This list of some of the top free online MBA courses highlights a variety of topics that are routinely included in most MBA programs throughout the United States. One might pause and ask, what the benefit is of taking these courses. Forbes provides an article articulating some great reasons to study MBA topics. In essence, the main reason is to distinguishing one’s self. In addition to highlighting specific skills, they demonstrate a desire for self-betterment and show a willingness to expand out of a comfort zone.
Schools with online MBA programs offer more than half of the highlighted free online MBA courses in this list. Apart from the use of any skills gained through these free online MBA classes, professionals are presented with a unique opportunity to get a feel for the online classroom. Specifically, students will get a first-hand taste of specific business schools and the products that they offer. Many of these programs even offer a verified certificate for a fee.
Current circumstances dictate that the business world changes its standard operating procedures, at least temporarily. Many are forced to work from home or may even be furloughed or jobless. At the very least, this presents a unique opportunity to explore and upgrade one’s professional skill set. Plus, if it can be done with no cost other than a commitment of time and energy, why not take advantage of a difficult situation. For those considering the pursuit of an online MBA, this free online MBA courses list provides an enticing first step in sampling an online MBA degree.
It is the goal of MBA Central to create a relevant system that aids students when it comes to making a decision about continuing education. Regardless of what constitutes sources of strain when it comes to a new educational pursuit, at least some inconvenience is likely to exist. The goal is to make this choice more informed by creating this free online MBA courses list.
This list results from the examination of free upper-level classes on leading MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) websites, edX and Coursera. We picked the leading topics discussed in an online MBA from the top business schools in the country. Data points include U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the Best Business Schools in the United States, as well as the U.S. News & World Report ranking of the Best Online MBA Programs. All of the online MBA courses in this list are free online MBA classes. Courses are listed in alphabetical order.
#1 Accounting – University of Maryland, College Park
Students who choose to complete this free online Financial Accounting course will learn how to interpret the financial statements at the heart of any business. This triumvirate of financial data includes the income statement, the balance sheet, and the cash flow statement. Besides garnering an in-depth understanding of these core tools, students will learn to use this data to grow business and take on competitors. Financial accounting is more than mere financial documents. In his article titled The Theology of Financial Accounting, Jerry Bowyer states that financial accounting is a moral science. It is a method of relaying the truth to those to whom one is obligated to report. One may simplify the whole concept even further by stating that it is the mathematical representation of moral truth. This free online MBA class provides valuable tools for those with an MBA. These benefits stand out in a survey, conducted by Scofield & Walsh in 2007, on Financial Accounting. A solid understanding of financial accounting allows one to participate in meetings with auditors, CFOs, and controllers more productively. Also, Financial Accounting has a direct benefit regarding personal investments, which serves to make the overall concept more relevant and exciting.
The free online MBA course in Financial Accounting is offered through the University of Maryland. The University boasts more than 37,000 students and 250 academic programs. USMx is an effort started by the University System of Maryland to take advantage of online learning. Offerings from USMx include completely online degree and certificate programs, MOOCs, and hybrid courses. In addition to the free online MBA course in Financial Accounting, UMD has many additional free online offerings. Included among these are Product Management Fundamentals, Digital Transformation in Business, and Modern Product Leadership. The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business offers multiple iterations of its MBA degree, ranging including the traditional, online MBA, and an executive program in China. Since its conception in 1921, the business school has blossomed. It includes notable alumni like Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, and Kevin Plank, who is the founder and CEO of Under Armour.
#2 Business Analytics – Columbia University
Data, Models and Decisions in Business Analytics is a free online MBA course. The course is 12 weeks long, and it requires eight to ten hours per week of effort. One can participate in the class for free or to purchase a verified certificate. Many business operations in the modern world are different than in the past. Decision making relies heavily upon data-driven models and statistical and optimization analysis. Students who choose to complete this free online MBA course are exposed to areas like probability and stochastic modeling. The course moves beyond theory and teaches these principles through application. A Forbes article titled: The Age of Analytics And The Importance of Data Quality highlights useful points regarding business analytics. The article states that “59% of enterprises use analytics in some capacity.” To a more significant extent, businesses use analytics to make decisions, pursue strategies, and form better relationships with customers and business partners. Analytics holds the potential to be a big boost for businesses. Companies that know how to use and manage this information have a substantial leg-up on competitors. LSU Shreveport published an article offering insights into why Business Analytics (Data Analytics) is an essential area for the MBA professional. The amount of data available is snowballing and is outpacing the ability to keep up with it. The resulting shortage is creating a tremendous need for those who have the appropriate skills and knowledge. An MBA professional able to highlight these skills opens up many more possible career paths outside of previous norms.
Columbia University offers this free online MBA course through the edX platform. The Columbia Business School is certified through the AACSB and is ranked number eight by U.S. News & World Report. The business school is the only Ivy League business school in New York City, giving it unique access to business leaders in a wide variety of industries. Columbia’s Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program and Nonprofit Board Leadership Program offer students a solid foothold from which to launch new ventures or gain invaluable experience. Columbia University provides many additional free online MBA courses through the edX platform.
#3 Business Law – University of Chicago
This free online MBA course will focus on seven topics. It begins with the development of the personal computer and the internet. From there, the course moves to Google and its relationship with government regulations. Next, the course hits on the topic of smartphones and how they began to replace the desktop computer. The next topic is nondiscrimination and net neutrality. The class proceeds to the relationship of music and the internet, the emergence of digital video, and ultimately to the rise of the ebook. Students participating in the free online MBA class will do so entirely online and complete the forty-six-hour course at their own pace. Gaining valuable skills throughout the class, students will ultimately have a better understanding of Intellectual Property Law, Law, Competition Law, and Market Economics. Business law is part of the fabric of both domestic and global society. The better a professional understands these business law concepts, the more effective he or she will be in managing both their personal and professional lives. Business law provides a level of predictability that would not be present in a state of anarchy. An understanding of legal rights, contracts, and liabilities allow managers, owners, and executives to run daily operations more effectively.
The University of Chicago offers this free online MBA course. Chicago’s Booth School of Business is known for The Chicago Approach. A vital aspect of this unique approach is the idea of teaching students how to think. It goes beyond just imparting knowledge. The process teaches students how to evaluate evidence and how to evaluate challenges in a universal way. It includes areas of study such as psychology and sociology, in addition to more traditional classes like economics and statistics. Booth’s MBA is available in several formats that allow students to incorporate them into their availability in the most convenient way possible. In addition to the free online MBA course in Business Law, a vast number of open enrollment programs are available for executives. These programs include Leading with Data and Analytics, the Chicago Booth Approach to Finance, and Mergers and Acquisitions.
Course Name: Internet Giants: The Law and Economics of Media Platforms
Business School: Booth School of Business
#4 Business Writing – University of California, Berkeley
Writing for Social Media is a free online MBA course. It requires a three to five-hour commitment each week and lasts for four weeks. A verified certificate in Business Writing is available for purchase. Students who choose this course learn methods for writing when it comes to social media. They will learn how to hone in on purpose, content, and how to target an audience. They will learn to effectively use social media platforms to get out a message and to overcome the difficulties inherent in these massively popular mediums. Ultimately, students will learn to engage users while spreading their company message. Forbes offers three points that illustrate the importance of Social Media writing. Businesses need to use social media because their competitors are using it effectively. If they are not taking advantage of the medium, then they are putting themselves at a disadvantage. The second point is that many users are straying away from traditional media and embracing digital media. That is not to say that conventional should be abandoned, but the growth of E-commerce and social media is a vital engine for growth. Lastly, it is easier to measure metrics involving social media. Social media allows for much more specific targeting of the public in a way that traditional media can’t. Plus, social media is typically much more efficient. According to Forbes, business is ultimately about influencing people. One of the key ways that people are affected by others is by the written word. As a future business leader, it is easy to appreciate how business writing is an essential tool to have at the ready.
This offering by the University of California, Berkeley, is a free online MBA class provided in partnership with edX. The AACSB certifies Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. The school offers a Full-Time MBA, Evening & Weekend MBA, and an MBA for Executives, in addition to a Master of Financial Engineering. U.S. News & World Report ranks Berkeley’s Haas School of Business as the seventh-best in the U.S. Berkeley offers many other free online MBA classes through edX. These classes include Marketing Analytics, Creativity & Entrepreneurship, and Introduction to the Music Business.
#5 Decision Making – Arizona State University
Students and professionals have the opportunity to take a free online MBA course offered by Arizona State University through edX titled, Leading Digital and Data Decision Making. The topic involves decision making, which is part of the fabric of business and can lead to prosperity or destruction. This course, in particular, will teach one how to examine data and make decisions on a global scale. From there, students are taught digital ecosystems within a company. Relevant topics included are Blockchain, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and how these tools move data through an organization’s hierarchy. As stated previously, successful decision making is vital to a company’s success. Inc. says that decisions must occur relatively promptly and that the absence of a decision is a decision in itself of no-decision. Decision making ultimately determines the direction of a business, and it is so crucial that one requires the best information that he can get to make that choice. As future business leaders, MBA graduates must learn to make effective decisions. Roger Martin points out in his paper titled The 3D MBA that MBA students learn about a lot of different models on which to base sound decisions. However, he states that sometimes those models don’t apply to a real-world scenario, which may lead to poor choices. One of the reasons that he points to is that models need to evolve, and new models need to be added because the business environment is always changing. This free online MBA course offers an excellent example of a relatively new area that can be used to make more informed decisions based on an evolving business environment.
Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business offers a large variety of MBA and Masters programs. These include an online MBA that is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as #10 in the U.S. The AACSB accredited business school is also ranked #35 by U.S. News. Through the edX platform, ASU offers multiple other free online MBA classes such as Microeconomic Principle, Global Leadership and Personal Development, and States Markets in the Global Economy.
#6 Economics – University of Pennsylvania
The topic covered in the free online MBA class is titled Microeconomics: When Markets Fail. Microeconomics looks at economic systems on a small scale as opposed to Macroeconomics, where entire economies and countries are examined. It focuses on, for example, an individual, a group, or a company. The class begins with a foundational understanding that markets are not perfect and do not always withstand the test of time. The class then explores potential causes of market failures and possible ways to overcome them. This free online MBA course equips students to understand the importance of the microeconomic perspective of examining economics from the bottom up. This perspective is key to the understanding of economies as a whole, along with the study of Macroeconomics. MBA students do not have the same in-depth background in this subject matter as economics students, and there is a steep learning curve. This free online MBA course allows students to approach the subject matter flexibly and conveniently, allowing them to get through the work at their own pace.
This free online MBA course is offered through the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, which is rated the number one business school in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Recognized as the first business school in the world, Wharton counts more than 135 years since its beginning. It offers a variety of MBA degrees that range from its traditional and Executive MBAs to several joint MBA degrees, such as its MBA/JD. Wharton also provides a vast array of online programs and certificates. Areas that are covered include Leadership, Technology, Industry-Specific courses, and Business Strategy Courses. The University of Pennsylvania offers more than one hundred online courses, and many are free with a paid certificate option. All of the online courses offered through Wharton Online are accredited for Continuing Education Units. Some of the well-known alumni from The Wharton School include Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States; Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Paypal, SpaceX, and Tesla; Charles Butt, Chairman and CEO of HEB; and William Wrigley Jr., the founder and CEO of the Wrigley Company.
#7 Entrepreneurship – Babson College
Entrepreneurial Operations: Launching a start-up is a free online MBA class. Start-ups, examined in various industries, provide the knowledge needed to accurately evaluate building an operation from nothing. Several topics are explored throughout this free online MBA class. They ultimately teach students about the role of operations in launching a start-up, operational risks involved, and how to start a start-up successfully. The course is free for those who do not wish to purchase a verified certificate. There are several reasons that entrepreneurship is vital, according to an article in the European Business Review. Entrepreneurship contributes to business innovation and efficiency, as well as a noteworthy contribution to GDP. They are a significant contributor to job growth. They are responsible for new products and services that often lead to social change. Lastly, entrepreneurship promotes research and development. A Forbes article speaks to a potential benefit of entrepreneurship as part of an MBA. The article states that the tech industry is the new hot industry and that the mindset of someone with a traditional MBA might not fit with a new start-up company. A robust study of Entrepreneurship is a way to bridge this gap and demonstrate a knowledge of out-of-the-box thinking and innovation.
The free online MBA course is offered through the edX platform and Babson College. Babson is the number one rated MBA for entrepreneurship in the country by U.S. News & World Report. It is also rated the #72 best business school and the #31 online MBA. Babson’s entrepreneurial spirit runs through all of its MBA programs, and its network of more than 42,000 alumni in 120 countries and every state in the U.S. is highly respectable. Babson offers a variety of full-time and part-time offerings that include an MBA, an MS in Management in Entrepreneurial Leadership, MS in Finance, and an MS in Business Analytics. Additional free online MBA courses offered through the edX program by Babson include Financial Accounting Made Fun, Analytics for Decision Making, Customer-Centric Marketing for Entrepreneurs, and Rise to Leadership: Become a CEO.
#8 Ethics – University of Virginia
This free online MBA course is about ethics. The course, titled Ethical Leadership Through Giving Voice to Values, requires about 11 hours and four weeks to complete. Students have the option of purchasing a certificate which may be printed out or attached to a LinkedIn profile. Based on a concept created by its instructor, Mary Gentile, this free online MBA course explores ethics through a new approach. This approach is called Giving Voice to Values (GVV). It applies to the workplace, education, and life in general. The premise is that people don’t need persuasion to act more ethically. Ethical decision making is something that one naturally gravitates toward as long as he has a reasonable expectation of doing so effectively. Students participating in this ethics course will walk away with a toolkit and skills that give them greater confidence and allow them to communicate more effectively. Forbes points out that several factors make ethics a more apparent concern today than they were a couple of decades ago. Among these factors are the availability of information and increased competition. Ultimately, a company that seeks to attract the best employees must go beyond an excellent incentive package and demonstrate its ethics. The Economist highlights the change in business practices from the days of Gordon Gekko, where “Greed is good.” Today’s MBA programs teach the need for ethics when overcoming challenges because there is a greater societal awareness of the impact that businesses have on the planet.
This free online MBA course is offered through the University of West Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Since its beginning in 1955, the Darden School of Business seeks to inspire leadership and responsibility in its students. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Darden School at the #11 best in the country. This free online MBA ethics course makes up only a small part of Darden’s offerings, which currently reach more than two million online learners. In addition to the MBA, students of Darden may pursue an MS in Business Analytics and a Ph.D. Many open programs are also taught online.
#9 Finance – Duke University
Behavioral Finance is a free online MBA course offered through Duke University. Upon reading the description of this offering, it is clear that this study provides a professional benefit and a personal benefit. The premise of the class is that people have a natural proclivity toward making decisions that are not in their best interest. The choices range from deciding what to have for lunch. Does one choose a donut or the chicken breast? These decisions also apply to financial areas. Should one participate in the company retirement plan? The ultimate goal of this free online MBA class is to aid in making better financial choices, even when they go against the grain. The course is completed in three weeks and requires a five-hour investment. Businesses track a lot of valuable data because it helps determine what is going well and what is not. However, according to a Forbes article, one thing that isn’t tracked is decision making. Ultimately, due to a variety of reasons, most individuals make poor decisions. Because the choices aren’t tracked, there is an assumption that they were the right decisions even when that is not the case. Geared to someone who strives to be a management professional or business owner, an MBA needs to arm its students with the tools that they need to succeed. An article from the Graziadio Business Review points out what makes a great leader, and a key factor is the ability to make decisions.
Offered through Duke University, this free online MBA course, taught by Emma Rasiel, credits more than 50,000 learners among its ranks. The business school at Duke, The Fuqua School of Business, has a network of more than 23,000 alumni. The school maintains eleven-degree programs and seven non-degree programs with approximately 1,800 students per year. The school offers many worldwide learning opportunities. The Fuqua School of Business is honored as the #12 Business school in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and it offers a hybrid Global Executive MBA program. Students of Duke’s business school may pursue several executive learning opportunities both in-person and online.
#10 Information Technology – University of Washington
Chosen from a variety of relevant free online MBA courses, Strategic Applications of IT Project & Program Management provides an introduction to IT Project Management. A relatively small commitment of two to five hours per week allows one to complete the course in six weeks. Students come face to face with two primary topics. First, they are exposed to the most common project management methodologies used in IT and learn what makes these methodologies successful. Next, students learn to efficiently and measurably deliver IT projects through accepted standards and frameworks. Rasmussen College published an article where the importance of information technology is discussed. The first area of concern is that, because almost all businesses today rely heavily upon technology, they would not be able to run smoothly without IT systems that keep everything running efficiently. The second area involves new technologies and better systems. IT is tasked with implementing these new solutions that will give companies an edge over the competition. MBA students learn to speak the language of business, and IT students learn to speak the language of technology. Forbes mentions the gap between the language of business and the language of technology. It singles out the MBA graduate as one of the few professionals able to be a bridge between the two. A greater understanding of the IT side allows an MBA graduate to stand out to a greater extent and serve as an even more reliable bridge.
The University of Washington offers this free online MBA course. The AACSB accredited Foster School of Business at the University of Washington is ranked #20 by U.S. News, who also lists the school’s online MBA at #10. Foster touts more than 56,000 alumni from 77 different countries. The top employers of Foster alumni make for an impressive list. They include Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, T-Mobile, and Starbucks. The Foster School of Business offers multiple MBA options that include Technology Management MBA, a Hybrid MBA, and a Global Executive MBA. Additional free online MBA classes provided by the University of Washington on the edX platform include Portfolio Management, Governance, and the PMO; Leadership and Management for PM Practitioners in IT; and Conducting an Informational Interview.
Course Name: Strategic Applications of IT Project & Program Management
Business School: Michael G. Foster School of Business
#11 Innovation – Penn State
Creativity, Innovation, and Change (CIC) is a free online MBA course offered by Penn State. The course takes about 28 hours to complete and is designed to be completed in six weeks. Students of CIC will learn ways to boost their creativity, the role that diversity plays in creativity, how to realize their ideas, how to create value from their ideas, and they will learn about the processes of change. According to Forbes, innovation is crucial. A company that refuses to change its business model, regardless of the reasons behind its choice, can be left behind by the competition. The rapid expansion of technology in today’s world allows this to happen quickly. An unfortunate example of this is Blockbuster Entertainment. The company went from the top of the heap to there is no longer a Blockbuster in a relatively short time. Innovation may have saved them, but they refused to change. Len Ferman stated in an interview, innovation classes help students to solve problems in any field. He also said that while new technologies like AI will impact more traditional jobs, those who are skilled in creative problem solving through innovation will always be in demand.
Penn State offers this course through the Coursera platform. The Smeal College of Business, part of Penn’s program since 1953, hosts a streamable lecture series highlighting an array of accomplished executives through its Executive Insights program. Smeal is also involved in the Advance Realty Group Real Estate, the Melvin Jacobs Retail Leadership, and the G. Albert Shoemaker Program in Business Ethics. The Smeal College Business boasts several impressive rankings from prestigious sources. U.S. News & World Report ranks the business school at number forty-one and its online MBA at number six. The Financial Times assigns Smeal’s Global MBA a #59 ranking. Smeal offers many online master’s and graduate certificates in addition to its online and more traditional MBA offerings. Master’s students have online opportunities that include Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Data Analytics, Supply Chain Management, and Enterprise Architecture and Business Transformation. Online business courses and certificates available include the likes of Accounting Foundations, Business Sustainability Strategy, Management Consulting, and Strategic Leadership.
#12 International Business – University of New Mexico
International Business I, or Global Business Environment I, is an introductory free online MBA course. It seeks to ground students with the basic knowledge of the environments in which international business operates. The overall goal is to help students understand key concepts such as globalization, the effects of political and social institutions, culture, free trade vs. managed trade, currencies and exchange rates, and an understanding of what the global business environment looks like today. This six-hour course is designed to be completed in six weeks. Students can purchase a certificate that may be printed out or attached to a LinkedIn profile. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce states that almost 39 million jobs in the U.S. are dependent on foreign trade. Approximately one-third of U.S. merchandise exports is through small and medium-sized businesses. This number has grown threefold over the past 20 years. In order for the U.S. economy to continue to grow, international trade must be a part of the equation as 95% of the world’s population lives outside of the U.S. International Business as part of an MBA opens the door to more opportunity. It gives one the perspective needed to work abroad or to be part of a business that operates on a global scale. It isn’t just helpful for those in senior management as it also provides insight when interacting with individuals within a global supply chain.
This free online MBA course is offered through Coursera, and the Higher Learning Commission-accredited University of New Mexico. The Anderson School of Management at UNM is accredited through the AACSB. The business school boasts of BBA and MBA degrees with 12 available concentrations. The Anderson School also offers an Executive MBA and an MBA in Education Leadership. A variety of Graduate Management Certificates are available to students that include Accounting, International Management in Latin America, and Taxation. Other free online MBA courses offered through Coursera and the University of New Mexico include International Business II, the second part of the free online MBA class highlighted here, and Entrepreneurial Strategic Management.
#13 Leadership – University of Michigan
While it is a respected school of thought that leaders must be born, this free online MBA course Titled: Leading for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Higher Education approaches leadership from the point of view that people can be taught to become leaders. A crucial factor is that students must be nurtured while they are being taught. Lasting five weeks, this free online MBA course requires 16 hours to complete. A certificate is available for students who wish to pay for the program. Leadership is the linchpin for a company. According to an article in Forbes, leadership resonates throughout a company. Effective leadership results in high company morale, higher employee retention, and long term success. Poor leadership, characterized by weak, inconsistent communication, and a lack of corporate integrity, leads to low morale, increased turnover, and makes consistent success untenable. Leadership appears to be an obvious necessity for an MBA program. MBAs are often billed as future business leaders. Those with an MBA often hold aspirations of being a CEO, an entrepreneur, or a manager. A survey conducted by Zenger Folkman and highlighted in a Forbes article found that the two most important leadership skills, not typically learned, are complex problem solving and inspiring and motivating others. Though consistently rated as essential, these leadership skills are lacking in many college graduates.
This free online MBA course is offered through Coursera and the University of Michigan. The Higher Learning Commission accredits the University of Michigan. It’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business is accredited by the AACSB. The Ross School of Business, established in 1924, is the number twelve ranked business school in the United States by U.S. News. The school has more than 51,000 alumni in almost 100 countries. Michigan Ross offers several iterations of its MBA program, including an online MBA. Also, students may attend Ross to earn a Master of Accounting, Management, and Supply Chain Management. Other free courses offered through Coursera include Successful Negotiation, The Science of Success, Model Thinking, and Making Successful Decisions through the Strategy, Law & Ethics Model.
Course Name: Leading for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education
Business School: Stephen M. Ross School of Business
#14 Marketing – University of California, Davis
The free online MBA course, The Strategy of Content Marketing, is a joint effort by Coppyblogger and UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. The course teaches students the main ways that content marketers garner new customers and keep those customers. Students who complete this class leave it with an understanding of vital concepts. They learn to develop, organize, and implement a content marketing strategy. They are taught to gauge the strategy’s effectiveness, and they are prepared to write compelling copy. Ultimately, this free online MBA course imparts the knowledge needed to create one’s brand through content marketing. The value of content marketing is summed up succinctly in a Forbes article. The buying cycle is composed of four steps. These steps are awareness, research, consideration, and buy. Traditional advertising and marketing that most are familiar with are excellent when it comes to the last two stages of consideration and buying. Content marketing lives in the first two steps of awareness and research. When done correctly, it doesn’t take a lot of effort, and it provides a tremendous return on investment. Examples of content marketing include web pages, podcasts, infographics, and videos. An article from The Wharton School highlights how Marketing is an excellent addition to any field of study. Marketing helps to understand the customer. It aids in the understanding of accurately taking stock of brand equity. Marketing helps to link the consumer experience between different vehicles such as online and in-store. Lastly, marketing teaches how to change people’s perceptions in a way that influences decision making.
UC Davis’s Graduate School of Management boasts of more than 4,500 alumni dispersed through a variety of industries worldwide. A core part of the school’s vision is a strong partnership with industry. Another vital component of the Graduate School of Management is The Mike and Renee Child Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. It provides links between students and experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate leaders. The institute has played a direct role in the start of more than 50 companies. The Business School is ranked by U.S. News & World Report at #48.
#15 Statistics – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT, in conjunction with EdX, offers a free online MBA class titled: Fundamentals of Statistics. Statistics are useful in gathering and analyzing data to make decisions. Students will study machine learning, data science, and artificial intelligence and will learn the mathematical principles behind these concepts. They will move on to more advanced ideas such as the suitability of models for a particular dataset and how to visualize high-dimensional data. Students will learn methods and principles and how the two come together. The Houston Chronicle speaks to the importance of Statistics in Business in a recent article. There is a lot of data available today, in large part due to the prominence of the internet. Statistics is a tool used to make sense of all of this data in a way that speaks to an entity’s operations and strategy. Based on sales figures and how they compare to projections, statistics aid in determining the viability of a new product. They play an integral role in comparing alternate scenarios, helping a business to make internal decisions. Statistics also play a crucial role in product development and market research. Understanding statistics is vital for an MBA. As mentioned previously, vast amounts of data are available today. However, that data is useless without the ability to use statistics, which provides a systematic approach that leads to answering essential questions. These questions may include: What features do consumers want? What will sales be next month? How did the company do the previous month?
The AACSB accredits MIT’s Sloan School of Management. The school attempts to distinguish itself by taking a global approach to studies and approaching issues with practical solutions instead of abstract concepts. U.S. News & World Report ranks MIT’s Sloan School at number five in the country. In addition to several MBA concentrations, MIT offers several options within its MBA program, along with a Master of Finance and dual degree opportunities. MIT offers a large variety of other free online MBA classes through the edX platform. These courses include Supply Chain Analytics, Becoming an Entrepreneur, Venture Capital, and Business Impact Planning for Social Enterprises. Many additional courses are also available.
What type of courses can I take for free?
A shorter question to answer regarding this topic might be, what type of courses are not available? There are a ton of free classes found on the internet. How can one go wrong if something is free? Other than a loss of time, may be nothing. However, surely there are places out there that are better than others through quality and reputation. Forbes compiled a list of the Top seven websites for free online education. It lists the top three as Khan Academy, edX, and Coursera. A list by Business Insider highlights many courses available through Coursera. In addition to a multitude of free online MBA courses available, free courses range in topics from public health and Covid-19 to specific classes like Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology, Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals for AWS Professionals, and Chinese for Beginners. The answer to this question is that just about anything one can think of is available somewhere.
Do top business schools have free courses?
Yes, top business schools do offer free online MBA courses as well as a variety of other classes. Many of these courses are available through Coursera and edX. Business Insider wrangled a list of free online courses and the top Universities that offer them. Their list isn’t entirely composed of highly-rated business schools, but most of those on the list are among the best, according to U.S. & World Report. Many of these free courses are comparable to an audit of the class. Students who wish to pursue a more formal experience that culminates in a certificate will typically be subject to fees.
What will students learn in an online MBA?
Online MBA programs may differ substantially in some aspects. However, most have a standard general knowledge curriculum. U.S. News quotes Shaifali Aggarwal as saying that core MBA classes are meant to give students a solid foundation in business fundamentals. These classes often explore topics such as Accounting, Marketing, Finance, and Business Ethics. The majority of these classes are available as free online MBA courses.
Beyond the core aspects of the online MBA, degree students are often able to choose from a variety of electives. These electives, in many programs, constitute a specialization or concentration. The Princeton Review determined that the most popular MBA concentrations include Strategy, Corporate Finance, Operations, Entrepreneurship, and Management. Many additional concentration options exist. MBA programs also, in many cases, offer the option of certificates as well as or in addition to concentrations. The modestly priced certificates available through the many free online MBA courses noted in this article offer a glimpse into some of these possibilities.
What can a free online MBA do for professionals?
Students who choose to follow the free online MBA route do not have the equivalent experience to those who take a traditional path. Collaboration is a large part of most MBA programs, whether online or face to face. A significant benefit of most MBA programs is the network of connections that students will make throughout their studies. However, depending on one’s goals, taking equivalent free online MBA courses for self-study offers a viable choice.
The most obvious benefit of free online MBA courses is that they are free. Students attending a top MBA program might spend six figures for some programs. A Wharton School of Business MBA comes with a price tag of about $200,000 plus two years worth of living expenses. Students who are after knowledge more than pedigree will undoubtedly get more than their money’s worth out of a free online MBA option. Also, they will have much greater flexibility in course selection and timeline.
What other online MBA business courses could students pursue?
Many additional free online MBA courses are available. ASU offers a class about negotiating. This free online MBA class titled: Communicating and Negotiating in a Dynamic Global World, teaches communication models of culture and how they affect business relationships. It also explains how to communicate when dealing with different cultures effectively. Another option is Hospitality/Tourism. The University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, offers a free online MBA course titled: Introduction to Hospitality and Tourism. This course teaches the professional language one uses in this industry. It introduces students to the many career opportunities within this industry, and it directs students toward additional resources to further enrich their knowledge.
Crowdfunding is a unique free online MBA class that might provide valuable insight to a budding entrepreneur. Students taking this five-hour course will gain an understanding of why some crowdfunding efforts are more successful than others. They will study the data drawn from hundreds of thousands of campaigns. Behind the scenes, interviews with success campaigners will also provide valuable insight.
Whichever class you choose, free online MBA courses have shown to offer flexible, applicable, and beneficial instruction on some of today’s most relevant business topics.