Part-time/Distance & Online Learning Associate Certificate 5080acert

Business Essentials

The Business Essentials associate certificate program is an excellent place to start learning essential business skills. With just a few courses, you’ll build a strong, lifelong foundation required for an entry management position in almost any industry.

In this flexible program, you’ll learn the most current job-relevant skills from industry professionals while preparing for a variety of business roles. Additionally, by completing your associate certificate, you’ll be prepared for direct entry into the second term of many full-time diploma programs to further your training and improve your career prospects.

About the program

  • Eight courses to complete
  • Flexible training with in-person and online courses
  • Build a solid foundation of skills necessary in any aspect of business
To learn more about how this program prepares you for career advancement, visit the Program Details.

Who should complete the Business Essentials Associate Certificate?

This program might be right for you if:
  • You’re looking for the core skills required in any aspect of business
  • You’re hoping to build a new career
  • You might be interested in continuing your training to a diploma program
Begin your training for a new career in business today by visiting the Program Entry page!

What grads can do

With the experiential learning you receive through this BCIT program, you’ll be getting the most usable, job-relevant knowledge, and skills that you can apply immediately to your current job or toward a new career in business. This program will help prepare you for entry and mid-level jobs in almost any area of business while also offering you the opportunity to apply your credits toward further training and even more career opportunities and earning potential.

Visit the Graduating and Jobs page to learn more about the opportunities awaiting graduates of this program.

Program Entry

About Part-time Studies

Take a single course, or work towards a credential — all at a pace that's right for you.

Part-time courses are offered in a variety of scheduling formats, including at night or on weekends, flexible day time delivery, or you can opt for distance or online learning. If you meet the prerequisites and there's space available, you can register for a course immediately. Courses are offered in each of three terms: Fall (September), Winter (January) and Spring/Summer (April).

To apply to a Part-time Studies program and earn your credential, you simply need to complete a Part-time Program Declaration Request. Applications are processed throughout the year.

To be successful in BCIT's fast paced applied learning environment, it is strongly recommended that students have English proficiency in all four language skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Two years of education in English in an English-speaking country and English 12 are strongly recommended for success. For information on English equivalencies, testing and upgrading options, visit:

Application processing

Ongoing throughout the year.

Program declaration

Effective January 7th, 2016, program declaration requests must be completed online. A declaration fee will be assessed at the time of the request. BCIT will no longer accept paper program declaration requests starting January 7th, 2016. Students who submitted paper declaration requests prior to January 7th, 2016 are not required to pay the fee.

Declaring your Part-time Studies program ensures that BCIT is aware of your intent to complete a program as it is currently outlined. BCIT continuously reviews programs and implements changes based on industry and market trends. Program declaration guarantees that credit for courses which are a part of your program will be honoured despite program requirement changes.

Program declaration also provides the opportunity to apply for transfer credit.

It is not necessary to declare prior to registering in most Part-time Studies courses. It is a good idea to complete one or two courses before submitting your program declaration. Check your program's entry page for specific requirements.

Upon approval, a program plan will be sent to you confirming your program of study.

Declare Now

Please allow approximately 8 weeks for processing.

Scheduled intakes

January, April and September

Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)

Students may request to have prior work experience or previously taken courses assessed for course exemption. Contact the department for further details on Prior Learning Assessment Recognition.

Costs & Supplies

Tuition fees

Please see the Part-time Studies Fees page for information on tuition fees and refunds.


By focusing on the essential foundations in business, you’ll be preparing for lifelong success in business. The courses in this program are flexible to suit your needs, you’ll work with industry professionals for the most current information in topics like marketing, accounting, business communication, and more.

Program delivery

This program is offered on a course-by-course basis, allowing students the flexibility of completing courses in any order, provided that the prerequisites are completed. Students register for each course individually, and may undertake studies in any term (Winter, Spring/Summer or Fall).

Program matrix

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Required Courses: Credits
  COMM 1103 Introduction to Business and Technical Communication 3.0
  ECON 2100 Microeconomics 3.0
  FMGT 1100 Accounting 1* 4.0
  MKTG 1102 Essentials of Marketing 3.0
  OPMT 1110 Business Mathematics 4.0
  OPMT 1198 Operations Management Fundamentals 3.0
  ORGB 1105 Organizational Behaviour 4.0
  BSYS 1001 Business Information Systems 1 - Office 2016 3.0
  BSYS 2051 Business Data Analytics with MS Excel 2016 3.0
*Students intending to proceed to the Accounting, Finance or Financial Planning diploma programs must achieve a final grade of 70% or greater in FMGT 1100 and FMGT 2100.
Total Credits: 27.0

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

The BCIT Business Essentials associate certificate program gives you the core competencies needed to start your business career with flexible training.

You’ll be able to choose the schedule of your courses to suit your current needs, including in-person courses on two campuses and online learning. In each of these courses, you’ll earn necessary knowledge and confidence in many aspects of business, including marketing, accounting, and operations management, to help advance or begin your career.

Program location

Burnaby Campus
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, BC

Downtown Campus
555 Seymour Street
Vancouver, BC

Courses are also offered through distance and online learning.

Continue your education

Successful completion of the Associate Certificate provides graduates with the required credits for direct entry into Term 2 of the following full-time programs, subject to department approval:

In addition, many courses in this program are valued credits towards School of Business full certificates.

See the Advanced Placement section of the website for more information on direct entry.

Program abandonment

  • Students approved for a part-time studies program are expected to register and complete courses on a continuous basis.

  • A student that has not completed a course from their approved program of study over a period of three consecutive academic terms will be considered to have abandoned the program.

  • Throughout the duration of the program, a student is permitted a maximum of five academic terms where they are not required to register and complete a course from their approved program of study. Students who exceed the five term maximum will be considered to have abandoned the program.

  • Students who have abandoned their approved program of study and wish to be reinstated will be required to apply for program approval for a current credential. BCIT cannot guarantee that courses taken prior to this reapplication will be credited towards the current credential.

BCIT Policy 5103 - Student Evaluation [PDF] permits a maximum of three attempts to successfully complete each course within a credential.

Graduating & Jobs

By gaining a strong foundation in many aspects of business, you’ll find a variety of corporate opportunities.

Some opportunities include:
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Marketing Assistant/Coordinator
  • Salesperson
  • Import/Export Assistant
Additionally, by earning your associate certificate, you’ll be eligible to transfer your course credits for direct entry into many BCIT full-time diploma programs.

Whether you choose to begin your career immediately or continue your education, BCIT prepares you for your future in business.

Graduate employment outcomes

The BCIT student outcomes reports present summary findings from the annual survey of former students administered by BC Stats one to two years after graduation. These reports combine the last three years of available results for the 2013-2015 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2012-2014 graduates and for Degree 2010-2012 graduates. The reports are organized into three-page summaries containing information on graduates' labour market experiences and opinions regarding their education. More detailed information can be accessed at the BC Student Outcomes website.

To view these results, you may need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.

Apply for graduation

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, complete an Application for BCIT Credential [PDF] and submit it to Student Information and Enrolment Services.

Allow approximately six to eight weeks for processing.

All financial obligations to the Institute must be met prior to issuance of any credential.

Contact Us

Maryann Newmeyer
Part-time Studies Program Assistant - Business Administration
604-432-8860 |

Richard Miles
Part-time Studies Coordinator - Business Administration
604-412-7486 |

Contact a Part-time Studies Program Advisor with the BCIT program name in the subject line if you have a question about:
  • Course selection and program planning
  • Declaring your program
  • Making changes to your approved program plan
  • Applying for transfer credit and advanced placement
  • Laddering options
  • Job placement and graduate outcomes
  • Student life

Questions or comments?

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As well, if you meet any of the following criteria, please follow the links for more information, instead of sending the form:

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

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