It has been quite difficult, to say the least, for both employees as well as employers who have been forced to work from home, furloughed, lost their jobs, or shut down office completely ever since COVID-19 wrapped its hideous tentacles around the world. But thanks to the availability of online courses, it doesn’t have to be that bleak at all.
Whether you’re thinking about starting a new line of business for yourself or switching to a new kind of business, the end goal is to have the right type of knowledge and skills to excel in a particular industry.
Whatever kind of business you’re opting for in the future as you’re counting your days isolating yourself during the pandemic, here is a list of some of the finest online courses to sharpen or grant you the skills you need to open and operate your own business.
Best Online Courses Available Today
If you want to learn what it means to be an entrepreneur, then the Coursera course of “Essentials of Entrepreneurship” is exactly what you need. Over here, you’ll learn the many basics regarding the process of entrepreneurship and how to identify any kind of business opportunity. The aim of this course is to equip students with the essential tools required to prepare them with the knowledge of owning their business.
Students will learn the following during this online course:
- Define the entrepreneurial process and how you can manage it
- Identify potential opportunities to make new business ideas
- Learn about operational challenges when it comes to creating new business ventures
- Being able to apply entrepreneurial concepts, methods, and approaches.
This free online course teaches students about the kind of approach Skillshare CEO Michael Karnjanaprakorn used to validate the idea for his startup, which is now a multimillion-dollar, venture-backed company. There are over 6 short video lessons that Michael goes through teaching students how they can communicate their ideas effectively to potential clients, conduct objective customer interviews to acquire real feedback, build their MVP, and then test it out in the real world without wasting money or time.
Shopify Compass doesn’t just offer one particular course for those who are interested in starting their own business, but rather a slew of courses for many experience levels. Like the previous two entries on our list, Shopify Compass enables students to learn some new skills and knowledge about starting whatever kind of business they want to down the line.
You get a crash course on Instagram, DIY web design, digital marketing and so much more. Not only that, but Shopify Compass also grants students access to expert knowledge from some of Shopify’s best-selling business owners.
Another top-rated entrepreneurship program from Coursera, which is ideal for those who may be having a great idea at the back of their minds, but not necessarily a business background. In this course, the students learn the following:
- Determine and analyze several entrepreneurial opportunities
- Improve strategic decision-making
- Enhance entrepreneurial mindset
- Build creative business models
The aim of the course is to simplify the startup process to enable students to develop the skills to help them determine and also act immediately on innovative opportunities either right now or even sometime in the future.
This brilliant Coursera course offers students the quickest access to the most valuable learning methods by renowned experts in music, art, science, math, literature, sports, and other types of discipline. The online course covers illusions of learning, dealing with procrastination, memory techniques, and the most effective practices that help students master various difficult subjects.
The duration of the course is between 12 to 16 hours which instructs students how to retain new types of information, and focuses on two separate learning “modes”. It also instructs students how our brain “chunks” information, so it can be stored in a way that will make it simpler for us to retain it for later.
Y Combinator’s Startup School in Silicon Valley’s most recognizable, as well as successful, startup accelerator. It is an 8-week online course comprising mentorship sessions, offers of a forum for goal tracking, accountability, and mutual support, as well as video lectures on a variety of topics recommended for startups (like measuring the right KPIs, coming up with ideas, getting used cases, building products, etc).
This one is obviously for those who enjoy photography and want to start their career in it. This free course might as well be considered a revolution because previously photography used to be exclusive where expensive equipment needed to be bought in order to get started. But of course, doing so only made learning this skill even more difficult. It also required a huge financial commitment upfront as well.
But thanks to the implementation of quality camera facilities into our smartphones, getting into photography is now much easier than it was before. This is why PhotographyCourse’s free online sessions will give aspiring and established photographers just the skills to improve their website’s design, Instagram page, and so much more.
Whether or not you work with AI in your company or as a job, chances are that you’ve already dealt with it in your professional and personal life. That’s why, if you’re looking for a crash course in artificial intelligence as well as its applications, then Udacity’s “Intro to Artificial Intelligence” is what you’re looking for.
It’s a free 4-month course where students will learn machine learning basics and learn how logic, planning, and statistics are essential with AI. After that, they’ll be taken to the course’s applications lesson segment that will give them insights into natural language, processing robotics, and image processing.
Harvard Business School is almost always ranked as one of the top business schools in the world. And now it offers free, interactive business lessons that can all be completed entirely online. The lessons offered here are openly available for anyone who wishes to advance their careers using core business aspects from students to leaders.
Doing business online: Which industries are thriving?
Despite a widespread slowdown across global markets, there are industries that continue to thrive through the pandemic. Aside from the medical industry which, for obvious reasons are in overdrive right now to combat COVID-19, industries that are continuing to thrive include the tech industry, e-commerce and logistics.
According to professional services provider Tomedes, a common thread that these industries share is that they are doing business online which enables them to continue business operations without the worry of exposing their employees to the viral threat.
Most industries will benefit from building an online presence or even transitioning to an online-first strategy. The effects of COVID-19 on brick-and-mortar businesses that we are seeing right now should be taken as a cautionary tale. The future of business is creating resilient strategies that are agile enough to adapt to any occurrence that may inhibit business. By not centering operations on physical stores, businesses are more flexible to change and can scale more easily, opening up new opportunities for growth in the process.
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