While yes it is true that one doesn’t need a Masters of Business Administration degree in order to run and manage a successful small business, the leadership and business skills one learns pursuing an MBA can in fact help one launch their business to even further heights. Unfortunately not everyone has the time or the money to return to school in order to learn a new set of managerial and business skills. But thanks to open courseware, it might just be possible.
Open courseware is a term used to refer to free online classes offered by various prestigious institutions such as Yale University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While you can’t claim credit and therefore can’t earn a degree, nor can you ask for help from professors, these courses are still designed to allow people to acquire skills through a “self-teach” platform. This is done by providing a variety of old class materials such as syllabi, recorded video lectures, slideshows, reading listings and old exams with keys.
With that said, below are a few free graduate courses that can help any business owner perfect their business and leadership skills.
A good chunk of small business owners choose to monitor their own finances soon after opening because it’s too expensive to hire professionals to do it for them. However, if not handled correctly, your business can end up foreclosing way before it’s time. Thus it’s important to take several finance and accounting courses so that you know all about bookkeeping and how to keep track of your profits and losses.
With that said, the following courses taught by professors from Yale University, New York University, and Khan Academy to just name a few are designed to teach aspiring small business owners about capital, cash flows, tax implications, how to budget and among other important finance – related topics:
- Financial Accounting [MIT]
- Valuation [NYU]
- Financial Markets [Yale]
- Current Economics [Khan Academy]
You may have a great product or service that you are selling, but unless you get your name out there you won’t make any revenue. Therefore it’s important to take a few marketing courses to attract customers and build a steady clientele. These following courses will be able to teach you all about marketing, including how to formulate a strategy and execute a campaign to bring in hoards of customers from day number one:
- Transactions and Processing of E-Commerce [UW]
- Marketing Strategy [MIT]
- Marketing Management [MIT]
- Marketing Communications as a Strategic Function [Open University]
Lastly, entrepreneurship/ management courses will not only be able to give you the vital leadership skills in order to run your own small business, but they will also teach you how to formulate your own business plan, how to identify your target audience and how to be a better innovator.
- Garage Technology Ventures: Passion vs. Money in Entrepreneurship [Stanford]
- Linkedin: Risk and Entrepreneurship [Stanford]
- Managing Innovation and Entrepreneurship [MIT]
- The Entrepreneurial Strategies [Kutztown University of Pennsylvania]
About The Guest Author: Pamelia Brown specializes in writing about associates degrees on the website AssociatesDegree.com.