2021 Guide to Business Negotiation Certificates and Short Courses

Business negotiation is a skill that may be used in various leadership and management roles that can take on different business contexts. Some of these contexts may include: dealmaking, employment contracts, employee compensation, business acquisitions, vendor pricing and sales, the fulfillment of contract obligations, bargaining, and more. It may be any discussion between two parties with differing goals who are looking to come to a resolution. 

If you’re interested in sharpening your negotiating skills, there are online business negotiation courses that prepare professionals to negotiate more successfully. Business negotiation courses may teach you skills within the discipline, introducing you to what you may want to know to prepare for negotiation. Some business negotiation courses provide graduates with a certificate that may be listed on a resume. This coursework may introduce students to relevant tools, technology and experiences. This guide may help you determine if a business negotiation program is right for you.

Can You Study Business Negotiations Online?

Yes, there may be online business negotiation courses that enable you to take a program from the school you’re interested in, without having to relocate. Some universities offer courses and certificates focused on business negotiation. Online short courses and certificate programs may provide flexibility to students, so they can work full-time while advancing their knowledge and skill set.

You may be able to find online business negotiation short courses that are self-paced, allowing you to study on your own schedule, as quickly or as slowly as you’d like. Separately, business negotiation certificate programs may be self-paced or run during a certain schedule. 

Unlike some degree programs that may have prerequisites or may require you to study subjects you’re already familiar with, an online business negotiation course or certificate generally has few if any prerequisites and concentrates on mastering business negotiation. 

Common Topics in Business Negotiation Online Courses

Wondering what an online business negotiation course might cover? Check out the course description of programs you’re considering to find one that aligns with your goals. Some online business negotiation courses may cover cultural differences in negotiations, while others might focus on conflict resolution. Look for a course that matches the type of negotiation you’re interested in learning.

Online business negotiation courses may cover topics such as:

  • How to overcome psychological barriers in negotiations.
  • How to read body language and facial expressions.
  • How to analyze negotiation points.
  • How to identify the interests of opponents.
  • How to craft arguments for a positive outcome.
  • How to predict and influence the behavior of competitors.
  • How to persuade using the facts presented.
  • How to close deals.
  • When to use legal guidance in negotiations.
  • How to resolve conflicts and create trustworthy partnerships.
  • How to manage risk factors.
  • How to thrive in competitive scenarios.
  • How cultural differences impact negotiations.

Some online business negotiation courses may enable students to practice negotiating in simulations and receive instructor or peer reviews. Some provide videos, case studies, evaluations and exams to test your negotiation skills. Check course descriptions for skills that are important to you. 

Online Business Negotiation Strategy Certificates and Courses

Though needs can vary, you may find both courses and certificates that specialize in business negotiation strategy. 

Certain online courses focus on business negotiation strategy, which you may apply to a variety of negotiation scenarios you might encounter. Some business negotiation strategy courses may focus on specific types of business negotiation scenarios. Others may help students create a framework they might apply to diverse negotiations in real world scenarios. 

When researching courses, you might find topics like:

  • How to develop a framework for analyzing and structuring negotiable points.
  • How to create a negotiation strategy based on the unique scenario.
  • How to identify negotiating opportunities.
  • How to prepare for a negotiation.
  • How to persuade customers depending on the situation.
  • How to use ethical and moral reasoning in negotiations.

While a course may provide you with skills in the discipline, certificate programs may provide a certificate to show on your resume. Some business negotiation strategy certificates might include courses honed for preparation and power dynamics.

When considering business negotiation certificate programs, you might find them called the following:

  • Negotiation Mastery.
  • Negotiation Skills Training Program.
  • Negotiation, Mediation and Conflict Resolution Specialization.
  • Strategic Negotiation.

Is a Business Negotiations Course or Certificate Worth It?

Earning a certification or taking a business negotiation course may help you grow professionally. To see how, browse business occupations listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to research median salaries for the positions that interest you. If a position you want to apply for states that negotiating is a desired skill, you may be able to leverage your education when applying for that type of job. The BLS lists contract negotiation as a part of the following roles:

If you’d like to stay with your current company, consider how business negotiating skills may be helpful in advancing your career path. You may want to talk with your supervisor about what advancement opportunities might be available or you could grow into with a business negotiation certificate or course.

Business Negotiations vs. MBA

A business negotiation certificate or short course focuses on business negotiations, specifically honed to help students master business negotiation. An MBA is a Master of Business Administration, a business degree at the graduate level.

MBA programs often cover a variety of business topics that may be broader than just negotiation, as well as general business principles like finance, ethics and leadership.

MBA programs are generally longer than business negotiations certificate programs. An MBA program typically takes 12 to 24 months, while a business certificate program could be completed in as few as 10 hours. An MBA may also require that students do internships and don’t work full-time during the program.

In addition to general business courses, many MBA programs offer different degree concentrations, where students may focus their studies on a particular topic, like marketing, entrepreneurship or analytics. Though developing business negotiation skills may help with agreements, contracts and other duties of top executives, some leadership and business positions may require a graduate degree. 

3 Benefits of an Online Business Negotiations Certificate or Short Course Program

1. Negotiation may be used in a variety of situations

Even if you’re not negotiating deals regularly, business professionals still use negotiation tactics in diverse situations, like company acquisitions, contracts, conflict resolution, or agreements. Professionals might negotiate:

  • Contracts and agreements.
  • Compensation.
  • Business strategy, vision and execution.
  • Project management.
  • Interpersonal conflicts.

Sometimes when there are differing opinions, business negotiations may help two or more parties agree on a solution. Successful business negotiations might make organizations more efficient, innovative and forward-moving.

Negotiation skills can also help people learn more about communication, which may be helpful in improving relationships with coworkers, managers and people who are being managed. Negotiation requires strong listening skills, oral communication skills and the ability to read body language. All these skills might help a business professional be more relatable and influential in a variety of situations.  

2. Developing negotiation skills may help you advance your career

An online business negotiation certificate or short course program may  help boost your career by enabling you to list those new skills on a resume and LinkedIn profile and mention them in job interviews. Dedicating the time to take a course or obtain a certificate can demonstrate that you take initiative and are invested in developing your career. 

Plus, you might be able to use a business negotiation course or certificate to pursue a new career. If you’re interested in a career where negotiation is a required skill, taking a course or getting a certificate might help you develop that skill.

You may also be able to leverage those skills to get a higher salary or a more senior position. A business negotiation course or certificate may help you be more effective when you’re trying to get a better job, depending on your overall experience and location. 

3. A certificate or short course program may expand your network

Some online business negotiation certificate and short course programs may offer the opportunity to network with other students, such as in peer review negotiations. You might meet other business professionals who are in your program and may also be able to develop a relationship with the instructor. These relationships may be valuable, rounding out your network. Some may even turn into friendships or job referrals.

Last Updated December 2020