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

2,476 ratings

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


Mar 27, 2020

Great Course, Very solid start for those who are trying to enter Finance world.

It makes you love this field if you are not familiar with it and have no previous experience.

Great Job Professor.


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.

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1 - 25 of 538 Reviews for Finance for Non-Finance Professionals

By Usiju M T

Mar 17, 2019

Love the instructor, his delivery is on point but a little bit more clarity is needed on finance terminologies

By Robert

Mar 28, 2018

It is an average introduction to certain financial aspects. Where i really feel it was let down was in 1) the discussions with the external expert. You need to find a new expert more engaging with the subject matter. Was very dry and I was willing her on not to fail. Not a sentiment I should be feeling in a paid course. 2) The capstone project was too much too quickly. You should run through a similar project first using similar details and documentation. The instructor should run through this dry run step by step just as the student will do in the final exam. In other words, the jump from introducing NPV etc to a final project with lots of different documents was too much.

By Rahul N

Mar 30, 2020

I am a mechanical engineer looking to change careers and go into financial management. This course gave me the confidence that my choice to go into finance was well placed. The course content is well designed for a newbie like me. This course gave me the motivation and confidence i needed to learn more finance related concepts.

By Javier S

Oct 1, 2019

Very good overview of finance. For everyone looking, this is not specific to personal finance, but rather a general view and introduction to the most general topics. And a great one at that!

By Ferdi S

Jun 21, 2020

James is a very passionate and communicative lecturer. I really love the way he presents the materials because it makes all the materials are easily digested and understood. Two thumbs up!!

By Nandkumar

Nov 1, 2019

Prof James is a very good teacher not only because he is very thorough with his own understanding of finance fundamentals but also he genuinely likes teach. His animated gestures keeps one hooked on to the course. The exercises are very helpful to drive the concepts home

Highly recommend to take up the course for anyone who wants to understand the world of finance

By Rahul S

Jun 26, 2017

I had no background of Finance before I enrolled for this course except that I had good mathematics base. I found this course very beneficial as it explained the fundamentals of Finance in a very understandable language and pace. The course structure is well organized and it is absolutely worth enrolling. This course is coming handy to me for my CFA preparations as it has built a strong understandings of basics.

By Kinan H

Mar 28, 2020

Great Course, Very solid start for those who are trying to enter Finance world.

It makes you love this field if you are not familiar with it and have no previous experience.

Great Job Professor.

By Tushar M

Jun 9, 2019

As a operation head of R&D center, I used to make business case for proposing requirement of equipment using help of Finance. Now I understood all details and I can do it myself. The important point is that I can now go back to those spread sheet and understand how payback was considered. I would like to thank Coursera and Professor James and Rice university for this wonderful opportunity to learn.

I specifically like conversation with real world finance person.

Thank you

By Daniel P

Sep 30, 2020

Course content was very good but the certificate was a joke - not worth the money. The certificate is signed "Signature" and lists the professor as John Doe, and there appears to be no way to contact anyone at Coursera with complaints.

By Ádamo F

Jun 10, 2020

This course is so good I couldn't wait to finish it asap! While the instructor (which I became very found of) is clear he noticeably understands the underlying aspects of Finance, presenting it on a very didatic and interesting way. I took this course because I wanted to start doing company's valuation, and I can tell you that I'm much closer to doing so.

Some food for thought:

I'd like to see the guest talk more, I felt that the professor kind of directioned his speech a lot to what was said in class. I believe that she could have brought some real life examples and had gone deeper on them.

I'd also have appreciated a class that had examined a real balance sheet example as well.

Regardless of this, if you don't know anything about finance, or if you know just a little bit, there is a high chance that you'll find what you're looking for in this course. Congratulations to Mr. James Weston and his team for doing this favour to the community.

By Diptarka M

Aug 16, 2017

I am an Electrical Engineer working in the mining industry. I am currently in a managerial position and frequently need to make decisions on whether to implement a certain project or not and what benefit would it bring to my company. I learnt a great deal from this course. I thoroughly enjoyed Prof. Weston's each lecture. There was so much enthusiasm in his voice that kept me hooked to this course and nudged me towards earning my verifiable certificate. Thank you and keep bringing such nice courses.

By Shrikant C

Mar 26, 2018

Very good learning experience.

The course is ideal for people having an interest in Finance! No prior knowledge needed!

The Prof. makes sure you are involved throughout the lecture!

By Ivan L

Jul 24, 2019

Very good course that tackles the most important parts of finance and accounting in a firm. The only problem I had was that a lot of technical terms were somewhat poorly explained, and week 3 was a bit confusing. Still, I would recommend this course to anyone that is interested in finance.

By Sekhar R

Jun 26, 2018

Its a good place to start. I would recommend this to a friend who has no clue whatsoever about finance and is looking at possibly heading in a new direction. Videos are well sized, clear and articulate. Homework assignments are well designed for this level. Although I would have liked it more had the capstone quiz given me the opportunity to work independently with the numbers given in the case rather than giving me a template to work with. Seemed a little spoon fed to me. All in all a good course to pursue for beginners.

By Marc L

Jul 25, 2017

Efficient and clear introduction to the subject, though not a lot of material. Interviews are not very useful. A written "handout" list of definitions, acronyms and formulae would be useful as a future reference (for those who didn't take notes).

By Claudia G

Jul 25, 2018

The course is well prepared and the teacher is very good, the exercises however are not 100% explained and in the tests there could be issues

By Mohamed B B

Oct 4, 2020

the course is fruitful because it presents basic concepts and simple variables that are crucial to know.

HOWEVER, the capestone case is very very hard to finish, it requires collaboration through the discussion plateform or else, you will not be able to do it by yourself

By LeeAnn D

Feb 16, 2020

I really appreciated the focus on the conceptual elements of financial decision-making and the capital budgeting process. The video lectures were a great length for me (aka not too long) and included plenty of visual examples that helped me understand what was being taught. This was a great overview for someone who, like me, doesn't have a super strong foundation in math and has never taken a finance course before, but is interested in understanding these principles better.

By Ravish R M

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.

By jameel h

Oct 7, 2018

This course as the title suggests is actually required for non finance professionals to get an understanding of concepts in Finance. A very good and well structured course.

By giuseppe t

Oct 5, 2020

Very engaging and effective. Perhaps if stretched over a 13 weeks period or wrapped up in an official master, it would have been even more gratifying. Food for thought?

By M V R

Feb 17, 2018

I love the enthusiasm the Professor shows and having taken this course out of my own interest (pun intended), I find it thoroughly enjoyable and practically useful.

By Alan H

Nov 12, 2017

I would like to thank you for this amazing course, it is very helpful for non-finance and financial people at the same time. I believe it will help me in my career.

By Alex F

Apr 4, 2021

if you want to learn how businesses operate without going in depth, this course is for you!