Meet work opportunities or up-skill with new Collat professional courses

Written by 

rep collat prof less 550pxHave you been thrown a new challenge at work? Or are you looking to grow your skill set?

For more than three years, the Professional Education team in the Collat School of Business has offered focused training with non-academic courses designed to help individuals meet their personal, professional and organizational goals. Current course topics include everything from data analytics and supply chain management to managing a hybrid workforce.

“We are very straightforward,” said Cori Perdue, Ph.D., director of Professional Education. “There is no application process, you can sign up in five minutes, and with many courses, you can get started immediately and finish at your own pace. We are a perfect option for people who want to jump right in and earn a tangible industry certification.”

Live-online short courses

Starting in 2018, Collat Professional Education debuted a series of in-person and live-online short courses using a cohort model led by Collat faculty and industry experts in Project Management, Agile Project Management, and Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing.

UAB discount

Professional Education courses do not fall under UAB’s Educational Assistance benefit. But UAB employees receive a 20 percent discount for asynchronous courses. (See prices, estimated course lengths, and applicable continuing education/professional development units for all Professional Development programs here.) Employees can often use professional development funds from their units to pay course tuition, Perdue adds.

Dorothy Ogdon, associate professor and head of Emerging Technology and System Development for UAB Libraries, recently completed the Project Management Certificate. “This was one of the most useful professional development activities I’ve participated in,” she said. “The course helped expand my knowledge of methods for organizing activities across multidisciplinary teams, utilizing visualization tools to communicate workflow, and planning for multichannel communication to improve stakeholder engagement.” Ogdon believes that the course “will be worthwhile for anyone interested in project management, whether or not they plan to pursue a formal Project Management Institute certification,” she said.

“Students like that our courses are taught by instructors who bring both academic and industry expertise,” Perdue said. And because workforce needs are constantly changing, new courses are always being added to the catalog, she added.

Self-paced courses

The Professional Education catalog includes a suite of self-paced, 100 percent online classes, with topics chosen based on “market trends, conversations with companies about their needs and skills gaps, and a great amount of research,” Perdue said.

For example, requests by employees and managers at UAB for data analytics training have been growing rapidly, Perdue says. In the Certificate in Data Analytics course, students learn the tools of data analysis, how to use data analysis for optimizing organizational performance and how to use statistics as a managerial tool, among other skills. All of the classes in the certificate use videos, interactive exercises, games, quizzes and real-world case studies. “Good, crisp content for learning,” reads a course review from a recent participant. “[I] thoroughly enjoyed the course, as it was relevant and up to date.”

The courses, all taught by industry experts, fall under the following categories:

  • Leadership and Communication
  • Business Technologies including Data Analytics, and Cybersecurity
  • Accounting and Finance
  • HR and Management including Supply Chain Management, and Managing the Hybrid Workforce

“If an individual or unit on campus has professional business training needs, we would be excited to talk with them to design new courses,” Perdue added.

See a list of all Collat Professional Education courses.

Leadership programs

The Professional Education team also operates leadership programs for groups and departments across campus, such as the UAB Healthcare Leadership Academy, which will graduate its 13th cohort May 18, 2022.