My Top 3 FREE Online Learning Platforms for Entrepreneurs

My Top 3 FREE Online Learning Platforms for Entrepreneurs

I’ll bet anyone a dollar that despite the fact these, and many other free online learning platforms are all over Google, that many of you still think you have to pay for an education. Paying exorbitant tuition fees and ridiculous cost-of-living expenses is a life choice that should be reserved for people who resemble the cast of the Big Bang Theory (Kaley Cuoco is excluded from my science-bigotry of course) and those who want the full-on frat house experience.

For the entrepreneurs of the world, you can learn whatever discipline you want online for free. Let’s be honest: nothing becomes a skill or expertise until it’s put into real-world practice anyhow.

Here’s my top 3 list of online learning platforms, all of which I’ve used. Don’t worry, if you’re a science nerd, economics wiz in training, or want to learn more about history or archeology — you’ll find lots of that type of stuff offered too.

#3. Stanford Online


This platform is mostly for those who see themselves as the “geeky” type. I don’t mean this as an insult or to steer anyone away from these free educational offerings from Stanford. Only that the coursework is very involved in some of the disciplines they offer: Nanotechnology, Gene Therapy, Cryptography, and a slew of other complicated coursework that those of us with a standard IQ might find overwhelming. They offer similar courses to my #2 pick, but I feel some of this stuff is just a little more involved.

However, there are tons of practical (yet still challenging) entrepreneur-friendly free courses offered at different time slots throughout the year:

  • Your Body in the World: Adapting to Your Next Big Adventure
  • The Future of Food: Scenario Planning Training
  • The Science of Decision Making
  • The Spirit of Entrepreneurship
  • The Upside of Stress
  • Social and Economic Networks: Models and Analysis
  • Software Security Foundations
  • Online Certificate Program in Novel Writing
  • Economics of Competing Energy Technologies
  • Energy: Chemical Transformations for Production, Storage, and Use
  • Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders’ Seminar
  • Audio Signal Processing for Music Applications
  • Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate
  • Stanford Innovation at Work
  • Stanford LEAD Certificate: Corporate Innovation
  • How to Learn Math: For Students
  • How to Learn Math: For Teachers and Parents
  • Introduction to Logic
  • Introduction to Mathematical Thinking
  • Introduction to Statistical Learning
  • Cyber Security Graduate Certificate
  • Decision Analysis
  • Decision Quality
  • Planning for a Sustainable Future with Wind, Water and the Sun
  • Constructive Classroom Conversations: Mastering Language for College and Career Readiness
  • Converting Strategy Into Action

#2. Coursera


Coursera is a very comprehensively-designed website for entrepreneurs and techie-types of (mostly) all ages. The coursework ranges from challenging to deeply involved, as you’ll see in the short list of some of my favorites below. The great thing I like about this site is that they aggregate free courses from a who’s who of major universities — minus the average $19,000 yearly tuition costs! You can learn everything from how to polish your grammar, to business analytics, design, data and even how to just plain learn better.

Stop here first if any of the University-level topics below interest you (if not, check out the site — there’s at least hundreds of aggregated coursework and the accompanying links to sign up at any given time):

  • Grammar and Punctuation — University of California, Irvine
  • Big Data — UC, San Diego
  • Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business — Duke University
  • Data Science — Johns Hopkins University
  • Python for Everybody — University of Michigan
  • Machine Learning — University of Washington
  • Introduction to Interactive Programming — Rice University
  • Personal Development — UC, Berkely
  • Career Success — UC, Irvine
  • Introduction to Project Management Principles and Practices — University of California, Irvine
  • Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses, Part 1 & 2 — University of Virginia
  • Interaction Design — University of California, San Diego
  • Business Analytics– University of Pennsylvania
  • Mastering Data Analysis in Excel — Duke University
  • Learning How to Learn: Tools to help you master tough subjects — University of California,San Diego
  • Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) — University of Michigan
  • R Programming — Johns Hopkins University
  • Using Python to Access Web Data — University of Michigan
  • The Data Scientist’s Toolbox — Johns Hopkins University

#1. Open2Study


If you’re like me and you don’t have much interest in the overly techie side of learning, you’re going to love Open2Study. I’ve taken (and completed) many of the courses below on this platform. They aren’t easy by any means, but (in my opinion) O2S and their material is more on a high school graduate/community college level of learning. As opposed to the University format of teaching offered at Coursera and Stanford Online. I’ve listed this as my #1 based on personal experience and my own learning preferences.

Check out this comprehensive list of entrepreneur-driven (and free) coursework:

  • Entrepreneurship and Family Business
  • Human Resources
  • Innovation for Powerful Outcomes
  • Introduction to Business in Asia
  • Introduction to Enterprise Architecture
  • Leadership: Identity, Influence and Power
  • Principles of Project Management
  • Sports and Recreation Management
  • Emergency Management
  • Management for a Competitive Edge
  • Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • Strategic Management
  • Big Data for Better Performance
  • Online Advertising
  • User Experience for the Web
  • Writing for the Web
  • Diagnosing the Financial Health of a Business
  • Financial Literacy
  • Financial Planning

Good luck!

Email me a picture of your “free graduation” once you’re done.

Free Online University Courses for Entrepreneurs

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