5 websites for affordable business training

Small businesses constantly face changing trends and modern data collection techniques. And companies that fail to take advantage of growing technologies are often left behind—replaced by newcomers willing to embrace the role of a marketplace leader.

If you want to maintain a lasting presence in the business world, you’ll have to continue your education well beyond the classroom. The problem is busy professionals rarely have time to sign up for university-based classes—not to mention that tuition can be prohibitively expensive.

Thankfully, there are several online courses available that are tailored for various industries and professions...and that won’t break the bank. If you’re looking to brush up your knowledge on marketing and sales, statistical modeling, finance laws or just about anything else, investing in a course or two makes sense.

Top online course platforms

Nowadays, finding a low-cost educational solution is a mouse click away. In fact, we have identified some of the most well-known training platforms on the internet today.


Coursera promises access to the world’s top professors with in-depth training that provides career advancement, certifications or even degrees. They also grant content users access to educators from a variety of fields. Coursera instruction includes programming, computer tech, arts and humanities, business, and social science. Courses are cost-effective, starting at just $29.99 each. A few instructors may even offer a free class or two.


Udemy opens the door to quality education in the fields of business, health and beauty, photography, computer sciences, marketing, language, lifestyle, and music. Like Coursera, skilled educators may present detailed courses for free or discounted rates. Udemy has several more disciplines to choose from than Coursera, with classes starting at just $10.

LinkedIn Learning

With LinkedIn Learning, you get access to 16,000 classes and the ability to earn sought-after certifications. Via LinkedIn’s modules, you can explore popular software like QuickBooks®, as well as Adobe® products and Google apps. Most LinkedIn courses are mobile-friendly, allowing you to learn on the go. The first month is free, and you can cancel at any time.


The Alison search app is a handy-dandy tool that helps you find more than 4,000 free online courses. Word to the wise here: The site has ad popups, and you’ll need to sign up to take full advantage of Alison’s resources. Still, it may be worth a few minor inconveniences to locate extensive training programs to help you up your game. And did we mention that most are free?


Transform and modernize your skillset by looking into Udacity. The site boasts impressive stats, including the fact that 70% of graduates earn promotions or get better jobs. The ROI for companies is reported as 223% after three months. Not too shabby! Udacity’s rates are a bit higher than the other courses mentioned here, but the associated costs are still competitively low.

How to choose

When seeking out a particular kind of training available online, be sure to evaluate what types of courses you’ll need and why. For instance, if you’re fresh out of college and building your business resume, you may want to take courses that provide certifications, which will impress potential employers and may help get your foot in the door.

On the other hand, a seasoned CPA with a small to mid-sized practice might register for intermittent to advanced courses that add to an already strong wealth of knowledge.

The sky is the limit when it comes to furthering your business knowledge via online education; the route you choose is up to you.

Back to issue