Even though my formal education has been somewhat lacking, I’ve managed to develop a career for myself by consistently trying to do my best and constant learning.
Online learning and experience have got me most of the way, with luck and perserverance making up the rest.
Below are some courses I have followed and gotten a lot of value from. Everything is applicable to what I do in my job today, from the Excel basics to the Finance for Non-Finance Professionals.
Take a look!
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Learn How To Learn Before You Learn!
The number one course that I will always recommend, unless a simpler ‘entry’ version comes around, is Learning How To Learn on Coursera.
Excel for Business
If you want to properly cover the basics, you cannot go wrong with this course.
Not technically a course, but recommended viewing, You Suck At Excel from Joel Spolsky covers how to use Excel more intelligently, he certainly showed me a thing or two.
Completing the entire Excel Skills for Business Specialisation on Coursera will set you up with a wide array of powerful and useful Excel knowledge, as long as you practice, practice, practice!
Power Query has been making my job simpler lately with its ability to automatically recognise columns, simply transform datasets with simple buttons and move, remove and insert steps in the process from a handy sidebar. It can be learned pretty easily just through playing with the tool and some data, so that would be my first recommendation. My second recommendation would be this course on PluralSight.
VBA has been a cornerstone of my career success since I started learning it. There are some other contenders on the market now with PowerQuery and PowerPivot, but for everything they can’t do and things you can’t even imagine doing right now, VBA is a great skill to have.
Finally, the good stuff I’ve come to enjoy learning recently and applying to my daily work as much as I can.
The PwC specialisation teaches some useful standards to keep in mind when developing analysis in Excel. The Tao of Excel is something they cover at the beginning of each course and if you learn nothing else, at least remembering that will help you.
There are many visualisation suites out there; Tableau, Periscope, Qlikview. But for an Excel junkie, Power BI might be an easier transition, it certainly has been for me so far!
And finally (for now), the real analysis stuff that I’m getting stuck into right now. It’s giving me great ideas of how to handle data at work and I’m really looking forward to applying my new skills!
Beginning to play with the big boys now, predictive analytics is next step up from business analytics. From here we begin analysing what might happen in the future based on past trends or market behaviour.
This is where we get to do things like A/B testing, clustering by demographics, forecasting through predictive modeling and much more besides.
The course I’m taking now gives you student licenses for Tableau and Alteryx to enable you to develop predictive analysis skills without having to know all the complexities. I have read that the Data Analyst Nanodegree gives you all the complex stuff including how to build the tools yourself with R, so I might look into that once this one is over.
Other Business Skills
PRINCE2 is a project management framework that will help you in many areas of life, not just project management. It’s simpler than it may seem from the start, and a skill well worth having, even at just the foundation level (which is what I have)
The course I found that really contributed to my gaining the certificate, was this one on PluralSight.
Another course that gave me the confidence to take the exam, was this cram course from Udemy.
Two years working in Commercial Finance gave me a top-level understanding of business finance, but there were still many mysteries. This course from Coursera, Finance for Non-Finance Professionals, filled in the gaps and was interesting enough that I’d do it again.
Everyone in business wants an MBA, but they’re pretty expensive. A cheaper option is just to develop business experience across various departments in one industry, and to take this really engaging course on Udemy; An Entire MBA in 1 Course.