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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? Most importantly, what do you need to know to succeed in that job?

These are the best finance courses to get ahead in the professional world in 2024.

Finance Course List

Whether you're brand new to the world of finance or many years into your career, this list will have something for you.

Here are the top 16 courses I'd recommend, in no particular order.

1. Corporate Finance Institute: Corporate Finance Fundamentals

This course is best for: Individuals who are new to corporate finance, or accounting professionals who 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
  • Various 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 (aka free bragging rights).

2. Harvard Business School Online: Financial Accounting

Best for: Those who aren’t very knowledgeable about accounting. This is valuable for individuals who come from the FP&A track but want to get into a decision-making position that oversees accounting as well.

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
  • GAAP and IFRS standards
  • How to forecast and value investments
  • 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

Best for: Those who already have an understanding of finance and investment management, but 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 can't be made in isolation; they need to consider the long-term impacts on the triple bottom line: People, profits, and the planet.

The Sustainable Investing course covers topics such as:

  • Incorporating ESG factors into decisions
  • Measuring and monitoring sustainable investment opportunities
  • Analyzing ESG implementation strategies
  • Integrating ESG risks into financial models

You'll learn 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

Best for: Financial planners, investment managers, and personal finance enthusiasts who want to go beyond the standard public markets. 

Price: $1,750

This course covers alternative investments within financial markets including:

  • Private equity,
  • Private debt,
  • Hedge funds, and
  • Real estate.

The course includes 35 hours of instruction and a Certificate of Completion or Certificate of Specialization upon completion.

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

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

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

Price: $120

This course teaches students how to:

  • Value a company
  • Build a cash flow statement & valuation model
  • Up your Excel game to look more professional

It includes 5 hours of on-demand video, 1 article, and 134 downloadable resources.

Udemy offers an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee - y'know, in case you decide you actually weren't going to complete it.

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

Best for: Those pursuing a career in investment banking, private equity, corporate finance, or equity research.

Price: $499

Okay fine, you caught me, this is 6 courses, not one.

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

Best for: Risk analysts and managers, treasury analysts, regulators, and, well, anyone in finance that deals with risk.

Price: $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
  • How to measure them with standard risk reports
  • Implications of recent risk events for risk management and regulation
  • Current regulatory stress testing regimes for financial institutions

8. Corporate Finance Institute: Budgeting and Forecasting

Best for: Those interested in senior management positions who need to shape up their budgeting and forecasting skills.

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

This online budgeting course aims to teach you a disciplined approach to:

  • Developing budgets
  • Forecasting results with quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Using variance analysis to track performance
  • Making use of Excel functions and tools

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

Best for: Finance executives/advisors working with companies that are looking to raise money.

Price: $115

This course covers the basics of venture capital fundraising and investor pitching - you know, the part where you put lipstick on your company and try to get a second date.

It covers topics such as

  • Understanding and negotiating term sheets
  • Equity Crowdfunding
  • The state of the VC market

The course also includes a bonus mini-course on the reasons why start-ups fail and includes a Certificate of Completion.

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

Best for: Venture capitalists, private equity investors, and investment bankers who want to learn advanced valuation strategy methodology.

Price: Free - $66 (for certificate)

The course covers:

  • Leveraged buyouts
  • Valuing high-tech ventures
  • Dealing with rival bidders

The course is offered at three levels, ranging from executive summary, student level, and honors level.

11. Wall Street Prep: Excel Crash Course

Best for: The finance newbies that want to learn - or get better at - using Excel.

Price: Free - $66 (for certificate)

Basically finance 101, this course is all about Excel spreadsheets, covering:

  • Basic navigation
  • Formatting
  • Proper data entry
  • Routine functions
  • Data tables
  • Lookups
  • Pivot tables

But if you already know the basics, you can 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

Best 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, aiming 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

Best 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:

  • Financial statement analysis - including all those included in a 3-statement model
  • How to determine your return on equity
  • Exercises and case studies to apply the concepts.

14. Harvard Business School Online: Global Business

Best 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 I've listed, but the part of me that studied International Business in school had to include it.

This HBR course provides the foundation to make more informed business decisions by understanding:

  • The impact of macroeconomic, political, and social indicators 
  • How to grow your businesses internationally
  • Distinct approaches to navigate complex industries

15. Wall Street Prep: Real Estate Financial Modeling

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

Price: $499

This course covers:

  • Cash flow builds of multifamily and commercial property types
  • Details on modeling revenues, expenses, occupancy, and rent
  • Net operating income
  • Cap rates

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

Best 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

Fantastic, you have the skills.

Now, it's time to let everyone else know what you can do by getting the right certifications to brag about it.

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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.