University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business
Length: Six weeks
Cost: $7,020, not including housing
Target Audience: Undergraduates who major in arts, science and engineering subjects or recent graduates
Details: Berkeley’s program takes about 50 or so sophomores, junior and seniors along with students who have graduated in the last two years. They learn the basics of financial accounting, organizational behavior and marketing and take field trips to local investment banks, tech firms and consulting companies. Career counselors conduct interview and resume workshops to help students gain an advantage for a career in business.
University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Length: Three weeks
Cost: $6,300, including room and board
Target Audience: Undergraduates to grads
Details: A deep dive into the fundamentals of business with class trips to several major companies headquartered in Chicago, including Kraft, Abbott Laboratories, United Airlines and Sears Holding. The program typically starts in mid-July and runs through early August, drawing about 45 students each summer.
The average age of a student in this program last year was 22, though it drew a range from 19 to 25. Some 37 colleges and universities were represented, with majors as diverse as engineering, art history, business, and sociology. Roughly half the students were from North America, with 25% from Europe, 13% from Asia, and 11% from Central and South America.
University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School
Name: UNC Business Essentials
Length: Online, maximum four months
Target Audience: Undergraduate students and recent graduates who are not business majors
Details: There may be other online offerings out there, but UNC’s Business Essentials program is one of the few at a nationally ranked business school with big cred. Kenan-Flagler started this program only three years ago in 2009 and has enrolled nearly 600 students since then. The curriculum is taught in six modules which cover an introduction to business, financial accounting, economics and finance, marketing, business operations, and business communication.
The school says that students will spend an estimated 60 hours to complete the business certificate program, which equates to approximately 10 hours per module. Once the program is started, students must complete their work within a four month period of time. Each of the six Business Essentials courses takes an average of 10 hours to complete. The entire program can be completed in four months if a student spends just four hours a week taking the courses.
The biggest advantage of the program is the price and the convenience. At $3,200, it’s one-half to a third of the typical costs of a summer business program. The downside, of course, is that you’ll never step foot on a campus and meet (and bond) with a group of like-minded students who might end up as valuable friends and colleagues for a lifetime.