With the advent of platforms like Udemy or Coursera, high-quality education is now easier to access than ever before. Sometimes, you can get valuable courses, taught by professors from world-class universities, for as low as $50.
That’s a bargain, because it helps you constantly develop. I think that’s extremely important, since education should never stop once you have a degree. At the pace our world is progressing, education is a necessity throughout your life.
So to help you improve your leadership skills, I took a deep dive into the best leadership courses online, and outlined them here for you.
What Makes A Good Leadership Course?
Before we get into each course and what you can get out of it, I think it’s important to outline what you should be looking for in a course. Maybe this list will get outdated. Maybe you need something different.
In either case, it’s important you’re able to do your own research. So what do I think it’s important in a good leadership course? Here’s the short roundup:
- A trustworthy professor. Platforms like Udemy made it easy for anyone to hit record and upload an online course, regardless of the value of the information in it. To navigate the clutter, look for accredited University teachers, or actual leaders that made it in the free market and lead teams to success.
- Applicable knowledge. Leadership principles or management styles are not out of reach for free. You can easily find out about them by reading blogs, or a Leadership 101 book, so the best leadership courses online focus on teaching that theory, as well as showing you how to apply it in real life.
- Student reception. Whenever you can, try to gauge what former students are saying about a particular course, but go even deeper. Look for the opinions of students that are in the same position as you are. A store manager might not need the same course as a lead architect, because the work contexts are different.
So that’s what you should be on the lookout for. I used these criteria to do my research, and here are the best leadership courses online.
Best Leadership Courses Online
In this roundup, I tried to separate the basic courses you’d find on simple platforms like Udemy, from the more advanced online courses you can get from Universities, taught by MBA professors, which even give you credit if you ever want to sign-up for an MBA. Let’s get into it.
Chris Croft’s Practical Leadership Skills
Udemy has this course on display for as low as $15 if you sign-up as a new member on the platform. It’s taught by one of UK’s most famous management trainers, and as the title suggests it focuses on giving you the practical skills to enhance your management and leadership.
It will teach you how to:
- Delegate effectively
- Achieve work-life balance
- Understand and apply the theory behind management
Life Progression’s Leadership Course
This course is a bit more expensive than Croft’s, and it runs for an hour shorter, but it has a different focus. This course puts an emphasis on influencing the decision-making of your employees through exercising authority the right way.
It’s a course that helps managers in charge of bigger teams most, and it will, overall, show you how to:
- Be authentic in your management style
- Use creativity to draw up an action plan
- Coach your employees to help them grow
- Create a shared vision for your team and business
Mark and Stephen’s Management Skills Course
If you have a basic understanding of management, this course is the right one to take your career further. It goes much more in-depth than the other two I mentioned so far, even if it’s a bit more expensive.
It doesn’t really have a very different focus. It’s still filled to the brim with valuable leadership principles and how to apply them. But you will get a bit more out of it, including:
- How to influence people around you
- How to build a team
- How to manage company culture and culture change
- How to make data-driven decisions as a leader
- How to coach your employees
And that’s about it for the “softer” courses available on Udemy. There are plenty more, but these 3 are a good starting place. They’ll give you a basic understanding if you lack one, but they don’t come with a certification, or anything like that.
If you’re looking for something more academic, read on.
Harvard University’s Leadership Courses
Yes, I did say “courses” because Harvard University has a ton of online courses for managers and leaders. The best part is that some of them are free, and when they cost money they usually come along with a certification from Harvard, as well as credits if you ever decide to sign-up for an MBA.
The more advanced courses can be quite pricey, going as high as a few thousands of dollars. But considering the quality of the professors, and the fact that you get a certificate signed by Harvard, we think they’re worth it.
MIT’s Online Management And Leadership Certification
If you want something focused on Technology, and the tech world, you can sign-up for MIT’s online management and leadership certification. The programme is a bit more intensive, and it’s going to cost you a few thousand dollars.
But like in the case of Harvard, it’s worth the investment if you put a big emphasis on the academic legitimacy of the course.
The best leadership courses online are the ones that help you be a better leader. If you’re looking for a simple introduction to coaching, you can try Life Progression’s Leadership Course. If you want an overview of management skills, Mark and Stephen’s course might suit you best.
And if you’re planning to study for an MBA, Harvard or MIT’s online leadership programmes might be exactly what you need.
Or, if you’re looking for something else, perhaps an entirely different course will be perfect for you. This roundup includes the courses I found helpful, but it’s not exhaustive by any means.
And that’s exactly why I want to ask you…
What online courses do you like? Which has helped you the most? Let me know in the comments section below!