Athabasca University Bachelor of Commerce Program Guide

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Accelerate your career as a future business leader— online and on your own time Weekend musician Current BComm learner Future entrepreneur

Faculty of Business Bachelor of Commerce Program Guide Bachelor of Commerce Program

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Empowering future business leaders is what sets us apart Athabasca University’s Bachelor of Commerce (BComm) program is tailored to lifelong learners, like you. With flexible and supportive options, you have the freedom to further your education while you continue living your life. The BComm program is designed to empower you to transform your career in ways that will help you achieve your educational goals. With a flexible application process, you can begin whenever you are ready.

The program equips you with the business skills and knowledge you need to advance your career— accounting to strategic management and everything in between. From leadership, communications, and people skills, you will be empowered to lead and be a difference maker within your organization and community. Because AU’s BComm program allows you to stay within your community, the only commute you have is to your computer. Whether you have family, career, or community commitments, learn on your own time and from anywhere.

“ AU allowed me to study Canadian material while I was working in Germany as a professional ballet dancer and touring the world. Some of my textbooks have seen the inside of the Opera Garnier in Paris, the Coliseum in London, and theatres in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Seoul!” —C harles Berry, BComm ‘11

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Program overview NUMBER OF CREDITS

120

UNDERGRADUATE

DEGREE DURATION

2

4

YEARS

YEARS

* post-diploma route

degree route

100% ONLINE START DATE

MONTHLY Register by the 10th to start on the 1st

TRANSFERCREDIT OPTION

7

MAJORS

* If you already have a post-secondary diploma, you can take the shorter post-diploma route. Visit the “Faculty of Business diploma to degree routes” page for more information.

Bachelor of Commerce Program

AU’s BComm learners at a glance Average age of learners

AGE

Credential

Number of current learners

34 4,807 LEARNERS

Number of graduates

4,467 GRADUATES

Number of learners who work while they study

84%

Number of countries alumni are from

41

COUNTRIES

Alumni who recommend AU’s BComm program

96% Number of learners who advanced their careers after graduating

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Bridging pathways for levelling up your career

With the right education, experience, and certification, the sky’s the limit for advancing your career. Whether you’re aiming to become a digital marketing manager, HR business partner, or financial analyst, getting the education you need to acquire a professional designation or certification can help you reach your professional goals. A BComm degree from AU can serve as that helpful bridge if you want to pursue a further professional designation or certification in your career, such as: • Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) • Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) • Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Learn more about other professional designations and industry certifications.

“ AU has allowed me to broaden my horizons and to learn at my own pace—when and where I can find the time. Since enrolling last year, my newly acquired skills have already afforded me opportunities for career advancement. I spent 10 years as a financial advisor, and am now taking the leap into management with future potential of leading my own team or maybe even an entire district.”

— Norah Surcon, current BComm learner

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How the BComm program is structured

The BComm program takes approximately four years of full time study to complete, ending with you earning a nationally- and internationally-recognized business degree. The program provides a thorough grounding in all core areas of business—from accounting to strategic management, and everything in between.

The first two years of the program provide the fundamentals of business knowledge.

The last two years of the program are focused on senior level business courses.

Courses explore topics such as economics, marketing, accounting, and management.

They explore an advanced understanding of accounting, information systems, human resources, international business, management, marketing, and organizational behaviour.

What you learn in these last two years also depends on your major, which you can decide at any time.

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Understanding the many routes you can take on the path to your degree MAJOR

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

General

Pursuing a general BComm degree with no declared major will prepare you in all core areas of business and give you a well-rounded understanding of business operations.

Accounting

Majoring in accounting will give you an in-depth understanding of the technical and theoretical aspects of accounting operations, including concepts related to financial, management and taxation accounting, auditing, and accounting information systems.

Business technology management

Finance

Human resource management

Majoring in business technology management will equip you with the business skills you need for any industry, with a focus on how products and services are transacted through e-commerce and other digital platforms.

Majoring in finance offers you an integration of financial management concepts and economics, including the study of financial markets, financial instruments and investment decision making, and analysis.

Majoring in human resources management will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of recruitment, employee management and engagement, HR policy development, business relation management, and HR systems.

Indigenous business

This new and unique major, offered only at AU, will enable you to focus on principles of Indigenous business and governance, giving you the ability to apply business skills in a way that benefits Indigenous communities.

Marketing

Majoring in marketing will expand your understanding of consumer purchasing behaviours, as well as help you to develop strategic marketing plans, conduct market research, manage a brand, and execute promotional campaigns that leverage modern advertising platforms.

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Exploring your learning options for becoming a well-rounded business leader Although your major enables you to specialize in a specific area of business, it’s important that you also gain a wellrounded understanding of the various multi-department functions related to business as our economy continues to become more global and democratized. In your program, you’ll learn theory, technical skills, and ethical perspectives in core business areas such as:

Commercial law

Information systems

Statistics for business and economics Bachelor of Commerce Program

“ When I started my degree in 2005, I worked shift work and couldn’t commit to specific class times. AU allowed me to work at my own pace and set my own schedule. AU gave me the flexibility to complete my degree through life’s challenging times: divorce, death, surgeries, and moving. But also life’s happier times: marriages, raising children, working full time, and volunteering.” —R achel Jenkins, BComm ‘20

Economics

Finance

Financial and management accounting

Marketing

Organizational behaviour

Organizational writing and communications

Strategic management

You will also have the opportunity to broaden your perspective even further by taking non-business options.

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Expanding ways you can gain real-world experience virtually

As a leader in online learning, the Faculty of Business at AU launched the world’s first virtual cooperative learning experience course. It transformed the way students gained work experience in a supportive, digital environment. As the final step in your BComm program, this virtual workplace simulation enables you to gain hands-on experience in the role of an executive management trainee—all from the comfort of your home. You’re not just running to grab someone’s coffee but you’re making executive-level decisions. Ametros Learning’s platform that is powered by IBM Watson’s artificial intelligence technology creates simulations that put your theoretical knowledge and skills to the test. From how to navigate a jerk boss to making delicate hiring and firing decisions, you’ll be gaining critical skills in strategic leadership, ethics, and communications in a safe and supportive learning environment. This practical experience will help you to not just be a work-ready graduate, but to be promotion-ready. Read the story about our virtual co-op on AU’s The HUB.

“ The course provides an all-encompassing experience that goes above and beyond in emulating what a traditional co-op experience provides. The professor also does a great job in helping us understand the complexities of the business world.” —A leksandar Golijanin, current BComm learner

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Applying your work, life, and past educational experience as credits towards your degree There are more ways to earn credit with AU than you may think. Have you studied at other institutions? Do you have work or life experience that could count towards credits? Do you want to challenge a course to gain the credits? Discover all the ways you could earn credits that can count towards your degree.

Previous education

AU’s process for transferring credits helps ensure eligible credentials from your previous education or work and life experience can contribute towards you earning your BComm degree. Review our transfer credit section to learn more. If you’re still unsure, book an appointment with a student advisor. They can help you uncover credits you may already have for your BComm degree.

Work experience

Life experience

Credits towards your BComm degree

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Challenging yourself in student competitions with fellow learners

As an AU business student, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in competitions, such as the CME Trading Competition, CPA Education Foundation Business Challenge, and Alberta Deans of Business Case Competition.

“ AU has also provided one unexpected benefit. AU has given me a new found confidence in myself. I realize that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I now see that no matter how hard or how much I have going on, if I lean on my support team, I can make it.”

They’re also a great networking opportunity where you can connect with other AU business students so you can learn and grow together. After all, studying online doesn’t mean you have to study alone. In 2019, AU’s Faculty of Business co-hosted the 14th Annual Alberta Deans of Business Case Competition. After competing against business students representing 14 other post-secondary institutions from across the province, AU’s team took home the top prize.

14th Annual Alberta Deans of Business Case Competition Team, 2019

—N atricia Walters, current BComm learner

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Think AU’s BComm program is the right choice for you? Talk to an advisor today. Connect with us:

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