6 Awesome Online Classes for Working Women

Online Classes for Working WomenIf you’re looking to do some online learning with a level of commitment somewhere between earning a graduate degree online and watching a TED-Ed video explaining why cats are weird, then one-off courses may be for you. In the past we’ve talked about learning a language, using online resources and books to become a better manager, and finding out more about yourself through personality tests, as well as the best TED Talks for working women, but we’ve never devoted a post to online learning in general. Today we’re sharing a general roundup of online classes for working women — please add your own recommendations in the comments!

What’s your favorite way to learn new things and develop your skills online? Are there any online-learning sites you would or wouldn’t recommend? What are your favorite online classes for working women?  (For those of you lawyers who are saddled with CLE requirements, do you have any public sources that you LOVE for interesting videos?)

If you’re interested in boosting your career with some new knowledge and strategies, here are eight intriguing online classes for working women that are offered by popular online learning sites:

1. Coursera: “Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator.” Taught by Barry Nalebuff, Milton Steinbach professor of management at the Yale School of Management, this nine-week course aims to make you a “better, smarter, more strategic negotiator.” You can pay $49 and earn a certificate or take it for free and still have access to the materials. Coursera users have given Introduction to Negotiation a 4.8 out of 5 rating (637 ratings). This course started this week, but you can still enroll.

2. HBX (Harvard Business School online learning): “Negotiation Mastery: Unlocking Value in the Real World.” This course involves 40 hours of material (plus a capstone project that students are “encouraged” to complete) and is designed for people with 10 years of professional experience who are “involved in negotiations for their organization and who want to hone their negotiation skills in order to capture maximum value.” The class is taught by Michael Wheeler, senior fellow and professor of management practice in the Negotiation, Organizations, and Markets unit at Harvard Business School, and it runs eight weeks. To take it in February (for $1,500), apply by Feb. 1.

3. Lynda: “Communication Tips.” This is a 3.5-hour video series created by Tatiana Kolovou and Brenda Bailey-Hughes, senior lecturers at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. The course leaders offer a new communication tip every week, for example, giving constructive criticism, stopping an interrupter, and dealing with gossip. Lynda offers two account choices, Basic (starting at $19.99/month) and Premium (starting at $29.99/month), which both include unlimited learning and your choice of 5,455 courses). To check it out, you can sign up for a free 10-day trial.

4. Udemy: “An Entire MBA in 1 Course.” Hmm, is this class too good to be true? The description boasts that it is the most popular business course on Udemy, has enrolled 58,636 people so far, has earned a 4.4 out of 5 rating from 6,162 users, and will teach people “everything you need to know about business … from starting a company to taking it public.” The course creator is Chris Haroun, an entrepreneur who has taught business classes and worked at Goldman Sachs, Citadel, and Accenture. Until January 10, you can take this class for just $10, a 95% discount on the regular cost of $200.

5. MIT OpenCourseWare: “Ethical Practice: Leading Through Professionalism, Social Responsibility, and System Design.” MIT offers free access to materials for almost all of its courses, including this spring 2016 graduate-level course from Leigh Hafrey, senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. The class uses both classical and modern readings — including the works of Plato and Aristotle — to give an introduction to business ethics and “explore both the philosophy driving ethics and the daily challenges that managers face.”

6. Skillshare: “Email Productivity: Work Smarter with Your Inbox.” Alexandra Samuel, author of Work Smarter with Social Media: A Guide to Managing Evernote, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Your Email, designed this eight-part, 44-minute video series to help people “transform your relationship to email, become more intentional with the way you work, and discover the beauty and freedom of email that doesn’t drive you nuts.” In the review section, 22 of 22 Skillshare users recommended it. Skillshare offers a free month of premium access that gives users unlimited access to 13,000 classes.

What skills are you looking to develop this year to help your career? Do you have memberships to any sites like Lynda or Skillshare, or have you found another good source of online classes for working women? Have you noticed a significant difference in quality between free and paid classes? 

Further Reading:

  • Three Tips to Find the Best Courses on Udemy [Bearfruit]
  • Plan Your Free Online Education at Lifehacker U: Fall Semester 2016 [Lifehacker]
  • 10 Free Online Resources That Will Make You More Successful [Business Insider]
  • An In-Depth Guide To Choosing The Best Online Learning Sites [Doist/Todoist]

Pictured: Pixabay 

We rounded up six awesome online classes that are GREAT for boosting career skills...


  1. How did you get through the first years of your career? I am overwhelmed with the amount of things I don’t know. I have a full case load that I am expected to manage with very little oversight or support. Help!?

    • Same =O

    • Anonymous :

      First years shouldn’t be managing cases with little oversight or support. It’s no way to learn and can be an ethical or risk management issue. Is there a more senior associate you can ask for advice? You might also think about looking for a new job, potentially at a larger firm with more hierarchy. Big Law certainly has its downsides, but it’s a great place to learn the ropes and it was comforting knowing that all my work going out the door to a client, opposing counsel or the court had been thoroughly reviewed by someone more senior.

    • Marshmallow :

      I’m still pretty junior so take this more as peer advice than tried-and-true, but I ask a lot of questions. Ideally they are researched and pointed questions, but I’ve had to tell senior associates I didn’t know what a certain word or statute even was. Sometimes you have to nod and take notes with the partner and then ask a junior partner or senior associate if you feel like your questions are too basic.

      Can you find a peer mentor, someone who is just a year or two more senior to you? That person often won’t have a perfect answer but they can point you in the right direction and be a good way to bounce low-level, “stupid questions.”

    • BabyShark :

      Are you a member of any of the local bar associations around you? Our state plaintiff’s bar is great about mentoring and answering questions, we’ve got a great and active listserv and everybody’s really friendly and willing to help. Start going to bar events and making connections and I’m betting you’ll find some senior attorneys more than willing to pick up your call and answer a quick question.

  2. I am excited to see the HBX course on Negotiation Master because I am taking the beta version of it because one of my b-school classmates helped design it. Beta starts this week!

  3. Sydney Bristow :

    Lynda membership is sometimes offered through the library for free.

  4. I took an extension degree at Loyola and got impregnated by the marketing assistant.

  5. Is anybody signing up for the Coursera course and needs a negotiation partner?

  6. Online learning can do two things: It can prompt progression in a current calling, or it can prompt a totally new calling. You shared such an amazing list to gain more knowledge for working women.

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