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Best EdX Business Courses

Best EdX Business Courses
Latest posts by Erin Jamieson (see all)

There’s a lot of pressure on college freshmen to know what they want to do with their careers- and I’ve seen that pressure play out. It’s more than understandable, with rising tuition costs and high school packed with to do’s more than ideas of how to navigate careers or further education. Probably the most popular intended major of the freshmen I’ve taught is general business. The problem?

Many don’t have something specific in mind, like accounting or a management focus. And while I love that, by design, many liberal arts colleges allow you to explore a catalog of courses when trying to decide, the truth is, this is expensive and stressful if you’re not sure what business courses to take. 

And for non-traditional students or professionals in the work field, it takes a lot of evaluation to decide to pursue further education. That’s why a secure online platform like edX could be worth it as an exploratory stepping stone. By design, free and verified track business courses from ed are open to beginners and advanced students alike, with less commitment. They can provide training and give you an idea of where to go next. 

But even those serious about a bachelor’s or master’s in business fields have something to consider, too. Here’s a breakdown of the type of business courses you can take from edX, what to expect, and my top choices for overall value.  

Bottom Line Up Front Summary: X surprised me with how many online business courses and programs they have. Most students will get the best value out of free courses (with verified tracks available), though the professional business course sequences are helpful for comprehensive learning. Meanwhile, micro bachelor’s and micro master’s can be used in some cases to get a head start on higher education- but you should always check to see if any credits will transfer. 

If I had to recommend just one business course from edX, it would be Digital Marketing Strategy. Digital marketing is a fascinating field, important for all fields within the business, and even helpful if you have a side project or are self-employed. This course strikes a great balance between being beginner-friendly and supplying relevant information to adapt to a changing market. Since you can take it for free, it’s also a low commitment. 

My Top Picks

  1. Supply Chain Fundamentals: Best Supply Chain Course
  2. Data Analytics For Business: Best Data Analytics Course 
  3. IT Fundamentals For Business: Best IT Course 
  4. Foundations of Finance: Best Finance Course
  5. Digital Marketing Strategy: Best Marketing Course
  6. Excel For Everyone: Best Certificate For Everyone
  7. Strategic Management: Best Leadership Certificate
  8. Business Management: Best Micro Master’s Program 

How I Selected These Business Courses harvard university business courses

edX was a fair catalog of courses, so I wanted to make sure I was selecting business courses that provide something for everyone. These courses offer quality content and may be helpful for a wide range of future studying. Here’s how I balance quality, and requirements, and decided on these ideas. 

Types of Courses 

edX has a broad range of business courses- so I inspected each type. These include free stand-alone courses; professional course sequences; micro bachelor’s courses, micro master’s courses, and online master’s degrees.

For the average learner, I think that free courses and professional sequences are the best options. At the very least, I’d start with one of these which is lower commitment and lower cost. However, I do think that a free course with a verified track is worth it for the extra support. I mostly included these standalone courses and course sequences, as I think they are the best value for the average student.

That said, both the micro master’s and micro bachelor’s sequences may be helpful for a few people. If you have ever intended to pursue higher education courses, some of these could transfer- but where they transfer is limited, so please check with your intended institution. They also have the advantage of offering more advanced courses- so I will be selecting one of each.

Within all these course types, I selected the ones I felt presented the best value for their price. 

In-Demand Hard & Soft Skills

Even free courses take time to complete- and with how busy you probably are, I wanted to focus on edX courses that cover important hard and soft skills. Unfortunately, some of the best ways to develop softer skills are to have hands-on experience. But, regardless, I focused on skills such as communication, critical thinking, applied problem solving, planning and negotiation skills. 

For hard skills, I want to point to courses that link to either highly-paid or some of the most in-demand business and business adjacent careers according to job boards, US News Reports, Investopedia, and other databases and resources. 

Duration and Cost

This ties into my selection of types of business courses. I get it: we don’t all have the same time commitment or flexibility. While most business courses are self-paced, some students will benefit from a short class over a long one, and vice versa. I also focused on adding a blend of free and paid options so you can find an edX business course to meet your needs. 

Course Content and Value 

Finally, I reviewed course content and requirements to see which edX business courses will give you the best value. I wanted to reflect a wide array of types of students, which are reflected in my shirt list of top edX business courses. 

Related reads: see how edX compares to other competitors:

Top Business Courses from edX: My Picks

Here are the best business courses you can take from edX. While it was challenging to narrow down this catalog, these courses are worth it because of their curriculum design and real-world applications. Here’s what you need to know, from the course descriptions to requirements, and what to expect in each. 

Supply Chain Fundamentals


While you can take a full Micro Master’s program in supply chain management, this edX course is of great value and teaches you core skills- all designed by MIT. You’ll need some knowledge of basic statistics and mathematical manipulation, but otherwise, this course is fairly friendly to anyone interested in supply chain management. 

You’ll learn how to assess uncertainty and risk, develop strategies for customers, products, and channels, and design inventory databases. I like the focus on optimization, real-world results, and focus on fundamental skills. It’s the most essential part of the larger program and can be taken entirely for free. 

Why It’s Important 

Supply chain management is a hot field in business, with a projected growth of 30 percent through 2030- outpacing many fields in business. This course is a great way to explore key concepts and skills to see if the supply chain is right for you. 

Duration & Schedule 

13 weeks, assuming 8 to 12 hours a week; self-paced 

How to Enroll/ Cost 

Free, with Optional Upgrade; Enroll Here


  • In Demand Field
  • Beginner Friendly
  • Practical Applications


  • Fairly Ambitious Recommended Schedule
  • Not Full Supply Chain Education Experience 

Data Analytics for Business

Data Analytics for edx Business

Data analytics is another great field to go into if you love working with numbers and want a lot of career opportunities. This introductory edX course is instructor-paced, which may be motivating if you aren’t as motivated to pace yourself. On top of that, I like how the emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving skills can be transferable for other purposes.

You’ll work directly with popular software programs, such as R and R Studio to get some real technical experience. The course covers different strategies for solving analytical business problems, developing plans, and working systematically with data sets. 

Why It’s Important 

Data analytics is a must for businesses to develop both long-term and short-term strategies, catering to customer needs. And as a field, there’s lots of room for an array of jobs, with a respectable 13 percent growth rate. This course provides the basic principles of data analysis and has you working with real-world data technology. 

Duration & Schedule 

16 weeks at 10 to 12 hours per week; instructor-paced

How to Enroll/ Cost 

Free with Option to Upgrade; Enroll Here


  • Work with Programs
  • Versatile Skills
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving


  • Not as Flexible of a Schedule
  • Requires Some Software Knowledge

IT Fundamentals for Business


IT and business go hand in hand, and this course bridges the gap between the two disciplines. What I like about this edX business course is that it serves as an introduction to an optional sequence of 4 other courses that showcase information technology. But here, you get direct business applications with 1st-year algebra as the only suggested prerequisites. 

The course tackles the essentials of operating systems, and web browsers, and also covers all the major processing programs just about anyone could use. Spreadsheets, database managers, email, conference systems, Business Intelligence, CRM, and other programs are all covered. While the knowledge seems basic, in reality, these are very valuable tools that lay the foundation for information technology fields. It may also be helpful for those interested in the CLEP ISCA exam. 

Why It’s Important 

It is a huge, exciting field- and this course shows you how it directly incorporates business practices. I also like that this course teaches skills that are transferable to other data management sectors. 

Duration & Schedule 

4 weeks, assuming 3 to 6 hours a week; self-paced

How to Enroll/ Cost 

Free, with Optional Upgrade; Enroll Here


  • Work with Important Programs
  • Teaches Organizational Skills 
  • Helpful for CLEP Exam 


  • Requires Knowledge of Algebra
  • More Niche IT Integration 

Foundations of Finance


If you’ve ever considered taking a finance course but don’t have experience and don’t want to spend much, this introductory edX course is for you. Beyond syncing with some great fields, like accounting or tax advice, this course is honestly a great idea for anyone interested in having a better understanding of finances for everyday situations. 

There are no pre-requisites required. This course teaches you how to work with and communicate with financial professionals, provides tips for self-employment, and some insight into what it’s like to work in the financial field. It’s one of those classes that almost everyone would benefit from. 

Why It’s Important 

For better or worse, finances impact us all. This course balances practical knowledge with industry insights and is very beginner-friendly. 

Duration & Schedule 

5 weeks, assuming 3 to 5 hours per week; self-paced 

How to Enroll/ Cost 

Free with Optional Upgrade; Enroll Here


  • Useful For Everyday Situations
  • Industry Insight
  • Beginner Friendly


  • Fairly Cursory Introduction
  • Not as Specialized 

Digital Marketing Strategy


Marketing is always going to be a needed skill, but the field of digital marketing is especially important. This edX course is one of your best bets if you’ve ever considered marketing and aren’t sure where to start. It’s even helpful if you’re self-employed or have a side project in mind. 

In this edX course, you’ll learn about the evolving world of digital marketing, why it matters, and how to create strategic plans and content. Rather than focus on one or a set of strategies, this course teaches you skills to respond to innovation, create consumer personas, and conduct an analysis of lead competitors. 

Why It’s Important 

Digital marketing is one of the most important fields within marketing- and it’s always changing. This course shows you strategies for reacting to change and competitors. 

Duration & Schedule 

8 weeks, assuming 4 to 6 hours per week; self-paced

How to Enroll/ Cost 

Free with Optional Upgrade; Enroll Here


  • Teaches You to Evolve to Change
  • Digital Marketing is Increasingly Important 
  • Useful For Self Employed Too


  • Does Not Cover All Platforms
  • Some Strategies May Have Limited Applications

Excel for Everyone


While I still think that a free course from edX is the best way to start, this business certificate course is one that anyone could use. Just as the name suggests, it’s a narrow focus but on an essential skill that nearly everyone in business uses. 

In this 5 month’s sequence of courses, you’ll learn how to analyze data sets, manipulate data, and create visualizations. There’s a lot of room for practice, especially using formulas, datasets, and other helpful tools. Even if you think you have some of the basics of Excel down, this goes further, integrating practice and skills that you can use for just about anything. 

Don’t want to pay? You can take individual courses for free! Just click on the drop-down menu on the course sequence. 

Why It’s Important 

Excel is one of the most widely uses software tools within the business and beyond. These are skills you can even use in your personal life for making decisions. 

Duration & Schedule 

5 months, assuming just 3 to 5 hours per week; self-paced 

How to Enroll/ Cost 

$400 to $477 (2022); Enroll Here


  • Useful For Personal Life
  • Applicable for a Variety of Jobs
  • Emphasis on Practice 


  • Cost 
  • Time Commitment 

Strategic Management


My other top pick for a professional certificate course sequence from X within the business is this Strategic Management. This course is a good option for someone already in a position who wants to improve both their leadership skills and their management skills. 

In this course sequence, you learn how to leverage competitive advantage for a business, refine strategies, and create models for planning. It also helps you develop a portfolio of responses, and ways to achieve better stability in your plans. 

Why It’s Important 

Strategic management is important for leadership no matter the specific industry. This provides a more in-depth understanding of how to optimize plans and practices for business strategy. 

Duration & Schedule 

5 months, assuming 2 to 4 hours per week; self-paced

How to Enroll/ Cost

$537 to $597; Enroll Here


  • Leadership Skills
  • Focus on Sustainable Practices
  • Create Models 


  • Cost 
  • Not as Beginner Friendly 

Business Management


While edX has several Micro Master’s in business, this is the one I’d most recommend. Micro Master’s are only for someone with an undergraduate degree who is serious about furthering their training and education. But this course sequence offers some of the most universal skills, especially for leadership.

Business Management takes you through operations management, people management, corporation management, corporate finance, strategic management, accounting, and marketing management. What’s great is not only how much content this program covers but how all this information builds upon each other. 

Why It’s Important 

Duration & Schedule

10 months, assuming 2 to 4 hours per week; self-paced 

How to Enroll/ Cost 

$810 to $900; Enroll Here


  • Excellent Progression of Content
  • In Demand Skills
  • Systematic and Analytic Framework


  • Cost
  • Graduate Level- Not Intended For Those Without Degrees 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How much does edX for business cost?

Answer: edX offers business courses for individuals, many of which are free (with optional upgrades and the same paid sequences) but the platform also has a special for business owners. It costs $350 for an annual subscription and is intended for enterprise teams.

That includes a self-paced course with certificates and covers one learner. However, you can also contact us for special group discounts- and there are standard gold and premium plans. The plans provide limitless access to over 1,200 courses and pathways. Learn about edX Enterprise Here

Question: Are edX courses free?

Answer: edX offers many entirely free courses- but the full experience isn’t free. Single courses can either be taken for free or with the verified track. With the verified track, you’re getting a certificate of completion, plus supplementary homework and quizzes to round out your experience. More intensive learning- such as their boot camps, certificate bundles, and micro master’s programs usually cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000 on average. The good news is there are many free courses, and pricing is transparent. 

Question: What course is best for business?

Answer: It depends on what you want to do in business. Business is such a broad field, with so many possibilities. The most in-demand business jobs include data analysts, accountants, financial analysts, actuary specialists, portfolio managers, market research analysts, supply chain managers, and human resources managers, among many others. Take an introductory business course to determine what specialty classes are right for you. 

Question: Can you teach yourself business?

Answer: Business is an exciting, evolving, and flexible field. It’s possible to teach yourself core principles of business. Firstly, you can take courses online that are self-paced. Reading about business practices, watching videos, and subscribing to business-related news are all good starts.
Often, hands-on experience working in a related position- such as a secretary- is some of the best ways to learn. You can teach yourself a lot about business; what education you will or won’t need depends a lot on what you want to do, as well as your situation, contacts, and more. 

Final Thoughts

edX offers a wide range of types of business education courses- from full online master’s degrees to micro bachelor’s/ master’s sequences to single, free courses.

The average professional or student will get the most out of free or verified track courses- but in a few instances, a comprehensive series of courses provided deeper study and could work as a stepping stone to further education. 

Final Recommendations 

If you’re still undecided about which edX course to take, I recommend a single business course that teaches hard and soft skills, like Digital Marketing Strategy.

This free course is a really solid introduction to a very important field not only within business but also as consumers. It’s one of those courses that you can use even for side projects or self-employment. 

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