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Leadership training: 10 online resources for developing leadership skills

Sarah K. White | Sept. 6, 2017
Effective management requires strong leadership skills. These 10 online resources offer professional development for those seeking to strengthen their management and executive skills — and some of them are free.

Leadership training: 10 online resources for developing leadership skills
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Attaining a leadership position requires a balance of hard and soft skills, but until you hit management levels, you might not have considered how important leadership skills can be. Unfortunately, leadership skills don’t always come naturally — whether that’s communication, strategic budgeting, organizational planning or team-building.

But you don’t have to look far to find effective, affordable – and sometimes free – online training. In fact, you might find that your alma matter even offers online professional development courses on leadership skills.

If you’re looking to gain more broad leadership skills or hone specific skills, these 10 online training resources and certificate programs can help get you started.


MIT OpenCourseWare – Sloan School of Management

You may not know that MIT offers material from more than 150 of its undergraduate and graduate courses for free, giving you access to an MIT education without the tuition. At MIT OpenCourseWare, you can get access to the Sloan School of Management, where you’ll find plenty of undergraduate and graduate courses on all things business, including leadership skills, for free.  



Coursera offers courses from universities and colleges across the country. There are business and leadership courses, but you’ll also find courses on popular IT topics like data science, coding and more. Courses typically run four to six weeks and are priced from $29 to $99; specializations in specific skills take four to six months and range from $39 to $79 per month. You can even complete an accredited master’s degree in one to three years — cost ranges from $15 to $25,000.


Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

The Wharton School states that it is the “only top-tier business school able to educate corporate workforces at scale,” with over three million students enrolled in more than 30 online courses. Course options include private group courses with 50 employees or more, customized programs with over 500 employees and online courses that offer a “deep dive in key topics for professionals.”


Villanova University Leadership Training Course

Villanova University offers individual courses, as well as a Master Certificate in Organizational Leadership. To obtain the certificate, you must complete three courses that are professor-led using video and audio, chat rooms and class discussions. Each course takes eight weeks to complete, and altogether the three-course certificate costs $5,095.


Class Central

Class Central is another online depository of courses a wide array of topics — for the business category alone, there are currently 1,243 available courses. You’ll find courses from multiple universities and other educational facilities, and Class Central even aggregates courses offered by other online platforms like Coursera or FutureLearn. You’ll be able to find free and paid courses on nearly any subject from a wide variety of sources.


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