Looking to learn about financial modeling? In this guide, we’ve listed the best financial modeling courses available online to help you get started.
Financial modeling helps businesses make good financial decisions. Companies can better plan and budget capital by utilizing financial modeling techniques. For example, they can make business decisions, choose investments, price securities or predict the effects of a merger or acquisition. Today, financial modeling tends to be carried out with the aid of Excel spreadsheets because they are very flexible and allow for customization.
The following financial modeling courses all lead to financial modeling certifications and are currently considered the best in the United States. All are online and most are self-paced.
1. Business and Financial Modeling Specialization from Wharton (Coursera)
The Business and Financial Modeling course group is offered through Coursera in partnership with the Wharton School of Business. It is comprised of five courses that take about two months to complete. It is a self-paced course and one needs to budget about eight hours a week for study time. The course is taught by six different faculty members and is offered at least monthly. This course is suitable for a beginner level.
The goal of the course is for students to be able to utilize data to predict future financial performance. All of the courses in the specialization course group, with the exception of the second course, were rated a 4.6 out of 5 by students. The second course, on spreadsheets and models, was rated a 4.2. The cost is $79 per month and financial aid is available.
There are no prerequisites for the course, but students are advised to know high school-level mathematics through pre-calculus.
The really great thing about the Coursera specialization offerings is that there is a real rigor in what students are expected to do in order to demonstrate learning. The course has required readings and videos, there are practice as well as graded quizzes, graded assignments and a hands-on capstone that is required for satisfactory course completion. Students receive a financial modeling certification upon course completion.
The course teaches students how to use spreadsheet models and modeling techniques and the use of applications in order to analyze investments, value companies and perform economic forecasting. Skills that students will learn also include Microsoft Excel usage, simulation and linear programming.
- Quantitative model creation
- Use of spreadsheets to map data and predict outcomes
- Risk measurement and management
- Structured decision-making processes
2. Excel Skills for Business Specialization from Macquarie (Coursera)
The Excel Skills for Business Specialization group of courses, like the offering from the Wharton School of Business listed above, is offered by Coursera. This course set is from Macquarie University. There are four courses in the set. It is self-paced and takes approximately three months to complete. Macquarie advises students set aside 11 hours of study time each week. The course instructor is Dr. Yvonne Breyer. This course is suitable for beginners.
The goal of the course is for the student to become an advanced user of Excel for business applications. Students will be able to create advanced spreadsheets, professional dashboards and utilize Excel to perform high-level calculations, using the advanced feature set of the program. They will be able to use Excel to perform data modeling and financial forecasting. Students were obviously highly pleased with the results of the program, rating every course in the specialization 4.7 or higher.
There are no prerequisites for this course set and no background knowledge is necessary. The cost of the course is $49 per month with financial aid available. <br><br>
Being another Coursera offering, this course provides a lot of rigor in terms of pushing students to demonstrate learning in a hands-on manner.
There are required readings and videos, practice and graded quizzes as well as graded assignments and programming assignments. As in the Wharton offering, a capstone project is a requirement for receiving the financial modeling certification.
Additional skills learned in the course include Excel macros, data validation and the Excel pivot table.
- Navigation of the Excel user interface to add, format and manipulate data
- Data analysis and data presentation, including the use of advanced formulas for business decision-making, data modeling and forecasting
- Data validation and error detection
- Creation of navigation aids for spreadsheets
3. Valuation and Financial Analysis For Startups Specialization from Yonsei (Coursera)
School: Yonsei University
The Valuation and Financial Analysis for Startups set of courses is another Coursera offering. The university behind this offering is Yonsei University, a leading higher education and research institution in Korea.
This is another self-paced course. Students are to expect completion of the course to take about two months and involve an investment of approximately nine hours of study each week. The course instructors are Hyun Han Shin and Saeyuel Park.
The course is at a beginner level and has no prerequisite requirements nor prior knowledge of accounting or finance. Students gave the individual courses ratings of 4.2 to 4.4. This course is $49 per month to attend. Financial aid is available through Coursera.
Goals of this course place the focus of financial modeling on the needs of startup businesses. Students learn to perform a valuation of the startup before and after capital funding. They learn how to determine a startup’s financial status as well as how to estimate future earnings potential. They will complete the course able to read financial statements and create pro-forma statements. They will learn how to make decisions on investing based upon investment measures such as Net Present Value and Individual Rate of Return.
As in the other Coursera specialization offerings, the expectations for students to demonstrate their learning are rigorous. Students perform readings and view videos, then take practice and graded quizzes, and complete graded assignments and programming assignments. The capstone project has students put their new knowledge to work valuing startups.
- Valuation of startups using the discounted cash flow and the multiple means approaches
- Financial analysis of startups
- Applying investment rules to startups
4. Beginner to Pro in Excel: Financial Modeling and Valuation (Udemy)
The Beginner to Pro in Excel course from Udemy was created by a company called 365 Careers that specializes in topics of finance. The course is self-paced, but there is not any grading of the assignments for the course. There are no prerequisites for the course nor is any background knowledge required. Users were pleased with the contents and gave the course a 4.5.
The goals of the course are to be able to do financial modeling in Excel and to be able to create valuations of companies. The learning vehicles include 10.5 hours of videos, two articles, 417 resources, assignments, and a certificate of completion. Within the materials are case studies. Everything is downloadable and one is granted lifetime access as well as access to the updates to the coursework.
Students will learn to master the use of Excel in order to perform financial modeling. They will build cash flow statements, financial charts and valuation models. They will learn the advanced features of Excel.
- Microsoft Excel advanced features for financial modeling
- Profit and Loss statement creation from raw data
- Cash Flow statement creation
- Company valuation
- Professional financial chart creation
5. Financial Modeling for Startups & Small Businesses (Udemy)
The Udemy offering, Financial Modeling for Startups and Small Businesses, is another self-paced course that has been created by Evan Kimbrell and Symon He. As with other Udemy offerings, there is no requirement that the instructor grade any assignment you may choose to upload.
Course users must have some background knowledge they bring to the course, such as basic algebra, basic Excel use and basic knowledge of Excel formulas and cell references. Users gave the course a rating of 4.4 out of 5. The course is on “sale” for around $12.
The goal of the course is to build financial models and projections for startups. Included in the course is 11.5 video hours of instruction, 10 articles, and 92 resources that can be downloaded. It is stated that there are a plethora of practice exercises and case studies in the material for hands-on instruction. A certificate of completion is issued when you have accessed all of the provided resources.
The goal of this course is to learn financial modeling and forecasting for startups. The same two instructors have a similar course on Udemy that revolves around financial modeling and forecasting in the corporate world.
- Building financial models from scratch
- Learning how to understand other financial models through practice and examination of case studies
- Using financial modeling in business decision-making
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