What are online business courses?
Online business courses are digital courses that cover a specific topic. Some online business courses follow a set schedule led by a live instructor, while others are self-directed anytime and at your own pace.
Due to the nature of online business courses, some colleges, universities, and other content creators offer free digital courses. Others require a membership fee, which may be worth it for specific topics or credentials.
When taking an online course, you can usually expect video, audio, writing, or a combination of content to walk you through the learning experience.
Are Online Business Courses Worth It?
Online business courses can absolutely be worth it. As with many free digital products, sometimes you get what you pay for. However, there are many high quality courses out there, both free and paid.
To decide if the financial and time commitment is worth it for you, read the course description, program, topics covered, and reviews from previous students. Sticking with reputable platforms and institutions can also help ensure you choose a quality course that is worth your energy.
What are the most useful business course topics?
The most useful business course topic is the one you know the least about. If you’re new to business, consider starting with courses in marketing, finance, accounting, and business strategy.
Depending on your business or goals, you may also want to take some specialized courses. Courses relevant to your industry or role are likely available in addition to the general topics covered here.
How much do online business courses cost?
Online business courses can vary widely in terms of cost. Many courses are available free of charge. Others may offer a free version or require payment for certification at the end of the course. But on the high end, you can find courses that cost several thousand dollars.
Paying for online courses may be worth it, but be careful not to overpay for a course that won’t provide the value you’re looking for.
How we choose the best online business courses
To choose the best online business courses, the Investopedia team reviewed dozens of courses across a range of online platforms. The winners covered important topics with a level of depth appropriate for a wide range of small business owners as well as managers and executives of businesses of all sizes. In addition to course topics, the source of teaching was very important to the selection process, with emphasis on accredited institutions of high reputation.