IPD Provides In-Demand Business Skills and Certifications


Business professionals across the Twin Cities will have the opportunity to learn practical, in-demand skills to advance their careers and leadership roles through the Institute for Professional Development (IPD), Metropolitan State University’s new continuing education program. Serving mid- to senior-level business professionals, IPD programs and certifications focus on developing practical, applicable leadership skills that are in high-demand, including leading change, facilitation skills, improving processes, relationship-building, managing stakeholders and leading project team members from multiple departments.

“IPD is one of the first continuing education programs through a four-year university to provide courses and certifications that focus on developing concrete professional skills and tools, rather than general theories,” says Beth Schaefer, director of the Institute for Professional Development. “Business professionals walk away with skills and tools that they can apply immediately at work to advance their careers or take on new leadership roles as well as connect and network with their peers. IPD courses are designed to adapt quickly to the rapidly changing professional development needs of the local corporate job market, taught by industry experts in their fields, with decades of experience who are actively working or involved in their industries.”

IPD is one of the first continuing education programs through a four-year university to provide courses and certifications that focus on developing concrete professional skills and tools, rather than general theoriesBeth Schaefer, director of the Institute for Professional Development

The full curriculum launching in fall 2015 is comprised of four certificate programs:

  • Facilitating Change—for team leads, supervisors and managers who oversee change initiatives, process improvement efforts and determine goals and strategic plans.
  • Business Analysis—for professionals who act as liaisons among internal and external stakeholders to enable organizations to meet their business goals, and who often need to know how to flex the “rules” of business analysis to fit their organization’s culture.
  • Executing Successful Projects—for those who know the basic tools, but need strategies to navigate the interesting situations that project managers find themselves in when working with team members and sponsors.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Software/Applications/Products (SAP) Program Implementation—to help professionals maximize ERP software by integrating it with business strategy.

IPD will also offer certificate programs for Project Management Test Prep, Certified Scrum Master and Scrum Certified Product Owners.

Metropolitan State’s IPD began with a pilot program focused on a Business Architecture certification, the first of its kind in the country. One of the program’s first alumnus includes Mike Arulfo, business architect and product manager at The Marek Group, a leading provider of end-to-end marketing technology solutions for sales enablement. Arulfo is applying the skills and tools he received from the program to guide Marek’s transformation to a more agile company as it rapidly expands through acquisitions and product sales. Arulfo says the program is an ideal fit for the modern business architect.

“The IPD experience was extremely valuable to me in many areas, but especially for moving ahead in leadership positions and propelling me to the next level in my career,” says Arulfo. “I immediately applied the skills and tools I took away from the program, which helped me gain an understanding from a practitioner’s viewpoint, and it gave me confidence in leading teams as a business architect which paved the way for leadership roles. Networking is also such a big benefit of this program, and I keep in touch with many of my classmates and instructors to share stories and practical advice.”

The IPD experience was extremely valuable to me in many areas, but especially for moving ahead in leadership positions and propelling me to the next level in my career. I immediately applied the skills and tools I took away from the program.Mike Arulfo, business architect and product manager at The Marek Group

The IPD certificates can be earned in two to eight days of workshop-style courses. The courses can be completed in as little as six months or spread out over two years. Classes are available as individual workshops, or participants can enroll in the entire certificate track at once for a discounted price.

IPD classes meet at the Metropolitan State University campus in Saint Paul as well as satellite locations throughout the Twin Cities. Class sizes are intentionally small to provide business professionals with individualized attention customized to their needs and opportunities to connect and network with their peers. Online registration is now open at www.MetroStateIPD.org.

IPD also hosts a free Expert Insights professional development event each month. Attendees can learn more about the program, meet the faculty and instructors, and network with business professionals. Register for the next event at www.MetroStateIPD.org.

About the Institute for Professional Development

The Institute for Professional Development (IPD) is Metropolitan State University’s new continuing education program featuring several in-demand tracks and certifications for business professionals who are ready to take their careers to the next level. IPD serves mid- to senior-level business professionals with practical, hands-on learning that can be applied immediately. The program focuses on concrete skills and tools, rather than general theories. IPD is an efficient, flexible certificate program with four new tracks available this fall, including Facilitating Change, Business Analysis, Executing Successful Projects and Enterprise Resource Planning. For more information, visit www.MetroStateIPD.org.

Metropolitan State University, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is America’s premier university for lifelong learning, providing unsurpassed, competitive academic and professional degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels while maintaining affordability.

Menu Title