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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Learning MBA Courses for Free! Part I

Irrespective of whether you are an MBA or a B School student or a B School aspirant or someone interested in learning more about business/management, there are a plenty of resources available on the web. For a person who likes to listen rather than read through, there are many video courses/lectures as well. In the next few posts, I will try to put together an MBA curriculum completely based on free video courses (either MOOC or pre-recorded) covering both core courses and electives. Today, let's start with core courses (MBA first year curriculum). An outline can be pulled from any B School website. In this post, I will specifically concentrate on Finance and accounting courses. 

Financial Accounting

Financial Accounting is a core course required for all the MBA students in their first year irrespective of the Business School they study in. Financial Accounting can be considered one of the foundation stones of any Finance course you take later. This is also one of the 'most feared' courses :) There are many free online courses or MOOCs on this topic. Here are three of them --

Introduction to Financial Accounting from Wharton is an introductory course offered within the Coursera platform. Overall, a great introductory course with a case based approach. I would consider this to be a crash course giving the high level ideas in Financial Accounting. If you are more interested in the topic, Wharton also offers a course on advanced topics as well as another course specifically on accounting analytics

Introduction to Accounting - I from IIM Bangalore is an introductory course offered in EDX platform and a favorite of mine since he was a Professor during my stint at IIMB  :) I would consider this to be slightly theoretical in nature. But if you are interested in accounting from an Indian/Asian perspective; this is a great course. It is expected that IIMB will be rolling out second part of the course later in the year. I am sure, it will take the route of advanced courses from Wharton.

Introduction to Financial Accounting from Brigham Young University -- I haven't taken this course. But this seems to be a good one too with a complete coverage of topics in Financial Accounting.

Management Accounting

Management Accounting or Managerial Accounting is the other side of accounting coin. Very important for manufacturing industry, this aims to provide better information for managers in implementing an organization's objectives in the most cost effective way. This provides an insider's view; while financial accounting is meant for an outsider's view.

Management & Cost Accounting Modules - The YouTube play list from Rutgers Accounting Web is a great resource to start with. It is a collection of over 400 short videos on this topic by Prof. Noel Cooperburg. He takes a strategic approach to managerial accounting rather than an accounting/numeric based approach.

Managerial Accounting - IIT Bombay is an NPTEL course from IIT Bombay taught by Prof. Varadraj Bapat. Slightly theoretical, it gives a good introduction to accounting as well a deeper view into cost aspects.

Finally, there is a set of two courses in Coursera from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I haven't gone through this and is yet to start. First one, Cost Behaviors, Systems, and Analysis is expected to provide the introduction and Tools for Facilitating and Guiding Business Decisions deals with advanced topics.

Corporate Finance

Corporate Finance is the next foundation stone of all Finance related topic an MBA student might take up. Often a good learning of corporate finance is a must to even start with advanced topics. If you look for a Professor in Corporate Finance, the most famous one in the web is Prof. Aswath Damodaran of Stern School of Business. All his corporate finance courses in video format is available for free and this is perhaps the best source for learning Corporate Finance (http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/)

Corporate Finance @ Coursera -- Two courses are available in Coursera - one from Wharton School of Business (Introduction to Corporate Finance) and another from IESE Business School (Corporate Finance Essentials)

Financial Markets and Institutions

In some MBA curriculum, I have seen a core course on Financial Markets. It overlaps with Corporate Finance in some instances. In my case, it was an elective offered. Though 5 years old, I think Financial Markets by Prof. Robert J. Shiller of Yale University is still the most comprehensive course on this subject. A Coursera offering is also available which I believe may be a shortened version. Another personal choice is the course on Introduction to Banking & Financial Markets by Prof. PC Narayan of IIM Bangalore. I was fortunate enough to attend his classes while at IIMB. Finally there is a course by Prof. Andrew Lo (Financial Theory I ; an old, but good one)

In the following posts, I will cover other core courses and electives in a typical MBA curriculum.


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