Thanks to the wonders of tech, these days you don't need to go back to school to polish up your skills. You can learn just about anything online and usually for free. The problem then isn't access. It's an overabundance of choice.

Of all the many courses out there, which are most worth your time? Which are best suited for ambitious business leaders? One way to answer these questions is to look to the wisdom of the crowd. Classes that prove hugely popular over time are probably worth careful consideration when you're narrowing down your options.

That's what makes a recent list of Coursera's most popular business-related courses of 2015 on Poets & Quants so intriguing. Coursera, as the article points out, is one of the most respected and well known providers of MOOCs, serving more than 16 million learners. It has all the connections and data it needs, in other words, to locate the most useful courses for entrepreneurs.

The full write-up offers a wealth of information about each course, including details on start dates, instructors, content, and grading, so it's well worth checking out if you're seriously considering enrolling in a MOOC in 2016. But to get you started, here's a basic rundown of the top 10 courses and which university is offering each one.

  1. Mastering Data Analysis in Excel - Duke University
  2. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills - University of Michigan
  3. Introduction to Financial Accounting - The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
  4. Introduction to Marketing - The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
  5. Introduction to Corporate Finance - The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
  6. Principles of Valuation: Time Value of Money - University of Michigan
  7. Project Management: The Basics For Success - University of California, Irvine
  8. Marketing in a Digital World - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  9. Conversations That Inspire: Coaching Learning, Leadership and Change - Case Western Reserve University
  10. Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management For Personal and Professional Productivity - University of California, Irvine

Looking for online education ideas that stretch beyond traditional business subjects? Coursera also shared its top courses over all subjects with Business Insider. It includes out-of-the-box ideas like "Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and Modern World" and a variety of more technical options such as a Stanford course on machine learning.

What would you most like to study online in 2016?

Published on: Dec 29, 2015