5 free online courses for learning business skills without a pricey MBA

There are ways to improve your knowledge and management skills without doing an MBA. Make use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) to boost your career. Most MOOC are free and include lectures and projects from some of the best business schools in the world. What are you waiting for? Come explore the opportunities that await you.

An MBA helps in career progression is a common perception. While this might not be a fallacy, but to think that an MBA alone can boost your career is most definitely a myth. An MBA prepares you for the corporate world is definitely irrefutable. However, it does demand a lot, in terms of time, money and strategizing. Are you willing to make an investment of time and money? More importantly are you prepared to go back to school?

Don't just jump on the bandwagon because everyone is doing so. Think for yourself. Do you really need an MBA? Answer the following questions –

  • Do you have enough work experience to make your MBA count?
  • Do you like the field you work in or do you plan to switch to something else?
  • Can you afford to take time off from work?
  • Will you be able to fund your studies?

Insufficient work experience might fail to get you admission in a reputed school. Most Business Schools prefer candidates with a minimum of 5 years of work experience. It actually prepares them for the course. Most students make radical career changes post MBA studies. If you are well entrenched in the field you are working in, then doing an MBA might not be the right decision. The MBA course can be expensive.

What if you can learn good business strategies without actually going to a business school? Would you like that? You will be surprised at the kind of knowledge that can be amassed through digitised classes, available over the internet. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) is an excellent tool for self-education. MOOC is a channel through which you get access to digitised versions of lectures/classes conducted at universities. The curricula of various MBA programs can be compared on the various MOOC platforms before you decide to go with subjects tailored for you. A number of MOOC platforms are free; of course, if you want certificates that validate your study you will need to pay a fee.

Such online courses do not require you to take time-off from work. You are also able to apply the recently acquired skills at your workplace and get noticed in the bargain. It is a definite win-win situation. So, go ahead watch the fee online lectures and learn new skills.

Here is a list of MBA courses trending on MOOC

Business Strategy at the University of Virginia

This online course in business strategy will teach you several skills that you can bring to your company. Business strategy is a course that combines many disciplines and gives you a bouquet of useful skills. It covers entrepreneurship, finance and marketing.

The online course at Virginia University will lay the groundwork for analysing your competition, positioning your brand and creating value. You will learn how to understand the environment, create strategy maps, and learn from case studies of industry leaders like Apple and Google.

Users rate the course 4.7 out of 5. The course is in English, with an option of subtitles in Portuguese or Vietnamese. This one is a paid course, with a refund policy that can be viewed on the website.

Negotiation at the University of Michigan

Negotiation skills come in useful no matter what field you work in, and even in your daily life. Whether you negotiate with employers, with friends and family, with car sellers or landlords, it is always useful to know about the tried and tested techniques of bringing the other party around at least halfway to your point of view.

In business, polished negotiation skills can be the stepping stone for your advancement in a company. The course at Michigan will teach you the essentials of negotiation that are successfully used by professional negotiators.

The course stretches over a 7-week duration and requires you to dedicate around 1 ¼ hour of studies. The course is divided into many modules consisting of varied interactive segments, such as videos, projects and quizzes. The course is highly ranked by users. It is available in English, with subtitles in Chinese, Russian and Spanish languages.

Project Management at the University of Adelaide

Project management skills can be valuable whether or not you supervise other people in your company. It can teach you how to manage projects at home and at work, without having to formally train as a project manager.

It will teach you how to identify projects and outcomes, understand goals, and consider factors that will influence outcomes and more. The course can be useful even if you have been asked to lead a new team or start a new project.

The 6 week project management course can be done for free. If you need a certificate at the end of the course you will need to shell out $50.

Corporate Finance at the New York University

Understanding financial principles and how to deploy them in your business can be a highly valuable asset for anyone in business. You will learn how to raise funds, invest them in projects and assets and then return the funds to investors. You will also learn how to interpret cash flow statements read balance sheets and develop a worldview that MBAs pride themselves on.

You can check on more information on the Corporate Finance course before you decide to study it. Most of the material available through the MOOC is free.

Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania

It goes without saying that anyone in the corporate world and in small businesses will benefit from understanding marketing. This course on the essentials of marketing will teach you how customers make their decisions, how to position products, market segmentation and more. The marketing course is a great free program to pick up practical marketing strategies for your business.

These courses are sure to boost skills that will help enhance your career. All that is required is some time and dedication on your part. Most of these courses are free – so why not give them a shot! When you are through you will have all the skills that B-school graduates possess.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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