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9 Coursera Courses To Boost Your MBA Application

From cryptocurrency to sustainability, taking specialist online courses on Coursera can be a way to make your MBA application stand out from the crowd

Mon Jul 13 2020


Looking to apply for business school? What better way to strengthen your MBA application than with a MOOC

Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, can be an opportunity for students to get a taste of business education from leading b-schools, while adding significant skills and certificates to their MBA resume. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the popularity of online courses has skyrocketed. Coursera remains one of the most popular MOOC sites, gaining 10 million new users in a month over lockdown. The site has made over 100 of its courses free to access, while enrolment is often free for most courses anyway (with payment for the certificate). 

With courses offered by top schools including Wharton, INSEAD, and London Business School, Coursera offers access to world class education at the click of a button. 

Whether you're looking to upskill, hone a new interest, or explore what a business degree might hold for you, we’ve listed nine online courses on Coursera which can help strengthen your MBA application: 

Download the BusinessBecause Online MBA Guide 2021


9 Online Courses To Boost Your MBA Application 

1. Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies, Princeton University

Bitcoin experienced a huge bubble in late 2017, reaching a peak of over $19k, in its wake launching a huge market for unregulated cryptocurrencies. For MBAs, this is a hot topic in innovation and finance.

Understanding cryptocurrency’s potential is central to this online course offered by Princeton, preparing students for an increasingly digitalized economy. The specialization is split into four sections, taking users through the decentralization and mechanics of Bitcoin, as well as how to store and use the currency.

The course is free, although there is no certificate upon completion. 

2. Women in Leadership: Inspiring Positive Change, Case Western Reserve University

One common obstacle that women come up against in business education is that tools and resources are not geared towards women.

The women in leadership online course from Case Western Reserve University is specifically designed to empower...

training in a male-dominated world. The course, moreover, is also aimed to help men to support women in the workplace.

Each segment addresses different challenges in a gendered workplace, and offers practical training to help overcome this.

3. Mastering Data Analysis on Excel, Duke University

Far from the days of overladen filing cabinets, businesses operate on big data and statistics, as a tool for spotting trends, predicting behavior, and making decisions. Knowing your way around a spreadsheet can be the making of a 21st century business leader.

Behind the ‘Mastering Data Analysis’ course is the dual belief; first, that decisions can be made competently and efficiently through data; secondly, that data does not eliminate all uncertainty and risk. Over 280,000 enrollees can attest to the power of this course, making it one of Coursera’s most popular courses.

The Master of Data Analytics is fast becoming one of the biggest alternatives to an MBA—this online course could stand you in good stead for either.

4. Marketing in a Digital World, University of Illinois


Marketing professionals will tell you the same thing—the fundamentals of marketing have stayed the same, but the tools which you use have radically altered.

Digital and online is everything for marketing, and getting to grips with the tools available is the foundation of this online course. Many MBAs offer a specialization in marketing, for which this course is a natural stepping stone. Over four weeks, the course looks at sales, distribution, and pricing, all through a digital lens.

Students get access to the other seven courses in this digital marketing specialization from the University of Illinois.

5. Digital Transformation, Boston Consulting Group (BCG)


‘Disruption is not new’, reads the description for this online from consulting giant BCG. Businesses, and MBAs, are forced to understand the technologies which are changing the way we operate in the 21st century.

As well as understanding the economics of innovation and disruption, this online course gives students a unique peek at the digital transformation framework through which BCG operates with its clients.

For those coveting a post-MBA career in innovation, in consulting, or even at BCG, this course provides an insight to all three.  

6. Managing the Company of the Future, London Business School

Understanding the difference between management and leadership is the foundation for this online course by the London Business School.

MBA, Master in Finance, Master in Management—whatever program you chose to study, the fundaments of management will be running through it. The online course will take you through every level of running a business, from decision-making to motivation, applying all of these through the business model of the student.

7. Entrepreneurship: Launching an Innovative Business, University of Maryland

For those studying an MBA to help them set up their own business, look no further than this online course in entrepreneurship to get the ball rolling.

The specialization is split into four courses, which take between eight and 18 hours each, taking enrollees through the lifecycle of starting a business, beginning with developing ideas, and walking through bringing the business to the marketplace, and sourcing funding.

8. Corporate Sustainability: Understanding and Seizing the Strategic Opportunity, Universita Bocconi

Hitting the triple bottom line—achieving environmental, social, and financial success—is one of the biggest pressures on businesses of the future.

As this trend becomes much more of a need, many business schools are incorporating sustainability into their curricula—making this online course a particularly appealing one.

At the heart of this online course, from Italian b-school Universita Bocconi, is centering business around all stakeholders equally, moving away from traditional profit-motivated business.

9. Business Analytics, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania


The Business Analytics specialization is one of Coursera’s most popular courses—hardly surprising, given it exposes students to teaching from one of America’s top b-schools, Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Analytics has flooded into all areas of business, including marketing, human resources, finance, and operations, helping business professionals to make their decisions with greater ease and efficiency.

In particular, the course focuses on the human side of data, in particular how it can be used for recruiting, performance evaluation, and customer behavior.

Read: Are Coursera Courses Worth It?


 © Dusanpetkovic 

This article was originally published in May 2019 and updated in July 2020.