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Relevant Business Development Courses and Certifications to Excel in the Career


A career in Business Development sounds like fun – you get to travel often and enjoy the flexibility of working from home sometimes. However, working as a Business Development Manager, Business Development Executive or another related job role requires some qualifications and certifications that only special training and courses can give. To excel in the career path, there are some courses you must have in-depth knowledge of.

Does this mean that only those who have undergone 2 years of business school training, or have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management can become business developers? Of course not. Although those who have these qualifications often enjoy more benefits as regards paychecks and prestige, you can start your career in business development with only certification from courses taken online.

In this article, you get the inside scoop on all that is required to start a career in business development – courses, certificates, skills, licenses and endorsements, and so forth. Do you have what it takes to be a Business Developer in 2022? Let’s find out!

Business Development Courses Required for a Successful Career

Most companies require that candidates applying for a Business Development Manager role, have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration or a related course. However, the job market is flexible, and you can start your career by learning some key courses online and acquiring the relevant certifications.

Essential Business Development courses you can learn online include:

1. Business Strategy and Management

This course typically runs for less than 6 months after enrollment on any e-learning platform. It teaches business development aspirants how to develop a business strategy, craft a compelling marketing strategy and sales plan, analyze financial reports, and review business models. In this course, you also get additional knowledge on how to build and design a website, conduct user interviews, and create effective presentations.

2. Marketing

Whether it is digital marketing, inbound marketing, or conventional marketing, marketing is a business development officer’s most applied tool. A typical marketing course shares how to outline marketing strategies, and techniques to help the student get better at persuasion and negotiation.

 From a marketing course, you will learn marketing analytics, customer service and retention, and social media strategy and management. The average digital marketing course also includes insight into copywriting and advertising.

3. Sales and Business Development

A course on sales and business development teaches provides insight into the different types of buyers, how to attract buyers, effective networking, and how to close deals. Knowledge gotten from this course is essential to a business development manager whose focus is to attract more partnerships and collaborations and generate more leads and sales.

4. Project Management

The PMP (Project Management Professional) certification is the standard certificate for project managers. A course on project management prepares for the examination. Even if you do not plan to acquire the certification, the course provides insight into time management strategies, project planning and execution, and leadership skills. Knowledge of project management comes in handy when overseeing new projects for a company, as a business development manager.

5. Brand Strategy and Management

One of the keys to staying relevant as a business is building brand identity. Business developers know this and leverage it. Learning brand strategy and management equips business development managers with tips and tricks for brand promotion, advertising, retail management, customer relations, and other techniques relevant to building brand identity.

6. Design

Visuals are star players when it comes to building brand identity. Logos, fliers, banners, product videos, and website backgrounds are indispensable visuals that make up a brand’s identity. While training to be a business development manager, learning graphic designing, website design and UI/UX design will equip you with all the insight you need regarding content creation for brand promotion and digital marketing.

Other Relevant Skills Include:

  • Public Speaking Skills

As a business development manager, you will be required to give presentations and make pitches to prospective partners and stakeholders often. Honing your public speaking skills will help you develop the confidence you need, and improve your speech delivery.

  • Negotiating Skills

Good negotiating skills will help you turn leads into clients and close deals with terms and conditions that favor your company. Negotiating skills are essential for effective marketing as a business developer. Most marketing courses also provide insight into the best negotiation techniques and help digital marketers hone their persuasive skills.  

  • Time management skills

Every professional needs good time management skills to ensure consistent productivity, including business developers. In business development, time is an essential commodity, as business development managers often have to work on closing several deals simultaneously.

  • Financial planning and budgeting skills

Helping a company make the most of its finances to achieve the organization’s business goals is part of the business developer’s duties. Taking a course on financial planning will help you do that effectively. Budgeting is also a life hack to make the most of your income as a person.

Business Certifications Required

Regardless of the job position – business development manager or business admin officer – all professionals working in a similar capacity must possess certain credentials to prove their credibility. These credentials are called Business Certifications. Their presence in your resume also gives your application a boost and cements the recruiter’s confidence in your abilities.

Business certifications are typically awarded to a student who has completed a course or training, after he has performed satisfactorily in an examination. Some of the most common ones that attest to your credibility when presented in your resume include:

1. Project Management Professional (PMP)

This certification is typically for Project Managers. However, a business developer may often take up project management duties while trying to rejuvenate a struggling business or direct a business’s transition. The certification proves that you have commendable leadership and project management skills.

The project management course covers project planning, monitoring, and implementation, and typically takes less than 6 months to complete. However, the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is only awarded after the business developer has passed a 200-MCQ (multiple choice questions) exam. To acquire this certification, you must score above the stated average pass mark.

2. Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is the secret to attracting customers rather than chasing after them. Many companies now prefer it to the conventional marketing style. Compelling inbound marketing skills are a good addition to your skill set that can make you stand out from a crowd of applicants for the post of Business Development Manager. The Inbound Marketing certification demonstrates that you have this ability when presented in your resume.

Acquiring this certification is free. You are only required to take a course on Inbound Marketing course, and provide correct answers to the quizzes prepared. The course also teaches gives insight into content marketing, and how to leverage social media. You can access this course on HubSpot – it is taught as a pre-recorded video that you can complete in one sitting.

3. Certified Supply Chain Professional Certification (CSCP)

This certification proves your expertise in managing supply chains, rather than promoting sales. A course on Supply Chain Management teaches you how to maximize a company’s ERP investments, in addition to managing its supply chains. This course is typically taught in business school, however, you can also invest in self-paced training and enroll to learn it on an e-learning platform.

The CSCP will be awarded to you after you have completed the training and passed the exam satisfactorily. In the exam, you will be evaluated to test your knowledge of supply chain designs, planning, execution, and management.

4. Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

This certification is awarded by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). It attests to your credibility in business analysis, business strategy, planning, and solution creation – all of which are essential for business development. To be eligible for this certification, however, you are required to have prior work experience in business analysis. The examination preceding the certification contains 125 multiple choice questions which must be completed in 3 hours and 30 minutes.

5. Professional Certificate in Team Leadership

This certification vouches for your impeccable leadership skills. The certificate is recognized internationally. Professionals who aim to get the certification are encouraged to participate in a training program hosted by the Chartered Institute for IT.

 During the training, you will be taught good verbal and written communication skills, public speaking skills, time management, styles of leadership, and best practices for good leadership. The examination commences after the training period has elapsed. Neither the training nor the examination is free.

6. Marketing Specialist

Excellent marketing skills are required to excel in a business development role. Certification as a Marketing Specialist proves that you have good communication, persuasion, negotiation, and customer relations skills. It also shows that you are great at closing sale deals.

 Do you have what it takes?

A business developer is a professional who helps establishments achieve their business goals by optimizing their external relationships – partnerships, sponsorships, and collaboration. To start a career in business development, you need analytical skills, problem-solving skills, knowledge of project management and brand strategy and management, and all the other courses, skills and qualifications listed above. While you may not necessarily strive to have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, the inclusion of one will give you more credibility. I hope this article provides you with all the insight you need to start your journey on this career path. Good luck.

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Oputa Okwanuzor is a freelance writer skilled in the art of weaving words into stories for brand boost through copywriting, or make a soothing read using creative writing. In her free time, she loves to share personal development talks, fashion inspos and writing tricks on her blog.

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