Part-time Business Qualifications

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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If you are unsure of what career to go into, or if you just want to boost your skills, then a business qualifications is an excellent way to impress prospective employers. There are courses available in the professions of the moment – e-commerce and human resource management – but old favourites such as business studies and marketing are still pulling in the numbers.

Anyone who did commerce at school will find that these courses are far removed from the blackboard ledger detailing the fascinating financial movements of Mr. Black, Mr. Brown, and, on rare, wild occasions, Mr. Orange. Business courses today utilise all the modern conveniences – state of the art software, cutting-edge lesson plans, and if you’re really lucky, tea-and coffee-making facilities.

E-commerce is not a Yorkshire farmer’s description of trade, but rather an all-encompassing term for the art of doing business online. A part-time e-commerce course will teach you how to set up a web shop, an interactive site where Internet surfers can purchase goods online. However he recent collapses of dotcom industries has proved that the Internet is not the golden e-goose that everyone thought. If you are considering setting up online, then an evening course to teach you how to do it right is a must.

You will learn how to generate a realistic e-commerce plan – for example, does the Internet really need another site dedicated to Irish tat Are your leprechauns and shillelaghs going to make your fortune You will also study how to create a site design, deal with tax, shipping and credit card payments and decide whether to rent, buy or build an e-commerce solution to handle site transactions.

Human resource management (HRM) is also big business. Formerly known as the personnel manager, the HR manager now does a lot more than eat truffles behind closed doors, laugh at CVs and fire staff for making eye contact over the coffee maker. This increasingly pivotal role requires new knowledge and skills to cope with demanding employees and companies.

A part-time HRM course will typically teach you how to hire and fire – it should deal with recruitment strategies, selection interviews and discipline and grievance procedures. You will also learn about motivating the staff. This can involve bonuses, bribes and downright sucking up. You may have to stand behind them, cheering every keystroke. Check out the National College of Ireland (NCI) and the newly established Independent Colleges to have a look at some HRM courses available.

Training is another area that the course will deal with. Talking to employees about planning their career and then setting up relevant training schemes to help them pursue their goals is one of the ultimate ways of achieving employee satisfaction. If people feel they are learning marketable skills that are relevant to what they want to do, then they will be superworkers.

A part-time business studies course will give you an overview of a wide range of business disciplines. These courses deal with subjects such as economics, marketing, accountancy, computers, sales techniques and management. This should give you a taster of the wide range of subjects available to you and you should find out where your talents lie. For example, you may discover that you were born to account, or find out that you can’t sell a glass of water to a burning monk.

A qualification in business studies can be a real boost to your career. Employers in practically every field require employees with good all-round business sense, who are up-to-date on new technologies and procedures.

Marketing is one of the fastest growing industries in Ireland. However, its definition is often unclear. Marketing is not its end result – advertisements, PR and promotions. Marketing involves focusing on your customer’s needs and deciding how best to promote their product. This involves researching the needs of their customers, identifying the advantages of their product, selecting the correct customer base to target and finding the best way to encourage them to buy the car/table/monkey.

A part-time marketing course will teach you the nuts and bolts of marketing. You will learn the strategies that marketing managers use to get customers to buy a product. These include promoting an existing product line intensively before introducing another, so that customers will remember the brand name and how to use targeted promotion and distribution to ensure profit. Other subjects such as statistics, economics and communications will also be part of a marketing course. Just one example of a college running marketing courses is the Communications & Management Institute of Ireland (CMI); but there are dozens of others available so check out our database for one most convenient for you. . .

With the cogs of capitalism turning ever faster, business courses are an investment in your future. Whether the Celtic Tiger springs forward or gets distemper, businesses will need informed staff.

Frank Bolger

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