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20 Best MOOCs for Managers

The world is a library, and we are just thirsty information sponges, ready to be soaked in a waterfall of knowledge. For people who learn in more structured environments, there is the MOOC. MOOC’s are Massive Open Online Courses. Would you like to learn from experts, from the comfort of your home, with a colossal community of likeminded people? Of course you would.

Here we present, for your pleasure, the 20 best MOOCs for managers. How did we derive this list? We diligently scraped and combed through nearly 300 management MOOCs, and looked both at how many students were reviewing them, and what the average rating was. Education to the people!

1)Food and Beverage Management

At the top of this list, Bocconi Universities’ Gabriele Troilo, a marketing professor brings you this in depth course for anyone with aspirations to climb the treacherous ladder of the food/bar industry. As the world’s eating habits change, and the industry strives to balance health, local trends and international influence, get an edge on your competition. The course has two goals: help participants understand the struggles and competition managers face, then create models and tools that will give them advantage over the competition. Whether you’re a waiter, bartender, or busser, this course will give you an edge for promotion and understanding the business you work in. As a manager, this is indispensable. 86 people reviewed this course, and its average score was 4.8 out of 5.

2) Strategic Management

There was a time in which a companies’ value was directly correlated to its physical properties, sales, etc. Those days are over. Now, the companies with the best ideas (or that are perceived to have them), or the purveyors of “cool,” (Google, Apple) have more sway than former titans (Exxon) struggling to find their place in a Brave New World. This course will teach you to think more creatively, and how to strategize/implement your ideas in a global marketplace. Created by the Copenhagen Business School, this course received a 4.7/5 cumulatively from 200 reviewers.

3) Developing Effective Time Management Habits

This course costs $200, but the skills you’ll learn are invaluable. Changing work habits is hard, which is why you need tangible strategies to internalize and implement. Taught by Sorin Dumitrascu, a certified trainer and project manager with 10 years of middle/senior managerial experience in a variety of sectors including civil service, the private sector and NGOs. This course will help you:
1) Learn how to develop the habits that you need to be in control of your time, and stop reacting inefficiently to demands that are made on you.
2) Learn how to organize your work environment, and how to employ technology so that it is serving you and not waste your time.
3) Understand “time stealers”, and develop strategies to prevent the waste of time they represent.
For those balking at the price tag, there is a free preview that you can take to decide whether or not this course is for you. Out of 21 reviews, the course received a perfect average of 5.

4) Management of Fashion and Luxury Companies

Entering a saturated, resource-deprived marketplace is daunting. When it comes to fashion, or luxury brands, the list of failures could stack from here to the sun. Get the edge on your competitors with this course, which focuses on business models, international development and the balancing acts of tradition vs. innovation, expertise vs. experimentation, casual vs. stylish. Find your niche and build your brand value. 114 reviewers of the course gave it an average rating of 4.7/5.

5) Management Consulting Case Essentials

For $40, learn the fundamentals to master management consulting. One of the largest factors in successful leadership is strong analysis. Charisma and consistency are extremely important, but effective leaders are often characterized by their ability to make quick, game-changing decisions based on interpreting information. This course is broken into three sections: Business cases, Brainteasers and Estimation cases. Management consulting in its most primal form is identifying what changes companies need to make to become more useful and successful. Through videos, lectures and fun challenges, this course will help you do just that. 50 reviewers gave this course a 4.8/5.

6) On Strategy: What Managers Can Learn from Philosophy – Part 1

This course takes a macro, reasoning approach to managing. The art of thinking is paramount to the course’s ethos. Creative solutions are great, but results come from structure, something this course will strive to give you. The role of mental models, the importance of cognitive bias, creating clear definitions and efficient criteria help develop a route to “truly game-changing ideas.” This course received 4.7/5 rating from 21 reviewers.

7) Initiating and Planning Projects

Have a great idea, but struggling to get it off the ground? This course is for you. With four weeks of study, and a commitment of 2-3 hours a week, this is extremely doable for even those with the busiest schedules. You’ll learn about building a team, appropriately delegating roles and responsibilities. You’ll also figure out the purpose, target audience, and how to succeed. This course was reviewed by over 330 people, and received an average rating of 4.6/5.

8) Leading Teams

Nothing is accomplished alone. If you believe in your project, you’ll need to recruit, nurture and manage a team to help it come to fruition. How you build your team and how you encourage its cooperation are as important as the idea that brought you to the project. Learn how to spot and minimize dysfunction, resolve conflicts, establish roles and build successful structures. You’ll set up, run, evaluate, and continuously improve your team. This course received a 4.7/5 rating out of 78 reviews.

9) Critical Perspectives on Management

For those who want a career in management, in this course you’ll learn basic vocabulary, and theories of management. Get a grasp on the infrastructure of businesses, and what has helped define management practices. This course addresses economics, history, social theory with the goal of better understanding the function and culture of management. Some things discussed are the functions firms, incentive; how narratives shape decision making, and how market relationships negatively effect managers. This course received a 4.8/5 from 30 reviewers.

10) Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management

This course will teach you how to plan and execute your projects. What leads to success, and how can you better prepare through planning, analysis and management? Learn new methodologies and get a better understanding of the challenges you’ll face. Properly utilize resources, minimize risk and truly plan for success, all with the help of a course created by the University of Virginia and taught by Yael Grushka-Cockayne, an Associate Professor of Business Administration. This is an introductory course that will ask for 2-4 hours a week over a month of study. 137 reviewers gave this an average score of 4.6/5.

11) Managing the Company of the Future

The University of London’s Business School has created this course to give you a leg up over other managers in a rapidly shifting marketplace that will reward adaptation and innovation above all else. How have companies historically been managed? What’s changing? How can you become a manager of the successful organizations of tomorrow? What will you do to ensure their growth? This course will attempt to answer these questions and more. Of 30 reviewers, it received a 4.8/5 mean score.

12) Budgeting and Scheduling Projects

This is the second course (of four) within the Introduction to Project Management Principles and Practices Specialization. Build on the skills you picked up in the first course. Learn how to plan and more importantly, budget your plans to ensure sustainable execution. Taking place over 4 weeks with only 2-3 hours a week of commitment, this University of California, Irvine-created course is taught by the incomparable Margaret Meloni. 122 reviewers gave it an average score of 4.6/5.

13) Preparing to Manage Human Resources

What’s the most important resource of all? Your workforce. What they yield, and how they’re directed is paramount to success, which is the focus of this course. Build your skills of deft management through alternative human resource management strategies. Legality is essential, but so is understanding what motivates employees, and what satisfies them. Put this theoretical information into practical use with tangible management strategies. This course calls for a month of study, with 4-5 hours of work per week. This course received an average score of 4.7/5 from 55 reviewers.

14) Introduction to Quality Management

For $45, this course is a steal. While the term quality management is amorphous and dense, this course tries to break it down in tangible, useful nuggets of the finest gold. It will attempt to define quality, historically and today, the tools of quality, how it is awarded and who are the gurus of quality. 89 reviewers gave this an average score of 4.6/5.

15) Managing Project Risk and Change

In the third part of the Introduction to Project Management Principles and Practices Specialization, you’ll learn how to manage project risk effectively. You’ll identify, analyze and communicate changes to your projects size and goals. Practice the tools required to measure and report on project scope, schedule, and cost performance. How do you manage change without disrupting your workers and your goals? Learn all that and more here. This course received a 4.6/5 from 84 reviewers.

16) Management Consulting Project Essentials Pro

Do you dream of consulting to successful businesses and getting compensated properly? This course is for you. How do you take a corporation and get it back on its feet? By cutting costs, raising profits and optimize business operations. For $40, your ROI is gargantuan. Develop skills in leadership, analytical, interpersonal relationships, project proposal writing and more. You’ll be given step-by-step guides, in-depth case studies, templates, toolkits, and methodologies. 81 reviewers gave this course a 4.6/5 rating.

17) International Leadership and Organizational Behavior

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This course explores theory and practice of international and intercultural leadership and organizational behavior. You’ll build leadership skills, navigate unknown cultures, communicate effectively, motivate yourself and others, network efficiently and handle conflict maturely and ethically. Questions addressed include, “How do you usually make important decisions? What motivates you and how do you try motivating others? How successfully do you leverage and integrate diverse skills and views in a team? Do you prefer professional relationships with a close-knit group of trusted colleagues, or with a far-flung network of acquaintances from all walks of life?” 40 reviewers gave this course a mean score of 4.7/5

18) Management Consulting Skills Essentials

How do you gain access to the skills of top consulting firms without working there? By taking this affordable, $40 course! What are the techniques and toolkits that will propel you to success in the consulting industry? Join Sap Brief, a multinational consulting company as it shares the tricks of the trade with you from the comfort of your home. Many consultants make $90,000 or more in their first year, so if that sounds good, get on board now! 67 reviewers gave this an average score of 4.6/5.

19) Foundations of Everyday Leadership

What are the big picture aspects of leadership? What should motivate the heart and mind of an effective manager? Participants will be given insight into why and how leadership skills are critical to organizational success, learn how to use leadership skills to work more effectively and are organize teams to optimize effective output. You’ll learn how to apply these skills in everyday life and in crucial business decisions.39 reviewers gave this course a 4.7/5 mean score.

20) Brand and Product Management

What are the critical strategies and skills required for developing product and brand strategy that succeeds initially and in the long term? How do you build effective metrics to measure your output and methodology? This course is broken into six parts:

1) Launching new products and the challenge of managing their life-cycle.

2) Developing compelling brands that inspire your most critical stakeholders and impact your bottom line.

3) Knowing how to communicate your offering: Brand Architecture & naming.

4) Building your brand portfolio.

5) Translating your brand into compelling customer experiences.

6) Equipping and engaging employees to deliver on the brand promise.

Build something from scratch, but do it the right way. Your brand could be anything, but if you want it to be successful, this course will build the skills needed to achieve your dreams.

Utilizing MOOCs is a quick, cheap, powerfully effective way to expand your abilities as a leader, manager, consultant. Transform your mind and life in your pajamas.