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Technology 102: FREE Online Business Courses

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The Internet is now the 21st Century vehicle for learning. In the previous career of this writer, my employer was the Learning Department for the United States division of Deloitte Touche Tomatsu. In 2004, we had 16,000 users connected to the system. Deloitte used the e-learning platform to "on-board" new employees and disseminate information that could benefit their clients and enhance the brand. We had the pleasure of rolling out the system to Deloitte worldwide with 135,000 employees at the time.

In 2014, the internet is becoming the new learning vehicle for education. The Small Business Administration is using this technology and even The Wharton School, the US News world ranked number 1 MBA program, http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/mba-rankings, is providing courses for FREE on http://www.coursera.com. This writer is now enrolled in an MBA level course, An Introduction to Marketing, https://www.coursera.org/course/marketing delivered from The Wharton School.

Business Insider, http://www.businessinsider.com/best-online-courses-to-take-2013-9?op=1, recommends 15 courses for business. One of my favorites from their list is Introduction to Micro Economics from the professors at MIT - http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/economics/14-01sc-principles-of-microeconomics-fall-2011/unit-1-supply-and-demand/introduction-to-microeconomics/. The course description says "You can use the tools of microeconomics to decide how best to spend your income; how best to divide your time among leisure activities; or how many people to hire in the business you run. Life is full of choices. Microeconomics can help you decide how to make them."

Business Insider also recommends, How to Build a Startup, https://www.udacity.com/course/ep245. In this course, participants "Learn the key tools and steps to build a successful start-up (or at least reduce the risk of failure). An introduction to the basics of Steve Blank's famous Customer Development process, where entrepreneurs "get out of the building" to gather massive amounts of customer and marketplace feedback, and then use that feedback to continuously iterate and evolve their start-up business models, improving the chances of success at every step."

I would also recommend a basic accounting principles course, not on the Business Insider list, for example, http://alison.com/courses/Introduction-to-Accounting-1. The course description says "Using an interactive presentation style, this course delve into the terminology employed in financial circles, the principles used in basic accounting and the systems put in place to ensure financial control is maintained. The course explores the main financial statements including the profit & loss account and the balance sheet and the everyday adjustments that have to be made. On completion of the course, the learner is expected to be aware of the importance of prudential financial management and the factor it plays in the success or failure of businesses and organisations". I would not be a technology evangelist if Business Technology Simplified did not make it my list, http://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/training/business-technology-simplified. This course will cover some basic technology tools to help businesses run more efficiently and use technology effectively.

Be sure to check out http://blog.coursera.org/post/60889088289/the-wharton-foundation-series. It looks like the series is over for this year but your name can be added to the watch list in case the series is reintroduced. For start up entrepreneurs, we recommend the U.S. Small Business Administration course, The Essential Guide to starting your own business http://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/training/young-entrepreneurs-essential-guide-starting-your-own-business. It is a quick brief, 41 minutes long, introduction into what is needed to start a business.

These are just some of the education websites and courses to continue the life long journey using 21st Century Technology. Happy Learning!

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