List of Free Online Business Courses and Training Programs

Jan 04, 2019

Discover where you can find free and low-cost online business courses and training programs. Whether you are interested in learning business basics or seeking a more advanced course, check out this article for an introduction to some popular resources.

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Online Business Courses for Credit

Free online business courses generally don't lead to college credit. Students interested in earning a degree might be interested in online courses that come with a credited option. The courses offered at Study.com do charge a nominal fee, but it's a lot less than what it would cost to take the course at a traditional college campus. The classes you find here include engaging video lessons paired with transcripts and interactive practice quizzes.

On Study.com, students can check out Business 100: Intro to Business, which includes chapters like:

  • The Dynamic Business Environment - Topics covered in this chapter include the nature of business, entrepreneurship, legal and economic business aspects, competition and globalization.
  • Managing and Leading in Business - This chapter covers the three levels of management, four management functions, planning types and SWOT analysis.
  • Business Marketing Basics - Some subjects found in this chapter include marketing applications, sales orientation, competitive advantage, target marketing and the marketing mix.
  • Accounting Basics - Study how accounting relates to business and find out about accounting technology, accounting principles, financial statements, balance sheets and the accounting cycle.
  • Business in Global Markets - Learn about imports and exports, global trade, cultural theories, international managers and trade protectionism.

Free Online Business Courses

These free courses don't lead to credit, but students who want to learn more about business can use these free options to expand their knowledge. These classes don't have a specific deadline in which coursework needs to be completed. Instead, students can work independently and at their own pace.

Kutztown University

Learn business basics for free with Kutztown University's Small Business Development Center and SmallBizU. These courses use slide presentations with audio and may be started and completed at any pace. Simply complete a brief survey and create an account with SmallBizU to access course materials and choose from a number of business-related topics, including:

  • Accounting 101: The Fundamentals examines important financial statements, including the income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement. This course is for the accounting novice who is interested in what role accounting plays in a business. An example of a bookstore with a coffee shop is used to teach accounting fundamentals.
  • Crafting a Business Plan teaches students how to create business plans that describe the company's mission and objectives to both consumers and investors. Students can download a business plan outline and see common questions that can be used to create a plan.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT offers hundreds of its previously offered courses for free in its OpenCourseWare system, including those from the Sloan School of Management. Although MIT does not offer credit for completion, anybody may use the contents provided in these courses to study or supplement a classroom curriculum. Each course has variable amounts of materials available, but typically include a syllabus and lecture notes, a reading list, activities and examinations. Some may also include actual lecture recordings in a video or audio format. Any required textbooks are usually noted in the course syllabus or reading list.

  • Business Analysis Using Financial Statements is a graduate-level course that examines what investors, regulatory agencies and others do with financial statements produced by accountants and auditors. Students can access PDF versions of most lecture notes and assignments. No textbook is required, but students are recommended to use Investment Valuation: Tools & Techniques for Determining the Value of Any Asset (Damodaran, 2nd Ed.) as a supplemental text.
  • Financial Management teaches graduate business students about the managerial decisions required to fund a company's operations. It examines capital budgeting, risk and return and the strategic implications of financing methods. Lecture notes, exams and assignments are all available for this course, with recitations available as downloadable PDF transcripts. Students should have a copy of Principles of Corporate Finance (7th Ed.) by R. Brealey and S. Myers.
  • Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting introduces undergrads to the technical aspects of financial and managerial accounting. The course is designed for individuals who commonly read these reports. Lecture notes cover revenue recognition, accrual accounting, cash flows and liabilities. This course also offers several exercises (with solutions) and supplemental readings that may be of interest.
  • Management Accounting and Control is a graduate business course that explores how internal management uses accounting to support business decisions. Students can access and download most lecture notes, including presentations on decision making, product costing and budgeting. Required textbook is Accounting for Decision Making and Control by J. Zimmerman; all readings are from this book.
  • Management Communication for Undergraduates is a course that introduces students to best management practices in written and spoken communication. The course offers lecture notes covering employee relations, persuasive writing and speaking, feedback methods and media relations. Additional course materials include exercises and study guides, plus insights from the instructor that may be helpful for educators who plan on using these materials in the classroom.

Macquarie University

Macquarie University is one of Australia's leading universities and is ranked among the top 1% universities in the world. However, everybody is welcome to study from a range of Macquarie's business and management-related course offerings with Coursera. Interested students are welcome to access course materials for free any time, though there is an extra fee for a course certificate, assessment grading and other features.

  • Excel Skills for Business is a specialization series consisting of four modules that increase in complexity. Starting with the essentials, you will learn how to use Microsoft Excel to maximum effect. Create spreadsheets and formulas, learn expert formatting/automation techniques and how to create visuals, prepare data for analysis and build a professional dashboard. This course is appropriate for anybody interested in learning more about this popular program, whether you are an absolute beginner or looking to develop more advanced skills.
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Popular Schools

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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