10 business courses you can take online for free

In 2018, the average salary for a fresh business school grad will be around $150,000, according to The Financial Times.

While the payoffs of earning an MBA can be huge, the cost and time can make going back to school difficult. Fortunately, there are thousands of free online courses people can take to learn new skills, master areas of interest, and earn online certificates. Taking an online course is also a great way to find out if business school is the right choice for you.

Online nonprofit platforms like edX offer high-quality online educational resources developed by some of the world’s most prestigious universities, including Harvard, MIT, and Wharton. There are thousands of classes to choose from.

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

Effective business writing

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

Developed by: University of California at Berkeley

Instructor: Margaret Steen, Distinguished Instructor of Writing at UC Berkeley

Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets

Course Description: “Explore how entrepreneurship and innovation address complex social issues in emerging markets.”

Developed by: Harvard University

Instructor: Tarun Khanna, Professor of Business Administration and South Asian Studies at Harvard University

Financial accounting is fun: reduce 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
Lecturer: 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 experiences 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 health culture can transform your organization to improve the well-being of your employees and your organization while increasing sales.”

Developed by: Harvard University

Instructor: Jose Alvarez, Associate Professor 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
Lecturer: Ann Witte, Emeritus Professor of Economics at Wellesley College

Retail Basics

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

Developed by: Dartmouth College

Lecturer: Santiago Gallino, Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Dartmouth College

Structuring business agreements for success

Course Description: “Do you know the parts of a business contract? Can you fill in the information gaps required to meet the needs of the contracting parties? In this course you will learn the laws, principles and guidelines to design successful business deals according to the needs of the contracting parties.”

Developed by: Cornell University

Teacher: Robert Hillman, Professor of Law at Cornell University

supply chain dynamics

Course Description: “Learn how to manage and leverage the dynamics and interactions between organizations 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, meaning students can complete them at their own pace. There are also thousands of live courses that can be taken on a schedule in collaboration with other online students.

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

Regardless of what you choose, continuing education online with an accredited nonprofit organization can be an affordable way to advance your career and broaden your horizons.

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