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7 business or marketing courses for knowledge you can use now

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At a glance

  • Employment rates at new establishments are declining, with half as many people hired on at new businesses today than 30 years ago.
  • Upskilling through courses and degree programs can help professionals improve their qualifications for new jobs and career enhancement opportunities.
  • Discover how a business degree from University of Phoenix can help you explore opportunities ranging from entrepreneurship to marketing.

Workplaces are poised to evolve dramatically away from what they looked like a few decades ago. According to a May 2023 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average new establishment today employs half as many people as new establishments did 30 years ago.

This isn’t an aberration. Another data point underscoring this change is that establishments born in the 2010s employ fewer people at the one-, three- and five-year milestones than their 1990s counterparts.

It’s also worth noting, says Joseph Aranyosi, the associate dean for the College of Business and Information Technology at University of Phoenix (UOPX), that many startups and smaller businesses rely on employees to do double- and triple-duty in their roles.

All this leaves plenty of professionals wondering, in the new era of job creation, how can you stay relevant and prepared for new career opportunities?

Explore more than 600 credit-bearing courses to help you meet your educational goals. 

Upskilling may well be the name of the game. And while professional certifications are one way to achieve that, so are individual courses, certificate programs and degree programs.

But what if you want something now? That’s where individual courses enter the picture. Relatively speaking, they are quick (you can complete a course faster than a degree, for example) and affordable, and they offer skills and knowledge you can apply immediately. And if you pursue a degree later, those courses can often be applied toward it.

Individual courses at University of Phoenix

Of course, not all classes are created equal. At UOPX, individual courses are designed to offer applicable value and skills. But that’s not all. With more than 650 individual courses available in disciplines like business, IT, nursing, liberal arts, education and healthcare, UOPX provides a pathway to knowledge for virtually anyone committed to lifelong learning.

Here are some other UOPX advantages to consider:

  • UOPX is an accredited university where credits earned from an individual course can be applied toward a degree (or transferred to another university, depending on that institution’s policies).
  • Classes are offered online throughout the year for ultimate flexibility. Bachelor’s-level courses last approximately 5 weeks each.
  • Classes are taught by instructors with real-world experience, not just academic knowledge, which means students learn skills that are applicable to their current and future employment.
  • UOPX works with more than 1,500 organizations to offer help their employees  earn degrees at reduced cost.

Courses to consider

If single courses are the way to go for your immediate goals, here are seven business or marketing options at UOPX where you can quickly develop or reinforce skills. 

1.   Product and brand management

Product and brand management refers to overseeing and guiding the development, marketing and positioning of a company’s products or services. It involves strategic planning, market analysis and marketing tactics to promote and manage products or brands effectively.

UOPX’s Product and Brand Management course introduces students to this niche and delves into the life cycle of goods and services. (Think conception, production and purchase.) Upon completing this course, you'll be ready to successfully design and implement product and brand development strategies that deliver value to consumers.
Industries that offer some competitive salaries for marketing managers include technical consulting services, software publishers, and advertising and public relations firms.

Skills learned: Customer relationship management, marketing strategies, product marketing

Check it out: Product and Brand Management

2.   Social media marketing

UOPX’s Social Media Marketing course offers an introduction to social networks, social media and online advertising techniques. 

What does that mean exactly? Well, you’ll learn to identify interactive marketing strategies, study how social media marketing and customer loyalty are connected, and examine the role of content creation and curation for social media.

This course also teaches you how to analyze opportunities for customization, micropayments, influencer marketing and consumer engagement.

Skills learned: Key performance indicators, brand management, social media marketing

Check it out: Social Media Marketing

3.   Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing webpages to improve their visibility and ranking on search engine result pages. In today’s highly competitive digital landscape, effective SEO strategies can make a significant difference in attracting and retaining valuable website visitors.

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The Search Engine Optimization course at UOPX reinforces key concepts relating to SEO and its methodologies. It gives an overview of tools and concepts, including website architecture design, search engine visibility, web analytics tools, keyword search performance and mobile optimization

Skills learned: Strategic planning, web analytics, SEO

Check it out: Search Engine Optimization

4.   Marketing analytics

Marketing analytics allows businesses to make data-driven decisions, optimize marketing campaigns and maximize their return on investment (ROI).

The Marketing Analytics course at UOPX reinforces data analysis concepts. It can help you examine methods used to improve market penetration, brand recognition, customer loyalty and overall marketing performance while determining areas for improvement.  

Skills learned: Marketing analytics, data analysis, marketing materials

Check it out: Marketing Analytics

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5.   Organizational behavior for managers

Understanding organizational behavior is crucial as you grow in your career and step into managerial positions. It provides valuable insights into how individuals, groups and teams behave within an organization. Knowing what motivates employees and understanding their needs allows managers to create a supportive and engaging work environment, build effective teams and manage change. 

The Organizational Behavior for Managers course at UOPX examines various organizational behavior theories and elements. If you want to understand the relationship between organizational behavior and effective decision-making practices, and you’re curious about the three-step approach to resolving ethical issues in the workplace, this course is for you.

Skills learned: Organizational culture, organizational behavior; training and development

Check it out: Organizational Behavior for Managers

6.   Inclusive leadership: Diversity in the workplace

As diversity becomes a focus in more organizations, human resources managers and other leaders need skills and awareness to embrace change. 

The Inclusive Leadership course at University of Phoenix reinforces intercultural awareness and inclusion skills. Learn to examine the relationship between personality, intelligence, skills and effective leadership, and how to hire and train a diverse workforce.

Skills learned: Employee development, change management, intercultural awareness and inclusion

Check it out: Inclusive Leadership: Diversity in the Workplace

7.   Principles of accounting 

The Principles of Accounting course at UOPX hones critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which could be applied to multiple jobs and industries. The course reinforces forecasting skills by explaining how financial data informs business decisions. 

Skills learned: Budgeting, accounting, forecasting

Check it out: Principles of Accounting

The value of business or marketing courses

You don’t always need a degree to qualify for the best jobs. The value of business or marketing courses lies in their ability to provide usable knowledge that can be immediately applied in the real world. These courses offer a comprehensive understanding of fundamental principles, strategies and tactics that are crucial for success in today’s competitive business environment. 

For example:

  • A small business or startup could improve its online presence through marketing analytics and SEO.
  • Social media, online communities or marketing in the metaverse can enable the collection of detailed consumer preferences and characteristics.
  • Building work cultures that focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) and skill development not only can improve employee productivity and satisfaction, but it can also lead to more consistent earnings and greater resilience and retention for businesses during times of crisis.

Whether you’re launching a startup, managing an existing business or seeking employment opportunities, skills acquired through these courses can help you hit the ground running. After all, in some business situations, speed can matter just as much as skill.


Kaleigh Moore is a full-time freelance writer and consultant specializing in business and software, whose work has appeared in Forbes, Vogue Business, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur, and others. She is also a frequent speaker at conferences and universities and co-hosts a podcast on running a freelance writing business.


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