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Susan Solovic, The Small Business Expert is an award-winning entrepreneur, an attorney, a New York Times best-selling author, a media personality and a highly sought after keynote speaker.

8 Free Online Courses to Boost your Business Success: The Best of the Best

8 Free Online Courses to Boost your Business Success: The Best of the Best

Self-improvement, like diets, is something we easily commit to but often fail to follow through with, yet we know that one of the best ways to make your business better is by making you better.

A great way to slay the lack-of-follow-through devil and improve yourself by leaps and bounds is through an online course. Enrolling in an online course gives you a framework and schedule that holds your feet to the fire.

I’ve reviewed the best free online courses offered through the MOOC clearinghouse Class Central and pulled out the ones that I think are most beneficial to business owners. Further, consider giving members of your team free time to take one or more of these.

Some of these courses are currently underway (but don’t worry, they will be repeated), some are starting soon, and at least one is self-paced.

Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python). This is one of Class Central’s “all-time top 50” courses. It’s offered by the University of Michigan via Coursera. There are two reasons I’m recommending it:

  • Understanding the basics of programming for developing your business is becoming as essential as understanding phonics for reading, and
  • Having a grip on Python will help you be successful in the next course I’m recommending.

Science. With the increasingly large role Big Data is playing in business decision making, this course from the University of California, San Diego via edX, should prove valuable to leaders.

Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance. Here’s another all-time top 50 course. This one is from Monash University via FutureLearn. If Big Data is the hot topic in decision making, mindfulness has been the hot topic in personal growth, productivity, and stress management.

Marketing in a Digital World. This top-50 course from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera is part of the university’s fully-accredited online MBA. Being able to audit it for no cost is an excellent opportunity.

Preparing to Manage Human Resources. The University of Minnesota via Coursera offers this top-50 course. One of the sad facts of business is that many of your worst problems can arise by mishandling human resources issues. Even if you consider yourself a “good people person” you’re probably not prepared to manage your workforce efficiently. Prepare yourself.

The 3D Printing Revolution. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera offers this interesting course. Anyone in manufacturing should understand this evolving technology. Further, I think a lot of entrepreneurs will find ways to leverage 3D printing. The potential for disrupting legacy commercial sectors via 3D printing is enormous.

Introductory AP® Microeconomics. Do you feel like you never really got a good grip on basic microeconomics? This course is designed to give students the knowledge they need to pass the Microeconomics AP® exam. You’ll learn how people make buying decisions, how companies make budget, and more.

Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential. I’m listing this last, but honestly, this top-50 course from McMaster University via Coursera might be the ideal course to take first. It teaches you how to get the most out of a course, how to seek and work with mentors, how to avoid career ruts, and much more. I’ve always believed that learning how to learn is one of the most important life skills, and one that is seldom taught in school.

I’ve only listed eight courses here, but eight should be enough to keep you and/or members of your team busy for quite some time. Further, I’ve written before about good online business courses, so I don’t think you should have any trouble finding some that will prepare you and your team for moving your business forward.


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