The 10 most popular free online courses for professionals

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Your education shouldn’t stop when you leave the classroom.

Learning new skills is a great way to expand your mind and get ahead in your career — and it’s easier than ever with a plethora of online classes just a click away.

A good place to start is with this year’s most popular Coursera courses from top universities. They range from an introduction to the programming language Python to mastering the art of negotiating. All are free, but some have paid versions that offer more extensive experiences.

Read on to see this year’s top 10, courtesy of Coursera.

10. Introduction to Financial Accounting — University of Pennsylvania


Wharton professor Brian J. Bushee teaches the basics of accounting in this course. By the end, you’ll know how to confidently read an income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows.

It’s one of four courses in Wharton’s business foundation Coursera package, which costs you $595 for the classes and a capstone project, all graded. If you don’t care about a certificate or being part of a cohort that can interact with each other and the professors, you can work through each course for free.

Next session: December 28 — February 1

Find it here >>

9. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills — University of Michigan

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Ross School of Business professor George Siedel has taught negotiation classes around the world and says his research-based class is useful whether you’re trying to secure a million-dollar investment in your business or to lower the cost of your cable bill.

Next session: Always available

Find it here >>

8. An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python (Part 1) — Rice University


Python is one of the world’s top five programming languages and is used at organizations like Google, Yahoo, and NASA. It’s a high-level language, but a novice can learn the basics relatively easily.

Rice professors Joe Warren, Scott Rixner, John Greiner, and Stephen Wong keep the course interesting by having students use Python to build simple games like Pong and Asteroids.  

Next session: January 9 — February 2

Find it here >>

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via Business Insider