33 (Free) Online Classes for HR Development

“Be more strategic!” “Take your seat at the table.” “Keep up with best practices.” Thought leaders keep preaching to the HR choir about sharpening skills. Yes, it’s clear that we need to be better prepared for the daunting changes on the workplace horizon, but not everyone in HR has the time or resources to travel all over to conferences or classes in the name of strategic development. Fear not! We’ve compiled a list of FREE online classes to give you the HR Development you crave and the skills you need to strategically increase your value to your company. Check ’em out:

We in HR know how important communication is in the workplace. And issues can be easily misconstrued (benefits changes, pay changes, promotions, etc.) so it’s important they’re communicated effectively. Learn how to do it better:

· Communicating Strategically, Purdue (20-30 hours / 5 lessons)
· Writing for the Web, OPEN2STUDY (16 hours / 4 lessons)
· High-Impact Business Writing, University of California (4-8 hours / 4 lessons)
· Introduction to Public Speaking, University of Washington (18 hours)

Your job is to help the people in your company, so understanding them better might be a good skill to sharpen. Learn how to understand their minds and emotions, as well as how to reason and navigate negotiations with them:

· Social Psychology, Wesleyan University (7 weeks of study / 4-8 hours a week)
· Emotions: a Philosophical Introduction, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (6 weeks of study / 3-5 hours a week)
· Think Again: How to Reason and Argue, Duke (12 weeks of study / 5-6 hours a week)
· Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills, University of Michigan (8.5 hours / 6 lessons)

Deloitte research has found that “60 percent of companies are now investing in Big Data and analytics tools to help make their HR departments more data-driven.” Imagine how impactful you’ll be if you know how to compile and use data on your company’s people to make strategic decisions:

· The Data Scientist’s Toolbox, Johns Hopkins (4 weeks of study / 1-4 hours a week)
· Getting and Cleaning Data, Johns Hopkins (4 weeks of study / 4-9 hours a week)
· Data Visualization, University of Illinois (4 weeks of study / 4-6 hours a week)
· Data Analysis and Statistical Inference, Duke (10 weeks of study / 8-10 hours a week)
· Introduction to Data Science, University of Washington (8 weeks of study / 10-12 hours a week)
· Data Analysis, Johns Hopkins (8 weeks of study / 3-5 hours a week)
· Statistics: Making Sense of Data, University of Toronto (8 weeks of study / 6-8 hours a week)

HR’s initiatives have the potential to have huge impact if designed strategically. Unfortunately, only one out of five HR business partners are seen as strategically effective. Change that by studying the following:

· Welcome to Game Theory, The University of Tokyo (4 weeks of study / 4-5 hours a week)
· Game Theory, Stanford (9 weeks of study / 5-7 hours a week)
· Gamification, University of Pennsylvania (4-8 hours a week)
· Questionnaire Design for Social Surveys, University of Michigan (6 weeks of study / 4-8 hours a week)
· Analyzing Global Trends for Business and Society, Wharton (3-4 hours a week)
· Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager, MIT OpenCourseWare (32 hours / 21 lessons)

HR and finance aren’t the same thing, we know! But often those duties are taken care of by the same person in small companies. And even if you aren’t currently (or don’t want to be) in charge of your company’s finances, it still makes you more valuable if you understand it or, even better, are able to inform financial decisions to create value:

· Introduction to Finance, University of Michigan (15 weeks of study / 6-8 hours a week)
· Introduction to Corporate Finance, Wharton (4 weeks of study / 6-8 hours a week)
· Corporate Financial Decision-Making for Value Creation, The University of Melbourne (4 weeks of study / 4-6 hours per week)
· The Language and Tools of Financial Analysis, The University of Melbourne (4-6 hours a week)

Organizational Leadership
Who better to help lead than the person who understands the company’s greatest asset (people) the best? Learn how to position yourself as a leader and inspire others in the organization:

· Conversations that Inspire: Coaching Learning, Leadership and Change, Case Western Reserve University (5 weeks of study / 2-3 hours a week)
· Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence, Case Western Reserve University (8 weeks of study / 3-4 hours a week)
· Women in Leadership: Inspiring Positive Change, Case Western Reserve University (5 weeks of study / 3-4 hours a week) Note: We know that not all HR professionals are women, but 74 percent of us are. And, just so you know, both men and women are welcome!
· International Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Università Bocconi (4-6 hours a week)
· Organizational Analysis, Stanford (10 weeks of study)
· Unethical Decision Making in Organizations, University of Lausanne (7 weeks of study / 2-5 hours a week)
· Making Better Group Decisions: Voting, Judgement Aggregation and Fair Division, University of Maryland (7 weeks of study/1-3 hours a week)
· International Organizations Management, University of Geneva (5 weeks of study, 2-3 hours a week)

So sharpen your metaphorical pencils and get ready to hit the books! You—and the rest of your company—will be glad you did!