The 15 Best Free Online Business Courses – MBA Central

Top Free Online Business Courses

The professional world is a competitive place. According to Forbes, master’s degrees illustrate the most significant rate of growth when compared to other advanced degrees like doctorates and baccalaureates. While an advanced degree from a prestigious university may open a lot of doors and provide a stable ladder to gain ground in one’s current profession, this option isn’t available to many. Whether it’s the time commitment or the financial burden imposed by such an undertaking, this choice does not work for everyone. Free online business courses offer an exciting, potential solution. Budding professionals and seasoned veterans alike may improve their knowledge by taking classes similar to those taught throughout the halls of academia. These free online business courses may not result in a wall hanging and fancy frame, but they will expand the knowledge and horizons of those who choose to take advantage of them. Plus, if bare walls are something that cause consternation, certificates may be obtained from these free online business classes at a reasonable price. Frames, however, are not included. 

Free online business classes are often offered in conjunction with renowned Universities and Business Schools. Students who choose to go this route gain a feel for the way that these prestigious programs work. These programs will provide invaluable experience to grow accustomed to online learning opportunities in general. This risk-free scenario prepares one for the incorporation of distance education into daily life through scheduling and development of the discipline required to make the most of online learning. A result of the current health climate, along with social distancing measures, necessitates a temporary change to the way that education is conducted. Online classes offer not only a convenient learning path but a necessary avenue to learning. Online business courses, in general, are likely to become even more integrated into daily life, and they may even be a normal part of the future.


It is the goal of MBA Central to create a relevant system that aids students when it comes to deciding on continuing education. The goal is to make this choice more informed by creating this free online business course list. To do this, a list of the current top business sectors and careers was honed through an examination of the 100 Best Jobs of 2020, the Best Paying Jobs, and the careers with the most job security in light of the Coronavirus. The free business courses result from the examination of free upper-level classes on leading MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) websites, edX and Coursera, offered within the top business sectors. All of the courses in this list are free online business classes offered by some of the leading Business Schools in the country. These top 15 courses are listed in alphabetical order.

#1 Accounting – Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Financial accounting attempts to gather complicated information and paint a picture that makes sense to everybody. This advanced-level 12-week course is offered through MIT.

Businesses take many different forms. A business might be focused on a simple service, a variety of products, or abstract research, from dog grooming all the way to investing in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Whatever the core business concept is, financial accounting needs to be part of the equation. Offered through the edX platform and MIT’s worldwide education arm, MITx, this free online business class in financial accounting provides an integral tool in understanding business. The course gives students a thorough introduction to the building blocks of financial accounting. It covers such topics as preparation and analysis of financial statements and how investors and creditors utilize them. These tools are vital to being successful in positions such as a general manager or financial advisor. The free online business class is also helpful in preparing to take the CFA exams. A vital component of business is effective communication. Many business programs emphasize collaborative efforts between students as a keystone of their offered experience. Financial accounting is a requirement for successful communication and collaboration. This free online business course teaches students to gather a bunch of complicated information and present it in a way that makes sense, painting a picture that all parties understand.

Rated by U.S. News & World Report as the number five business school in the country, MIT’s Sloan School of Management pursues the big picture. It seeks to tackle global challenges like healthcare, development of third-world economic engines, and climate change. The AACSB accredited Sloan School of Management offers additional degrees such as a Master of Finance, a Master of Business Analytics, and a Master in System Design & Management. Graduates from MIT’s Sloan School of Management include many famous names known throughout the world, such as Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the UN, and The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. The School boasts many more famous and highly successful names. U.S. News lists Accounting as #42 among its 100 best jobs list. In addition to a solid Median Salary of over $70,000, the unemployment rate for accountants is less than two percent.

Course Name: Financial Accounting
Business School: Sloan School of Management

#2 Cybersecurity – Rochester Institute of Technology

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The battlefield of the future takes place on a digital landscape, and cybersecurity equips one with the needed tools to successfully police and protect it. RIT offers this fundamentals course through its RITx program.

The free online business course in Cybersecurity Fundamentals covers a range of topics. Fundamentals taught include threat detection, how to protect systems and networks, and how to seek out weaknesses and prepare for potential attacks. This free online business course takes eight weeks to complete and requires about 10-12 hours of work each week. Cybersecurity is not only critical but necessary for business. A BBC article titled: The Importance of Cybersecurity in Business highlights vital factors concerning this topic. Cyber attacks get worse every year. An obvious cost of a breach is downtime. The larger the company, the more downtime, and the higher the value of that downtime. Also, there is brand damage that is caused by the loss of sensitive data. The position of Information Security Analysts rates as the #38 best job by U.S. News. Coined as the security guards of information systems, Security Analysts have a median salary of just under six figures and a high projection for future growth. The growing necessity of cybersecurity within the business environment requires competent management. This course is a great first step for students who want to advance their career into cybersecurity. And according to a cybersecurity guide, an MBA with knowledge of cybersecurity can then provide a great path to upper-level management in the sector.

In conjunction with edX, Rochester Institute of Technology offers this free online business course in Cybersecurity. Rochester’s AACSB accredited Saunders College of Business ranks as the #89 best business school by U.S. News & World Report, who also rates Saunders’ online MBA program as #28 in the world. At its heart, Saunders has a mission to prepare students to lead in companies where technology and innovation are fused. It is easy to appreciate this passion in offerings like the free online business class in Cybersecurity. In addition to various iterations of business offerings, Saunders prepares students for a variety of other professional endeavors through its master’s programs. Available master’s degrees include Accounting, Business Analytics, Computational Finance, and Global Supply Chain Management. Saunders also creates custom programs to develop specific solutions for individual corporations. Through the edX platform, RIT offers many additional free online courses. These courses include Data Analytics and Visualization in Health Care, Best Practices for Project Management Success, and International Project Management.

Course Name: Cybersecurity Fundamentals
Business School: Saunders College of Business

#3 Database Management – University of Colorado System

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Database Management Essentials is a free online business class that provides foundational knowledge in the world of data. Offered through the University of Colorado System, this class is delivered through Coursera.

Stating that the world generates a lot of data today is akin to saying that there a noticeable number of stars in the sky. According to a Forbes article from a couple of years ago, the world generates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. More than 90% percent of all the data in the world today comes from data generated over the past four years. This data comes from the internet, Social Media, texts and emails, and various other related services. This confounding amount of information is worthless without a way to gather it together, store it securely, and sift through it in a meaningful way. Making sense of all this chaos is where database management finds its role. Database Management Essentials is a free online business class that provides the building blocks needed for database management. Students learn to create relational databases, write effective SQL statements required for information extraction, design databases, and make the most efficient table designs. sums up the importance of data in a simple explanation. It helps to understand customers and predict what they will be like in the future. This understanding allows businesses to most effectively target their customers, maximizing market impact.

Delivered through Coursera, this free online business course is offered through the University of Colorado System. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report at number 70 in the United States, Leeds School of Business at the Boulder campus ranks highest among business schools in the University of Colorado system. In addition to its MBA, Master’s, and Ph.D. programs, Leeds offers a variety of executive education opportunities. Among these programs are Corporate Social Responsibility, Diversity and Inclusion, and Leadership. Many other free online business courses are available from the University of Colorado System through Coursera. Ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced, these courses include Cybersecurity for Business, Fundamentals of Global Energy Business, and Computer Security and Systems Management. U.S. News lists Database Administrator as the Number 30 Best job. With a median salary of $90,070 and an unemployment rate of less than one percent, the Database Administrator is an attractive career prospect.

Course Name: Database Management Essentials
Business School: UC Boulder Leeds School of Business, UCCS College of Business, UC Denver Business School

#4 Financial Advising – University of Florida

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Financial Advising identifies a destination and provides a roadmap for how to get there. This free online business course is an offering from the University of Florida.

Personal & Family Financial Planning is a free online business course offered by the University of Florida. Delivered through the Coursera platform, this class requires about ten hours. It is taught by Michael S. Gutter, who has a Ph.D. in Family Resource Management with a specialization in finance. This free online business class addresses vital areas that individuals must come to grips to gain and develop healthy financial habits. Specific topics covered include personal finance, insurance, saving, and investment. Financial Advising is about counseling clients on their wealth management and investments for their future. This future planning creates a structure where clients and families can plan for their retirement, as well as have structures in place to help in times of unexpected financial stress. Financial Advising allows clients to not just follow general investment advance, but build a relationship with a trusted and knowledgeable professional who can help them plan for their specific current and future needs. Financial Advising information obtained through free online business classes like this offers insight into personal finances. This course allows students to gain critical information for their personal finances, as well as test if this sector is a good fit for what they want to do professionally. In looking for next steps, according to an article in Forté, the combination of a CFP and MBA gives one a better grasp of risk management and financial statements.

The Warrington College of Business, accredited by the AACSB, is part of the University of Florida. In addition, Warrington is rated by U.S. News & World Report as the #28 Business school in the United States. The online MBA program at the Warrington College of Business is highlighted by U.S. News & World Report, which rates it as the fourth-best in the U.S. In addition to this top-ranked online MBA, Warrington offers several specialized master’s degrees and Ph.Ds. Master’s degrees include International Business, Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Management. Ph.Ds include Accounting and Business Administration with several focus options. A career as a Financial Advisor is rewarding in many ways. According to U.S. News, Financial Advisor is the number 31 best career, and the #22 best paying job with a median salary of $88,890. An unemployment rate of less than one percent makes this career path even more attractive.

Course Name: Personal & Family Financial Planning
Business School: Warrington College of Business

#5 Financial Management – Columbia University

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Financial Management in an enterprise encompassing all aspects of financial resources, from planning to how funds are used. Columbia University offers this free online business class.

The importance of Financial Management in business cannot be overstated. It encompasses planning how financial resources are used and the administration of those resources. A business with the most miraculous products ever developed, the most considerable expertise, and the most strategic location has excellent potential. Still, to fully succeed and go the distance, it needs to have solid financial managers coordinating and directing the financial decisions within an organization. Crucial areas encompassed by financial managers include cost analysis, monthly cash flow analysis, ratio analysis, and credit and collections. To couple with important financial skills, every financial manager needs to excel in communication to help their team members understand complex financial data and decisions. Financial Management is a vital aspect of a free online business course titled: Introduction to Corporate Finance. This introductory course teaches the value of money, the cost of capital, and capital budgeting. It also shows students how to assign value to stocks and bonds and calculate NPV (Net Present Values) and IRR (Internal Rate of Return). In simple terms, this free online business class teaches how to figure out the value and return of projects and determine which ones need to be removed from the corporate mix. Serving as an introductory finance course, this class and others like it are a necessary building block of business education.

Columbia University offers this free online business course through its ColumbiaX program and the edX platform. The AACSB accredits Columbia Business School, and it is the only IVY League business school unique business hub of New York City. Founded in 1916, Columbia Business School boasts more than a century of experience. U.S. News & World Report recognizes the business school as the Number Eight best business school. In addition to this featured free online course, Columbia University offers a vast array of other free online classes. Some of the more business-relevant courses include; Statistical Thinking for Data Science and Analytics, Risk & Return, Corporate Entrepreneurship, and Data Models and Decisions in Business Analytics. Financial Management is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as #27 of the 100 best jobs. These detail-oriented number savvy communicators, with a median salary of $127,990, place at the #16 best paying job in U.S. News & World Reports’ ranking.

Course Name: Introduction to Corporate Finance
Business School: Columbia Business School

#6 Healthcare Management – Harvard University

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Healthcare Management is the center of the business side of healthcare that incorporates budgeting, scheduling, and ways to make patient care better. Harvard University offers this free online business class.

Innovating in Health Care is a free online business class. It teaches how to examine opportunities and appreciate the requirements for successful healthcare business models. Students craft models of healthcare startups that include financing, structure, public policy, consumers, technology, and accountability. Healthcare management hits the sweet spot for those who want to be involved in the healthcare industry but not in the positions of a nurse or a doctor. Rasmussen College details many facets of healthcare management. It is the business side of healthcare. Jobs are available in various settings such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes where healthcare managers are typically involved in budgeting, patient care improvement, and scheduling. Some of the standard titles for someone in healthcare management are Clinical Director, Health and Social Services, Medical Records Managers, Office Managers, and Practice Administrator. Hospitals and other health facilities are an essential part of society in many distinct ways. However, they don’t have unlimited resources. Ultimately, they are a business and need to be run by individuals with business acumen. Healthcare Management fits in well with an MBA skill set with several areas of overlap. Skills utilized in this field include research, problem-solving, collaboration, public speaking and communication, and planning.

Offered by the New England Commission of Higher Education accredited Harvard University, this free online business class is available on the edX platform. The Harvard Business School is accredited through the AACSB. It is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the number six best business school. The world’s first MBA program is credited to Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration and was established in 1908. HBS online stands out from many online programs through its peer engagement opportunities and real-world, case-based learning. Through the university’s HarvardX program, many classes and topics are available in addition to its free online business courses. These free online classes include Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, Contract Law, and Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health. Medical and Health Services Manager is listed by U.S. News as the #11 best job and has a median salary of $99,730.

Course Name: Innovating in Health Care
Business School: Harvard Business School

#7 IT Management – University of Virginia

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IT Management is about keeping the technological cogs turning and helping people to turn them efficiently. The University of Virginia offers this free online business class.

This free online business course is titled Managing an Agile Team. Agile is a methodology for developing software. This course recognizes Agile as a standard methodology, but its goal isn’t to dig into the core of what Agile is all about. The purpose of this free online business course is to help one manage a team and help them to become better practitioners of Agile. Students will learn some core components of the methodology, such as Scrum, XP, and kanban. However, it’s more about team communication and how to optimize that through the use of Agile. According to the Harvard Business Review, Agile is, in large part, responsible for revolutionizing IT over the past few decades. This revolution is crucial to the advancement of a business’s objectives because it increases success rates when creating software. It results in better quality, gets the product to market faster, and makes the IT team more productive. That is where this free online business class comes in. Agile is highly thought of and is utilized across industries from companies like John Deere to NPR. However, many of those incorporating the Agile process know, “Just enough to be dangerous.” Classes like this one help to bridge that gap between passing familiarity and the ability to utilize this methodology fully. This class is beneficial for business professionals as it provides another tool to make one a better and more efficient manager.

The University of Virginia offers this free online business class. The University’s Darden School of Business is accredited through the AACSB and highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report at the #11 business school in the United States. Darden also offers an executive MBA in an online format. Darden offers an MS in Business Analytics, many executive education programs, and even customizable professional education classes unique to a company’s needs. According to U.S. News, IT Manager is a hot job and comes in at a ranking of #12. A key factor is the median salary of $142,530, which places the IT Manager at #13 for the best paying jobs.

Course Name: Managing an Agile Team
Business School: Darden School of Business

#8 Marketing Analytics – University of California, Berkeley

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Marketing Analytics is a tool for gauging the success of marketing programs. This online business course offered by the University of California, Berkeley, is delivered on the edX platform.

Marketing Analytics: Competitive Analysis and Market Segmentation is a free online business course offered by UC Berkeley. Marketing can be a massive, unfocused effort with low returns to show for the effort put into it. The goal of this class is to teach students to set that shotgun spread strategy aside and move to more of a laser beam approach. It explains how to analyze the competition and break up the market into separate sections, which allows for that tighter focus. This increase in concentration leads to heightened customer satisfaction and a greater understanding of the markets. In an article titled Tracking Your Marketing Efforts: Why It’s Important And How To Start, Forbes writes about the importance of this topic. Marketers make flashy claims about what they can accomplish, but most can’t back them up. Without reliable data to track results, it may as well all be platitudes. Marketing Analytics is ultimately about turning this around through the use of reliable data. Accurate data enables companies to quantify their marketing efforts, allowing them to calculate a substantial ROI through tracking of specific goals and trends. This free online business class is an excellent addition to any professional’s tool belt, in that it teaches students the best ways to obtain the data to quantify into actions.

The University of California, Berkeley, is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The AACSB accredits the University’s Haas School of Business. The Haas School, which offers this free online business class in Marketing Analytics, is ranked number seven in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. While the Haas school does not offer an online MBA, it does offer a variety of executive education classes online. These classes include Financial Data Analysis for Leaders, Communication Excellence, a New Manager Boot Camp, and Open Innovation for Leaders. Haas is the second oldest business school in the United States and has two Nobel Prize Laureates among its faculty in Economics. U.S. News & World Report lists the Market Analyst as one of the nineteen most secure jobs and the #43 best job.

Course Name: Marketing Analytics: Competitive Analysis and Market Segmentation
Business School: Haas School of Business

#9 Marketing Management – University of Maryland, College Park

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Marketing management is a cyclical process of making goals for an organization, planning and implementing actions to meet the goals, and measuring the success toward achieving them. The University of Maryland, College Park, offers this free online business class.

Marketing is a cornerstone of a successful business that goes hand-in-hand with sales. Marketing Management comprises several steps along the lifecycle of a product. First, goals are set. The next step is to make plans and take actions that will meet these goals. Lastly, there needs to be a way to measure success. The process then loops back around to the beginning, and adjustments are made to better meet the existing goals or create new goals. Ideally, this circular process continues indefinitely. Marketing Management, a free online business course, is an advanced level course. It requires a commitment of eight to ten hours a week and lasts seven weeks. Students learn to identify ideal customers and to ascertain what motivates them. Next, they learn to present a product in a way that appeals to those customers through market strategy and a campaign. The last phase teaches how to analyze the success of these efforts. This free online business class will leave students with a competitive awareness of the market and where they stand regarding the competition. A CBS News blog states in straightforward terms that “marketing creates and promotes products and services [for which people are willing to pay]. Great marketing does it consistently better than the competition.” The better the marketing management of a business, the more of a leg up they are going to have — at least in terms of sales without which a company can’t succeed.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits the University of Maryland, College Park. It offers this free online business program in Marketing Management through the edX platform. UM’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, accredited by the AACSB, is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the #44 best Business School. U.S News also recognizes the School’s online MBA as the 10th best online MBA program. The University of Maryland system offers a massive variety of additional free online classes available through edX. U.S. News recognizes Marketing Managers as the #45 best job and the #15 best paying job with a median salary of $134,290.

Course Name: Marketing Management
Business School: Robert H. Smith School of Business

#10 Operations Management – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Operations management balances efficiency with effectiveness in the business arena. Offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, this free online business class is delivered through Coursera.

Titled Operations Management: Analysis and Improvement Methods, this free online business class is part of a Value Chain Management Specialization. The Houston Chronicle states the importance of operations management in an article titled: The Role of an Operations Manager. Operations managers take a step back from focusing on one thing. They look at the company with a wide lens and manage all aspects of the business in order to generate maximum productivity at the lowest cost. An important skill learned in operations management is the innovation process, which drives the idea of continuous improvement. As a jack of all trades within an organization, they need to possess a broad understanding of every facet of a business, and they need to be strong communicators to get others to work together where required. Operations Managers help manage the purse strings of a company by providing oversight on expenses. They keep the supply chain wheels greased, getting products in and out the door as efficiently as possible. They are aware of where the staff is needed, supervise training, and deal with employee issues that cause stumbling blocks. Operations Managers in large companies may focus all of these responsibilities within a single department, whereas in a smaller company, they will oversee the whole business. U.S. News states that professionals with an Operations Management focus allows for a wide range of professional opportunities.

Operations Management: Analysis and Improvement Methods is a free online business class offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The course seeks to impart the skills of quality control, operations management, supply chain, and inventory. The University’s Gies College of Business is accredited by the AACSB, and it offers an online business course that requires no time on campus and can be completed from anywhere with a reliable internet connection. A Business Operations Manager position is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the #44 best job. The ranking states that every business needs them, regardless of size. Plus, with a median salary of $100,930, Operations Manager ranks as the #20 best paying job.

Course Name: Operations Management: Analysis and Improvement Methods
Business School: Gies College of Business

#11 Operations Research Analytics – University of Pennsylvania

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Operations Research Analytics involves taking complex data and then using that data to make decisions that improve organizational operations. The University of Pennsylvania offers this free online business class.

Operations Analytics is a free online business class that targets those with no analytics experience. It teaches students how to create models of future challenges, make predictions based upon the choices made, and determine which choices lead to the best solution. Students learn how to gather relevant data and about methods and software that aid in using the data to make real-world decisions. This free online business class requires about a ten-hour commitment and is designed as a four-week course, although deadlines are flexible. Operations Research Analytics involves taking complex data and then using it to improve the operations of businesses and organizations. U.S. News & World Report uses UPS as an example. UPS incorporates operations research by using it to note the flow of packages and to use it to guide its drivers and increase distribution efficiency. Sloan Kettering makes use of operations research by using it to guide treatment for prostate cancer patients through modeling and computer analysis. Operations research analytics plays an essential role in business today. It aids businesses by increasing efficiency, highlighting future challenges, and helping to make the best day-to-day-choices. U.S. News highlights how today’s businesses are lean to stay competitive. Operations research allows one individual to perform jobs that once required two. The article uses the example of a theme park operator, who once needed an engineer and business expert to work together to increase line efficiency on rides, now requiring only a single person with knowledge in operations research.

The University of Pennsylvania offers this free online business class. Their prestigious Wharton School is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the number one business school, sharing this honor with Stanford University. The Wharton School, the world’s first business school, was founded in 1881. U.S. News states that the School has the largest alumni network in the country and lists many of today’s leaders among its ranks. Listed among the Wharton School‘s famous alums are Donald Trump, Elon Musk, and Warren Buffet. The Wharton School offers 19 MBA concentrations and nine doctoral programs. Wharton offers many additional free online business courses on Coursera.

Course Name: Operations Analytics
Business School: The Wharton School

#12 Risk Management – Duke University

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Risk Management is like a quarterback who drops back to pass, scopes out which receivers are open, and decides if he should throw the ball downfield, run it himself, or fall and cradle it as if his life depends on it. Duke University offers this free online business class.

Duke University’s free online business class in Financial Risk Management with R is available on Coursera. It constitutes one-quarter of an Entrepreneurial Finance specialization and requires about 15 hours of commitment. Students choosing to take this course need to have at least a rudimentary understanding of R programming to get the most out of this free online business class. Students will use this language, along with Microsoft Open R and RStudio to calculate VaR (Value at Risk) and ES (Expected Shortfall) concerning the market risk of stock portfolios. The Economic Times lists the definition of Risk Management as “the practice of identifying potential risks in advance, analyzing them, and taking precautionary steps to reduce/curb the risk.” The article states that every investment decision is open to some risk, and the amount of risk depends on the type of investment. The purpose of risk management is to alleviate these risks. However, not all risks are necessarily bad. Harvard Business Review points out that strategy risks can lead to gains. The Houston Chronicle speaks to the importance of Risk Management. Risk management plays a vital role in achieving goals. Getting to the finish line requires “planning, preparation, results, and evaluation.” Ultimately, risk management makes the likelihood of success higher and aids in making adverse outcomes less damaging. It reigns in big ideas and overzealous jumping into the fray. It forces professionals to step back, take a more reasoned approach, and thoroughly plan things out before jumping in.

Duke University offers this free online business course through the Coursera platform. The University’s AACSB accredited Fuqua School of Business gets its name from a romantic rags to riches story involving J.B. Fuqua. His namesake is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the #12 business school. In addition to its online MBA program, Duke offers free online business courses, including Entrepreneurial Finance, Blockchain Business Models, and Startup Valuation Methods. An actuary is listed as the 54th best job with projected growth of 20.1 percent between 2018 and 2028, and a median salary of more than six figures.

Course Name: Financial Risk Management with R
Business School: Fuqua School of Business

#13 Sales Management – Dartmouth College

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Inc. states that Sales Management incorporates the planning, implementing, and directing of sales programs plus teaching, inspiring, and evaluating the sales personnel. This free online business class is available through the edX platform and is an offering of Dartmouth College.

Retail Fundamentals is a free online business class that requires a commitment of three to five hours a week for four weeks. Students learn to devise and evaluate sales forecasting, optimize inventory management, make product assortment decisions, and obtain the best products. Sales Management involves two areas. The first area is somewhat of a concept side where a sales manager devises a strategy, figures out the best way to apply it, and directs the sales force to best incorporate it. The other area is where the rubber hits the road. A Sales Manager recruits individuals. He guides them, inspires them to succeed, and ultimately evaluates how well they are performing. Sales Management is a part of the “four Ps”: products, pricing, promotion, and place. The third P, promotion, is further broken down into three sections: advertising, sales promotion, and personal selling. Personal selling is where the Sales Manager comes into the equation. A business that doesn’t sell products is just a hobby or a charity. Other advertising and marketing aspects are essential, but without sales, they’re only expenses and lead to a loss. While selling isn’t the sole domain of the sales force, sales are crucial to growing a business. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, published an article on how Sales Management and an MBA are a natural fit. Many MBA programs refine skills, such as interpersonal relationships and conflict management. These skills are crucial to a Sales Manager who consistently deals with customer complaints, technical issues, and process refinement. Advanced business courses, degrees, and MBAs offer Sales Managers a worthy distinction and skill set to those who choose to pursue this career path.

Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business is accredited by the AACSB and rated by U.S. News & World Report as the #12 Best Business School. The Ivy League Dartmouth College, founded about 250 years ago, and the Tuck School was the first graduate School of Management, founded in 1900. Dartmouth offers many additional free online business classes through the edX platform.

Course Name: Retail Fundamentals
Business School: Tuck School of Business

#14 Social Service Management – SUNY

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Social Service Management is about efficient operations of social work organizations in government, non-government, and faith-based organizations. This free online business class is offered by the SUNY system, which includes schools across the state.

The SUNY system offers a free online business class titled Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector, Nonprofit Organizations, Nonprofit Leadership, and Governance through the Coursera platform. This course provides an introduction to the nonprofit sector, nonprofit organizations, and leadership and governance of these types of organizations. It applies more toward the North American cultural view of these organizations, but many of the topics are applicable throughout the world. Noodle defines a Social Services Manager as an administrative position in organizations that seek to improve the lives and situations within specific areas of society, such as children, the elderly, and the differently abled. The title for this position may vary depending upon the organization and the particular duties. An article published on Walden University’s website states that organizations are shifting to taking a more active stance concerning social responsibility. Trends indicate that the public is becoming more willing to pay more for products and services from companies that promote social change. This trend is an ideal opportunity for a social service management professional to lead the charge in guiding corporate efforts in this area. An online business course with a focus in this area helps students apply traditional critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills with identifying, creating, and putting into practice those goals that support social endeavors.

This free online business class from the SUNY system includes many institutions across the state of New York. There are also many business schools in the SUNY system, which include: the School of Management at Binghamton University, the School of Business at College at Brockport, the School of Management at the University of Buffalo, and the School of Business at the University of Albany. U.S. News & World Report ranks Binghamton University, the University of Buffalo, and the University of Albany among the top business schools. They also list the online MBAs at SUNY Oswego and SUNY Polytechnic Institute at #54 and #95, respectively. Other potential free online business classes offered through the SUNY system include International Cyber Conflicts and Practical Time Series Analysis. Social and Community Service Manager is #49 on U.S. News’ best jobs list.

Course Name: Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector, Nonprofit Organizations, Nonprofit Leadership and Governance
Business School: Binghamton University SUNY School of Management, College at Brockport-SUNY School of Business & Management, SUNY at Fredonia School of Business, SUNY Canton School of Business and Liberal Arts, SUNY Cobleskill School of Business and Liberal Arts and Sciences, SUNY Delhi School of Business and Hospitality Management, SUNY Geneseo School of Business, SUNY New Paltz School of Business, SUNY Old Westbury School of Business, SUNY Oneonta School of Economics and Business, SUNY Oswego School of Business, SUNY Plattsburgh School of Business and Economics, SUNY Polytechnic Institute College of Business Management, University at Buffalo School of Management, University at Albany School of Business

#15 Statistics – University of California, San Diego

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Statistics is a science used to create order among a maelstrom through mathematical theories, using hard numbers and data. This free online business class hails from the University of California San Diego.

Probability and Statistics in Data Science using Python is a free online business class that requires a modest commitment of 10-12 hours per week for ten weeks. This advanced-level course teaches the foundations of probability and statistics. The class is approached through mathematical theory and by jumping into the fray and applying theory to real data using Jupyter notebooks, an open-source web app used to create and share things like code and equations. UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information & Statistics states that Statistics is a science that is used to develop and study ways for collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting empirical data. Statistics have a home everywhere that research takes place. The foundations on which statistics rest are uncertainty and variation. Uncertainty occurs when an outcome is not known or when a result is a foregone conclusion, but it’s not known what that conclusion is. Variation is the understanding that if a measurement is taken more than once, it is likely to be different, based upon sources of variation. Statistics allows for comparison of different scenarios, comparing actual versus projected goals, and they aid in research and development. The Wharton School states that statistics is crucial to advanced business education in that it helps managers to interpret vast amounts of data used to answer essential questions about future sales, the desirability of product features, and how well a company did last month.

The University of California San Diego, offers this free online business course through edX. The University’s Rady School of Management is accredited through the AACSB. U.S. News & World Report ranks this business school at #89. UC San Diego, offers many additional free online business courses. These other classes include Algorithmic Design and Techniques, String Processing and Pattern Matching Algorithms, Big Data Analytics Using Spark, and Data Structures: An Active Learning Approach. Statisticians are rated among the 19 occupations with the most job security by U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, Statisticians are a high paying job with a median income of $87,780.

Course Name: Probability and Statistics in Data Science using Python
Business School: Rady School of Management

What type of business courses can I take for free?

The increase in the availability of free online business classes and online education, in general, offers new and seasoned professionals alike the opportunity to expand their horizons. Education is potentially costly, and this leads many to turn away. According to Forbes, more people now have the option to forgo the more traditional route, thus avoiding the debt that sometimes follows in its wake. These professionals will upskill through free education, which, in the absence of a clear degree path, is more readily focused on specific individual career goals. There are many organizations today that are equipped to meet this increasing demand. CNBC finds that there are thousands of free online classes available to anyone willing to dive in. Free online business classes such as those fifteen mentioned above provide an excellent alternative to the costly, more traditional online alternatives offered by colleges and universities across the country. 

Why are the top business topics important?

Business News Daily points out that topics, such as those covered in free online MBA classes and online business courses, offer business owners virtually limitless resources to further their knowledge. Even seasoned business professionals don’t know everything. Times change, new technologies come along, and social demands shift. There are free online business classes that are essential to modern business now that didn’t exist in the past. When the movie War Games came out in 1983, most people’s concept of cybersecurity was virtually unknown. These free online business courses allow professionals to brush up on important current business topics, as well as allows students to preview topics before diving headfirst into a costly program. 

How can free online business courses help me in my future career?

A free online business class will not lead to a traditional degree. Still, it is a beneficial method to garner new skills and increase one’s knowledge in a particular area of interest. In many cases, certificates that demonstrate achievement in a more traditional sense are available at a reasonable price. Free online business courses offer the opportunity to move up the professional ladder and broaden one’s horizons. Forbes points out that some of these online courses, while useful, are not always geared toward career advancement. However, many free online classes provide an invaluable opportunity in today’s job market. Drastic changes in the way companies operate due to the coronavirus outbreak, along with the massive amount of job displacement, makes online learning a more valuable tool than ever. Workers are able to gain exposure to other industries with no financial commitment. Professionals can also acquire new skills, allowing them the needed understanding to change fields. All one needs to aid in securing current standing and possibly branching out is a reliable internet connection. 

Are there any degrees that these courses can set me up for?

These free online business courses offer an invaluable opportunity to acquire the skills and insights associated with an MBA and other advanced business degrees. At the very least, the knowledge gained as a result of these classes offers a leg-up if one chooses to pursue a physical paper degree. These free online business classes also provide an excellent opportunity to feel out which direction or specialization that one may be interested in pursuing. Additionally, these free online business classes, many of which are offered through prestigious universities, provide insight into which business school is the best fit for one’s needs and goals. 

What type of jobs are these courses helpful for?

There are many for-profit colleges out there that offer expensive online courses. Some of these classes are extremely valuable, but many won’t grant an edge in the job market to any useful extent. A recent study found that “72% of organizations believe that elearning puts them at a competitive advantage.” Based on this information, free online business classes are a welcome and valuable addition to one’s experience set and resume in the vast majority of industries. 

What types of jobs are vital as we move forward from the coronavirus outbreak?

Forbes speculates that online companies that don’t depend upon physical locations, healthcare providers, supermarket chains, pharmaceutical companies, and tech companies will thrive in a coronavirus world. Tech companies especially are striving to keep up with growth as the world shifts even more toward digital platforms. The Financial Times reported that there are almost 16,000 tech jobs open in California due to demand. Global corporations are insulated enough by their deep pockets to outlast the outbreak. Included among these corporations are behemoth companies such as Apple, Amazon, Google, and Netflix. Amazon, for example, is hiring 100,000 workers to meet demand. Free online business classes geared to any of these areas offer a worthwhile opportunity to maintain employment if not even advance up the ladder.