With the scandals of Enron, Tyco, and WorldCom in the past, today's corporate world demands a mixture of business acumen and ethics. To combat corruption, many employers are looking to hire candidates with business ethics qualifications. If you are looking for ways to enhance your resume and candidacy, consider enrolling in an ethics business class at your community college.
What are Ethics Business Courses?
Courses in business ethics are relatively new options, but they are certainly growing in relevance. As the Business Network explains, "Business ethics consists of a set of moral principles and values that govern the organization's behavior with respect to what is right and what is wrong."
Specifically, business ethics courses outline any company's moral philosophies and obligations. Business ethics classes often explore topics such as:
- Evaluation of prohibited actions in the workplace
- Legal frameworks on which an organization may be governed
- Evaluation of the most common pillars of ethics. For example, evaluation of ethical philosophies such as deontologism, relativism, egoism, and utilitarianism (although these pillars of focus may vary for each course)
- Examination of ethical violations in various business organizations (often based on hypothetical cases, historical occurrences, etc.)
This video explains business ethics.
Benefits of an Ethics Business Course
While many community colleges offer business ethics courses, North Seattle Community College (NSCC), located in Washington, has been pioneering its curriculum with practical, hands-on applications of business ethics.
NSCC has developed an innovative ethics course designed to "Explore the fundamental questions of ethical and moral behavior by both businesses and individuals." According to school leaders, the ethical actions of business should be tools that serve to manage personal and professional goals and accomplishments. Specifically, NSCC ethics business classes will explore real-world corporate issues such as:
- Fundamental questions of moral and ethical conduct in boardrooms and meetings
- Ethical conduct for small and large businesses
- Examination of corporate culture, governance, stakeholder responsibility, social responsibility
- The significance and influence of business ethics in a globalized economy
This TEDx Talk discusses what really motivates people to be honest in business.
Nashville State Technical Community College (NSTCC), located in Tennessee, is another renowned campus gaining recognition for its impressive ethics business classes. By guiding students through ethical theories and value systems, NSTCC students can apply ethics to various moral issues and dilemmas in the professional world: "The course will encompass codes of ethics, conflict of interest, social responsibility, the work ethic, white-collar crime, and fiduciary responsibilities." Upon completing the course, business students should demonstrate a mastery of the diverse facets of business ethics in the real world, including:
- Ability to analyze distinctions between laws and ethics in business environments
- Ability to explain implications of employment-at-will, as well as diversity-related issues (such as discrimination, harassment, etc.)
- Ability to assess risks of liability, health, and safety of the workplace
- Understanding of concepts of ownership and intellectual property rights (specifically in regard to copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets)
By successfully completing business ethics courses, such as those offered by NSCC and NSTCC, community college students can fully prepare themselves for the challenges of the modern business world. In addition, during interviews, job candidates who can speak confidently on business ethics topics certainly enjoy a competitive edge.
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