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Program delivery update

To ensure we can safely offer the high-quality learning you expect, we've changed how many of our programs are delivered. Please view this program's delivery option(s) under "locations & availability". Learn more about how programs will be offered

Business Fundamentals

Gain the essential skills you need to enter the business field.

Program Image
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year

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Learn the core skills and competencies to start a business career. This one-year certificate gets you workforce-ready by giving you the knowledge and training you need to:

  • Resolve organizational conflicts
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of business in Canada
  • Strategically market products and services to targeted customers
  • Create spreadsheets for analysis, payroll and bookkeeping
  • Edit and format documents using the most current tools and technologies
  • Communicate clearly and effectively in the workplace

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed at the end of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • This program offers you an excellent way to quickly enter the business field as you explore a variety of career paths.
  • You experience hands-on learning and real-world business environments through our on-campus business centres, simulations, project-based learning, applied learning, service learning, collaborative learning and mentorship activities.
  • This program has deep connections to the local business community.
  • Students who complete the Business Fundamentals certificate may apply for second-year entry into Business Administration at another NSCC campus location, where you can specialize in one of these concentrations:

September 2020

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Annapolis Valley Campus Middleton Full time Online (scheduled)Online (scheduled)
Complete your program fully online through a variety of learning experiences, including scheduled ​class sessions.

Admission requirements

  • High School Diploma or equivalent
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Graduates are prepared to start careers in a range of business sectors as administrative officers, administrative assistants and clerks in banking, payroll and insurance.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

ACTG 1000 - Financial Accounting I
This course introduces students to the basic principles of the accounting cycle used manually in the service industry. This course is accepted toward certification with the Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping (CIB). This course is accepted as a pre-requisite for the Canadian Professional Accountant Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance (CPA – ACAF) program.

BSFD 2995 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply new skills and concepts appropriate for entry-level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal. This is a course of 175 hours spread over five weeks.

BUSI 1015 - The Business Environment
This course introduces students to an overview of the roles and responsibilities of business in today’s world. Students will discover how they fit into the business environment.

COMM 1205 - Communications - Workplace Foundations
Ideas and plans are rarely successful when they are not well communicated. Through this course, students will review the fundamentals for effective English communication in the workplace and obtain an introduction to Portfolio.

COMP 1105 - Business Computer Technology
This course provides students with an introduction to acceptable practices and uses of the computer, including the role of social media in Business. It provides the foundation for using computers that will contribute to success in both the Business Administration program and future careers. This course is accepted toward certification with the Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping (CIB).

COMP 2105 - Database I
This course introduces the student to the fundamentals of database management including planning, design, creation and modification. Once created, students will add, edit and delete records contained in a database. Students will create queries to obtain specific information from a database, design forms for working with database records, and design reports to print out data in various formats.

COMP 2110 - Spreadsheets I
This course introduces the student to electronic spreadsheets including their design and creation. Formulae and functions will be used to perform calculations on the spreadsheet data providing business solutions. Students will apply formatting skills to enhance the appearance and clarity of printed spreadsheets as well as using graphs to represent spreadsheet data. This course is accepted toward certification with the Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping (CIB). This course cannot be used to fulfill an elective requirement for students in Office Administration.

COMP 2125 - Word Processing I
This course introduces the student to the fundamentals of document processing including various levels of formatting and editing functions to create business-appropriate documentation. This course is accepted toward certification with the Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping (CIB). Note: This course is not eligible to Office Administration students for use as an elective.

ECON 2015 - The Economic and Global Environment
This course explains the external forces that can affect businesses and how knowledge of this broader environment influences business decisions.

MATH 2500 - Applied Business Mathematics
Applied Business Mathematics introduces students to a variety of math concepts applicable to the business profession. The course will emphasize the time value of money in relevant contexts, annuity applications such as investments, loans and mortgages, as well as decision-making tools such as merchandising costs analysis, break-even analysis, identifying the break-even point and areas of profit and loss.

MGMT 1010 - Organizational Behaviour
This course is designed to introduce the student to the field of organizational behaviour. Through this course, the student can develop an informed understanding of the components inherent in social organizations and the relationships among individuals, groups, and the organizations that contribute to an organization's effectiveness. Topics such as values, perception, ethics, conflict resolution, teamwork and diversity will be examined in order to help students become better equipped to interact with others in an organization.

MGMT 2025 - Management Principles
Management Principles focuses on the study of current management concepts, theories, issues and challenges.

MKTG 1010 - Marketing I
The primary focus of this course is marketing products and services to targeted customers. Emphasis is placed on the basic marketing premise that customer needs must be satisfied in order to achieve an organization's objectives. The strategic marketing planning process is introduced, along with the specific concepts and principles involved in the four key components of the marketing mix.

In addition to their required courses, learners will complete two (2) units (120 hours) of open elective credit that are consistent with the goals outlined in their portfolios.

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