Technology has made it possible for anyone to increase their knowledge, skill, and talent levels while sitting in the comforts of their homes. So, why not a Master’s in Business Administration? It is, after all, one of the most coveted qualifications. With the vast number of free courses available online, you can easily design your very own MBA program and learn all that you would probably be exposed to in a full-time expensive MBA program. So, read on to find out how you can create an ‘MBA’ using free online courses from some of the top business schools.
Benefits of Doing an MBA Equivalent Free Course Online
An MBA program from a reputed university and college can easily cost you as much as $200,000 by the time you finish it. Not just that, a full time MBA from a brick-and-mortar institution will also mean that you have to take a break from your career. And this can be a severe financial loss as you will not be able to work for almost 2 years. In contrast to this, you can pick and choose from a number of courses available online that are delivered free of charge or at very nominal costs. Since you are studying online, you can easily continue it along with your job. You also do not have to pay for boarding and lodging by shifting to another city for 2 years.
Secondly, most online courses are designed to allow students to finish them over a comfortable period of time. For instance, you need not finish the program in 2 years in case you are unable to find the time to complete all the modules. Instead, you can take short breaks in between and stretch the course by another few months.
Flexibility and Convenience
Online courses also have certain hours of interactive classroom training. However, a lot of it is flexible. This means that you can take the sessions at a time that suits your convenience. Once again this is very helpful for those who are working. You can also avoid getting stuck in the traffic just to reach your class as you can take the online course from practically anywhere. This flexibility allows students to access courses from different countries and universities.
So, read on to find out what are the free online courses from the top 10 business schools.
Make your own MBA with free online courses covering these 6 Topics
Marketing and Sales
Studying marketing and sales is essential for completing any degree in business administration. It helps you understand processes like product positioning, customer decision making, as well as market segmentation. These are fundamental concepts that teach you how corporations position their brand and design their communication strategy.
The ‘Introduction to Marketing’ course by the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School of Business) is one of the best free online courses explaining basic marketing strategies that are included in every reputed MBA program. What is interesting is that this interactive course is delivered by some of the most popular professors in the field of marketing and sales.
Project Management Skills
If you have prior work experience, then you are familiar with the importance of building project management skills. Irrespective of the industry or the sector that you are aiming to build a career in, learning project management is necessary to climb the corporate ladder.
While you may not begin by supervising a team, as you grow in your role and responsibilities you may utilize these management skills. Therefore, they are an important module of every MBA program.
Free online courses like ‘Operations Management’ from the University of Pennsylvania and the ‘Leading Teams’ course by the University of Michigan are excellent for sharpening your team management and project management skills. Try incorporating at least one of these into your online ‘free MBA program’.
Corporate Finance and Accounting
While corporate finance and accounting are, typically, not taught in detail in any general MBA program, the students are made familiar with these concepts in the first semester itself. There is also a high probability that you may never utilize corporate finance concepts entirely in your career. However, an understanding of how enterprise-level finance works helps you build financial logic and gain a bird’s-eye view of the corporate balance sheet. You can then interpret the cash flow statement and align your project accordingly.
The ‘Introduction to Financial Accounting’ course by the University of Pennsylvania teaches you to read the balance sheet, the income statement, as well as a cash flow statement. It is important to master these skills so that you can use financial analysis and understand how managerial incentives and accounting standards work.
Management & strategy go hand in hand. And irrespective of the discipline you select to focus on, strategy as a skill can be applied to all of them including entrepreneurship, marketing, and finance. Opting for modules and courses in strategy can teach you how companies maintain their competitive position within niche markets. You are then in a better position to understand what decisions you need to make in order to stand head and shoulders above the competition.
It is important to include some courses on digital strategy as well. Northwestern University and the University of California, Berkeley offer some excellent online courses in the field of general, as well as digital strategy.
Building on your entrepreneurship skills need not mean that you will have to start your own business. These skills can also help you generate new and innovative ideas in your field of work. In fact, a growing number of corporations are looking for entrepreneurship skills when they interview candidates for critical positions. The University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offer some interesting online courses on building entrepreneurship skills absolutely free of charge.
You will need to build on negotiation skills, execute projects and sales effectively. While most of these come with practical and industry experience, taking a course on the topic can help you get a clear understanding of how negotiations work. The best course to take here is the ‘Successful Negotiations’ course offered digitally by the University of Michigan.
There are over one thousand universities and colleges offering one, or maybe more, MBA programs according to the National Center of Education Statistics. This can be overwhelming to sort through and finalize on the most appropriate once even if you can afford it. On the other hand, there is an equally large number of courses available online that can help you learn different modules of an MBA program. And these are absolutely free of cost. Therefore, these 10 online free courses listed here certainly deserve your attention. You should do in-depth research before you sign-up for one of these to make sure that they are suitable for your requirements.