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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Finance for Non-Finance Professionals by Rice University

1,959 ratings
422 reviews

About the Course

This short course surveys all the major topics covered in a full semester MBA level finance course, but with a more intuitive approach on a very high conceptual level. The goal here is give you a roadmap and framework for how financial professional make decisions. We will cover the basics of financial valuation, the time value of money, compounding returns, and discounting the future. You will understand discounted cash flow (DCF) valuation and how it compares to other methods. We also step inside the mind of a corporate financial manager and develop the basic tools of capital budgeting. We will survey the how, when, and where to spend money, make tradeoffs about investment, growth, dividends, and how to ensure sound fiscal discipline. Our journey then turns to a Wall Street or capital markets perspective of investments as we discuss the fundamental tradeoff between risk and return. We then synthesize our discussion of risk with our valuation framework and incorporate it into series of direct applications to practice. This course requires no prior familiarity with finance. Rather, it is intended to be a first step for anyone who is curious about understanding stock markets, valuation, or corporate finance. We will walk through all of the tools and quantitative analysis together and develop a guide for understanding the seemingly complex decisions that finance professionals make. By the end of the course, you will develop an understanding of the major conceptual levers that push and pull on financial decision making and how they relate to other areas of business. The course should also serve as a roadmap for where to further your finance education and it would be an excellent introduction of any students contemplating an MBA or Finance concentration, but who has little background in the area....

Top reviews

Aug 16, 2020

This is a very well designed course. Taking you through basics and in the end puts you in a real business scenario where you are expected to take a decision based on the tools and concepts you learnt.

Mar 27, 2020

Great Course, Very solid start for those who are trying to enter Finance world.\n\nIt makes you love this field if you are not familiar with it and have no previous experience.\n\nGreat Job Professor.

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51 - 75 of 420 Reviews for Finance for Non-Finance Professionals

By Viktor B

Nov 14, 2020

I would like to give very positive feedback on the course. The amount of material is big enough, and explained in a good and understandable way. Also I like that there were regular tests/practice assignments, and those were really done such that you needed to understand material to pass them.

Great course, recommend.


May 11, 2020

I think that it is a very well organized course. The professor has a talent in teaching the materials in a very easy to understand manner. I thought I would audit the course, but, after going through the video lectures, I changed my mind to take the course. I enjoyed learning the materials outside of my field.

By Varun S

Jul 28, 2019

Wanting to pursue a career in finance, I have learnt a lot from this course. The course content was well organised. Further, I now have a better understanding of the basics in Finance. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in finance in general or to anyone looking to pursue a career in finance

By Lingyan W

Dec 20, 2019

Many universities offer this similar content course, yet, this course explained very nicely and keep me interested in all the time. It made the hard to understand part easy. The professor did a great job. It's a pleasure to take his courses. :) This has brought me great impression on Rice university too.

By Madhawa W

Jul 3, 2017

This is an amazing course! nicely structured with each week building on the past week and bringing everything together wonderfully in the end. Great for people who need a basic understanding in finance! Learned a whole lot without feeling like my head was being bombarded with facts

Highly recommended

By Varun B

May 26, 2020

I strongly recommend to do this course to those who are interested in studying Finance with zero Finance knowledge. Everything about this course was helpful. Every lecture, quiz and at the end Capstone case was helpful. i certainly got idea about what Finance professionals do and how they do it.

By Ajay A

Jan 24, 2017

The professor provides an excellent overview of finance. I work in a different industry but the examples provided gave me great insight and gave me an appreciation into finance. I can see myself using the tools provided in my own personal finances, and also evaluating different types of assets.

By Kushal G

Apr 2, 2020

I am extremely thankful to Prof. James. This course was very useful to me as i got to learn many different concepts of finance and its real time applications. I am an engineer and looking forward to pursue my masters in finance.This course will play a key role for my upcoming journey in finance.

By Yasaman N

Oct 3, 2020

Since this is a course for people with no finance background, I wish there were more explanation on concepts and how they all get tied to one another. I have to say that the final assignment helped a lot with this, but I wish there was even more of such assignments and variations of it too.

By rami a

May 16, 2020

Mostly a great course, but I suggest in the capstone and final to show mistakes we made and how to correct them and as well if we put for example 1.5 instead of 1.50 you should count it as correct and calculator and excel answers are different so you should consider both as correct answers.

By Deleted A

Apr 13, 2020

A truly amazing course for anyone who has no idea in finance field. I had done a finance course at university but feel like I understand it so much better now as the convenor explains it really well and simplifies things for better understanding. Enjoyed it heaps!!!! Highly recommended

By Gustavo S

Apr 25, 2020

Excellent course. Videos and materials are extremely well prepared, the sequence throughout the 5 weeks of the course take you step by step in a logical way. The professor speaks clearly on the videos, looks excited about the topic. Enjoyed every bit of the course, well worth it.


Jul 30, 2019

Extremely helpful for beginners. I started learning using the financial aid. It was a perfect start I was needing to launch my career into finance field. I give my word to help students like me study through coursera by donating to the financial aid of some other students.

By Saad A A

Jan 22, 2020

Excellent course! The level of details and the way information is communicated makes it very easy to understand. Linking the course to real life scenarios makes the course a must have for professional. The course also contains exercises and questions to keep us engaged.

By Pushkar M

Sep 23, 2020

This course is very well designed and delivered. Really liked the style of teaching. It definitely helped me understanding key concepts from finance. Highly recommended for people having no background in finance but come across terms like EBIT, BPV, IRR in their work.

By Keith A M

Apr 27, 2018

Really enjoyed the financial breakdown of publicly traded companies. Also, a way to show the overall health. Additionally, knowing and understanding interest rates is extremely beneficial. Even outside of the financial arena, knowing this information is beneficial.

By Maria G R G

Mar 20, 2018

Excellent course!

The distribution of the subjects and the time that its invest in each one is ideal. One of the best teachers that i've seen, not only his knowledge but the way that he can traspass that knowledge and make you understand really difficult concepts.

By aditya d

Apr 6, 2020

An excellent learning platform for the ones who have no commerce background . precisely taught by Prof.James Weston. easy day-to-day life examples are used to make things easier to learn . would recommend each one who is looking forward a career in finance .

By Max S

Apr 5, 2020

An amazing course that's engaging and leaves you wanting to learn more after every lecture. Good balance between learning and application as well. Highly recommend to all who wish to learn some fundamentals of finance in an intuitive and understandable way.

By Lionel V

Aug 18, 2020

Spectacular course! Week by week I keep learning a lot. This gives me tools for me career path. It helps me to understand the decisions the CFO or company may take during a project or which is the role of a CAPEX in a forecast. Thanks so much!

By Sanjeev K

Jan 8, 2017

Name of this course tell youeverything , this course give enough info and wisdom to read and understand balance sheets , income statements and cashflow statements of companies . This is my first course and I'm happy that I took this course

By Sandeep R

Jun 14, 2019

I'm from non-finance professional :) and this course has taught me so much. I will use this as a refresher every now and then to not forget about what i learned in this course. Thank you so much to the whole team who are involved in this.

By Suril S

Dec 3, 2018

This is a good course for non-finance professionals to begin with. The professor is very knowledgeable, clear, and gives real world examples. Although, I would have loved to have more practice quizzes based on concepts after each week.

By Raymond E

Aug 5, 2020

Very good class for an introduction to corporate finance processes and use of various methods for capital investment analysis. Course modules were effective and the quizzes/homework assignments tied back well to the class material.

By Beverley A

Nov 23, 2020

This course is an excellent course for persons desiring to explore and understand the world of finance. Detailed lectures, discussion forums and homework assignments all work to help you succeed. Thank you for offering this course.