10 Free Online Courses That Every Professional Should Check Out

Sal khan khan academyKhan AcademySalman Khan, founder and executive director of Khan Academy.

Sure, you got a great education from top schools, and you’ve been working for a while now. But as you get deeper and deeper into your career, it can become easy to stop pushing yourself to acquire new skills or retain what you’ve already learned.

The Khan Academy, an online learning nonprofit backed by powerful investors and organisations like the Gates Foundation and Google, is a great way to keep expanding your knowledge, regardless of your age or educational background. The site features hundreds of free courses across a wide variety of subjects, consisting of video lectures and exercises.

We asked Salman Khan, founder, executive director, and lead tutor of Khan Academy, for the top 10 lectures professionals in any industry would appreciate, and included them below.

Not every lecture is the first one in its respective series, but Khan thinks each is a good indicator of whether you’d like to spend more time going through all the videos and exercises in that course.

Figure out how to start investing.

Start with: What it means to buy a company's stock

Why you should take it: You don't have a financial background and you'd like to start making money in the stock market.

What you'll learn: Begin by learning the basics of how stocks and bonds work, and then move deeper in the stocks and bonds course.

See if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Start with: Elon Musk -- CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX

Why you should take it: You're wondering if you have what it takes to start your own business, or would simply like to know how the world's best executives run their companies.

What you'll learn: See how Musk is finding a way to revolutionise the automobile and space travel industries.

Khan Academy's extensive interviews with entrepreneurs series also includes talks with Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group, and Angela Ahrendts, Apple's senior VP of retail and former CEO of Burberry.

Start programming.

Start with: What is programming?

Why you should take it: In today's world, everyone could benefit from at least some coding literacy.

What you'll learn: Khan Academy's Pamela Fox will take you through the basics of programming language Java, starting with a simple drawing program.

Brush up on the most important modern history.

Start with: US History overview 3: WWII to Vietnam

Why you should take it: It's probably been years since you studied modern American history in a classroom.

What you'll learn: In this lecture, Khan will give you a primer on World War II, the Cold War, the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Space Race -- all under 15 minutes.

Make sure you know how companies make money.

Start with: Gross and operating profit

Why you should take it: You'd like to know more about how businesses turn a profit.

What you'll learn: You won't confuse gross profit, operating profit, and net income ever again.

Understand a major issue regarding trade between the U.S. and China.

Start with: Floating exchange resolving trade imbalance

Why you should take it: You want to know more about the ways the U.S. and China are financially obligated to each other.

What you'll learn: You'll understand how a floating exchange rate works.

Get an idea of how big the Earth really is.

Start with: Scale of Earth and Sun

Why you should take it: You probably have a political opinion on the proper response to climate change, but you could also benefit from a primer on the Earth's position in the solar system.

What you'll learn: Get some data to understand how tiny our planet is relative to the Sun.

Go through a history of the universe in under 15 minutes.

Start with: Cosmological time scale 1

Why you should take it: You want to have a basic understanding of the scale of the universe.

What you'll learn: Catch up on the fundamentals of everything we've learned about cosmology through the course of human history.

Determine which credit card you should get.

Start with: Annual percentage rate (APR) and effective APR

Why you should take it: No matter how smart you are, there's a good chance you never took the time to actually study personal finance.

What you'll learn: You'll learn how an APR works, and how banks issue and process credit cards.

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