Best Finance Courses for Professionals (With 4 Platforms)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 27 September 2022

Published 2 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Finance is an all-encompassing field that involves all money decisions and applies to public entities, businesses and individuals. Every business needs a finance expert to run successfully. Learning about the several finance courses online with certificates can help you decide which course you can take to become a finance expert. In this article, we review different financial courses to study, reasons you may choose a financial course online with a certificate, prerequisites for these courses, the time required and the platforms to learn these courses.

10 finance courses to study

Many finance courses exist to sharpen financial experts and equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills. Building a career in finance requires you to have extensive knowledge of several topics and skills to cover numerous technical areas. As a finance expert at this age, equipping yourself with the right training gives you an edge over others in the finance job market. These are the top finance online courses that you may study:

1. Financial statements course

There are many concepts to learn from a course in financial statements. Some important concepts to note are the construction of an income statement, cash flow statement, balance sheets, analysing annual reports, 10-Q, 10-K, MD&A report and all financial statement notes. Learning these concepts puts you in a stronger position as a financial expert.

2. Accounting course

There are specific skills in accounting that managers and employers expect you to have as a financial expert. These skills are debits and credits, bookkeeping, double-entry accounting, budgeting, journal entries, accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll. So, ensure that your finance course in accounting covers these disciplines.

3. Maths

Basic mathematics knowledge is crucial for financial experts, but it's more important to have a strong background in financial math. Several online courses teach how to calculate the future value, present value, beta, unleveraged beta, the weighted average cost of capital, tax schedules, interest schedules and debts. These are basic maths concepts you are required to learn to succeed in this career.

4. Financial analysis

Financial analysis is a core part of your job description as a financial expert. Financial analysis courses help you understand and calculate growth rates, margins, return on assets (ROA), return on equity (ROE), P/E ratio, debt/equity ratio and cash conversion cycle. This knowledge helps you to make better financial decisions.

5. Business valuation

It's highly recommended that you take a finance course online in business valuation. Even if you don't work on valuations directly, this is still an essential course to study. If you know how to value businesses, you may work across various departments, such as corporate development, accounting, investor relations and company operations.

6. Behavioural finance

Business finance course differs slightly from the others. This is because it's more theoretical, while the others are more practical. But if you're working in the capital market, you may need a thorough understanding of behavioural finance to succeed because it also improves your skill set all-round.

7. Financial modelling

Financial modelling is one of the online courses in finance that you can't do without. Therefore, it's a highly sought-after course in the finance expert cycle. This course teaches you how to forecast the performance of a business into the future, build discounted cash flow model (DCF) and three-statement model, and evaluate merger and acquisitions (M&A) and leveraged buyout (LBO).

Related: Financial Modelling Resume Tips (With Skills and Example)

8. Excel

Excel is a crucial tool for finance professionals. Learn to use the various functions, formulas, shortcuts and complete analysis from the bottom to the top. This gives you the technical training and knowledge that ensures you have a competitive edge.

9. Data visualisation

This is an essential skill in finance. Once you've analysed the data in Excel, you're also required to create outputs, graphs and charts to summarise the findings. Some concepts that you may learn in this course are aesthetics, cover design principles, data storytelling and attention focusing.

10. Presentations

As a financial analyst, you may spend a lot of time creating presentations. Attaining world-class status as a financial expert means you're required to develop attractive storytelling slides to support a business case and persuade the listeners using graphs, models and charts. So, learning to make these presentations puts you in a position to do better.

Related: Finance vs. Accounting: Definitions and Differences

Why choose free financial courses online with certificates?

A significant advantage of taking these free finance online courses is that you may learn from finance experts, at your own convenience, pace and comfort with certification. The certificate attracts a small fee and is proof that you completed the course. It can be tendered anywhere and helps get you on your career path in finance, economics, accounting and other related fields.

Taking several courses in finance can improve your financial literacy and ensure that you make better financial decisions. Additionally, you can learn the necessary skills to solve daily tasks revolving around financial planning and analysis. It also puts you in the position to work for individuals, businesses and public entities as a financial expert.

Prerequisite for partaking in free finance online courses

There are no prerequisites needed to take part in most online finance courses. Having a positive attitude and a sense of curiosity can push you to probe further. But there are certain items that you may require to ensure that you're learning effectively and enjoying the course, such as:

  • a working phone or computer system

  • an excellent operating system

  • reliable Internet connection

  • web browsers

  • useful software such as Excel and QuickBooks

Related: Learning About Diversity And Inclusion: 10 Free Virtual Courses

How much time is required to complete free online courses in finance?

Like many other online courses, you can complete a finance online course within a very short timeframe. A few of these courses may take you a day or two, but most of them require between six and eight weeks to complete. But note that online courses are primarily self-paced, and they may vary depending on the platform you're learning from.

Platforms to learn finance online courses with certificates

The following are platforms to learn finance:

1. edX

edX is a trusted online platform for learning and education founded by MIT and Harvard. This platform currently has over 20 million learners and is used by industry leaders, companies and highly-ranked universities globally.

edX offers numerous finance classes, including professional certificate programmes and MicroMasters programs. This platform allows you to earn a top institution-verified digital certificate to solidify your foundation in financial studies and kick-start your career in finance, economics, accounting and other related fields.

2. Coursera

This is also one of the most popular online learning platforms globally. Experts from the top companies and instructors from several world-class universities teach the courses on this platform. This ensures that you can learn new knowledge at any time. Coursera partners with world-renowned universities to offer high-quality online courses in finance. These courses cover the basics of finance management, accounting, banking, corporate finance, financial analysis and bookkeeping. In addition, there are also advanced finance online courses such as financial engineering, asset pricing and forensic accounting.

3. Alison

Alison is also one of the top websites for online education. It offers courses across different fields taught by experts worldwide, making it one of the trusted sites to look for online finance courses. The financial courses on this platform cover the basics of personal finance management, currency exchange, behavioural finance and stocks.

4. Udemy

This is another very popular online learning platform. It offers courses across different professional fields, including finance, and specific skill development courses. Some courses may require a fee, but they're all taught by expert tutors. This platform is similar to Coursera with the availability of courses in topics related to finance and learners can also build custom courses from their lessons.

How to choose the right online finance course or platform

These are a few steps to guide you on choosing the right online finance course and platform:

1. Ask for recommendations

One of the first things to do is to look for other candidates that have completed the course and are on the platform you're considering. If you don't know anyone personally, you can check for reviews online. This can guide your decision and ensure you select the most suitable course and platform.

2. Check that the instructors are certified

Before you start your courses, ensure that the instructors are well-trained and certified to take the course. Appropriate training ensures the instructors have a student-centred perspective and can offer tips and tricks to help you through the journey. Having a certified instructor helps ensure a pleasant learning experience.

3. Formulate an effective study plan

Many students fail in their online courses because of a lack of an effective study plan. When competent study practices are absent, it's harder to complete your course and do well at it. So, it's important that you choose a provider or platform with effective study materials and a study plan.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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