Courses & Development

Courses & Development

8 Common Business Classes in College

Business is a popular college major for many students – and for good reason. Business management and business administration degrees help to prepare students for management positions across various industries. 

Whether you’re pursuing a degree in business, looking into a business minor, or exploring some business courses for your general education requirements, the coursework often covers management, accounting, finance, marketing, and human resources. 

Common Business Courses 

Business management and business administration are broad majors with a lot of flexibility and several different specializations. The courses can vary from school to school, but they often include introductory courses that cover the basics of business theory and practice. 

1. Accounting 

Accounting focuses on the financial data in a business and helps to inform business decisions. Accounting courses are crucial to understand principles and tools, such as cash flow and forecasting, and prepare accounting statements like income statements and balance sheets. 

2. Economics 

Money is a key factor in any business. Business majors must understand the large- and small-scale economic forces that affect business in the real world. Introductory economics courses cover these concepts, including how consumers make decisions, monetary policy, the global economy, and business cycles. 

3. Management 

Management courses cover both leadership and management principles as an introduction to later course concepts. These may include conflict management, communication, goal setting, and organizational planning. 

4. Marketing 

All businesses need marketing. Core marketing courses cover marketing theories and strategies, including competitor research, consumer behavior, and marketing analytics. Typically, introductory marketing courses prepare you for more advanced courses later on. 

5. Business Communication 

Business communication is specific to written and verbal communication that takes place in the workplace, including communication with clients, stockholders, suppliers, partners, and regulatory organizations, and how effective communication impacts organizational goals. 

6. Business Ethics 

Business ethics is a philosophy course that’s specific to the ethical issues found in contemporary businesses, such as ethical relativism, utilitarianism, and deontology, which inform day-to-day business decisions. 

7. Business Law 

Business law may be included in the core courses for a business degree, since law is an important aspect of an organization’s daily operations. Business law covers the laws and regulations that apply to nonprofit and private organizations, such as employment law and contract law. 

8. Organizational Behavior 

Organizational behavior is a foundation for human resources courses. It focuses on how individuals and groups interact within a business and how those interactions can affect performance and goals. 

Why Are Business Courses Important? 

Whether you’re pursuing a degree in business or taking business courses as electives, they are valuable to develop skills that can be an asset in any industry or role, such as problem solving, teamwork, communication, critical thinking, and leadership. 

If you are pursuing a degree in business, business courses provide comprehensive business training and a broad understanding of the major elements of business. If you choose, you can specialize in a specific area of business, such as accounting, marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, international business, and human resources. 

In addition, business degrees position you to pursue post-graduate opportunities to master business concepts. Some business students choose to pursue master’s degrees in business, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). 

What Is the Hardest Class in Business School? 

It depends! What’s hard for you may not be hard for someone else, and vice versa. For example, if you excel at analytical problems, accounting may be a breeze for you. But for someone who struggles with math, that can be a tough hurdle to overcome. 

If you’re not sure where you’d excel in the realm of business, it may take a little research and experimentation. Taking a few introductory business courses can unveil a passion for certain aspects of business and guide your decision about your major and specialization. 

What Is the Hardest Major in Business? 

The hardest major also depends on each student’s strengths and weaknesses. However, one of the widely regarded “hardest” majors in business is accounting. The coursework can be daunting and involves solving numerous business problems. 

In addition, accounting majors must prepare for accounting certification exams to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and more. Accounting majors don’t have a lot of variety, either, as most courses stay under the umbrella of accounting and build upon each other. 

What to Expect from a Business Class in College 

Business courses are multifaceted and cover different aspects of the business environment, so there’s no universal experience. The experience you have will depend more on what aspect of business the class covers, such as accounting, marketing, or management. 

For example, accounting courses cover a lot of math while marketing courses cover marketing theory and best practices. A management or organizational communication course will focus more on people, psychology, and effective communication. Business communication involves a lot of writing and presentations. 

Get Started with Your Business Degree 

Business degrees are highly flexible majors that allow you to learn the core concepts in business and leverage them in virtually any industry. Whether you choose to pursue a degree in business or another field, getting some business courses under your belt equips you with vital skills that you can use in your academic and professional career. 

Interested in business but not sure where to start? Sophia has several different business courses available. Start your free trial today – no credit card required! 

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6 Benefits of Taking Online College Language Courses

Language courses have been part of high school and some college curricula for decades, but they’ve never been more valuable in the job market. Fluency in multiple languages is a highly sought skill for job candidates across a variety of careers, including government positions, nursing, teaching, finance, and more. 

Learning a new language can certainly help your career, but there’s a lot more to gain from becoming multilingual. Discover the benefits of learning a new language and the unique advantages of taking online college language courses. 

Why Take Language Courses? 

In an increasingly globalized business world, learning a second language is a valuable skill that could impress employers, but there are additional benefits just for you. 

Brain Stimulation 

Learning a new language can help your gray matter grow, which is the information processing center of your brain. As you take in the complexities of a new language, your brain has to adapt and develop. Just like a muscle, your brain gets stronger and more capable as you challenge it. 

In addition to helping your brain now, acquiring new language skills help to delay cognitive decline and mental aging. According to neurological research, multilingual adults experience the first signs of dementia at a later age than their monolingual counterparts. 

Improved Memory 

As mentioned, challenging your brain to learn new skills keeps it sharp and agile. Learning a new language often pushes your brain in different ways as you familiarize yourself with new grammar and vocabulary rules. You not only have to remember new words, you have to connect them with real-world concepts and use them contextually, improving your memory in the process. 

Better Mental Agility 

Mental agility is an important skill to have in the workforce and in life. Multilingual people have the ability to switch back and forth between languages naturally and automatically, including thinking in different languages and translating on the spot, which helps with multitasking. 

Potential to Widen Prospective Job Market 

More and more US-based businesses are expanding into international markets to reach new customer bases. With that, companies need bilingual candidates to not only translate but ensure that the context is appropriate. When you become fluent in a second language, you may widen your prospective job market and become a more desirable candidate for top positions. 

Better Communication Skills 

Written and verbal communication skills are among the top skills employers look for in job candidates. While it may be surprising, learning a second language can improve your communication in English. 

We learn our native language more organically, often without diving deep into the grammar and style rules. As you learn a foreign language and navigate the grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure, it will make you more conscious of the rules that govern your native language. 

Improved Empathy and Cultural Sensitivity 

Becoming fluent in a new language not only provides the means to connect with other cultures verbally, but it can develop culture awareness. As you learn a new language, you’re not just learning words but a new way of thinking. Along with that, you may understand and appreciate the differences in cultures, and more importantly, the similarities that we all share as human beings. 

More Confidence 

Making mistakes is part of the learning process with language learning. Even if you have an ear for language, you will be pushed out of your comfort zone and into new situations. Though you may be nervous at first, breaking out of your shell will develop your self-confidence and equip you to tackle new situations in other areas of your life. 

Well-Rounded Learning 

Colleges and universities often require foreign language as part of the core subjects for applicants. If high school students didn’t take a foreign language, they may have to take them as gen ed requirements for their degree. 

The requirements for a foreign language can vary by institution, but many require at least two years of a single foreign language that count toward your gen ed requirements. The idea behind this requirement is that it will expand your worldview and improve your career options, in addition to providing a well-rounded education. 

Benefits of Taking Language Courses Online 

Learning a language has benefits on its own, but taking language courses online offers unique advantages that you may not get in a cohort learning environment. 

1. Flexible Learning 

Whether you’re trying to get some electives out of the way or you’re an adult learner managing a full-time job and other responsibilities, online courses offer flexible learning that adapts to your schedule – not the other way around. You can attend lectures and complete assignments from anywhere, at any time, to ensure that you’re fully focused on what you need to learn. All you need is an internet connection and device. 

2. Multimedia Environments 

Learning a language is a bit different than learning other subjects. Interactive tools like grammar correction, automation, discussion boards, videos, and audio guides can make a huge difference in how well you grasp the language and retain the concepts. Online learning utilizes more of these tools to enhance your learning experience. 

3. Repetition Learning 

Repetition is essential to mastering a foreign language. Traditional class environments don’t offer the opportunity to repeat lessons and work on concepts without disrupting the instructor and other students. With online courses – particularly self-paced courses – you may able to repeat course modules as often as you need to ensure you have a solid understanding before moving forward. 

4. Practicing in the Comfort of Your Own Home 

One of the challenges of learning a new language is feeling comfortable practicing, especially in front of other people. By combining flexible schedules and multimedia tools, taking a language course online gives you the ability to practice on your own until you get it right. 

5. Learning from Native Speakers 

Taking online language courses for college credit could allow you to learn from native speakers, no matter where you are. You can access some of the “best of the best” language teachers from all over the world, since you can take language courses from anywhere instead of relying only on who’s available in your region. 

6. Better Academic Skills 

Some people are naturally gifted at school, often excelling at test taking and written assignments. But earning a good grade doesn’t necessarily mean you’re gaining practical skills or retaining the information. With language learning, the process continually tests your knowledge and pushes you to develop a new skill beyond intellectual understanding, which is an ability that carries over into other courses and subject areas. 

Online Language Learning at Sophia 

Whether you’re interested in taking a foreign language for your career prospects or you’re simply learning a new skill, Sophia offers self-paced online language courses to help you reach your goals. Check out our language courses designed to transfer at Sophia! 

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What to Expect In an A&P Online Course

Anatomy and physiology (A&P) is one of the core courses for a range of health-related fields, including nursing. It’s one of the most important foundational courses to learn the concepts that underpin medicine, human development, and the diagnosis and treatment of disease. 

Still, no matter how passionate they are about nursing, many nursing students are anxious about A&P and its difficulty. Find out what you’ll learn in A&P, what to expect from the course, and how you can maximize your success. 

What Is Anatomy and Physiology? 

Anatomy and physiology are two studies in the life sciences. Anatomy refers to the internal and external structures of the body and how they relate to each other, while physiology refers to the study of how those structures function. 

The anatomy and physiology courses for nursing cover a basic introduction to the broad study of the two disciplines, but they each have branches that cover more advanced and detailed information. 

For example, anatomy includes both gross anatomy, the study of body structures that can be seen without magnification, and microscopic anatomy or histology, which covers the study of the smallest structures of the body. Physiology has branches as well, including cell physiology, endocrinology, exercise physiology, and clinical physiology, some of which may be part of your more advanced nursing studies. 

What Do You Learn in Anatomy and Physiology? 

Anatomy and physiology approach two aspects of studying the human body. 

The anatomy portion deals with the structural organization of an organism, which includes the musculoskeletal, nervous, circulatory, immune, respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It also includes the study of anatomy on a microscopic level with organ and tissue cells. 

Physiology covers the principal organ systems as well, but it focuses more on the functions of the cells and organs in biological systems instead of their structure. It may cover the broad study of physiology or a narrower focus, such as the digestive or cardiovascular system. 

For example, something you may take away from the course is an understanding of how cells develop, how muscle groups are used in different sports, or how a disease moves through the body. 

What to Expect in an A&P Online Course 

A&P online courses include all the information you would receive in cohort (in-person) learning, but you’ll experience it all virtually. These courses comprise lectures, quizzes, assignments, exams, and a lab portion to build laboratory skills. 

  • Some of the skills you’ll develop in the course include: 
  • Defining the systems that provide protection and support for the body 
  • Understanding how muscle tissue and the muscular system support movement and stability 
  • Generalizing the chemical, cellular, and tissue levels and their function in the body 
  • Summarizing how the nervous system regulates, integrates, and controls the body 

Typically, labs are a very hands-on part of science learning, but technology allows that experience to be recreated online with virtual lab tools, video conferencing, discussion boards, and proctored exams. 

The lab portion of A&P may include: 

  • Understanding science labs, the scientific method, and writing lab reports 
  • Demonstrating lab safety and processes 
  • Analyzing cell types and muscle tissue types in functional groups 
  • Demonstrating osmosis in hypotonic and hypertonic solutions 
  • Examining the functions and components of the central and peripheral nervous systems 

Is Anatomy and Physiology Hard? 

For many nursing students, anatomy and physiology is one of the toughest prerequisite classes. It encompasses a lot of information and requires strong memorization skills, because A&P will form the foundation you will build upon to learn more advanced information about the human body and its function. 

Anatomy and physiology may be hard, but it’s not impossible. With strong study skills and a commitment to learning, you can succeed in this course. 

How to Study for Anatomy and Physiology 

Does this information seem overwhelming? Anatomy and physiology can be a challenging course that you need to succeed in as a prerequisite for the nursing program, but robust study strategies can help you pass your course with flying colors. 

Here are some study tips to ensure your success: 

Break the Information Down to Manageable Sections 

Part of the challenge of anatomy and physiology is the sheer volume of information the course covers. Keep up with your reading, and instead of reading a whole chapter at once, break it up into smaller sections. Make sure you fully grasp the concept before moving forward, as this course uses scaffolding learning – it all builds on the concepts you learned previously. 

Test Yourself Along the Way 

Most texts and course modules have review tools to self-evaluate your understanding of the concepts and knowledge. Test yourself regularly and note which concepts felt shaky to you. That’s an opportunity to go back through and review the information again or ask your instructor for more guidance. 

Seek Help from Your Instructor or Peers 

Whether online or in person, your instructor and peers are an asset in your learning experience. If you feel that you’re not grasping the material, talk to your classmates and go over the concepts together. You could also reach out to your instructor and ask for clarification. 

Understand Your Learning Style 

Anatomy and physiology uses a lot of memorization, diagrams, and unfamiliar terms, such as names that have origins in Latin or Greek, all of which you will have to learn. You will need to know your learning style and how you study best to succeed. For some, flashcards are the best way to go over terms and concepts to retain them. For others, mnemonic devices to memorize the bones or muscle groups are effective. 

Don’t Get Discouraged 

If you’re struggling in a section, try not to get discouraged. You may excel at memorizing the names of bones and muscles while struggling in more conceptual sections like the function of the respiratory system. You will need to use a range of skill sets to succeed in anatomy and physiology, so try not to be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t all come easily to you. Keep studying and looking toward the finish line. 

Get Started Using Sophia's Nursing Pathway

Curious about what’s in store with anatomy and physiology? You can check out our A&P course at Sophia or explore our Sophia Nursing Pathway - a flexible 13-course science pathway created to help you make progress toward your degree by taking our diverse selection of science and health-related course, all designed to transfer. Get started today

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5 College-Level Math Courses You Can Take with Sophia

If you think math is hard, you’re not alone. Many people lack confidence in their math abilities. But with Sophia, you have the space and flexibility to grow your math skills on your own terms. Sophia puts you in control of your learning thanks to a self-paced online platform, an innovative teaching approach, and tutoring support in some courses.

No matter what career you pursue, you’ll use math more than you might expect. Math can also help you with situations in your own life—like understanding how a bank account earns interest or interpreting the statistics of your favorite sports team. Plus, math courses are a common bachelor’s degree requirement. That’s why Sophia offers a range of college-level math courses to build your skills and help you earn general education credits.

What Math Courses Can You Take at Sophia? 

Sophia offers self-paced college-level math courses that can help you expand your knowledge and make progress toward a degree. Choose from our growing list of course options: 

  • Introduction to College Mathematics. See how math can help you understand the world in a new way. Get hands-on with real numbers, linear equations, logarithmic functions, probability and statistics. By the end of the course, you should be able to solve basic arithmetic equations and apply math concepts to real-world situations such as financial transactions.  
  • College Algebra. Using scenario-based activities inspired by real-world situations, you’ll learn about linear, non-linear and other mathematical functions that include algebraic, graphic, and numeric properties. You’ll also apply mathematical concepts to algebraic expressions, quadratic equations and more.  
  • Calculus I. Learn the fundamental concepts of calculus by reviewing precalculus topics and diving into calculus concepts such as limits and continuity, interpretations and applications of the derivative, and techniques of integration. You’ll also apply what you’ve learned by writing equations of lines and circles, analyzing and graphing combinations of functions, and calculating higher order derivatives. 
  • Introduction to Statistics. Learn the basics of statistics including core principles, research methodologies, data analysis and hypothesis testing. Explore key concepts in statistical reasoning, see how data is represented in real-world examples, and learn to apply statistical thinking to real-life scenarios.  
  • Foundations of Statistics. Learn the fundamentals of statistics and prepare yourself for college-level statistics courses. Explore concepts like variation, correlation, probability, and statistical analysis. With your newfound stats skills, you can evaluate statistical methods, interpret statistics, and calculate probability.  

Growing your math skills is a smart move for your career, your general education requirements, and your life. Sophia gives you convenient and affordable options to build college-level math skills while crossing general education requirements off your list. Begin your free Sophia trial, which allows access throught the first assessment, and see for yourself. 

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Ten Online English and Communications Courses Designed to Transfer

Improve your writing, speaking, researching and editing skills with Sophia’s online English and communications courses. They’re designed to let you learn at your own pace – anytime, anywhere.  

On average, Sophia students take 33 days to complete an English and communications course. 

Even if you are not an English major, you may still need to take a couple English and communications courses to meet common general education requirements. Plus, you'll be honing on key writing and communications skills that can help you in your personal and professional life.  

Which Courses Are Right For You? 

Our ten current English and communication courses cover a range of topics. Try one or try them all. These courses are designed to build and improve your English and communication skills, they are not ESL courses.  

  • Communication at Work: Explore what makes for impactful written and verbal workplace communications. 
  • Conflict Resolution: Dive into the elements of conflict resolution and how to apply them to work and life. 
  • Discover the Writer in You: This course takes you through the writing process, from brainstorming, prewriting, and drafting all the way to revising, editing, and proofreading. If you have previously taken English Composition I, you do not need to enroll in this course. 
  • Sophia's English Composition I: Learn the tools to become a better writer and a more thoughtful reader. 
  • English Composition II: Designed to build upon the concepts taught in English Composition I, refine your knowledge of research techniques for academic writing. 
  • Foundations of English Composition: Hone your writing skills and learn to communicate more effectively. 
  • Public Speaking: This course takes you through all of the stages of developing a speech, from preparation to rehearsal to presentation. 
  • The Essentials of Managing Conflict: Gain foundational knowledge about managing and resolving conflict in your personal and professional life. 
  • The Power of Persuasion: Explore how persuasive writing strengthens important professional skills including communication, problem solving, and innovation skills. 
  • Visual Communications: Discover the principles of design and what makes visual communication such a powerful tool in getting a message across. 

Reach Your Goals with Online English and Communications Courses 

From their laptops, tablets or phones, Sophia students have successfully completed more than 80,000 online English and communications courses.

Learn more about your options for taking online English courses with Sophia.

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3 Reasons Students Love Sophia’s Online Business Courses

Whether you’re seeking online courses for your business degree or hoping to knock out a gen ed, Sophia’s online business courses can help save you time and money.

Here’s what you can expect when you choose to take a business course with Sophia: 

Learn the Ins and Outs of Business at Your Own Pace

Sophia’s online business courses are self-paced, which means you can complete them in the time that is most convenient for you. Some students prefer a slow and steady approach, while others appreciate the opportunity to work through lessons more quickly if they are already familiar with the concepts.

On average, Sophia students take 26 days to complete a business course. 

Not a business major? Chances are you’ll still need to take a few business courses. Many other fields of study incorporate aspects of business learning, including marketing, communications, economics, political science, human resources management, and entrepreneurship. Plus business courses may be a common general education requirement.

Complete Your Business Courses at an Affordable Rate

Sophia doesn’t charge you per course. Instead, we offer a flexible subscription fee of $99 per month that will grant you access to all of our ACE recommended online business courses. You can take up to two courses at a time and work your way through as many as your schedule allows each month. 

So, how does this compare to the cost of taking business courses through your accredited college or university? While tuition costs vary based on the state, institution type, and whether you’re billed in-state or out-of-state tuition, the Education Data Initiative has done a lot of research on the average cost per credit hour at two- and four-year institutions. Check out their latest report or review your school’s tuition fees for a cost analysis. And don’t forget to factor in cost savings on things like books and supplies, room and board, and student loan interest rates.

Take Your Business Learning Anywhere You Go

Our user-friendly business courses are completely on demand, which means you don’t need to commit to taking them at any one time or in any one location. All you need is access to a laptop, tablet, or smart phone. Want to knock out some college-level courses when you’re away from campus on a holiday break? Have a gap in your weekly course schedule? Sophia can help you maximize your time by tackling convenient, college-level business courses that may be transferred to your college or university for general education credit. 

Which Courses Are Right For You?

Our eight current business courses cover a range of fundamental topics. Here’s what you’ll learn from each of them:

  • Accounting: This fundamental course covers the basics of accounting that are necessary to run a sole proprietorship, including bookkeeping and preparing financial reports, 
  • Business Law: This course is one of Sophia’s newest and will introduce you to the key laws that govern businesses, the fundamentals of liability, the role of contracts, and property law.
  • College Readiness: This practical course is designed to help orient you to the college experience and develop strategies for success in your academic and personal life so you can reach your collegiate and professional goals.
  • Developing Effective Teams: This is Sophia’s shortest business course; ACE recommends it is worth 1.0 semester credits. But it’s packed with valuable information about the characteristics of high-performing teams and the skills and strategies needed to build them.
  • Introduction to Business: This popular course will teach you about the environment of business, the science of marketing, investing, and human resources management—and how these concepts apply to companies of all sizes, including entrepreneurial endeavors.
  • Principles of Finance: This fundamental course covers the basics of finance that are necessary to operate a business, including financial statements, capital management, and financial planning.
  • Principles of Management: This course focuses on the main functions of management: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. 
  • Project Management: This course is one of Sophia’s newest and will introduce you to the life cycle of managing a project, including the skills and planning needed to ensure each project’s success.

Sophia students have successfully completed more than 34,000 online business courses. We’re proud to have been a part of helping so many learners reach their academic goals.

Learn more about your options for taking business courses online with Sophia.

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