Outdoor Industry Business Certificates Open for Registration

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), in partnership with Utah State University (USU) and Western Colorado University (WCU), is proud to launch select courses from the first-of-its-kind Outdoor Industry Business Certificate (OIBC) program. The OIBC offers a suite of continuing education certificates tailored to outdoor industry professionals and those looking to start a career in the outdoor industry. The launch was expedited in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken a toll on the outdoor industry job market. Courses are being offered at a significantly reduced price through the end of the year.

“Outdoor Industry Association is dedicated to supporting our members and the industry through these difficult times, and we saw launching these courses ahead of schedule as one way to do that,” said Kristen Freaney, director of the emerging leaders programs at OIA. “We know that layoffs, furloughs, a changing job landscape, and a more competitive job market are a few of the challenging economic impacts of COVID-19. The ability to upskill or re-skill at an affordable price is critical for people who are trying to enter, find a new role in, or adapt to changing demands in the outdoor industry workforce.”

Utah State University is offering a certificate in Sustainable Product Design and Supply Chain. Faculty from USU’s cutting-edge Outdoor Product Design and Development (OPDD) program, many with outdoor industry work experience, will teach courses on the circular economy, integrating sustainability into business practices, creative team dynamics and sustainable supply chain strategies. Students who complete the program will gain fluency in current sustainability issues impacting the outdoor industry. The first two courses available for enrollment beginning today include “Transitioning Toward a More Circular Economy” and “Integration of Sustainability Into Business Practices.” The remaining two courses in the USU certificate will be available in fall 2020.

“We are excited to be able to bring this certificate and the body of knowledge it represents to the outdoor industry through the collaborative efforts and partnership of USU and OIA. This opportunity is bringing the best parts of academia, industry experience and multidisciplinary collaboration together to develop relevant content that can help those both in and out of industry to drive real change,” said Dr. Andrew Deceuster, associate professor and program director at Utah State University’s Outdoor Product Design and Development program.

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The Western Colorado University Outdoor Industry Business Certificate will focus on responsible business in the outdoor industry. Faculty from Western’s Outdoor Industry MBA program, the first and only outdoor-focused MBA program in the country, will teach courses in marketing and brand strategy, leadership, bringing socially responsible products to market and understanding and integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion principles in the workplace. Students in this program will develop their ability to innovate, think strategically, and lead the application of business tools for creating meaningful impact in the outdoor industry. Courses available for enrollment beginning today include “Refine Your Unique Leadership Style” and “Marketing and Brand Strategy in the Outdoor Industry.” The remaining two courses in the WCU certificate will be available in Fall 2020.

“We are proud to partner with OIA and deliver courses to further refine responsible business practices in our industry. It is vital that we all support each other in these challenging times. said Dr. D. Scott Borden, director, Outdoor Industry MBA, assistant professor in the School of Business at Western Colorado University. “We hope participants will gain new skills to accelerate their careers, investing in themselves and our outdoor communities.”

Both certificates in the OIBC suite are composed of four, non-credit courses, each led by experienced university faculty. Courses are online and self-paced, so working professionals can participate anytime from anywhere on a flexible completion schedule. There are no required prerequisites for the certificates. Those who are interested in the certificates should bring a sense of curiosity, a willingness to learn and a desire to make outdoor companies more sustainable and the world a better place.

Learn more about OIA, Outdoor Industry Business Certificates and the partner universities here.