Design Leadership for Business (Online)

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    Certificate Details

    • Course requirements: 5 online courses.
    • Timeline to completion: Courses last six weeks or less. Most students take two courses per semester. The certificate must be completed in two years.
    • Cost: $577 per course; $2,885 total

    Propel your company — and career — into the future. This online course of study immerses students in design thinking methodologies, enabling them to address business challenges across industries. Students emerge equipped to lead innovation and implement creative strategies that inspire new perspectives in a range of business roles.

    Enroll in the courses below to lay the groundwork for uncovering the profound impact design solutions can have on your business challenges, and apply them toward the completion of your certificate. Students must complete all five courses to receive the Design Leadership for Business Online Certificate. All courses are open to students who wish to enroll in an individual course. Students are encouraged to take courses in the following order.

    Certificate Course Sequence

    1) Design Thinking Fundamentals


    Design thinking is a practice pioneered by top design firms like IDEO and used by some of the world’s most innovative companies. In this course, you learn the methodology and develop the mindset that will equip you to better understand problems, unlock hidden needs, and design groundbreaking innovations to address those needs. We cover every element of the design thinking approach, from empathy research to ideation to prototyping to getting user feedback and iterating with your designs. You will be able to apply your design thinking skills to your own professional field or discipline, as well as to everyday life.

    2) Economic and Social Context of Design


    This course surveys the broad economic and social context in which design leaders work. We examine salient phenomena and concepts such as automation, agility, and resilience and discuss how they affect business and design practices. Students develop leadership skills in selected topics that will enable them to influence strategic conversations within their organizations and their industries.

    3) Design Leadership and Management


    Designing for business is by definition a team effort that requires flexibility, adaptability, and vision. This course is about the theory, methods, and actions necessary to make ideas a reality. Students learn techniques for project management, facilitation, and the creation of viable business models applicable to both entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial ventures.

    4) Design and Innovation for Sustainable Business


    The discipline of design has great power to shape our reality, and with that power comes great responsibility. This course equips design leaders with the tools needed to examine the social and environmental implications of design. Students address issues of ethics and sustainability through case studies and debates and develop their own approach to ethical and sustainable design leadership.

    5) Futures and Foresight


    Design is about imagining and proposing alternative future possibilities. If we cannot imagine it, we cannot design and build it. This class equips design leaders with futures thinking and forecasting skills necessary to simulate and strategically plan for a volatile and uncertain future. Students learn storytelling and immersive scenario design techniques that will propel them into the realm of science fiction to better equip them to make choices back in our present reality.