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Become a Certified Success in the World of Business and Finance

There's no denying that today's business and finance sectors have become more competitive than ever. It has become critical for professionals to not only have the necessary skills to succeed, but the certification employers are looking for.

This challenging environment has always posed a potential problem for the busy professional trying to take a step up in the business world, or transition into another career in the sector. A full-time return to school to enhance their knowledge and credentials means leaving their current position behind -- and investing substantial time and money pursuing an additional degree.

For these individuals, Kaplan University's online Business and Finance Sector programs may be the ultimate solution to reaching their goals. With deep roots in higher education that date back to 1937, and a flexible schedule that lets you study anytime, anyplace, Kaplan University's certificates in Financial Planning, Risk Management, Project Management and Executive Coaching can be completed in as little as 12 months 'without interfering with your job or disrupting your life.

"The fields of financial planning, project management, risk management, and executive coaching are experiencing exponential growth, providing a wealth of opportunities in the evolving business world," said Kristina Belanger, Dean, Kaplan University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies. "These rewarding occupations are leading choices for individuals seeking professional growth and diversity, and Kaplan University's online, self-paced programs provide busy professionals with a flexible learning environment to gain competitive skills for more rapid career advancement."

Financial planning, for starters, has been repeatedly described as among the most prestigious of modern professions 'supported by statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor forecasting job increases of more than 34 percent by 2012. The same reliable source states an average annual salary of $79,990 for personal financial advisors in 2003. Not only that, but proven expertise in the field can allow you the option of either working for yourself or a world of high-end firms throughout the country.

To win the trust of potential employers or prospective clients in the business world, however, you'll need applicable skills and proper certification. That's where Kaplan University's Certificate in Financial Planning comes in. The course teaches you all you need to know about analyzing a client's financial situation 'strengths, weaknesses, and how to best achieve their financial goals. From savvy tax management to smart investing to retirement planning, you'll be steeped in all the crucial information necessary to be a certified financial planner.

Project management is another area where Kaplan University can help open doors to a variety of new career opportunities. Learning how to increase a company's chances for maximum profits by optimizing time, money, and personnel, is a skill respected by organizations everywhere. From business to information technology to real estate and more, project managers may earn from $60,000 to $100,000 annually on average, with senior project managers holding yearly salaries ranging from $70,000 to $150,000.

As a Project Manager you'll be respected in your industry as someone capable of leading important initiatives as you advance your career. You'll be the one CEOs and company presidents turn to as a leader for their organization's most critical undertakings. Perhaps best of all is the universal applicability of the knowledge and skills that Kaplan University can provide with this program 'which can be put to use for the rest of your working life, regardless of the direction your career may take.

If you hold at least an associate's degree, and have an interest or background in such fields as business, human resources, accounting or finance, Kaplan University's Certificate in Risk Management can help you earn from $66,000 to $110,000 annually. Risk control, loss prevention, and adhering to today's stricter compliancy laws have made risk management an essential aspect of doing business in today's corporate world. A Certificate in Risk Management from Kaplan University will give employers the confidence that you know your stuff inside and out.

Risk managers recognize and review an organization's loss exposures including property, liability, personnel, and net income in order to promote growth through profit, continuous operation, and stable earnings. Kaplan University will teach you all this, plus other critical skills such as enterprise risk management (ERM) and creating risk management programs. You can then apply your knowledge and skills toward pursuing a top position with a number of companies, or entering the field as an independent consultant. Like Kaplan University's other certificates, this program can be completed in as little as 12 months, learning at your own convenience.

Executive coaching is now a major growth industry. More and more businesses are employing executive coaches to instill leadership development among managers and executives to bolster an environment of ongoing organizational change. Executive coaches thoughtfully listen -- and ask the right questions -- to assess an individual's attributes, needs, and coachability. Kaplan University's Executive Coaching Certificate offers the necessary skills for observing, recognizing, and intervening for full business effectiveness. It can teach you to teach leaders to better comprehend organizational dynamics and to climb up the corporate ladder.

In a recent summary poll of executive coaches, 65 percent of respondents reported yearly compensation of $85,000 or more. Opportunities exist in a number of business environments, including corporations, non-profits, government offices, and independent consulting.

Whether you study financial planning, project management, risk management, or executive coaching, you'll have the chance to expand your employment and career opportunities. Through developing your professional acumen and abilities you will be able to explore new job prospects with virtually any professional industry where business skills are valued. Should you choose to go into the market on your own, you'll hold the certification and skills needed to win over prospective clients.

Perhaps best of all, Kaplan University online programs allow you the flexibility and convenience to quickly improve your skills and resume without compromising your current daily life. For the working professional striving to reach their career goals, this might be an ideal option.

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