home. Miscommunication is a major cause of conflict and unnecessary delays. Inspiring a team towards a common goal, whether that involves a team of colleagues or subordinates, is a valuable skill.

The exact financial benefit of a business communication certificate is difficult to quantify. After enrolling in the certificate program, 1 in 4 UCLA students earned a pay increase. Professionals with a bachelor's degree who earn a business communication certificate can earn median salaries of $62,290-$127,490 depending on their field.

What Jobs Can I Get With a Business Communication Certificate?

Human Resources Specialist

Median Annual Salary: $62,290
Projected Job Growth (2020-2030): 10%

Human resources specialists work with employees. Tasks include recruiting and hiring, training new employees, and handling compensation and benefits. They use business communication skills to convey a need or address concerns. Human resource specialists rely on their emotional intelligence to create a healthy workplace.

These specialists need a bachelor's degree. A business communication certificate is helpful.

Public Relations Specialist

Median Annual Salary: $62,800
Projected Job Growth (2020-2030): 11%

Public relations is one of the most common business communication jobs. Public relations specialists design and project a company's public image that aligns with the company's mission and vision. These workers can find employment with large corporations, the government, or small businesses.

These professionals need a bachelor's degree in public relations. A business communication certificate can improve their skills.

Technical Writer

Median Annual Salary: $78,060
Projected Job Growth (2020-2030): 12%

Technical writers create complex documentation on highly specialized subjects. Examples include how-to guides, instructional manuals, pamphlets, and brochures. Many technical writers work in science or computer-related fields or for technology companies.

Aspiring technical writers need a bachelor's degree in communication. Business communication certification is helpful but not required.

Sales Manager

Median Annual Salary: $127,490
Projected Job Growth (2020-2030): 7%

A sales manager is a leadership sales position. These managers direct a company's sales team. Their tasks include creating campaigns and strategies, as well as providing continuing education on best sales practices.

A business communication certificate can help a sales representative advance to a sales manager position. A bachelor's degree is often required.

How Much Money Can I Make With a Business Communication Certificate?

A business communication certificate can lead to higher pay within a company or a new career. Business communication certificate holders can earn median salaries between $62,810 and $127,490. Corporate communication specialists make an average annual base salary of $57,870 as of April 2022 Payscale data.

An exact business communication salary depends on many factors. Degrees and qualifications, career field, company, location, and years of experience affect a final salary.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Business Communication Certificate

What are the three categories of business communication?

Any type of communication that occurs in a business setting is considered business communication. The three common categories of business communication are internal communication, external communication, and personal communication.

Internal communication comprises all written and verbal communication within an organization. This is further classified into horizontal, vertical, and downward communication.

External communication involves any communication with external organizations or individuals. This could include clients, investors, suppliers, the media, governing bodies, or financial institutions.

Personal communication is any discussion or communication not directly related to business. Personal communication, like asking a client about their family, is an important part of building trust in business communication.

How do I become a business communicator?

One of the most effective ways to become a business communicator is to earn a business communication certificate. People can earn certification online and in person from many leading universities.

Coursera, Alison, EdX, and Udemy all offer business communication courses with no minimum education requirements. Learners can choose to earn a business communication certificate from a top-rated university in six months to two years. They can also take a short course within a couple of hours.

Business communicators cultivate skills such as seeking and providing feedback, addressing issues with diplomacy, and asking the right questions. Professionals can also enhance business communication skills by studying the business communication strategies of leaders they admire or through books.

What certification should I get for communication?

There are many communication certifications. The best certification is the one that most closely aligns with a person's desired career or professional path. However, earning more than one communication certification can open more possibilities.

Common communication certifications include:

  • Public relations -- corporate communication
  • Business communication
  • Organizational leadership and communication
  • Information and communication technology
  • Marketing communication

Many of these communication certificates teach transferable skills for many fields. For example, a public relations or business communication certificate can be used in many sectors. If you want to go into public relations or human resources, both a public relations certificate and a business communication certificate could be valuable.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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