Computer Applications for Business

Computer technology plays a tremendous role in life and business, and that role is only expanding every day. As this technology advances, so does the need for a highly trained, computer-savvy workforce. Developing computer knowledge and skills gives you a competitive edge, no matter your career field or area of interest. Oakton's Computer Applications for Business (CAB) curriculum offers the programs and courses you need to develop these essential skills.

Learn Valuable Skills

The CAB program prepares you for all the application software commonly found in the modern workplace. You will become proficient with word processors, spreadsheets, databases, presentation graphics, business graphics and desktop publishing programs. In addition to making you a more efficient office problem solver, our program will also help you become a well-rounded office leader. You will develop supervisory skills, expand business productivity and enhance skills in communication, human relations and modern office technology systems and procedures.

Gain Professional Experience and Credentials

Eligible CAB students can register for a business internship, which provides salaried employment experience in a computer-related environment where you can put your new skills to work right away.

Students who complete the program will receive an associate in applied science degree. Students can also seek professional certificates, including but not limited to the Microsoft Office Specialist, Operational Software Specialist, Executive Administrative and Creative Software User certificates.

Open New Professional Opportunities

The office systems technology field is highly sophisticated and demands a trained and competent workforce, and we want you to be at the forefront of that workforce. The training you receive at Oakton will prepare you to pursue a career as an administrative assistant, office manager, director of information support systems, office supervisor, marketing support representative, office support professional or office automation specialist.

We can help you with your career planning while you are still working on completing our Computer Applications for Business program. Get a head start on your career with our experts in the Career and Transfer Center

Degrees and Certificates

Some of your classes may have minimum technology requirements. If you need help with computer access, you can reach out to the Help Desk to request to borrow equipment or contact your professor prior to class.

The Computer Applications for Business curriculum provides education and workplace training for today and for the future. Courses are designed for students who will be working in a variety of business environments. The curriculum also supports other departments throughout the college by offering courses that develop students’ software expertise.

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This program prepares students for positions as administrative assistants. Graduates gain strong skills in computer applications, written communications, and office procedures.

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Complete this certificate in 29 credit hours and learn skills in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and more. 

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Complete this certificate in one semester and take classes to learn Windows Fundamentals (CAB 110) in addition to learning skills in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more.

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You can complete this certificate in one semester with a total of seven credit hours. You'll learn the fundamentals of Windows along with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. 

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Our Microsoft Office Advanced Specialist Certificate is a 14 credit hour course that includes classes on presenting with PowerPoint and Advanced Spreadsheeting Using Excel.

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With 10 credit hours needed, you can complete this certificate in one semester. You will learn how to use Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Windows and more.

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Earn your Microsoft Office User Certificate in three classes (six credit hours) in as little as one semester. 

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Earn your Office Assistant Certificate in 15 credit hours and learn the skills to perform basic office functions, compose business correspondence and create graphics and electronic presentations.

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This 12-credit hour certificate program prepares students for positions as either administrative or operational managers, or administrative or operational specialists across or within departments. In this program, students acquire strong skills in Information Technology, applications software, and administrative planning. 

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This 13-credit hour certificate program prepares students for positions as presentation coordinators and presentation specialists across and within departments. Students acquire strong skills in Information Technology, presentation software and communications planning.

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This 16-credit hour certificate program prepares students for positions as reporting managers and reporting specialists across and within departments. Students acquire strong skills in Information Technology, reporting software and communications planning.

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What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton College. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps. Whether you're ready to apply now, need information on paying for college or have questions and want to contact someone, we're here to help.

Enrolling at Oakton College can save you thousands of dollars and help you earn more over the course of your career. Our tuition is among the lowest in the region, and we offer many ways to bring your costs down even more.

99 percent of Oakton students graduate without debt.

To help you get there, you can apply for a scholarship, which you don’t have to pay back. We award $12 million in scholarships annually. Financial Aid includes grants, loans, and other forms of financial assistance that can reduce your costs of attending college.

We offer payment options that give you control over how you pay. Pay all at once or spread your payments over the course of the semester.

Learn more about your options for paying for your education

An Oakton College student smiles while using a computer.
As your community college, we serve students from various backgrounds. We aim to make the application process as easy and as clear as possible for everyone.

We can help you get started on a degree or certificate. Applying to Oakton is fast and easy.

Your first step before you begin your studies is filling out an admission application and completing your enrollment process.

Get Started at Oakton
Oakton College students celebrate graduating in full regalia.

Meet Your Faculty and Experts

Oakton's professors and lecturers are experts in their fields with advanced degrees and years of real-world experience. The Computer Applications for Business program curriculum is overseen by an advisory committee featuring experts with a variety of professional backgrounds and expertise.

Doris Gronseth
Distinguished Professor of Computer Technologies and Information Systems
B.A. Lewis University
M.B.A. Lewis University
M.A. Webster University
Office: 2751, Des Plaines

Meet our part-time faculty

Floyd Aylin
A.A. College of San Mateo
B.S. San Jose State University
M.S. San Jose State University
Office: B206, Skokie

B.S.B.A. University of Illinois, Chicago
M.B.A. Roosevelt Universtiy
Office: B206, Skokie

Joanne Delaney
B.S. Mundelein College
M.S. DePaul University
J.D. DePaul University
Office: B206, Skokie

Renee Marks
B.J.S. Spertus College of Judaica
B.S.J. Northwestern University
J.M.A. Mundelein College
M.Ed. DePaul University
Office: B206, Skokie

Russell McNeilly

B.S. Illinois Institute of Technology
M.B.A. Loyola University, Chicago
Office: B206, Skokie

Marianne Millman
B.S. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
M.B.A. DePaul University
Office: B206, Skokie

Deanne Rehmer
B.S. Northern Illinois University
Office: B206, Skokie

Joann Stavropoulos
A.A.S. Oakton College
B.S.Ed. DePaul University
M.A. DePaul University
Office: B206, Skokie

W. Ken Woo
B.S. Loyola University
M.S. DePaul University
M.B.A. Lake Forest University
Ed.D. Benedictine University
Office: B206, Skokie

John Beck, BS
IT Manager
Environmental Monitoring and Technologies

Doris Gronseth, MBA, MA
Coordinator, Computer Application for Business
Oakton College

Russ McNeilly, MBA
SalesLava, Inc.

Patricia Muffoletto, MBA
Project Implementation Coordinator
Oakton College

Joann Stavropoulos, MA
Adjunct Professor, Computer Application for Business
Oakton College

Ken Woo, MSCS, MBA, EdD
Senior Director, Information Technology & Facilities
Northwestern University School of Professional Studies

Ex-Officio Members:

Floyd Aylin, MBA
Adjunct Professor, Computer Application for Business
Oakton College

Evelia Giraldo, MA
Language Lab Assistant Technology /
Adjunct Instructor, Spanish
Oakton College

Contact Us


If you register for a course without taking the prerequisite course, you are expected to have the equivalent knowledge of the prerequisite course on the first day of class. The instructor may assign a project or ask the students to take an exam covering the material from the prerequisite course on the first day of class and you would need to be successful in this activity. It is strongly recommended that the student talk to the CAB coordinator before the class begins. The student's knowledge will be evaluated and a recommendation will be made.

Depending on your work experience, you may be able to substitute an advanced course for a required lower-level course. Contact the CAB coordinator to make a substitution determination. In working towards any degree or certificate, you must earn the number of credits for that degree or certificate; this can be done by taking the required courses, substituting courses, or earning Oakton credit for life experience.

The following courses are not offered every semester:


  • CAB132
  • CAB160
  • CAB180
  • CAB182
  • CAB281


  • CAB184
  • CAB225
  • CAB265
  • CAB275

The CTIS Department--Computer Technology and Information Systems--is made up of two programs: CAB--Computer Applications for Business, and CIS--Computer Information Systems. The coordinator for each of these programs or the department chair can be contacted as indicated below:

Harold Ogg, chair of CTIS, coordinator of CSC or 847.376.7092

Michele Reznick, coordinator of CIS or 847.635.1904

Doris Gronseth, coordinator of CAB or 847.376.7055

The CAB program offers a variety of classes delivered through the World Wide Web. The Microsoft Office Specialist Core certificate as well as courses in all four main components of Microsoft Office--Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access can be learned in an online course environment. Visit the online courses link on this website for additional courses taught online in the CTIS Department. These credit courses can usually be adapted to the student's schedule and availability. The courses taught online often require a majority of class time be spent on the web, though most will require additional materials such as textbooks and/or video media. The courses contain a discussion forum and other online devices through which students can interact via the web with their teacher and classmates as well as a variety of other sources.

Online courses require different skills and learning styles from conventional courses. For instance, students in an online class are responsible for scheduling their own "class time." Motivation and self-discipline are essential for success in an online course. The online courses cover the same material as the on-campus sections of the same courses. The expected student requirements are the same whether the course is taken online or on campus. Visit Oakton's online learning site for more information.

With a good majority of communication taking place through the computer, keyboarding--being able to enter data without looking at your fingers and using both hands--is an essential skill. Do you want to be able to say all you want in an e-mail message and not have to cut it short because of the time it takes to find all the keys? Do you want to be able to concentrate on learning and/or using a software package without slowing yourself down looking for all of the necessary keys?

CAB 102 Basic Keyboarding is a one credit course that, in seven weeks, will teach you to keyboard without looking at your fingers. CAB104 Skill Building and Formatting is for the student that wants to further develop their keyboarding, document design, word processing, and communication skills. If you had a keyboarding course and wish to improve your speed or accuracy, consider CAB 106 Keyboarding Speed and Accuracy Development.

While the CAB program has a variety of desktop publishing courses and certificate/degree options for those wanting to work in that capacity, if you are working in an environment or have personal needs that require a "published" looking document from time to time you may want to check out the desktop publishing features in the Word software of Microsoft Office. CAB 225 Advanced Word Processing and Publishing will teach you the basic desktop publishing features of the word processing software. With these tools, newsletters, flyers, business cards, brochures, etc. can be developed.

CAB 125 should be taken before taking CAB 104. CAB 104 will assist you in building the speed and accuracy of your keyboarding skills and enable you to create business documents in a variety of formats, as well as complete business forms. It will also review and enhance the word processing skills that were developed in CAB 125. For example, as a table display is created, the sort feature in Word may be used to organize the material within the table. Or as one of the varied letter styles is learned, it may be developed as a merge document so the same document can be sent to several persons personalizing the letter automatically where needed. Students complete the CAB 104 course having developed better keyboarding skills, confidence in creating business documents in a variety of formats and a solid foundation in using the many and varied word processing features that are available.

Many students enrolled in the CAB program have salaried jobs in the CAB employment area while they are completing their studies. After a couple of courses students are able to find part-time employment on the college campus or in businesses in the community.

After completing a minimum of 15 credits in CAB with a grade of C or better in each course, students can register for CAB 251 Computer Applications for Business Internship. This course provides salaried employment experience in a computer-related environment where previously learned skills and knowledge are put to use in daily on-the-job work activities. The student must work a minimum of ten hours per week. There are weekly classroom meetings to integrate work experience with classroom activities.

The desktop publishing courses in the CAB program will teach you how to use the tools of the software used in desktop publishing such as Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, etc. The graphics arts program will teach you the graphic arts concepts using the software to do this. Consult the coordinator of each program for more details.