Learn the fundamentals of business with this $11 crash course taught by an award-winning professor

Noelle Ike, CNN Underscored
Updated Fri May 31, 2019

Story highlights

  • An online course aimed at providing you with the business acumen that an MBA program would
  • The best part? It only costs $11

Maybe you've always wanted to go to business school, but the timing never seemed right. Or perhaps you just don't have enough money to invest in a degree just yet. Going back to school means sacrificing time and money, and that might not be the best option for everyone. As it turns out, there are online courses that aim to provide you with the business acumen that an MBA program would. The best part is, they can cost even less than a textbook.

An Entire MBA in 1 Course ($10.99; stacksocial.com) is an immersive business course that covers everything from presentation techniques to raising money for your business and managing cash flow. It's taught by Chris Haroun, a business school professor and venture capitalist who received his MBA from Columbia University. He's worked at companies from Goldman Sachs to Citadel and Accenture, and has been awarded for his work mentoring McGill students in business. Plus, he's the author of "101 Crucial Lessons They Don't Teach You in Business School," a book Forbes included on its list of "6 books that all entrepreneurs must read right now." So not only does he know the industry, he knows how to break it down and teach the core concepts to someone else.

The course covers a wide range of business-related topics, with an emphasis on the most crucial topics and learnings Haroun has picked up during his career and while pursuing his own MBA. He describes his teaching style and curriculum as based on his real-life experiences, and he uses concrete examples, not just theory, when it comes to providing you with the practical skills that'll help you in your career. He equates this course to classes he's taught at several San Francisco Bay Area schools. A big plus: Haroun includes personal life and career advice throughout the course. For example, he's asked world-famous entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett for one piece of advice that has contributed to their success, and he shares his learnings throughout the course.

The course is divided into 15 classes, and roughly follows the life cycle of starting a company. The first five classes focus on actually starting your own company and how to get it off the ground. You'll cover what it takes to launch a successful company, how to effectively present to and impress an audience, what venture capital is and how you can raise funds for your company, security and legal structures to set your company up for the long run, and a class that covers investor valuation topics and dilution.

The next classes focus on the finance and accounting skills you'll need when it comes to smartly managing your company's finances. Haroun will walk you through building a balance sheet, managing cash flow, understanding everything from debts and bonds to interest rates and equity, managing an IPO, and building financial statements for private companies. There are classes on the best resources for information on analyzing companies, in addition to how to build financial models for a public company, and on how bankruptcy courts can protect your business, if it comes to that. The course ends with a goal-setting workshop and review of the best-practice lessons that Haroun considers most critical to success.

Over these 15 classes, you'll have unlimited, lifetime access to 63 lectures and 7.5 hours of content, so you can return to the content at any point. The various topics aim to provide you with the same wide range of business knowledge an MBA curriculum might. The course currently is just $10.99-- less than the price of one business school textbook. All in all, you'll cover the basic yet crucial information you'll need if business is a part of your career goals.

Looking for even more online resources? After you've completed your this course, considering checking out these courses on making income with your side business, how to master the art of networking and learn the ins and outs of executive leadership.