Education Matters: Interesting Courses for the Entrepreneur
When I left university, I thought I was done with school. I’d learned the basics of reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic. I could get a job and make a living now. The more I talk to people with higher ed degrees, the more I realize how much education really matters. It’s not about knowing facts but improving your own emotional intelligence. Some of us might not be able to take the time to go get a Master’s degree. This doesn’t mean we can’t continue in our education. Entrepreneurs love to read books. And they love to give courses. But one thing many of us neglect is real coursework.
If you’d like to continue in your education, here are some of the most interesting courses any entrepreneur could take right now.
1. Digital Marketing with Udacity
Digital marketing is such a broad topic. And when you don’t know where to start, you might just give up on the entire production. Fortunately, Udacity created a complete digital marketing program.
The program lasts three months and you earn a micro-degree at the end. You’ll take courses rich in the basics of marketing, content strategy, media planning, social media marketing, SEO, and SEM.
You’ll learn how to design your website content. The course includes opportunities to network.
2. Learning How to Learn
The human brain is so complex that we still don’t understand all of its mysteries. For example, we still don’t get what consciousness is (if it’s even a real thing and not a concept). We do know it’s not as simple as on/off, but we don’t understand much beyond what it’s not.
We do understand more today about practical aspects of the brain than ever before. And learning about how we learn is useful not only in your own life and career but in helping others toward their goals.
This is what the Coursera class “Learning How to Learn” attempts to give us. A glimpse into the learning abilities of successful and artistic people.
The course is about 12-16 hours. You will learn about brain science from experts who understand how the brain “chunks” information and stores it.
3. The Complete Crowdfunding Course for Kickstarter and Indiegogo
Kickstarter only has a success rate of about 45%. That’s about as lame as the average U.S. Presidential mid-term approval rate.
Why are so many Kickstarters failing? Perhaps it has something to do with the blasted million dollar success stories?
Whatever is happening, Udemy’s Complete Crowdfunding Course wants to give you all the tools necessary for success. You’ll participate in a four-hour course that includes step-by-step approaches to growth-hacking a crowdfunding campaign.
One of the major problems with most crowdfunding campaigns is the lack of audience. Many assume they’ll magically accrue an audience once they begin their campaign. Even people with an audience often fail at running a Kickstarter campaign. I’ve seen it.
4. A Course on Artificial Intelligence
As I’ve pointed out in countless articles here on Shoemoney, A.I. is here to stay whether we like it or not. You already interact with artificial intelligence on a daily basis. Often we don’t even realize we’re talking to a bot.
Another Udacity course wants to help you understand how those bots actually work. And they want to help you apply the technology to your business and startup.
The course, Intro to Artificial Intelligence covers four months of basics, stats, planning, logic and really anything A.I. related. It’s essentially a crash course in artificial intelligence.
The course is based off Standford University’s Sebastian Thrun’s own course on artificial intelligence.
You will need to take a few courses before beginning this one. You’ll need to know a little about probability theory and linear algebra. But that’s the cost for learning to control the A.I. before it learns to control you.
5. A Course on Productivity
I personally have a hard time taking the time to work on my productivity. It feels counterproductive to take time out of my day for self-improvement. But it’s really not a bad idea.
Learning how to throw the procrastination monster overboard and avoiding that feeling of being overwhelmed would be valuable, right? Well, there is a course for that.
You can take two hours out of your day to learn how to be more productive. The first step is to schedule (some of us have a hard time with that word, schedule) the course during a time when you can give your *full* attention.
The course is like a doctor’s checkup on your productivity health. You’ll participate in activities that diagnose how you mismanage your time and find ways to fix those things.
People who find themselves constantly overwhelmed rejoice. You’ll learn to control your mindset and increase your energy level. You’ll learn daily habits you can incorporate that mesh with your personality type.
6. Building a Personal Brand
If you’re not looking to jumpstart a startup, you are probably building your own personal brand. This is where I’m at. And I can tell you that any freelancer I’ve ever known could use a course like this.
And even if you aren’t building a business from your personal brand, you can learn a bit from Gary Vaynerchuk’s course.
7. +Acumen Presents: Seth Godin’s Leadership Workshop
Seth Godin founded Yoyodyne and Squidoo and is a bestselling author. While taking skills related courses can be extremely beneficial, sometimes all we need is a bit of inspiration for our day.
Learning from great entrepreneurs like Godin can have a profound impact on your drive and your mood. This is why I’ve included this awesome short course on leadership.
Even if you don’t feel like a born leader, there is always someone in your life who looks up to you.
8. Google I.T.
The Google IT Support Professional Certificate Specialization is probably the most intensive course on this list. It includes 10 hours a week of video lectures, hands-on labs, quizzes, and widget tutorials.
This is a partnership course between Google and Coursura. They recently opened the course to the public and that’s a good thing for entrepreneurs who want to manage their own I.T.
And even if you don’t want to manage your own I.T., you might want to understand every aspect of what’s going on in your company.
9. Startup Business: How to Raise Seed Capital
Whether you’re starting with $100 or $100,000, you’re going to need to raise funds to run your business. Some will do this through Kickstarter, other will earn it and still, others will rely on traditional investors.
The Startup Business course is for first-time business owners who feel overwhelmed. They might see startup funding as a mountain to climb. This course gives you the tools to climb that mountain.
10. Why Ethics Matter: Ethical Research
Often in business, we’re not asked to reflect on our personal morals. But morals and ethics guide our everyday actions. From how you treat your employees to what kind of food you choose to eat, you’re making moral and ethical choices in life.
If you want to ensure your business ethics are above board, you should check out this six-hour course on ethics from FutureLearn.
You’ll learn about history that’s shaped and established common ethical tropes in our society. You’ll read case studies about ethical research. And you’ll build a framework for future ethical research and how to apply what you learn.
11. The Complete SEO Course
While you can learn the basics of SEO from free articles on the web, SEOs still like to keep secrets from the general public. How else do you think they make their money?
SEO is as essential to your business as that bowl of oats you had for breakfast is to your daily focus. In this course, you’ll learn about how to measure SEO success, how to drive customers to your company through content marketing, and more.
It includes quizzes at the end of each section.
12. Intro to Virtual Reality
After the 90’s we all thought the virtual reality dream was dead. But just a few years ago, Oculus and HTC made that dream a reality.
While most people who own headsets are gamers and creatives, the market for VR is still growing in the business sector.
If you want to stay one step ahead in your visual marketing game, it’s a good idea to understand virtual reality as a marketing and training tool.
This is a basic intro to the technology by Google and it’s a free two-week course. You’ll come away understanding optics, displays, stereopsis, tracking, and hardware. You’ll also learn about various VR applications.