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Best Business Courses Compared

A business course is essential if you want to learn more about complex business topics or how to apply key elements to your own business structure. After reviewing dozens of free and paid business courses on the market today, we found that the Business Analytics course by Harvard Business School is the best course for most people due to its advanced, all-around program that helps you solve real business problems. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned business professional, a business course can be a valuable source of information to expand your mind and business. 

The Best Business Course for Most

Harvard logo

Business Analytics

Best for Most

The Business Analytics course by Harvard Business School is an advanced, all-rounded program that will help you understand how to solve real business problems. You will complete five units in eight weeks and transform your analytical skills.

Harvard Business School is one of the best MBA universities in the world, so it’s no surprise that its Business Analytics course is at the top of our list. Its data-centric curriculum uses real case studies to teach you the ins and outs of successful business analysis whether you’re an apprentice analyst, a rising manager, an MBA candidate, or a mid-career employee aiming to expand your skillset. It’s a bit pricy, but its quality is worth it—and it has quite a few options for scholarships, tuition assistance, and flexible payment.  

The Best Business Course Options to Consider

  1. Business Analytics – Best for most 
  2. Business Strategy – Best for building new strategies
  3. Fundamentals of Digital Marketing – Best free business course
  4. Essential Business Skills – Best for beginners
  5. Key Technologies for Business – Best for tech startups

When It Makes Sense to Invest In Business Courses

There are many reasons why you might invest in a business course, but the reasons are typically work-related. For example, you might need more affordable learning material if you are a startup. Starting a business from scratch can be difficult, and investing in a business course can help you get your feet under you more easily.  

Another reason you might invest in a business course is to supplement your resume or LinkedIn profile. You might want to learn more about a certain topic, and instead of enrolling in an entire degree, a business course is much cheaper, flexible, and isn’t as time-consuming while still remaining valuable. 

And if you already run a successful business, you could use a business course to teach your employees a topic or task in a timely and inexpensive manner. Some business courses offer discounted prices on group lessons, which is helpful for group teachings. 

#1 — Business Analytics — The Best for Most

Harvard logo

Business Analytics

Best for Most

The Business Analytics course by Harvard Business School is an advanced, all-rounded program that will help you understand how to solve real business problems. You will complete five units in eight weeks and transform your analytical skills.

The Business Analytics course by Harvard Business School is an advanced program that you can complete online. The program will teach you how to apply fundamental data analysis to solve real business problems. 

Business Analytics course by Harvard Business School landing page

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • Interpret data to inform business decisions
  • Recognize trends, detect outliers, and summarize data sets
  • Analyze relationships between variables
  • Develop and test hypotheses
  • Craft sound survey questions
  • Implement regression analysis in Excel

The program isn’t just perfect for mid-career professionals, as Harvard has set up the syllabus to include college students, recent graduates, and anyone considering graduate school or applying for an MBA.

The Business Analytics program consists of 40 hours of coursework that Professor Janice Hammond will deliver over eight weeks. This course offers a flexible learning schedule, as you can complete the material at your own pace while following regular weekly deadlines. 

There will be five modules to cover, with topics such as 

  • Describing and summarizing data
  • Sampling and estimation
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Single variable linear progression
  • Multiple regression

Each module will discuss a real-life case study from big-name companies, including Amazon and Walt Disney Studios. 

The current cost of the Business Analytics course is $1,750. However, Harvard Business School does offer split payment options, scholarships, and tuition assistance. You also get access to all the program information for up to 60 days after completion. 

Harvard Business school also offers a certificate upon completion that they will mail to your provided address after the school processes your final grade.

#2 — Business Strategy — The Best for Building New Strategies

Wharton logo

Business Strategy

Best for Building New Strategies

Business Strategy by Wharton is an affordable course that stands out from the rest by providing valuable resources and learning material about competitive advantage and building new strategies. You will learn how to evaluate your strategy and how to engage in strategic planning that works.

Business Strategy by Wharton is a 100% online course that will help you find the meaning behind competitive advantage and the importance of understanding how to build new business strategies and execute them properly.

Business Strategy by Wharton landing page

The Business Strategy course is designed to help you find the tools and framework to develop and execute a successful competitive business strategy. You won’t only learn how to evaluate your business strategies but also how to identify internal, external, and dynamic opportunities to help your business gain a competitive advantage.

The program is taught by Professor Nicolaj Siggelkow. In this course, you will learn how to:

  • Evaluate your present and future strategic environment
  • Identify the differences between organizational effectiveness and strategic positioning
  • Map core and supporting activities 
  • Locate organizational barriers
  • Engage in a strategic planning process that works

The Business Strategy course will also help you evaluate your competition and adjust your strategy to fit in and succeed in the modern era of business. 

The course will cover four modules, with topics such as: 

  • Analyze your firm’s internal fit
  • Analyze your firm’s external fit
  • Maintaining your firm’s dynamic fit
  • Creating new strategies and initiatives 

You can start this Wharton course immediately after payment. The course offers a flexible learning structure, as you can go at your own pace and only have to commit to working between 2-4 hours per week over a six-week duration. 

If you want to take this course for free, you can. However, you will have limited access to materials and won’t receive a certificate or graded assignments and exams. 

On the other hand, if you want unlimited access to course materials, edX support, a certificate upon completion, and in-course feedback, you can pay a one-time fee of $287. 

#3 — Fundamentals of Digital Marketing — The Best Free Business Course

Google logo

Fundamentals

Best Free Business Course

The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google Digital Garage is the perfect free course to master the basics of digital marketing. With 26 modules, you can expect to complete the course in 40 hours or at your own pace.

If you are looking for a free business course to master the basics of digital marketing, Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google Digital Garage is the perfect place to start. 

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google Digital Garage landing page

As a free, Interactive Advertising Bureau-credited course, Google makes learning fun and exciting. With 26 modules and an estimated completion time of 40 hours, you will explore practical exercises and real-world examples. 

Each module has a certain number of lessons with bite-sized videos between 15-45 minutes. After each video, you will test your knowledge with a short quiz, and don’t worry about failing because Google lets you have unlimited tries. 

After you have completed the 26 modules, you will take a 40-question exam and receive a 50% mark to pass and get certified. You will earn an authentic digital marketing certification from Google that you can directly upload to your LinkedIn profile or add to your CV. 

The course material is split up and taught separately by different Google trainers. You can expect to learn about: 

  • Analytics and data insights
  • Business strategy
  • Content marketing
  • Display advertising
  • Ecommerce 
  • Email marketing
  • Local marketing
  • Mobile optimization
  • SEM and SEO
  • Social media and web optimization
  • Video

You can start this course for free immediately. All you need is a Google account and an internet connection. You can also complete the course at your own pace, as there are no deadlines. 

#4 — Essential Business Skills — The Best for Beginners 

AMA logo

Essential Business Skills

Best for Beginners

Essential Business Skills by AMA offers a fast-track 3-day program that is perfect for beginners needing career development and advancement. You will earn a special certificate upon completion and additional post-course resources.

Beginners in business need to start somewhere, and taking the Essential Business Skills course by American Management Association (AMA) may be able to help you gain the skills you need to develop and advance your career. 

Essential Business Skills course by American Management Association (AMA) landing page

The Business Essentials is a 3-day program that will help you learn skills in customer focus strategy, financial acumen, and project management. After you have completed this course, you will be able to understand how certain functions work through unique activities, team exercises, and a capstone project.

There are three lessons in this program that spans three days, from 9am-5pm. You will cover six modules, including: 

  • Start-up
  • Organizational alignment
  • Customer focus
  • Financial acumen
  • Project management
  • Capstone challenge

This AMA course will help you see the bigger picture of your organization and help you to produce profitable growth and a fundamental understanding of financial analysis.

You will use the knowledge from this course to make sound business decisions, which is the perfect place to start for complete beginners, so you don’t risk having multiple setbacks at the beginning of your journey. 

The unique aspect of this course is that you can complete this course in a classroom, online, or at a company location. Whether you are learning online or in a classroom, you will still have to attend over the three days.

Upon completion, you will earn a certificate and access to additional post-course resources, such as on-demand lessons to reinforce key skills, best practice skill refreshers, and articles offering practical tips and tactics. 

For non-AMA members, you will expect to pay $2,845 for this course. However, AMA members can purchase this course for $2,595.

#5 — Key Technologies for Business — The Best for Tech Startups

Coursera Logo

Key Technologies for Business

Best for Tech Startups

With a 4.7-star rating on Coursera, the Key Technologies for Business course offered by IBM is the best for tech startups that want to learn about the key technologies that drive modern businesses. You can set your own schedule and complete the course online.

If you’re thinking about running a tech startup and need more resources before you take the leap, the Key Technologies for Business course offered by IBM is an excellent place to start. 

Key Technologies for Business by IBM landing page

With a 4.7 out of 5-star rating on Coursera, this course will help you understand key technologies and help you gain foundational knowledge of cloud computing, public, private and hybrid clouds, IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, VMs, cloud storage, and DevOps. 

You will gain various skills in machine learning, data science, technology, and artificial intelligence. As technology is essential for the future of most businesses, this IBM course will put you on the right track to understanding what drives growth and the value these technologies provide. 

This course is primarily taught by Rav Ahuja and Alex Aklson across three modules. The first module will teach you about cloud computing, the second module will introduce you to artificial intelligence, and the third module will discuss the ins and outs of data science. 

The course takes approximately three months to complete, but Coursera offers an incredibly flexible learning structure. The course also comes with: 

  • Course videos and readings
  • Practice quizzes
  • Graded assignments with peer feedback
  • Graded quizzes with peer feedback

You will also receive a shareable certificate upon completion. You can sign up to Coursera for free for 14 days and enroll in the course for free, but there will be limitations after the free trial has run out. However, financial aid is available for all courses. 

Methodology for Choosing the Best Business Courses

There are a few factors that go into finding the best business course. Sometimes it can be difficult to choose the right course, so we put together this methodology of the three most essential elements to consider before investing in a business course to transform your learning experience. 

Certification

Before you invest in a business course, you should make sure that it offers some sort of certification, whether that be a digital copy or physical copy. Some business courses offer specific certificates for LinkedIn, which is an excellent way to showcase your education on a professional networking platform. 

Certificates are the most basic proof of completion and are excellent to show on a resume for future job opportunities. 

Payment Options and Lifetime Access

Some business courses can be expensive, and although it’s much cheaper than an MBA or bachelor’s degree, they can still be costly without payment options. Most business courses will offer flexible payment plans. You should also look for a course with lifetime access to the material so you can go back and relearn any material you forget. 

Having lifetime access ensures you receive your money’s worth and can continue to learn in the foreseeable future and pass on accessible information. 

Flexible Learning Structure 

Having the option to choose whether you want to learn in a classroom environment or online is a great privilege that many business courses offer. You should find a program with a flexible learning structure so you can choose your own hours and create a schedule that works better for you and your learning methods. 

If you invest in a business course with a flexible learning structure, you can work to your highest potential and complete the workload on your own terms without pressure or deadlines. 

Harvard logo

Business Analytics

Best for Most

The Business Analytics course by Harvard Business School is an advanced, all-rounded program that will help you understand how to solve real business problems. You will complete five units in eight weeks and transform your analytical skills.

The Top Business Courses in Summary

Overall, the Business Analytics course by Harvard Business School is the best business course for most people. The course will teach you how to apply fundamental data analysis to solve real business problems. With only 40 hours of content over eight weeks, you can transform your analytical skills faster than ever.

However, it may not be the right business course for everyone. If you are looking for a course with more information on building new business strategies, digital marketing, or even better learning material for tech startups and beginners, the other courses on this list are excellent alternatives.


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