19 best business courses online to create profitable business strategies
Business literacy is a must-have skill in today’s digital economy. The word business, one way or another, applies to almost any industry vertical. If you are part of a small or large organization with the end goal to serve clients and customers, you are part of a business.
Acquainting yourself with the foundations of running a successful business will help you tremendously in the long run. Fortunately, there are multiple business literacy programs to do just that. Below, we give you a tour of some of the best business courses online.
Business Courses Online – Overview
Today’s economy is all about interpersonal and communication abilities. Experts refer to these as the soft skills that enable employees and managers to effectively run operations and drive profits. But there is more to running a business than a set of relevant skills.
If you wish to become a business owner, found a start-up, or set up a private foundation as a freelancer, you’ll need to become familiar with the rudiments of running a business.
The first of these is owning a businessperson’s mindset. This is one of the key factors that distinguish a businessman from an entrepreneur. While an entrepreneur is keener on introducing an innovation with financial returns as an extended goal, a businessman’s chief goal is to drive profit; see our review of entrepreneurship courses here.
Keeping this difference in mind, aspiring business enthusiasts must learn the right set of skills that can fast-track their start-up’s success. The following online business courses are designed to help up-and-coming businesspersons acquire the inside knowledge they need to avoid repeatable errors and ensure success.
Best Business Courses Online 2023 – Top Picks
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*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure at the end of this post.
Note: This post lists some of the best business courses online but cannot cover all the classes available. It aims to provide a good starting point to gain business literacy.
1. Business Foundations – Wharton Online, Coursera
Business Foundations (visit website) is a popular 6-course specialization that takes learners through the most important nooks and corners of initiating a startup. Students can enroll in individual courses or complete all to acquire the specialization certificate.
The first course covers the basics of marketing: branding, customer centricity, and go-to-marketing strategies. After learning the fundamentals of creating customer loyalty, you will learn the essentials of financial accounting and managing human and social capital.
Understanding financial accounting and capital management is the pillar upon which any sustainable business can be erected. Studies have shown that most businesses fail not due to lack of capital but capital management.
Next, you must brace yourself for an in-detail course on corporate finance, corporate decision-making, and financial intermediation. The key concepts here include the cost of capital, interest rates, the risk-return trade-off, time-value of money, etc.
Coming out of the specialization, students will have a working understanding of some of the most intensive topics when it comes to setting up a business. This is one of the best business courses online for beginners looking for a comprehensive all-in-one package.
2. Chris Voss Teaches The Art of Negotiation – MasterClass
Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator, has worked with the most diverse set of interlocutors and now shares some of his great negotiation secrets garnered over the years. His MasterClass (visit website) is perfect to develop your business negations skills.
The Art of Negotiation is a great business course for aspiring enthusiasts who wish to dominate both the industry and the potential competition and inspire their clientele with an assertive vision. Voss’s set of negotiation techniques is a comprehensive walkthrough that touches upon some of the most intrinsic elements involved in conducting a good bargain.
According to Voss, negotiation skills are the edifice supporting the major life functions making it one of the must-have skills. His course is for anyone who wishes to improve their art of negotiation whether it’s to improve a salary situation, convince prospective investors, expand your talent and customer pool, etc.
By the end, you will have developed an understanding of the various tools that allow veteran bargainers to make the winning pitch. Some of these include mirroring, creating an illusion of control, bending reality, and understanding body language. This class is among the best business courses online for cross-skill learning and for all levels.
3. Digital Business Strategy: Harnessing Our Digital Future – MIT Sloan
Digital Business Strategy (visit website) is a 6-week business online course that is the result of extensive research performed by the esteemed MIT faculty and the New York Times best-selling authors, Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson.
During the 6 weeks, students will learn how to craft a balance between traditional applications in business and advanced methods stemming from the transformative technology of the new age.
The primary aim of the program is to effect a truly digitized transformation through a healthy balance of the human mind, the digital platforms, the core, and the crowd. By striking the right balance, learners would be able to truly experience the role and functions of disruptive technology and its potential to derive innovation.
By the end of the class, you will be able to grasp the key features of digital transformation, identify newer opportunities, and formulate result-producing strategies in digital disruption. This is one of the best business courses online to learn how to build customized digital business strategies for clients in technology-driven industries.
Subject: Business, Digital Marketing | Time: 6 weeks | Certificate: Yes.
Level: Executives, Managers | Price: $2,800 | Discount 15%: GS-AF-LEARN15
Info: Visit course website. Get free prospectus. Browse all online business courses.
4. An Entire MBA in 1 Business Course – Udemy
With over 400,000 students enrolled in this MBA course (visit website), Udemy offers one of the most comprehensive business courses online for beginners. In a nutshell, this popular class will teach you essential business concepts, tools, and techniques that veteran businessmen use to attract and retain customers.
Students will begin with a dive into the idea of investment firms and use them to help their business and create financial models from scratch. The trajectory will then move towards micro and macroeconomics. This is also where students will begin analyzing markets from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives
The skills above will allow you to put your business goal in perspective. However, you will also learn how to protect your business by filing for bankruptcy, paying taxes, and partnering with top venture firms to improve the scale and health of your business.
By the end, students will have a solid understanding of how to run a business successfully. This is one of the best business courses online for beginners and is also budget-friendly. You can combine this class with other online business courses on Udemy. However, here is our list of the best online MBA programs for those actually seeking university certification.
5. MBA Essentials – Rotman School of Management
MBA Essentials (visit website) is a 6-week online business course brought to you by the University of Toronto. Whether you are an up-and-coming entrepreneur or a mid-level manager, the program promises to teach you all there is to know about strategic and operational decision-making.
Since timing is everything in business, you’ll spend the first module learning the formula for pinpointing the best time to enact change in your organization, using macroeconomic trends as your guide. Refine your business analytical skills by learning to appraise finance projects based on the four investment rules.
In addition to cultivating financial, technical, and marketing skills, the highlight of this virtual program is the behavioral action plan you get to design in the final module to breathe diversity and inclusivity into your organization. By completing the assignments, you’ll also earn a Rotman Excellence in Executive Leadership Certificate for your portfolio.
Provider: Roman School of Management, Emeritus | Time: 2 months | Certificate: Yes.
Level: Beginners | Pace: Instructor-lead | Price: $1,699 or C$2,314.
Info: Visit course website. Get free brochure. Browse full course catalog on Emeritus.
6. Oxford Organisational Effectiveness Programme – Oxford University
Authorized by Oxford University, this 6-week course (visit website) targets business professionals from the public, private and non-profit sectors. The program teaches industry-agnostic principles that will help participants align purpose, strategy, and capability to improve organizational effectiveness.
Executives, business leaders, directors, and managers in charge of supervising operational tasks can use this course to expand their intellectual toolkit facilitating decision-making and business aims.
Over 6 weeks, participants will develop strategies for organizational improvement and its role in enterprise longevity. You will also learn how to encourage and implement transformation across the entire enterprise value chain. A key outcome is the ability to align purpose, enterprise strategy, organizational architecture, and systems management.
Subject: Operations, Leadership | Time: 6 weeks | Certificate: Yes.
Level: Executives, Managers | Pace: Instructor-lead | Price: $2,899
Info: Visit course website. Get free prospectus. Browse all courses in Business.
7. The Habit of Ferocity – Mindvalley
The Habit of Ferocity (visit website) on Mindvalley is an intensive business training program aimed at professionals and entrepreneurs looking to perform at their peak. Basically, this online business course is for anyone who struggles to escape the brain fog, chronically experiences down days, or finds themselves unable to move the inner blocks.
Mindvalley’s class aims to help students be their most productive versions making peak performance their default state. Productivity, performance, and incredible focus aren’t naturally gifted talents exclusive to the one percent but learned skills. Thus, in Ferocity, you will learn that the state of mind is that controls these trainable and cultivable skills.
Five modules will take you through a step-by-step process of harnessing the mental and physical ferocity to streamline your goals and attempts to procure them. You will learn about automating your motivation, workflow, and grit, and prep for a lifetime of ferocity. It’s one of the best business courses online if you want to tweak your own performance KPIs.
8. Business Analytics – Udacity
Udacity’s Business Analytics (visit website) aims to impart foundational data skills that can be applied across multiple verticals in the business industry. It is a nanodegree program that you can easily complete in 3 months’ time at a steady 10 hrs/week.
Some of the class’s core concepts include analyzing data, building models with Excel, querying databases using SQL, and informative data visualizations with Tableau.
Upon enrolling in this technical business course, you will begin by learning how to find insights from a data dashboard. From here you will move towards developing Excel skills for manipulating, analyzing, and visualizing data in a spreadsheet.
Data visualization is one of the core concepts in this class and the final course module is dedicated to it. By the end, you will have established a functional understanding of model business scenarios and communicated your findings with SQL, Excel, and Tableau.
This is among the best business courses online for those wanting to develop a more technical mindset and aiming to find business opportunities through data analysis.
Instructors: Josh Bernhard, Dana Sheahan, Mat Leonard, Derek Steer
Online Business Courses: 4 | Prerequisites: None
Price: View Course. From $339/month. Get up to 75% off. Includes certificate.
9. Business Strategy – Coursera
Offered by The University of Virginia, Business Strategy (visit website) is a 5-course specialization aimed at aspiring business enthusiasts to develop the skills needed to gain and sustain key competitive advantage.
Upon enrolling in the course, your skillset will expand to include strategic analysis, strategic management, capabilities analysis, innovation strategy, and more. This specialization covers the industry evolution and global aspects of strategic management. These are some of the core concepts in business strategy and a sound grasp of these will help learners build and sustain a competitive advantage.
After the first course that sets the foundations of a sound business strategy, individuals will pick up the key concepts in advanced strategy-making. Next, you will move towards business growth and strategic business planning. The final course is a project-centered course that is designed to help learners apply business strategy principles in practice.
10. Business Fundamentals – edX
Business Fundamentals (visit website) by the University of British Columbia is a professional certificate that teaches the soft skills needed to advance and accelerate a business’ growth and sustenance. These skills include effective communication, audience analysis, storytelling, advanced communication, and human resources.
Along the way, the program will introduce enrollees to its business model framework, core value propositions, macroeconomic tools, and accounting literacy. Towards the end, you will get a chance to cast an integrated look at business functions. In three modules the class covers business foundations, business communications, and digital marketing.
Towards the second half of the program, the skills you’ll pick up in marketing will include building brand strategies and locating the x-factor that drives results. One of the best business courses online to systematically develop your skillset, and get certified.
Provider: University of British Columbia, edX | Type: Professional Certificate
Duration: 5 months. 3-5 hours/week | Pricing: $499 with Certificate.
Info: View course page.
11. Business Management – edX
Business Management (visit website) is a self-paced MicroMasters program comprising of 6 graduate-level courses that students can complete in 10 months. Participants will get an overview of accounting’s role in business management. This online class will also dive into the importance of operations management in business-related settings.
Along the road, students will delve into the various aspects of people and staff management. The program will also introduce the systematic framework of marketing management that successful businesses use as an approach for marketing their services.
By the end, you will have developed some competitive edge soft skills that can pave way for a bright career in business management. Your skillset will include mastery of those concepts that are thought of as financially savvy by veteran managers.
Individuals will also have a working understanding of the various analytical approaches and strategies that lead to competitive advantages. This is one of the best business courses online if you want to take part in a certified MicroMaster or similar program.
Provider: IIMB, edX | Type: MicroMasters
Duration: 10 months. 2-4 hours/week | Pricing: $899 with Certificate.
info: View program and course page.
12. Bob Iger Teaches Business Strategy and Leadership Skills – MasterClass
Former Disney CEO Bob Iger (visit website) is here to share some of his wisdom on running a successful business by bringing his own experience to the table. Iger has the honor of driving his own ventures to unprecedented success during a time of disruption with the acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel.
With 45 years of experience under his belt, Iger is set to take his students through the ins and outs of scoring with their business ideas. In Bob Iger’s class, you will encounter tips on focusing, strategizing, and setting your priorities straight. You will also have a chance to learn the art of taking “giant swings” keeping the Pixar acquisition case in mind.
Later on, Iger discusses the Marvel acquisition case to help you understand the formula behind expanding your business. You will also learn how to take calculated risks, navigate complicated and high-stake deals, and manage disruption in the 21st century.
This could be one of the best business courses online if you want to learn business strategies from one of the most known and successful CEOs. It combines s well with other classes on the platform, and you can test it for free.
Chief Evangelist Guy Kawasaki (visit website) offers an insightfully packed business course to anyone looking for a way to effectively materialize their ideas. Having successfully partnered and run a wide range of start-ups, Kawasaki is in a perfect spot to share her nuggets of wisdom with budding business folks.
Art of the Start is an intermediate-level business course that provides budding entrepreneurs with the most dominant principles of operationalizing their business ideas and garnering investments. Her principles are grounded in two interrelated concepts: your idea’s meaning and “democratizing personal computing”.
Art of the Start is created to help learners organize their thoughts with the help of a module-by-module walkthrough. Students will cover core business concepts such as positioning your company for success, launching, fundraising, pitching, and socializing.
By the end, individuals will have a holistic perspective of setting up a business for success by getting the odds in their favor. This is among the best online business courses, available on Skillshare, and is suitable for freelancers and start-up entrepreneurs.
Tip: Explore our round-ups of the best personal finance courses, or Fintech courses or blockchain courses, or cryptocurrency courses, or real estate courses or business management courses to deepen your skills in the field of business and finance.
14. MBA in a Box: Business Lessons from A CEO – Udemy
MBA in a Box (visit website) is aimed at individuals who wish to inspire enough business acumen that can help them start their own businesses, take their existing venture to the next level, and have a guided view of what enables some businesses to gain extreme successes when others just fall flat.
In the modules, you will find real-life examples shared by some of the top business schools around the world. There are a total of five modules within the course that was created following intensive research on the most successful MBA programs.
Some of the core concepts covered include ways to start from scratch, carrying out a SWOT analysis, understanding cost leadership, differentiation, and niche, the 4 Ps of marketing, and financials. You will also learn how to read and prepare financial statements, calculate customer lifetime value, cash flows and expand your business.
This is one of the best-selling business courses on Udemy. Combine it with other classes to further develop your business, finance, communication, soft, and leadership skills.
15. Become a Small Business Owner – LinkedIn Learning
Become a Small Business Owner (visit website.) is an 11-module program that helps aspiring learners streamline their goals and execute implementable plans in the real world. You will set yourself up for in-depth training on how to operationalize the legal, financial, and other aspects of your business. Guy Kawasaki is one of the instructors.
Students will begin with a course on entrepreneurship foundations before diving into expanding their niche and clientele. The online business courses in this program will help you test the waters and figure out niches most suited to your ability.
From here, students will move towards understanding the basic concepts underpinning any business, creating a business plan, and setting up the small business as a legal entity. In the last module, you will learn how to sum it all up by bringing a work-life balance to your business ethics making it a win-win situation for everybody.
16. Become a Project Manager – LinkedIn Learning
Offered by LinkedIn Learning, Become a Project Manager (visit website.) is a 12-course program directed at project managers who take on the responsibility of being the catalyst for change. This track is designed to help individuals manage both low and high-stake projects as well as complex and enterprise-wide initiatives.
Upon enrolling in this course, managers and aspiring individuals will be able to learn, practice, and develop skills that were left wanting until now. The introductory course will teach you the foundations of project management. This involves building a plan and executing it to perfection. Next comes the ethics and risks involved in project participation.
At the same time, you will also learn how to resolve scheduling conflicts, manage budgets, explore the tools that can derive efficiency, and stakeholder management. By the end, aspiring managers will have a clear-cut vision of the credentials needed in managing business projects successfully. This is among the best business courses online if you wish to combine essential business skills with project management,
Tip: courselounge curates eLearning courses and resources. Here are some of our reviews listing the best Udemy courses, Coursera courses, GetSmarter courses or LinkedIn courses or MasterClass classes.
In this class (visit website), Tracey Wallace takes students through the essentials of setting up a profitable online business. It is a business course for beginners aiming to set up their own brand or go freelance. It’s the perfect warm-up or intro class to tap into e-Commerce.
Students will begin with a quick evaluation of the current state of e-Commerce. The next step is to find a suitable and profitable product or niche. Once a niche is chosen, Tracey moves to competitor analysis and the all-important task of setting up your online store. With your store set up, you must build momentum by making your niche profitable.
The class finishes with a hands-on project where students will share their store’s website. This course caters to anyone who has a vision for setting up their own business but does not understand where to start. Coming out of this compact class, students will be able to gain clarity of purpose and organize a step-by-step implementable formula for execution.
18. Business Bootcamp: 7 Weeks to Start Your Own Business – Udemy
Business Bootcamp (visit website) is a step-by-step business course to help aspiring businessmen execute their ideas in just 7 weeks. It is suitable for beginners.
Upon enrolling in the course, students will learn how to turn their passion and skills into a lucrative career. Students will learn how to identify and define their target audience and clientele. An important milestone covered in the course is finding your first client/customer.
Later modules include an incisive chapter on scaling up your business to six figures. You will learn how to do that by leveraging your most profitable niche. At the same time, you will explore the different ways to keep your digital and social media marketing strategy up-to-date. This includes learning how to create an online portfolio with a website, securing testimonials, and convincing social media profiles.
19. Creativity, Design Thinking, and Innovation for Business – Udemy
Udemy offers this popular business course (visit website) on innovative thinking to derive business profitability. The only requirement here is the ability to print course material.
Upon enrolling in the course, you will begin to learn strategies that foster a friendly and productive environment. The latter are the prerequisites for any thriving venture. Next, you must learn how to attract the right talent, overcome common pitfalls that startups struggle against, and understand your clientele.
As part of the course, you will also learn how to initiate an open idea-sharing program and implement Design Thinking. Toward the end, you will have most of the strategies and tools ready to execute your ideas effectively. One of these would be to create rapid prototypes to help verify the validity of your ideas.
How to Choose the Best Business Courses Online
All those best business courses online we have listed above aim at instilling a wide variety of skillsets in learners. To choose the right course, you must begin with a self-assessment where you thoroughly evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.
Some people are naturally effective speakers with a great talent for interlocution. If that is the case, you might want to opt for those business courses online that focus on other practical skills relating to business accounting and finance.
In order to assess your core skills, ask yourself the following questions.
- Do I have the passion as well as the patience required to materialize my ideas?
- Do you take a general interest in people and get along with them?
- How literate are you in matters of accounting and finance?
- Do you surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and can help you grow?
- Do you have the ability to embrace change?
- How much time and money can you invest in a good online business course before seeing any actual progress?
As you probe for answers to these questions, you will become clearer about which are the best business courses online you should opt for.
Best Business Courses Online 2023 – Review Verdict
Wrapping up our review of the best business courses online. For those of you who keep bursting with new ideas every calendar day, enrolling in a business literacy course can be the stepping stone for success. But this is also where one must be careful.
The online business courses listed above specialize in inculcating both the soft and hard skills needed for steady business growth.
While Udemy’s Creativity, Design Thinking, and Innovation for Business, Voss’s The Art of Negotiation, and Become a Project Manager by LinkedIn Learning are some of the best business courses online that focus on instilling relevant skills.
Other online business courses such as those listed on edX, Skillshare, and Coursera may be a good option for learners who wish to improve their measurable performance.
Best Business Courses Online 2023
- Business Foundations – Wharton Online, Coursera
- Chris Voss Teaches The Art of Negotiation – MasterClass
- Digital Business Strategy – MIT Sloan, GetSmarter
- An Entire MBA in 1 Business Course – Udemy
- MBA Essentials – Rotman School of Management
- Oxford Organisational Effectiveness Programme – GetSmarter
- Business Analytics – Model Business Scenarios – Udacity
- Business Strategy Course – Coursera
- Business Essentials – Harvard Business School
- Economics for Managers – Harvard Business School
- Art of the Start: Turning Ideas into High-Growth Businesses – Skillshare
- Bob Iger Teaches Business Strategy and Leadership – MasterClass
- MBA in a Box: Business Lessons from A CEO – Udemy
- Become a Small Business Owner – LinkedIn Learning
- e-Commerce Essentials: Start a Successful Online Business – Skillshare
- Become a Project Manager – LinkedIn Learning
- Business Bootcamp: 7 Weeks to Start Your Own Biz – Udemy
- Creativity, Design Thinking, and Innovation for Business – Udemy
- Business Fundamentals Program – University of British Columbia, edX
- Business Management – IIMB, edX
Popular Business Schools and Universities – Business Courses Online
- Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
- London Business School
- Copenhagen Business School
- Harvard Business School Business Degrees
- MIT Sloan School of Management
- IESE Business School Barcelona
- IIMB Indian Institute of Management
- Ross School of Business – Michigan University
- USC Marshall Business School
- Babson College
- Business School Durham University
- London School of Economics and Political Science
- University of Cambridge
- Stanford University
- University of Illinois
- MBA Harvard Business School HBS
Popular Instructors Offering Business Online Courses
- John Mattone
- Rahul Jain
- Ryan Holliday
- Ramit Sethi
- Sridhar Laxman
- Seth Godin
- Silviu Marisk
- Michelle Ward
- Eric Siu
- Guy Kawasaki
What are the best business courses online 2023? Have you taken any business degrees online? Let us know in the comments below.
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links to some providers of business courses online. courselounge may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. It does not add any extra costs. All reviews, opinions, descriptions and comparisons expressed here are our own.