Business Specialist Diploma

Develop the technical, business and professional skills needed to enter the workforce while earning a diploma in our Business Specialist program. Already employed? This program is perfect for improving your skills and keeping up with changes in office technology. Or, take this education even further by continuing into the Administrative Assistant Associate in Applied Science degree.

Also available online, the Business Specialist program will train you in valuable areas such as computers, keyboarding and basic accounting. You’ll have the opportunity to prepare for the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification testing by completing word processing and spreadsheet courses. Learning basic and computerized accounting will ensure that you’re ready for bookkeeping duties.

Develop the flexibility and variety of skills necessary to meet the changing needs in business. Enter the workforce with the technical training and experience necessary to be a secretary, receptionist or office assistant.

Faculty Contact

Deb Jones
Professor, Office Specialist
712-852-5241 | djones@iowalakes.educreate new email

Program Details


DEGREE: Diploma (35 credits)

CAMPUS: Emmetsburg

Online availability 100%

Did You Know?

Starting Salary: $21,396

Average Salary: $29,410

Projected Employment Growth: 0.8%

Special Certifications Available

What you'll learn

In the Business Specialist program at Iowa Lakes, you will learn:1

  1. Produce proficient word processing documents, spreadsheets, web development, Internet searches, and prepare professional e-mails by integrating technology
  2. Compute a wide variety of calculations relevant to problem solving in real business world applications
  3. Communicate effectively and appropriately in interpersonal, oral, and written forms in a business environment
  4. Apply emerging business and office technologies efficiently and accurately
  5. Record accounting transactions and financial statements related to the accounting cycle
  6. Demonstrate business standards of professionalism, human relations skills, and customer service attributes

1The What You’ll Learn section of our website provides a description of Learning Outcomes for students who successfully complete all requirements for obtaining a Business Specialist diploma from Iowa Lakes Community College.


Term 1

Credits: 3

Introduces the basic principles of accounting and the recoding of simple business transactions using the double entry system. Includes the accounting procedures of journalizing transactions, posting to the ledger, making a trial balance, creating receipt and disbursement of cash.

Credits: 3

Tabulations, letters, reports and other production work for students with previous instruction in keyboarding, but with insufficient skill to qualify for the next course.

Credits: 2

Provides skills and competencies in basic mathematical functions and in the operation of electronic calculators. Emphasis is on solving business problems and in developing speed and accuracy.

Credits: 3

A study of the mathematics of business in its application to a va­riety of vocations including fundamental mathematical processes, fractions, price and cost, interest, bank discounts, cash and trade discounts, depreciation, payroll and taxes, and financial statements. Students will acquire the skills to use Microsoft Excel to perform each concept as well as using the traditional methods.

Credits: 1

Introduction to Business Professionals of America activities, which includes preparation for state and national competitive events, leadership and professional development.

Grading: P/Q

Credits: 2

Students are given the opportunity to apply human relations concepts and evaluate experience and observations. Social skills required in various occupational settings will be developed, emphasizing how appropriate personal attitudes lead to social and business success.

Credits: 3

CSC-110 is an introductory course that surveys a variety of topics to include history, hardware, software, terminology, com­munications, computer ethics, and societal impact of computers. In addition to computer literacy, students will complete hands-on modules using operating systems, word processing, database, presentation, and spreadsheet software; such as Microsoft Office programs.

Credits: 3

The fundamentals course develops the basic skills involved in a variety of communication situations, including oral presentations and interpersonal speaking.  Emphasis is placed on organization, audience analysis, vocal and physical delivery, listening, nonverbal communication, critical thinking, and methods of dealing with communication apprehension through class discussion and activities.

Choose either ADM 132 or BUS 110

Term 2

Credits: 3

This introductory course covers the processes of completing payroll records and implementing payroll procedures. Topics include methods of computing compensation, state and federal laws affecting payroll, mandatory and voluntary payroll deduc­tions, methods of keeping records, and preparation of internal and governmental reports.

Prerequisites: ACC 131 – Principles of Accounting I

Credits: 2

This course provides students with a basic understanding of the accounting cycle on microcomputers. Topics include general ledgers, accounts receivable and payable, payroll, inventory and depreciation.

Credits: 3

This course is designed to provide hands-on approach to learning how modern computerized accounting systems function. This ap­plication includes the following: general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, bank reconciliation, budgeting, purchase order processing and inventory, sales order processing and inven­tory, fixed assets, and payroll.

Credits: 3

Includes modern office skills and technologies, including word processing, automation, records management, reprographics, communication services, time management and methods of handling stress, meeting and travel arrangements and career advancement.

Credits: 1

Business Professionals of America prepares the student for their chosen profession by assisting them in their leadership and professional development for the workplace. Continuation of ADM 254.

Grading: P/Q

Prerequisites: ADM 254 – Business Professionalism

Credits: 3

The essentials of word processing and the use of text-editing equipment.

Credits: 3

Introduces web page construction theory along with practical ap­plications. Content includes basic terminology.HTML language and the planning and construction of the student’s own web page.

Credits: 3

Provide students with broad understanding of management infor­mation systems in the business environment. Offers more detailed hands-on uses of application programs such as word process­ing, database management and spreadsheets in preparation for careers in business.

Prerequisites: CSC 110 – Intro to Computers and BCA 212 – Intro to Comp Business Apps

Credits: 3

Emphasis on expository and argumentative writings including a review of usage and mechanics.

Prerequisites: Satisfactory score on the ACT, Accuplacer, ASSET,COMPASS as determined by Iowa Lakes policy

Choose either ACC 310 or ACC 311
Choose either BCA 185 or BCA 218