The Definitive Guide to Business

10 business classes you can take online for free

In 2018, the average salary for a recent business school graduate will be roughly $150,000, according to The Financial Times.

While the payoffs for earning an MBA can be huge, cost and time can make it difficult to go back to school. Fortunately, there are thousands of free online classes that people can take in order to learn new skills, master areas of interest and earn online certificates. Taking a class online is also a great way to see if business school is the right choice for you.

Nonprofit online platforms such as edX offer quality online educational resources developed by some of the world’s most prestigious universities, including Harvard, MIT and Wharton. There are thousands of classes you can choose from.

Here are 10 business classes you can take online for free.

Effective Business Writing

Course description: “Learn best practices and approaches to writing effective business letters, emails and reports. Format, composition and clarity are emphasized.”

Developed by: University of California at Berkeley

Instructor: Margaret Steen, honored instructor of writing at UC Berkeley

Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies

Course description: “Explore how entrepreneurship and innovation tackle complex social problems in emerging economies.”

Developed by: Harvard University

Instructor: Tarun Khanna, professor of business administration and South Asian studies at Harvard University

Financial Accounting Made Fun: Eliminating Your Fears

Course description: “Learn the language of financial accounting and how to use financial statement information to better manage and grow your business.”

Developed by: Babson University
Instructor: Peter Wilson, professor of accounting and law at Babson College

Global Business in Practice

Course description: “Get an overall view of the increasingly complex challenges of global business from the insights, perspectives and experience of Georgetown faculty and senior executives currently working in multinational companies.”

Developed by: Georgetown University

Instructor: Ricardo Ernst, professor of operations and global logistics at Georgetown University

Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health

Course description: “Learn how a culture of health can transform your business to improve the well-being of your employees and company, while increasing revenue.”

Developed by: Harvard University

Instructor: Jose Alvarez, senior lecturer of business administration at Harvard University

Machine Learning for Data Science and Analytics

Course description: “Learn the principles of machine learning and the importance of algorithms.”

Developed by: Columbia University

Instructor: David Blei, professor of computer science and statistics at Columbia University

Personal Finance, Part 1: Investing in Yourself

Course description: “Learn how to incorporate financial considerations into your life decisions and become an effective consumer of financial information.”

Developed by: Wellesley College
Instructor: Ann Witte, professor emerita of economics at Wellesley College

Retail Fundamentals

Course description: “Learn key components of the retail business, including forecasting, inventory management, product assortment planning and pricing from TuckX and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.”

Developed by: Dartmouth College

Instructor: Santiago Gallino, assistant professor of business administration at Dartmouth College

Structuring Business Agreements for Success

Course description: “Do you know the components of a business agreement? Can you bridge the information gaps necessary to meet the needs of contracting parties? In this course, you will learn the laws, principles and guidelines to structure successful business deals to meet the needs of contracting parties."

Developed by: Cornell University

Instructor: Robert Hillman, professor of law at Cornell University

Supply Chain Dynamics

Course description: “Learn how to manage and harness the dynamics and interactions between firms and entities within a supply chain.”

Developed by: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Instructor: Bruce Arntzen, executive director of the MIT Supply Chain Management Program

Many of these courses are archived, which means that students can take them at their own pace. There are also thousands of live courses that can be taken on a schedule in conjunction with other online students.

Depending on what you want to get out of your online educational experience, students can also pay fees for courses to earn official certificates. Students should also be wary of for-profit colleges that offer expensive online courses that won’t actually help them in the job market.

No matter what you decide, continuing your education online with a nonprofit accredited institution can be a cost-effective way to advance your career and expand your horizons.


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