7 Free Financial Courses from Top Tier Universities

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Free education is available!

Two weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to attend a 1-week training in Finance paid for by my company. I got to learn something on corporate finance, the training gave me the tools to be aligned with the corporate strategy, it’s a win-win. But at 3500$ per head, that isn’t exactly cheap.

What if you could get access to quality training like this for free?

Good news, a number of universities like Yale or the MIT provide high quality material for free! Content is posted online and available to everyone, sometimes directly on their website, sometimes through a MOOC provider, but in all cases the information provided is free of charge.

The Players

There are several players in the market of online courses and you can find most courses either directly on the website of the universities or through dedicated providers of MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) who act as search engines for online classes.

Some of the largest MOOC providers:

  • eDX.org : was created in 2012 by Harvard and the MIT as a non-profit organization hosting university-level courses. Last year, the platform had over 4 million students
  • Coursera.org : also created in 2012 is a for-profit organization supported by Stanford, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania. Last year, the platform had 11 million students.
  • Udacity.com : the smallest of the pack, was created in 2011 by an ex-Stanford professor and had 1.5 million students last year.

Additionally, some universities who produce their own content make parts of it available for free on their respective online portals:

  • MIT Open Courseware : completely FREE, the site is a repository of previously taught classes, publicly accessible without any sign-up. It is mostly supported by PDFs or Powerpoints for the course materials, lesson notes and the syllabus.
  • Yale Open Courses : completely FREE, this site is similar to the MIT’s except that it is has Youtube and iTunes videos of the classes taught. See Robert Shiller teach a class on Financial Markets!
  • Stanford Online : also FREE but the site relies on a variety of platforms to deliver the classes that sometimes require the user to sign-up.

There are tons of classes available for free online and I have found and chosen for you 7 courses related to Finance, Real-Estate, Entrepreneurship and Economy and a little bonus on Game Theory (remember the Greek Economics Minister ?).

I have selected classes from the top Universities of MIT, Yale and Stanford which give us an opportunity to learn more, at the very affordable cost of 0$.

Browse around and see what is most interesting for you!

MIT Open Courseware

MIT

REAL ESTATE FINANCE AND INVESTMENT: This course is an introduction to the most fundamental concepts, principles, analytical methods and tools useful for making investment and finance decisions regarding commercial real estate assets. As the first of a two-course sequence, this course will focus on the basic building blocks and the “micro” level, which pertains to individual properties and deals […]

ENTREPRENEUR FINANCE: This course examines the elements of entrepreneurial finance, focusing on technology-based start-up ventures and the early stages of company development. The course addresses key questions which challenge all entrepreneurs: how much money can and should be raised; when should it be raised and from whom; what is a reasonable valuation of the company; and how should funding, employment contracts and exit decisions be structured […]

Yale Open Courses

YaleLogo

ECON 252: FINANCIAL MARKETS (2011): Robert Schiller – An overview of the ideas, methods, and institutions that permit human society to manage risks and foster enterprise. Description of practices today and analysis of prospects for the future. Introduction to risk management and behavioral finance principles to understand the functioning of securities, insurance, and banking industries.

ECON 251: FINANCIAL THEORY : John Geanakoplos – This course attempts to explain the role and the importance of the financial system in the global economy. Rather than separating off the financial world from the rest of the economy, financial equilibrium is studied as an extension of economic equilibrium. The course also gives a picture of the kind of thinking and analysis done by hedge funds.

ECON 159: GAME THEORY : Ben Polak – This course is an introduction to game theory and strategic thinking. Ideas such as dominance, backward induction, Nash equilibrium, evolutionary stability, commitment, credibility, asymmetric information, adverse selection, and signaling are discussed and applied to games played in class and to examples drawn from economics, politics, the movies, and elsewhere.

Stanford Online

Stanford

FINANCE : Kay Giesecke – We live in an uncertain world. Every day, we need to make decisions about alternatives whose consequences cannot be predicted with certainty. For example, you work for a venture capital firm that wants to exit an investment. How can you compute the fair value the firm’s share in the venture?

PRINCIPLE OF ECONOMICS: John Taylor – This course is designed as an introduction to the study of economics. Participants will be exposed to the economic way of thinking and learn about the functioning of a modern market economy. The early part of the course focuses on microeconomic analysis including the behavior of consumers and firms. The later part of the course moves on to macroeconomic concepts such as national production, employment, inflation and interest rates […]

Have you had experience with online education before? Are there other sources (online or offline) of education that you would recommend adding to the list?

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9 COMMENTS

  1. This seems like a pretty comprehensive list. Thanks for putting it all together. I haven’t done any free courses yet but, like a lot of people, I think I might one day 🙂 I just found your blog, so I’ll be poking around. Cheers!

    • Welcome to you Bearded Dragon! Please have a look around and let me know your thoughts.
      I think this is pretty amazing that such quality content is available online for free, just the course on financial markets with Noble Prize Shiller from Yale is totally worth it!

    • There is so much great stuff online for FREE, it is absolutely amazing. The one that motivates me the most for now is the lesson taught by Nobel Prize Shiller at Yale on Financial Markets. Let us know how the Wharton course goes and if you would recommend it!

  2. We love taking these free online courses! (We just started the Science of Happiness from UC Berkeley on EdX.) Thanks for putting together this list of financial courses! Will definitely check these out.

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