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Graduate Certificate Program Offers Flexibility in Earning MBA


As published in the Omaha World-Herald on 2/27/2022

To succeed in today’s constantly changing job market, professionals are realizing that the more skills they can develop, the more marketable they make themselves to a current or potential employer.

Midland University’s Center for Graduate and Professional Studies is providing professionals the skills to get ahead through its MBA Graduate Certificate program.

Individuals can use those certificates to advance in their careers, and stacking three certificates, along with a capstone project, can allow them to earn enough credits for an MBA.

Todd Conkright, dean of the Dunklau School of Business at Midland, said the certificates will offer students more versatility than in the past.

“We always had concentrations in the MBA program where you had to be enrolled as an MBA student, take specific classes, then earn your 12 credits,” he said. “For certificates, you don’t have to be enrolled as an MBA student. We’re seeing a bit of a trend in the MBA world where credentialing and stackable certificates are seen in a lot of graduate programs.”

“You may have people who have been in business for a long time, but don’t have a specialization in something they might need to move up the ranks. They can come in and get that certificate and it will benefit them in their job. If they come back and earn another certificate, they’re already halfway to an MBA. Either way, they’re getting something valuable.”

Midland’s MBA Graduate Certificate program currently offers seven certificates (Accounting, Business Intelligence & Data Analytics, Entrepreneurial Leadership, Finance, Healthcare Management, Marketing Management, and Project Management). There is also an additional certificate available for business partners.

Valmont Industries was the first partner through Midland’s Applied Leadership Certificate, a program in which Valmont employees participate in a leadership development program at Valmont, then complete one of Midland’s courses in management and leadership. Midland is working with several other local businesses to implement the same program and help individuals develop their leadership skills.

Each term lasts eight weeks and completion of a certificate will usually take three to four terms, depending on the courses required and when they’re offered.

“It’s giving students more flexibility than they’ve had in the past,” Conkright said. “Most classes are very project-focused while there are some that might be a little more hands-on. The way the MBA program is now structured, you can start classes anytime you want. We think that with the changes we’ve made, it’s the most flexible MBA program around.”

Midland launched a fully online MBA program last fall, offering the same courses and certificates in a convenient online format that works well in our remote workplace environment.

Conkright believes that one of the biggest benefits of the new program is the ability to have professionals teaching the curriculum. “The way Midland’s program is set up, it’s all taught by practitioners,” he said. “These are individuals who are out there doing the work and bringing their expertise into the classroom.”

The MBA certificate program is appealing to individuals at all stages of their professional careers.

“You might have people who are looking to move up the ladder within their own company, entrepreneurs who want to better operate their business, or graduate students who want to go straight into an MBA,” Conkright said. “Getting certificates, or eventually an MBA, can open doors for them.”

Types of Graduate-Level Certificates   


Useful to those who want to better understand cost management, budgeting, and practical finance without becoming a CPA. Will give students greater confidence in understanding and making decisions about financial matters in their organization.

Business Intelligence & Data Analytics

Equips students with the tools and concepts to comprehend, interpret, and use data to make informed decisions across the organization – new products, cost, production, and markets.

Entrepreneurial Leadership

Students will gain the skills necessary to start up a business from the ground up, or infuse their existing company with a new direction.


Designed to equip students with an increased practicality when making financial decisions on behalf of the business, with special attention on value creation and capital investments. It will benefit individuals who want to hone their financial decision-making skills.

Healthcare Management

Combines an understanding of, and interest in, healthcare with solid business acumen. Prepares students to master leadership skills and capabilities required to succeed as a healthcare manager and lead using best practices in management, data analysis, and healthcare governance.

Marketing Management

Key topics include competitive advantage, segmentation, relationship development, and competitive positioning.

Project Management

Provides exposure and experience with some of the most popular concepts, texts, and methodologies, including Six Sigma, Lean, Agile, Scrum, Innovation, and several more to help you become a professional in Project Management.

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