Just because you don’t have the deep pockets or stellar grades it takes to get into top tier schools doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of the same resources these establishments offer. Through open course ware programs, you can access course materials from a wide range of top universities. Whether you decide to take these courses on your own time or just skim through the information, we’ve compiled a list of 100 places to start looking for great business and entrepreneurship information.
Accounting and Finance
These free courses can give you some tips on managing money and making sound investments in your business.
- Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting: This course is designed to help business owners make investment decisions, access managerial performance and place a value on other firms and businesses.
- Financial Accounting: Through this short course, students will learn the basic concepts of corporate financial accounting and reporting to help make better finance-related decisions.
- Management Accounting and Control: Learn how the finances of your business function through this course. You’ll get information about product costing, budget control systems, and performance evaluation so that you can plan and monitor the financial success of your business.
- Introduction to the Art of Venture Valuation: This Columbia University seminar helps you learn how to value potential companies you’d like to invest in, especially those in the technology fields.
- Mathematics of Finance: This mathematics of finance course is based on homework from Master’s level courses offered at Columbia University. You’ll get a chance to learn about elements of finance that include derivatives, futures, volatility, hedging and more.
- Finance Theory II: Gain the financial tools and background needed to make good business decisions through this MIT course. You’ll learn the theory behind corporate finance and discover some ways that it can be applied to real-life situations.
- Financial Management: This course focuses on the financial decisions that you’ll have to make as a manager. It will include information on the valuation of assets, risk management, risk and return, and corporate financing policies.
- Real Estate Finance and Investment: Learn the basics of real estate finance and investment through this course. You’ll gain insight to the fundamental concepts behind what makes a good real estate investment and learn to apply it in everyday life.
- Advanced Topics in Real Estate Finance: If you’ve already gotten the basics of real estate finance down and want to up your game in the field, check out this course offered by MIT. You’ll get information on the latest cutting-edge developments in real estate to help you keep up and stay informed.
- Entrepreneurial Finance: For those building a new start-up, this course could be especially helpful as it focuses on the early stages of company development. You’ll learn about how to raise money, where to get money from, how to value your company and some basic organizational skills for finances.
- Investments: If you want to learn about financial theory and empirical evidence for making investment decisions check out this course from MIT. Some of the topics touched upon will include portfolio theory, security prices, market efficiency, performance evaluation, and behavioral finance.
- Early Stage Capital: This course focuses on elements of raising early stage capital and can be a big help to start-ups and young companies. You’ll gain some skills in making the most of advisors, negotiation relationships and finding great sources of funding.
- Taxes and Business Strategy: If you manage your own business taxes, or just want to understand how they affect your bottom line, this course can be helpful. It attempts to combine education about the basics of business taxes and how they affect administrative issues.
- Pricing: Improve your business’ pricing strategies and tactics with the information provided in this course. Topics will include pricing in competitive markets, estimating demand, price discrimination, the role of price cues, anticipating competitive responses, pricing in business to business markets, and pricing of new products.
Make sure you understand the larger factors that are at work in affecting your businesses profits and losses by educating yourself on economics through these classes.
- Real Estate Economics: Whether you want to work directly in real estate or just need some information to help you make a better decision on purchasing office space, this course from MIT can provide instruction on real estate markets through a study of demographics, location, and government behavior.
- Economics: Carnegie Mellon offers this introductory course in economics to help you learn the basics of issues like supply and demand, taxation, externalities and wages.
- Applied Statistics: Through the materials offered in this free online course, you’ll deal with collecting and exploring data, basic inference, simple and multiple linear regression, analysis of variance, non-parametric methods, and statistical computing with all material geared towards practical applications in business.
- Economic Analysis for Business Decisions: Check out this course to learn about the economic factors that influence making sound business decisions on a microeconomic level.
- Applied Macro- and International Economics: Learn about big economic factors like GNP, inflation, interest rates, exchange rates and international trade in this wide-reaching course from MIT.
- Applied Economics for Managers: This course focuses on microeconomics, and provides information on the integration of theory, data, and judgment in the analysis of corporate decisions and public policy.
- Political Economy I: Theories of the State and the Economy: Get a background in the social sciences for analyzing relations among state, economy, and society in this course. You’ll learn about historical theories of economics, and learn how social ideas have affected the financial market.
- Global Climate Change: Economics, Science, and Policy: If you don’t think global warming will have an affect on your business, you may want to reconsider. This course examines some of the economic ramifications of climate change and proposed policy measures designed to slow its progress.
- Global Entrepreneurship Lab: Why limit yourself to a national business when you could be working in the international market as well? This course addresses some of the challenges faced by international businesses and provides advice on working on a worldwide scale.
Getting ahead in business without good communication skills can be hard, so give yours a boost with help from these top-tier courses.
- No Sweat Speaking: Check out this short online seminar from Columbia University to help you overcome your fear or nervousness about public speaking. You’ll get access to a series of videos that can offer you some tips and pointers on feeling at ease in front of a group of coworkers, clients or anyone else.
- Architecture and Communication in Organizations: Think your office space or how its arranged has no effect on the performance of your business? This course may cause you to think differently, showing how workspace can influence the communication and organization of your business.
- International Multilateral Negotiation: Take this course from Tufts to get some insight into how to negotiate with businesses from around the world to form new deals, open new markets or expand both of your businesses.
- Management Communication for Undergraduates: If you feel you’re struggling with your communication skills, give this MIT course a try. You’ll build writing, speaking, teamwork, and interpersonal communication skills that can help you to be a more effective manager.
- Advanced Managerial Communication: Once you’ve mastered some basic communication skills, then consider taking this course which builds on those skills to provide more in-depth instruction. You’ll learn how to deal with a hostile audience, run a meeting and converse successfully with clients.
- Negotiation and Conflict Management: In any workplace there are bound to be conflicts that arise, but when they do will you know how to effectively resolve them? This course can help you to learn how to diffuse situations and come to resolutions that meet the needs of the parties involved.
- Communication Skills for Academics: If your business is based in a particularly academic field, you may benefit from this course. You’ll learn skills that can translate not only in the academic world but to business, personal relationships and beyond.
- Competitive Decision-Making and Negotiation: This MIT course is based on twelve negotiation exercises designed to simulate real life business experiences. It will cover topics like distributive bargaining, mixed-motive bargaining, auctions, fair division and more.
- Power and Negotiation: Want to build your negotiation skills to the benefit of your business? This course may be able to offer some assistance. You’ll get insights into how to successfully work towards a deal within new and existing business relationships.
- Listening to the Customer: Communication isn’t just about conveying ideas within your office but with your customers as well. This course will help you learn to better get feedback from your customers about your products and services so you can create more effective marketing plans and products.
Management plays an essential role in keeping any business running smoothly. Ensure you and your employees are working to their full potential with some advice from these free courses from some of the best online schools.
Optimization Methods in Management Science: In this course, you’ll learn about the theory, algorithms, and applications of optimization to help you better control the logistics, manufacturing, transportation, marketing, project management, and financial issues of your business.
- Operations Management: By taking this courses, you’ll learn about design, planning and control of manufacturing and service operations. This can include operation analysis, quality management, project management and supply chain management.
- The Nuts and Bolt of Business Plans: Unclear how to put together a fool-proof business plan? This course can provide some guidance and make it easier to get your business ideas off the ground.
- Strategic Management I: This course is designed to cover the emerging issues in strategic management including technology and global markets while providing a firm foundation in more traditional ideas as well.
- Strategic Management II: For those who enjoyed the material from Strategic Management I, this course provides a means to expand those theoretical ideas into real-life business scenarios.
- Managerial Psychology: Get into the heads of your coworkers and employees with this course. You’ll use behavioral science theories, methods, and tools to analyze situations that you may encounter in the workplace and understand them from a psychological viewpoint.
- Game Theory for Managers: While it might sound like fun, this course is serious when it comes to business applications. It is designed to help students think strategically in complex, interactive environments with clients, customers and employees.
- Communicating With Data: This course provides insight into ways that managers can use data of all kinds to make informed and sound business decisions.
- Advanced Corporate Risk Management: With any business venture there is always an element of risk involved. This course focuses on businesses and how they can best manage issues like hedging, liability, risk, control and more.
- Strategic Management and Consulting Proseminar: Theoretical Foundations: This course focuses on key issues to management like winning customer trust, business efficiency, shareholder value, globalization and motivating employees.
- Seminar in Operations Management: Those interested in operations management will find this course of interest. It cover the purposes and development of Technology Roadmaps for showing "development paths for various technological domains and the industries that build on them."
- Management of Supply Networks for Products and Services: If you’re selling a product, a big part of doing so is making sure it gets out there on time and in one piece. This course provides some insight into how to manage these supply networks to ensure they stay up and running smoothly.
- Theory of Operations Management: The focus of this operations management is on customer-driven businesses. You may be able to draw some pointers to use in your own business to create management operations that function similarly to these cutting-edge businesses.
- Introduction to Operations Management: This is a relatively short course offered through MIT that discusses problems and analysis related to the design, planning, control, and improvement of manufacturing and service operations.
- Strategic HR Management: The biggest asset of any business is the people that help run, organize and maintain its daily activities. This course can help you learn to more effectively manage your HR department and build a high-performance and satisfied group of employees.
- System Dynamics Self Study: Through a series of readings and online exercises, students in this class will learn how to apply the basics of system dynamics to their workplace and business practices.
- Sociology of Strategy: Check out this course to get a better understanding of the work sociologists are doing to understand strategy in businesses. This can shed some light on business performance, market interaction, competition and more.
- Applications of System Dynamics: This course employs a hands-on method to system dynamics, allowing students to understand how they function in a real-world setting to make managerial and consulting decisions.
These courses can help you be a better leader by teaching you important skills like working as a team, ethics, and how to work with a diverse group of people.
- Cross-Cultural Leadership: This course explores what constitutes effective leadership across cultures. It can be especially valuable for business owners who are working in a global environment.
- Leadership Tools and Teams: A Product Development Lab: If you’d like to explore your creative side, consider checking out this online course from MIT. It aims to have students develop tools that will help other students develop their leadership abilities.
- Practical Leadership: Want to get some insight into your leadership abilities? This course provides readings and the chance to evaluate your own leadership skills as you move through the material.
- Leadership Lab: This workshop is designed to help promote social responsibility and improve business success. Students will look at existing companies as examples and work through ideas and observations about what makes them successful.
- People and Organizations: Check out this MIT course to learn about the historical evolution and current state in which scientists, engineers and other professionals work. Managers can learn how to deal with negotiations, teamwork and leadership no matter what field they’re working within.
- Dynamic Leadership: Using Improvisation in Business: Want to be able to lead a business meeting off the cuff or come up with new ideas for working in teams on the spot? This course focuses on applying improvisation concepts in business situations.
- Literature, Ethics and Authority: In this course, you’ll use works of literature to explore ideas of ethics and authority and find ways that these can be applied to the workplace.
- Building and Leading Effective Teams: Managers and project leaders can benefit from this course to build leadership skills that will allow them to better help employees to work together effectively.
- Leading Organizations II: This course analyzes the human processes underlying organizational behavior and change from a psychological and sociological standpoint.
- Designing and Leading the Entrepreneurial Organization: Through the materials provided in this MIT course, students will learn how to build, organize and grow an organization.
- Individuals, Groups, and Organizations: Check out this course to learn the basic concepts for understanding individual, group, and organizational behavior and how individuals function within the workplace.
- Ethical Practice: Professionalism, Social Responsibility, and the Purpose of the Corporation: This MIT course allows students to explore theoretical concepts in business ethics as well apply these theories to real-life cases that represent the challenges they will likely face as managers
Marketing and Advertising
If you’ve got a product or service to sell, you need to get your name out there. These courses can give you some helpful ways to better market your business.
- Brand Leadership/E-Seminar 1, Brand Identity and Strategy: Professor Bernd Schmitt of Columbia Business School explains the steps businesses must take when marketing themselves to develop a successful brand identity in this online seminar, using real companies to illustrate his points.
- Brand Leadership/E-Seminar 2, Experiential Branding: Learn why it’s not enough to simply promote the features of your products in part two of this online seminar offered by Columbia University. You’ll gain insight into how to market the "experiences" of your products to increase the effectiveness of your selling.
- Brand Leadership/E-Seminar 3, Branding and the Creative Organization: Give this seminar a try to learn how to better organize your company to foster a creative environment that can help you to better build and maintain your brand. It’s the third and final part of the program offered by Columbia University.
- Introduction to Marketing: This basic marketing course covers the 5 C’s: Customer needs, Company skills, Competition, Collaborators, and Context.
- Special Seminar in Marketing: Marketing Management: Give this course a try to learn some key marketing terms and occurrences and to develop your skills in supporting and defending your argument for marketing decisions.
- Marketing Management: This course from MIT provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts of marketing which can include customer orientation, attention to competition and building core strengths.
- Strategic Marketing Measurement: What to know how to deal with the market when it comes to branding your products? This course is dedicated to helping business owners and students to learn how to develop market research surveys and develop the techniques needed to analyze them.
- Marketing Strategy: This course can help students to develop marketing strategies, evaluate a firm’s opportunities, anticipate competition, and evaluate the sustainability of competitive advantages.
- Entrepreneurial Marketing: Gain some new perspective on your business’ marketing from this course. You’ll be able to analyze to whom you are trying to sell products and the best ways to do so given your resources.
- Global Markets, National Policies, and the Competitive Advantages of Firms: Gain a global perspective on your business business by studying the interaction between environment and business around the world in today’s fast-changing economy.
Product Development and Launch
These courses can give you some help on successfully developing new products and getting them out to your buyers.
- Managing the Innovation Process: Get a handle on the research and development going on in your business through this course which analyzes the process through through five levels: individual, team, network, organizational, and industrial.
- How to Develop "Breakthrough" Products and Services: In order to be successful, your business will need to develop unique and profitable products and services. This course can help you to use new ideas in innovation to more easily develop breakthrough products.
- Organizing for Innovative Product Development: Topics in this course include technology transfer, relations between science and technology, and the innovation process to help you learn to more effectively organize your process of development.
- Developmental Entrepreneurship: See both successful and failed businesses in this course to see what kind of new business products and models work and which may lead to financial issues.
- Data Mining: With technology making it easier than ever to collect data relevant to your business how can you get through it all and use it to make effective decisions? This course will help you learn how to store, manage and analyze data so you can make informed decisions about marketing and investment.
- Supply Chain Planning (SMA 6305): This course from MIT focuses on how to plan and integrate supply chain components into a coordinated system to ensure your products arrive when and where they are supposed to.
No business can run without technology these days, so ensure you have a handle on the IT technologies it takes to keep your business in good shape through these courses.
- Practical Information Technology Management: If you feel you don’t have the background to make sound business decisions about IT, give this course a try. You’ll gain insight into how to implement, maintain and manage these systems to the benefit of your business.
- Computer Science 162: UC Berkeley provides this computer science course which will cover some of the basics and give even those without the greatest knowledge of technology a good foundation for understanding the information systems keeping their business running.
- Integrating eSystems & Global Information Systems: This course will teach you how careful coordination of strategic applications, information technologies, and organizational structures can help you to build a successful IT foundation for your business.
- Information Technology Essentials: For those with little background in computer science this course can be a good introduction to issues in technology concepts and trends in using information management systems.
- Information Technology I: This course is designed to help students understand technical concepts underlying current and future developments in information technology.
- Information Technology as an Integrating Force in Manufacturing: Business leaders and owners without a knowledge of technology could be at quite a disadvantage as this class shows. Students will learn how to integrate information systems into their manufacturing process to make for more profitable and streamlined business practices.
- Generating Business Value from Information Technology: Learn how to make your IT investments more valuable to your business in the short and long term through the guidance of this MIT course.
- Technology Strategy: If you’re managing a high-tech business, this course can provide some helpful and interesting information on how to maintain a balance between innovation and demand.
- Systems Optimization: Models and Computation (SMA 5223): This course can be a big help to managers or engineers who are trying to make their businesses or designs more efficient. Students will learn how to use strategic models and apply them to real-life situations.
- Network Optimization: Make sure your business’ network is created in the right way with some help from this course. Students will learn about network flow issues that can affect everything from IT to project management.
- Queues: Theory and Applications: This course deals with the "modeling and analysis of queuing systems, with applications in communications, manufacturing, computers, call centers, service industries and transportation."
These college courses can help you make sure you know the legal rights and regulations that apply to your business.
- Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager: Through his course, you’ll gain a basic understanding of legal issues that corporations and businesses face when organizing, getting financing, protecting intellectual property, working internationally and more.
- Patents, Copyright and the Law of Intellectual Property: Protect your ideas with information from this course which discusses key concepts of U.S. intellectual property law, with emphasis on patents and copyrights and a briefer look at trade secrets and trademarks.
- The Law of Corporate Finance and Financial Markets: This course provides an introduction to the legal issues surrounding businesses, and covers topics like mergers, regulation, contracts, and liability.
- The Law of Mergers and Acquisitions: If you’re planning on making a merger or acquisition in the life of your company, you may find this course of interest. You’ll get walkthroughs of how both friendly mergers and unfriendly mergers can take place.
- Innovative Businesses and Breakthrough Technologies – The Legal Issues: This course covers the legal issues relating to breakthrough technologies, including R&D, the commercialization of new high-technology products, and the liability and regulatory implications of new products and business models to help you best protect the products and services developed by your business.
These courses cover a range of more specific business topics.
- System Optimization and Analysis for Manufacturing: No matter what it is you’re producing you want to make sure you’re doing so in the easiest and most cost efficient manner. This course from MIT provides some background on how you can optimize your manufacturing process for the best results.
- Principles of Industrial Hygiene: Johns Hopkins provides this course which helps those working in an industrial or manufacturing environment to understand how to maintain a clean and safe workplace environment for employees.
- Competition in Telecommunications: Through a series of readings in this MIT course, students will get insight into the economics, strategies and technology behind telecommunications companies to give them a better understanding of the intricacies of working in cable, internet or phone services.
- Principles and Practice of Drug Development: For those working on developing new pharmaceuticals and medical innovations, this course describes the process and provides information on the myriad of regulatory issues.
- The Software Business: If you have an interest in starting a software company, this course can be a good place to get some introductory information.