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Imagine that you’ve landed your dream job in finance.

What are you doing day-to-day? What do people come to you for? How are you spending your time? Now reverse engineer that dream to isolate the functional skills you’re missing and learn them!

Whether you’re new to the field and looking to get ahead or you’re an experienced finance professional wanting to update your skills to match the current market’s needs, there are massive benefits to taking a finance course online.

There are many finance courses available, but it can be overwhelming to know which ones are the most relevant and valuable. In this article, I've curated a list of the top 16 finance courses from various online platforms, including Harvard, Coursera, HBS, Corporate Finance Institute, Udemy, and more.

There are often certificates associated with online finance courses but, if you’re looking to improve your CV in a more meaningful way and stand out to employers, consider checking out The Top 10 Finance Certifications To Catapult Your Career instead. 

If you're ready to take your financial knowledge to the next level, this list of online courses is the perfect starting point.

Finance Course List: The Top 16

1. Corporate Finance Institute: Corporate Finance Fundamentals

Who this course is for: Individuals that are new to corporate finance, or accounting professionals that are interested in gaining more hard skills in financial functions.

Price: Free

This free corporate finance course will teach students about different players in the capital markets, funding lifecycles, business valuation methods, mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt capital raising, and corporate finance career paths. The course includes exams and the option to email instructors for support. Successful completion of the course earns a certificate of completion.

2. Harvard Business School Online: Financial Accounting

Who this course is for: Those that aren’t very knowledgeable about accounting. This is valuable for individuals who have risen through the FP&A track and are looking to take on a decision-making position that oversees the accounting department as well as finance.

Price: $1,750

This course is a part of Harvard Business School’s Finance & Accounting track. 

The Financial Accounting course teaches the fundamentals of financial accounting, including how to read and analyze balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements. It also covers GAAP and IFRS standards, how to forecast and value investments, and how to understand and communicate financial results. Upon completion, learners will receive a Certificate of Completion or Specialization. The course includes seven modules and takes 60 hours to complete.

3. Harvard Business School Online: Sustainable Investing

Who this course is for: Those who already have an understanding of finance and investment management, that want to learn how to future-proof their organization with respect for environmental decisions.

Price: $1,750

This course is a part of Harvard Business School’s Finance & Accounting track. 

Most of us know that financial decisions cannot be made in isolation; they need to consider the long-term impacts on people and the planet, as well as the bottom line. The Sustainable Investing course covers topics such as incorporating ESG factors into decisions, measuring and monitoring sustainable investment opportunities, analyzing cutting-edge implementation strategies, and integrating risks into financial models. Learners will gain frameworks, analytical tools, and practical skills, and can earn a Certificate of Completion or Specialization.

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4. Harvard Business School Online: Alternative Investments

Who this course is for: Financial planners, investment managers, and personal finance aficionados. 

Price: $1,750

This course provides insight into alternative investments within financial markets including private equity, private debt, hedge funds, and real estate. It is designed to help participants develop the skills needed to assess potential investments and strengthen portfolios, for more resilient financial planning. The course includes 35 hours of instruction and a Certificate of Completion or Certificate of Specialization upon completion.

If you want to earn a certification for this topic, check out the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CIAI) certification program I recently covered.

5. Udemy: Financial Modeling: Build a Complete DCF Valuation Model

Who this course is for: Aspiring investment bankers, those looking to pursue a career in corporate finance, or finance professionals looking to deepen their valuation skills.

Price: $118

This course teaches students how to value a company, build a cash flow statement, and create professional and good-looking advanced Excel charts. It includes 5 hours of on-demand video, 1 article, and 134 downloadable resources. In case you’re not totally convinced of the investment in this course, don’t worry: they offer an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee.

6. Wall Street Prep: Financial & Valuation Modeling Certification Program

Who this course is for: Students or professionals pursuing a career in investment banking, private equity, corporate finance, or equity research.

Price: $499

Okay fine, you caught me, this is actually 6 courses (the course page says 7 but there are 6 outlined and included; this is likely due to course changes over time).

The Financial & Valuation Modeling program from Wall Street Prep teaches you how to build financial models in Excel from scratch using case studies and best practices. The coursework within this program each focuses on a different aspect of financial modeling, including:

  1. Financial Statement Modeling
  2. Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Modeling
  3. Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Modeling
  4. Trading Comps Modeling
  5. Transaction Comps Modeling
  6. Leveraged Buyout (LBO) Modeling

7. New York Institute of Finance: Risk Management Professional Certificate

Who this course is for: Risk analysts and managers, treasury analysts, regulators, and, well, anyone in finance that deals with risk.

Price: $3,519 - $4,399

Another collection of courses, for the risk managers in the crowd. The 5 courses in this program teach you to understand the risks associated with different asset classes and how to measure them with standard risk reports. It also covers the implications of recent risk events for risk management and regulation, as well as the current regulatory stress testing regimes for financial institutions. The courses included are:

  1. Introduction to Risk Management
  2. Measuring Risk: Equity, Fixed Income, Derivatives, and FX
  3. Risk Management Tools and Practices
  4. Introduction to Stress Testing
  5. Risk Regulation

8. Corporate Finance Institute: Budgeting and Forecasting

Who this course is for: Those interested in senior management positions that cover budgeting and forecasting.

Price: $41-70/month, for as long as you want access to the FVMA Certification courses

One of the courses contained within the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FVMA) Certification from the Corporate Finance Institute, this online budgeting course is designed for those responsible for financial management, budgeting, and forecasting in their organizations. It will teach participants to adopt a disciplined approach to developing budgets, forecast results with quantitative and qualitative methods, use variance analysis to track performance, and make use of Excel functions and tools. Topics include budgeting within a strategic framework, forecasting techniques, and applied budgeting tools and techniques.

9. Udemy: Investment Banking and Finance: Venture Capital Fundraising

Who this course is for: Founders or finance executives/advisors that are raising money immediately or in the near future.

Price: $111

One of the most impactful areas that you can tackle as a finance leader is capital raising. This course covers the basics of Venture Capital Fundraising and Investor Pitching. It covers topics such as understanding and negotiating Term Sheets, Equity Crowdfunding, and the state of the Venture Capital market in 2019 (though, I promise, it’s still relevant in 2023). 

The course also includes a bonus mini-course on the reasons why Startups fail. The instructor has over 30 years of Investment Banking experience and the course includes a Verifiable Certificate of Completion.

10. Coursera: Advanced Valuation and Strategy - M&A, Private Equity, and Venture Capital

Who this course is for: Though designed to appeal to an array of financial experts ranging from honors students to C-suite executives, this course is particularly interesting for venture capitalists, private equity investors, investment bankers, CEOs, CFOs, and those who aspire to these affiliations.

Price: Free - $66 (for certificate)

This course provides advanced valuation and strategy methods to help executives and students make better business decisions. The course covers topics such as leveraged buyouts, high-tech ventures, and rival bidders. It is applicable to those studying finance, economics, and business, as well as executives and aspiring professionals. The course is offered at three levels, ranging from executive summary, student level, and honors level.

11. Wall Street Prep: Excel Crash Course

Who this course is for: Anyone that feels they stand to improve in Excel. This covers everything from A to Z.

Price: Free - $66 (for certificate)

This is a course on Excel spreadsheets, covering everything from basic navigation, formatting, data entry, functions, data tables, lookups, pivot tables, and macros. You can most likely skip all of the intro elements and head straight into the shortcuts and macros, which are designed specifically for finance professionals.

12. Udemy: Level I CFA Prep Course 2023 - Financial Statement Analysis

Who this course is for: CFA Level I candidates and those interested in the CFA Program.

Price: $30 - $150

This course is part of a 10-course series, covering all 10 topics of the CFA® Level I curriculum. It’s designed to help students learn complex concepts in an easily digestible format and aims to help students apply the Pareto Principle: achieve 80% of the results with only 20% of the effort.

13. Corporate Finance Institute: Financial Analysis Fundamentals

Who this course is for: Aspiring financial analysts (and it counts as continuing professional education (CPE) credits for CPAs).

Price: $30 - $150

This four-module financial analysis course provides the skills and training needed to be a complete financial analyst. It covers different aspects of financial statement analysis, such as the income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, and return on equity, and provides exercises and case studies to apply the concepts.

14. Harvard Business School Online: Global Business

Who this course is for: Current or aspiring executives and entrepreneurs of global businesses.

Price: $1,750

Perhaps a bit of a departure from the explicitly financial nature of the other courses in this article, this HBR course provides the foundation to make more informed business decisions by understanding the impact of macroeconomic, political, and social indicators. 

Learners gain the skills and knowledge needed to grow their businesses internationally while learning distinct approaches and frameworks to navigate complex industries.

15. Wall Street Prep: Real Estate Financial Modeling

Who this course is for: Individual investors and financial professionals working in acquisitions, development, asset management, or real estate: brokering, lending, and private equity.

Price: $499

This module covers cash flow builds of multifamily and commercial property types. It includes details on modeling revenues, expenses, occupancy, and rent. Students will also learn about net operating income and cap rates.

16. Udemy: Python for Finance: Investment Fundamentals & Data Analytics

Who this course is for: Those interested in the intersection between data science and the finance function.

Price: $20 - $120

Perhaps one of the most relevant courses for forward-looking financial professionals, this course is designed to teach you how to code in Python, work with conditional statements, functions, sequences, and loops, solve real-world problems using Python, and more. 

As we see further AI development in the finance space, it appears that Python is the primary language for this technology. Taking this course could be transformative for leading the finance function in a new-age company.

Class Dismissed

The finance industry is constantly evolving, and it is important for financial professionals to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. Whether or not you’re just getting started in the industry, or you’re trying to transform your business to get it ready for the future, these courses are a great place to start.

Any new courses that I missed? Let us know in the comments below, or reach out to us on social media. I’d be overjoyed to hear what helped you to advance your career in finance.

By Simon Litt

Simon Litt is the Editor of The CFO Club, where he shares his passion for all things money-related. Performing research, talking to experts, and calling on his own professional background, he'll be working hard to ensure that The CFO Club is an indispensable resource for anyone seeking to stay informed on the latest financial trends and topics in the world of tech.

Prior to editing this publication, Simon spent years working in, and running his own, investor relations agency, servicing public companies that wanted to reach and connect deeper with their shareholder base. Simon's experience includes constructing comprehensive budgets for IR activities, consulting CEOs & executive teams on best practices for the public markets, and facilitating compliant communications training.