8 Best Online Finance Courses for Beginners

These online finance courses won’t necessarily provide you with the same pay increase as a traditional MBA; however, they will provide you with the same core skills being taught at the top universities and business schools. If you’re ready to grow your skillset, consider this list of the best online finance courses.

The movement toward online learning options in finance first started with Wharton and then Harvard Business School followed suit. Since then, it’s only increased in popularity and made it quite possible for nearly any individual to gain a well-rounded business education from some of the professors in the world without ever stepping foot outside their homes.

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1. Financial Markets

This course is delivered via Coursera and is available in both a self-paced and formal, graded format through Yale. The self-paced version includes 23 lectures consisting of 75 minutes each and requires a time commitment of roughly 6 to 12 hours a week.

Taught by Bob Shiller, this option provides learners the opportunity to gain knowledge from one of the leading thinkers in finance. The course itself is designed to provide students a knowledge of the theory underlying the financial market as related to the history, strengths, and weaknesses of many common institutions.

Website: Coursera.
Certificate: Available for paying students.
Exam: No, but graded coursework is included.
Cost: $49 for paying students. (Audit available.)

2. Entrepreneurship Through the Lens of Venture Capital

A series of 11 self-paced lectures, this course provides students with a better understanding of securing venture capital backing and growing a business from startup. The course is a combination of teaching from Stanford as well as a number of guest lecturers who have been successful venture capitalists and investors and easily lands among the best online finance courses.

Website: Stanford.
Certificate: None available.
Exam: No exam required.
Cost: Free to all students.

3. Game Theory

With prerequisites of understanding basic probability theory and some light calculus, Game Theory is a challenging course. A course offered through Stanford, the curriculum was actually made famous by famous mathematician John Nash.

As one of the best online finance courses, this course covers the study of mathematics and how rational and irrational factors interact in different situations. It evaluates the behavior that we typically view as games as well as trading tendencies and Google keywords.

Website: Coursera.
Certificate: Available for paying students.
Exam: No, but graded coursework is included.
Cost: $79 to paying students. (Audit available.)

4. Gamification

A 10-week course, Gamification is one of the best online finance courses that requires four to eight hours of work each week. The course teaches the application of techniques from modern video games to nongame problems, such as managing people or addressing business concerns.

The most elaborate games combine psychology and technology, just as managers do, and can be used to boost productivity and even customer engagement. This course addresses how the concept works and how it can be applied most effectively.

Website: Coursera.
Certificate: Available for paying students.
Exam: No, but graded coursework is included.
Cost: $95 to paying students. (Audit available.)

5. Financial Engineering and Risk Management

One of the best online finance courses, this course is a more advanced technical finance class that provides a deeper understanding of how markets and investing works. To be able to successfully complete this course, students need to have had undergraduate calculus, linear algebra, and statistics.

A good working knowledge of Excel is also helpful. This course delves into how to create models involved in financial engineering or creating alternative securities, including investments with values based on other assets.

Website: Coursera.
Certificate: Available to paying students.
Exam: No, but graded coursework is included.
Cost: $49 to paying students. (Audit available.)

There is also a follow-up course that goes along with this one and delves into more detail on the topic.

6.How to Reason and Argue

Comprised of 12 weeks, this course requires roughly five to six hours each week but involves no prerequisites. The course itself provides students with a step-by-step guide on how to break down an individual’s argument, recognize flawed or vague reasoning, and develop an effective argument of their own. A great deal of business actually hinges on being able to convince others to do what they don’t want to, and this is an important part.

Website: Coursera.
Certificate: Available to paying students.
Exam: No, but graded coursework is included.
Cost: $30 to paying students. (Audit is available.)

7. A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior

Designed to last eight weeks, this course requires seven to ten hours of work each week. The course does not require any perquisites or background but is a study of human behavior that varies from typical economic theory, which tends to assume the individuals make decisions based on rational thinking.

The course provides valuable insight into real human behavior and has been noted by some as a course they would most recommend to a first-time student. Taught by Dan Ariely, the author of “Predictably Irrational,” the course offers a unique perspective on human behavior.

Website: Coursera.
Certificate: Available to paying students.
Exam: No, but graded coursework is included.
Cost: Audit available.

8. An Introduction to Marketing

No list of the best online finance courses is complete without an introduction to marketing course. This nine-week course requires five to six hours of work a week, and while there are no formal prerequisites required, a business background is helpful.

This course is provided by Wharton, which has one of the highest ranked marketing programs in the world. Additionally, the course is taught by a team of the leading professors at the university. This course is an essential as anyone interested in business in any capacity must learn to relate to customers and sell their products.

Website: Coursera.
Certificate: Available to paying students.
Exam: No, but graded coursework is included.
Cost: $79 to paying students. (Audit available.)

Summing Up

It goes without saying that online learning is invaluable when it comes to growing your skillset. And with the number of courses available in the financial sector, there is no reason not to expand your knowledge and your capacity. Consider this list of the best online finance courses and share your favorites or others you have completed.