Numbers are the language of business.
They drive decisions. They are the truest measure of performance. Cash flows dictate how much you invest – and projected returns tell you where. Like any language, how numbers are used reveal cultural mores, priorities, and power centers. Without a basic knowledge of accounting and finance, you’d be hard pressed to decipher a balance sheet or an income statement.
FINANCIALLY ILLITERATE? THESE MOOCS CAN GET YOU UP TO SPEED – FAST!
If you haven’t fully grasped debits and dividends, assets and amortization, or earnings and liabilities, here’s some news to lighten your worries. With six major courses in accounting and finance, July is the month for you.
Let’s start with two offerings from Wharton. First, Michael Roberts, a decorated teacher and researcher, is taking the reins of Introduction to Corporate Finance, a foundational course required of all Wharton first-years. In this course, which starts July 6th, finance is more than a collection of formulas and models. Instead, it is a way of evaluating the health of organizations and industries. At the same time, Brian Bushee returns to take a more in-depth look at business operations with his Introduction to Financial Accounting, another Wharton foundational course. Here, you can get exposed to key concepts like balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements to help you better identify where you are – and where you want to be. For a broader view that spans both annual reporting and day-to-day costs, check out Introduction to Financial and Management Accounting, which was developed by the ACCA, the global body for professional accountants.
And that’s not all. Still unsure about the role of the Federal Reserve and how it operates? You’re not alone. That’s why William Addiss, a former partner at Lehman Brothers and instructor at the New York Institute of Finance, is offering Understanding the Federal Reserve, which starts on July 1st. In this course, you’ll understand the structure and inner workings of the Fed, along with its relationship with government and how its decisions shape economics globally (and locally). Similarly, the University of Melbourne is offering another section of The Role of Global Capital Markets, while Barnard College (part of olumbia University) will hold the second part of its Economics of Money and Banking course, which takes a deeper dive into the global financial infrastructure.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE IN JULY
Already mastered accounting and finance? No problem. This month, you’ll find courses covering leadership, entrepreneurship, and job hunting too. But first, take a look at two courses inspired by lean management practices. Quality Engineering and Management, for example, covers the quality engineering fundamentals that inspired six sigma. And Acumen applies such concepts to sustainability in its Lean Data Approaches to Measure Social Impact MOOC. Speaking of which, Acumen is also introducing Social Entrepreneurship 101, to help students channel their passions and concerns into enterprises that help others and bring value.
If you’re looking to enter the sports business, there is no better resource than Wharton’s Kenneth Shropshire, a former top sports lawyer. Starting July 6th, he’ll be co-teaching The Global Business of Sports, where you can learn about everything from sponsorship sales to media strategies. Delft University is back with its highly-regarded course on creative decision making. And Social Psychology, one of Coursera’s most popular classes, makes another run beginning July 14th.
To learn more about these courses – and register for them – click on the links below.