That said, here’s a word of warning: MOOCs won’t stay free forever. Sure, top institutions are building brand by giving students a taste of their content. Eventually, they’ll need to tie their open source ideals to a revenue stream. Otherwise, they’ll simply disrupt and cannibalize their existing business. By giving content away for free, educators have opened the same Pandora’s Box that media outlets did nearly twenty years ago. Customers began to expect free content. And it resulted in a consolidation and decentralization of that marketplace. A decade from now, academics may view the present day as the heyday of MOOCs. To continue this model, educators will eventually need to charge for the content or reduce access or quality.
So if you’re going to enroll in a MOOC, do it now. The paywalls and restrictions are soon to come.
Still interested? Here are some of the top foundational business courses, along with a sample of the most intriguing electives, we recommend to create your own MBA for free:
Introduction To Finance
School: University of Michigan (Ross)
Link: https://www.coursera.org/course/introfinance (Includes Introductory Video)
Start Date: February 3, 2014 (15 Weeks Long)
Workload: 6-8 Hours A Week
Instructor: Gautam Kaul
Credentials: Professor Kaul has won five Excellence in Teaching awards at Ross, along with earning the Victor L. Bernard Leadership in Teaching Award in 2009. He is widely published in financial journals and teaches a variety of introductory and advanced courses, including Corporate Finance, Investment and Financial Institutions, and Sustainable Enterprise.
Graded: Students will earn a signed certificate from the instructor for successfully finishing the course.
Description: A mix of theory and real world examples, this course focuses on the fundamentals of the valuation of personal and corporate assets. Focused on problem-solving, the course contains a series of videos, where concepts and examples are introduced simultaneously. After working out practice problems, students can view Professor Kaul’s analysis, along with interacting with other students on online forums. The course will also consist of standalone assignments and a final exam. A course syllabus is available on the Coursera link.
Review: “Gautam Kaul is… the best person to lead you in the world of Finance. Why I think this course is the best introduction to Finance? First – it covers a lot in a human way. Gautam is a great pedagogue and he is a wise man too. It’s good to meet someone like him in a course that grows money on it’s cover. Second – the course is a challenge – the assignments are not easy, they are real financial problems with open answers. You have to put a little effort to complete them, and there is learning generated. Third – now, half a year later I am taking an Accounting and Statistics classes, and I’m surprise how much I already know. Finally – I learned a little Excel too, and to be able to play with Excel is kind of fun.” To read additional reviews on this course, click here.
Additional Note: Subtitles are available in Chinese, Portuguese, and Ukrainian. A list of suggested textbooks is included in the syllabus.