Six Online Courses To Understand the World of Finance

The world of finance is characterized by increasing volatility and innovation, making it more interesting to learn about and yet more challenging to comprehend. With the financialization of the economy, money's influence is vital at both a personal and societal level. To one degree or another, capital flows and interest rates impact everyone, from investment bankers to Uber drivers. A sound understanding of the financial system, whether attained via formal education or self-study, is critical.

There is plenty of free-to-access finance content out there. Blogs, YouTube channels, and podcasts are great resources for casually browsing through topics or getting answers to specific problems. Yet, online courses are ideal for those who prefer more structure to their financial education. These courses are affordable, but many also offer accreditation upon completion, which can elevate a resume and open new career opportunities.

Check out these six online finance courses to better understand how money moves our world.

Finance for Non-financial Professionals by UCI

Finance for Non-Financial Professionals teaches students the basics of accounting and finance. Concepts covered include financial planning, forecasting, budgeting, cash flow, and valuation. Offered via Coursera, it is a self-paced course that requires just a seven-hour commitment. The instructor is UCI's David Standen, who has decades of experience as a business school professor and entrepreneur. The content is mainly delivered by video, with review quizzes for each section.

There is a one-week free trial, and it costs $39 per month to continue learning after that. Due to its high-value content and low time commitment, this course is self-learning blog Intelligent.com's ‘top pick' for online finance courses.

The Complete Financial Analyst Course 2022

Need to do financial reporting at work and need hands-on methods for analysis? Check out Udemy's The Complete Financial Analyst Course 2022. The course is very Excel-heavy and teaches students how to create financial statements, calculate a company's sales, create loan schedules, and more.

Students will get to grips with the key financial indicators needed to analyze any company and learn the best practices for presenting their financial analysis through PowerPoint. The course is self-paced and includes 18 hours of video tutorials along with 11 articles and tasks. The course instructor provides personalized feedback, with queries answered within one business day.

It is advertised as costing $99. However, Udemy often offers a limited-time discount, with some special offers bringing the price as low as around $18.

Financial Markets by Yale

To get a holistic and historical overview of finance, consider Yale's Financial Markets course. Rather than picking up practical accounting skills, the course imparts a deeper understanding of the concepts and forces that underpin finance.

The course gives a theoretical overview of the field. It delves into how various financial instruments interface with society, the history of financial institutions, regulations, and other aspects.

The instructor, Robert Shiller, is a Yale professor and Nobel Prize Winner in Economics. The course is free. However, if students want the chance to earn a certificate, registration will cost $49.

Professional Certificate in Corporate Finance by Columbia

Those looking for MBA finance fundamentals should consider Columbia University's Professional Certificate in Corporate Finance. Offered via EdX and based on the first-year course of Columbia Business School's MBA program, it teaches students the core of corporate finance tasks.

These include valuation by the free cash flow method, calculating future returns on projects, assessing the risk of a firm's capital structure, and more. The course runs for three months, with the coursework taking a few hours a week to complete. It is typically priced between $600-$700.

Personal Finance From Khan Academy

Some people need to get to grips with personal finance basics. There are numerous quandaries everyone must grapple with when dealing with their finances and this course teaches students how to think about these decisions.

Khan Academy's Personal Finance covers many of these topics, from student loans to mortgages, to retirement funds. The course comprises video tutorials, and there are no tests. The Khan Academy is an NGO that offers its courses free of charge but requests a donation from its students.

Duke University's Behavioural Finance

Those curious about how psychology impacts our finances can consider taking Duke University's Behavioural Finance course. The course studies the behavior of markets, institutions, and individuals. In addition, the course covers an array of behavioral heuristics, highlighting common financial judgment errors students themselves may make.

From this, students may better understand human causality at the macro-level of the economy and be better positioned to monitor and control their own biases for improved financial decision-making. Offered via Coursera, this course is free, but students are required to pay $49 for the chance to earn a certificate.

Online courses make financial education readily available to people from all walks of life. Amid the current uncertain economic outlook, such learning is more important than ever. Educating oneself about the financial system can increase your value in the job market and improve financial decision-making.

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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

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Liam Gibson is a journalist based in Taiwan who regularly publishes in Al Jazeera, Nikkei Asia Review, Straits Times, and other international outlets. He also runs Policy People, a podcast and online content platform for think tank experts.