Learn business skills with online courses and programs
What are business skills?
Business skills refer to the various abilities and competencies professionals need to operate, manage, and contribute effectively to their organizations. These include skills that are valuable in many different roles and industries as well as the capabilities required to do a specific job or business activity.
In a professional context, skills typically fall into two categories:
Hard skills are technical abilities related to performing particular tasks. They can be demonstrated and measured.
Soft skills are interpersonal abilities that facilitate effective interactions between professionals.
While it’s possible to build on your hard and soft skills as you progress through your career, you can also fast-track your education with online courses and programs delivered through edX. You can gain essential skills to supplement your current experience or kickstart a new career.
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Business skills course curriculum
Before you can advance into your desired role, gaining essential hard and soft skills is important. Start by building a foundation in various interpersonal skills, such as:
Effective communication and active listening
Storytelling for presentations
Elements of a successful negotiation
Teamwork and collaboration
Leadership and people management
Widely applicable technical skills, such as data analysis, business writing, and digital literacy, can enhance your employability with some organizations. You can also explore courses that help build industry-specific skills such as academic writing or product management.
edX offers various online courses and programs that allow learners to study in fields such as marketing, management, and more. Sign up for an accelerated boot camp or enroll in a full degree program and start working toward a bachelor’s degree. More advanced learners can complete a master’s degree. You can also explore executive education programs specifically designed for busy professionals.
Explore jobs that use business skills
Required skill sets vary by field and role, and your professional and educational background will influence your future career options. Here are just a few of the jobs that benefit from different hard and soft skills:
Conflict resolution and human resources (HR): HR professionals often serve as mediators, which requires resolving conflicts with proper sensitivity.Footnote 1
Critical thinking and law: Lawyers advise and represent clients, which entails synthesizing facts, findings, and research to form their arguments.Footnote 2
Data analysis and medical research: Medical researchers may be required to analyze various patient and drug samples to develop new treatments.Footnote 3
Creativity and architecture: Architects design construction plans, ensuring that structures are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.Footnote 4
Communication and public relations (PR): PR specialists prepare and distribute information about their clients, which requires precise and accurate communication.Footnote 5
Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. For example, you may be able to build relevant skills in a data analytics boot camp. However, some employers may seek candidates with an advanced degree, depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.