Best Online Classes to Take

In most of today’s classrooms, questioning authority isn’t high on the list of skill sets being taught. Especially in younger grades, we often see compliance being instilled more frequently than allowing students to question.

But knowing when and how to ask smart questions can be an asset in life and when wisely wielded, can save you real money.

These are all questions which, if asked at the right time, can end up saving you time and money.

One question more and more people are asking these days revolves around education — is taking classes online worth it?

Whether you’re looking for ways to build your resume, a commute-free learning option, or just looking to do some self-improvement, there are plenty of online courses to choose from, and plenty of reasons why you should look into them.

Here’s our rundown of the best online classes to take, who offers them, and why you should check them out.

“How to Build a Startup” — Udacity

It’s part of the American dream to build your own company and be your own boss. You can’t get to the top without a foundation, though, and that’s exactly what this course aims to help you build.

“How to Build a Startup,” a free course brought to you through Udacity and taught by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Blank, will give you insights into a wide range of essential startup skills, from direct and indirect business costs to analyzing customer data.

And if you are building a small business, don’t forget to do your research on ERP solutions every small business needs.‌

“Advanced SEO: Tactics and Strategy” — Udemy

The value in understanding SEO can’t be understated for businesses these days. That’s why this course, suitable for all levels despite its title, is such a great pick.

“Advanced SEO” will give you seven lessons on the tactics and strategies you need in order to get the digital world’s attention for your business.

“Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager” — MIT OpenCourseWare

If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit, one course you’ll want to have under your belt is “Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager.” Throughout this intermediate, 14-lesson course, you’ll examine common legal dilemmas businesses of all types must frequently handle, such as business disputes, intellectual property issues, and bankruptcy.

With the guidance of your instructor, you’ll be equipped to handle common tax and liability issues that would arise for business owners.

And when you’re finished with your intermediate business law course, you may also want to check out information on creating purchasing groups in SAP.‌

“Chinese Language: Learn Basic Mandarin” — edX

If Mandarin isn’t one of your first choices when considering a language to learn, you might want to reconsider; nearly one billion people world-wide speak it, including numerous global business leaders.

In this free course (or $49 if you want the certificate) you’ll be learning basic Mandarin vocabulary and everyday phrases, the importance of tone, and fun facts about Chinese culture.

Just think: after this beginner level six week course, you could have something to add to your resume that completely sets you apart from the pack.

“Secret Sauce of Great Writing” — Udemy

From resumes to business emails, having a firm grasp on writing can either open or close doors for you during your career. This two hour course from Udemy and taught by a former Wall Street Journal editor, Shani Raja, will give you those professional skills you need in order to excel and break down the “secret sauce” of great writing.

Whether you loved or hated writing in school, you’ve probably already discovered it’s an essential part of the business world, and these lessons will equip you with skills like clarity, elegance, evocativeness, and more to convince everyone you’re a master wordsmith.

“Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills” — University of Michigan, Coursera

No matter what field you are in now or hope to go into in the future, perfecting the art of negotiation is a skill that will eventually pay off.

In this all-levels course, participants will be led by University of Michigan’s Professor George Siedel in completing interactive videos, negotiation challenges, and psychological experiments, all in an effort to increase communication and negotiation skills.

“The Science of Well-Being” — Yale, Coursera

Can you think of a topic more pervasive than well-being? Taught through Yale and available from Coursera, Professor Laurie Santos, whose name you might recognize as the host of the podcast The Happiness Lab, walks students through research about surprising causes of and misconceptions about happiness.

You’ll also work through a series of challenges to enhance your ability to cultivate and find happiness within your own life. With a 97 percent approval rating, this is a course just about anyone can benefit from and shouldn’t miss.

“Critical Issues in Urban Education” — University of Chicago, Coursera

If you subscribe to the thought that today’s learners are tomorrow’s leaders, this is definitely a course option to explore. This course, offered through Coursera and the University of Chicago, is a can’t miss.

You’ll dive into hot button issues like school reform and accountability and learn about the influence of the federal government on education with policies like No Child Left Behind and Common Core Standards.

Whether you have interest in entering the classroom or reforming education, this 19-hour course will give you a foundation to consider some of the biggest issues facing urban education today.

“Major Depression in the Population: A Public Health Approach” — Johns Hopkins, Coursera

With millions of people worldwide suffering from depression, the knowledge offered in this course is more important now than ever. Within this six week course, depression is explored as a public health concern, and you’ll investigate issues of research, prevention, and case studies, all with the guidance of Johns Hopkins professors.

Flexible deadlines, a beginner rating, and a two-week refund period make this a great option for those who may be new to online learning and are looking for a respected institution.

“Learn Ethical Hacking from Scratch” — Udemy

Ethical hacking may sound like an oxymoron, but some of the web’s biggest heroes do just that. If you’re hoping to join their ranks, this best-selling course will offer you everything you need to know about penetration testing, how hackers actually hack computer systems, and how to secure systems from those hackers.

With only basic IT skills required to get started and a 30-day money back guarantee, the 14 hours of lectures and videos in this course will have beginners understanding hacking theory and hacking and securing like pros in no time.

“Excel 2016 Essential Training” — Linkedin learning

Whether you’re looking to boost your resume or just looking to gain some expertise to manage your household budget, proficiency in Excel is a great skill to have. For $45, this beginner’s course will teach you how to manage data, access formatting, utilize formulas, and more.

Taught by renowned Excel expert Dennis Taylor, completing this nine-hour training lands you a certificate of completion and the serious data prowess.

And if number analysis is your thing, you might also want to check out SAP online training.‌

Let the Learning Begin

With so many digital options, it’s never been easier to take education into your own hands. Pull up a search engine, and get started with one of these courses today.

Leslie Kiel,
Leslie Kiel,
Leslie Kiel writes and researches for the car insurance site, She’s the mom of three kids, a former middle school teacher, and a life-long learner whose idea of a good time is taking online learning courses for fun.

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