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7 online digital transformation courses and certifications

We've compiled a list of the best paid online digital transformation courses and certification programs for business leaders seeking to gain a competitive edge in the digital age.

Companies across all industries have launched digital transformation initiatives designed to ensure their businesses can survive in today's market. However, implementing transformational change within an entire organization is no easy feat.

Whether it's a matter of finding the right technologies to improve business models or learning how to sustain a digital culture where employees are encouraged to innovate, transformation challenges abound. Digital transformation courses and certification programs can help business leaders develop a strategy built for success.

To get you started on your learning adventure, we've compiled a list of seven popular online courses and programs that cover different areas of digital business transformation. Our examples include MIT Professional Education's program, which focuses on the fundamentals of five emerging technologies -- AI, blockchain, IoT, cloud computing and cybersecurity -- and the applications of each; Stanford's digital transformation certificate program, which provides a framework for implementing digital transformation with a focus on enhancing UX and employee experience; and Cornell's certificate program, which concentrates on digital innovation concepts and takes participants through a rapid ideation process.

All of the digital transformation courses listed below are online and charge a fee. Each comes with a certificate upon successful completion of the program, with a few of the courses offering professional development hours as well.

1. UC Berkeley Executive Education Digital Transformation program

Course details: The University of California, Berkeley's Executive Education online program aims to help business leaders identify problematic areas in their organization where technology can make a difference, manage the people and processes required to enable digital efforts, and navigate the murky legal and ethical waters of digital business. The program is made up of eight modules that focus on different aspects of digital transformation, including opportunities for digital change, the process of transforming, types of digital business models, the role of data and organizational alignment. Participants have access to a mix of video lectures, peer discussion boards, assignments, quizzes and live webinars with UC Berkeley Executive Education's elite faculty and with thought leaders in digital transformation. To receive the verified digital certificate of completion, participants must pass five of the modules as well as a final project, which gives participants the opportunity to address a specific challenge in their organization and come up with an action plan.

Who should take this course: The program is intended for mid- to senior-level managers looking to create a strategy and action plan as they lead their organization through digital disruption. Past participants consist of C-suite executives, IT managers, technical architects and technology infrastructure managers in industries across vectors ranging from banking, retail and telecommunications to aviation and automotive.

Price: $2,600 program fee with flexible payment options available.

Duration: The program runs for two months with weekly modules that take up to four to six hours to complete.

online digital transformation courses

2. Stanford Digital Transformation Certificate

Course details: The Stanford Digital Transformation Certificate Program takes a hands-on approach by offering an extensive framework for implementing digital transformation. It covers the tools and techniques needed to effectively lead in times of change and build a sustainable digital culture and integrate technology and processes to further enhance customer and employee experience. Through eight courses, business leaders will learn how to adapt to a changing landscape, apply AI to transform UX, use predictive modeling to turn data into insights and work more efficiently with crowdsourcing. The Stanford Certificate in Digital Transformation is earned upon completion of all the courses.

Who should take this course: This is the ideal program for business leaders and employees looking to create and sustain a digital culture throughout their organization. The program recommends companies enroll groups of people who work together or need to work together to get the most out of the coursework's emphasis on collaboration and building resilient teams.

Price: $695.00 per course. Note that the site also offers price packages for groups.

Duration: Individuals can sign up for an online course at any time with 60 days to complete upon registration. A single course takes approximately five to eight hours to complete.

3. Coursera Digital Transformation course

Course details: Digital Transformation is one of four courses in Coursera's Leading the Modern Day Business Specialization, a series of courses covering a particular skill. The course on digital transformation is offered by the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and Boston Consulting Group (BCG). It concentrates on two specific areas of digital transformation: the urgency it creates for businesses and what needs to be done to win in the digital age. Participants also have access to BCG's proprietary framework to help identify the necessary technologies, processes and strategy to digitally transform. They receive a certificate upon completion of the course.

Who should take this course: This is an informative course for individuals starting a new career in an industry where technology is prevalent and who want to learn about the economics, innovation, market disruptions, challenges and business benefits of the technologies driving digital transformation.

Price: Coursera Specializations come with a $49 monthly subscription fee and a seven-day free trial. Users have access to every course in the specialization, but it's not required to complete them all, and subscriptions can be cancelled at any time.

Duration: The course takes approximately 14 hours to complete over a span of four weeks.

4. Digital Transformation Cornell Certificate Program

Course details: The Digital Transformation Cornell Certificate Program focuses on digital innovation concepts and provides a rapid ideation process to help discover and produce new, disruptive business ideas. Throughout seven courses, business leaders will perform a "builder audit" and a "digitization audit," apply daily ideation techniques to determine where digital tools can be of most value, generate over 100 ideas for new products or services, conduct a five-step value creation analysis and design a testing plan. By the end of the certificate program, participants will have an authenticated technology strategy to bring their digital innovation concept to life with less risk, the official Digital Transformation Certificate from Cornell Tech and 70 professional development hours, or 7 CEUs.

Who should take this course: Entrepreneurs, business and IT leaders who want to expand on their disruptive business ideas through digital auditing and a rapid ideation process.

Price: $3,600 program fee with monthly payment options available.

Duration: The certificate program lasts a total of four months with seven two-week courses.

5. Digital Transformation in Business from edX

Course details: The Digital Transformation in Business course is part of an edX MicroMasters Program in MBA Core Curriculum geared toward the emerging technologies and trends driving digital transformation, such as cloud computing, AI, IoT and e-commerce platforms. The course features seven modules with materials that include videos, peer instruction questions, writing prompts with discussion boards and a final exam. Topics include IT strategy, IT governance and value, emerging technologies, big data and platforms, innovation, social media and emerging IT industries.

Who should take this course: Business leaders in industries across the enterprise who want to gain a better understanding of current digital technologies to determine which are the most beneficial to their organization.

Price: Free with the option of paying $399 for a verified certificate.

Duration: The course lasts seven weeks with eight to 10 hours spent per week.

6. Digital Transformation: From AI and IoT to Cloud, Blockchain and Cybersecurity

Course details: Digital Transformation: From AI and IoT to Cloud, Blockchain and Cybersecurity is offered by MIT Professional Education, an excellent source for non-degree programs and continuing education courses, in collaboration with Emeritus. Centered on the fundamentals of the five technologies, participants will learn the history, application and how these technologies are transforming business operations. It's considered a hands-on program that includes some basic coding -- participants will use the MetaMask plugin to perform transactions with the cryptocurrency Ether, deploy a contract to the Ethereum blockchain, create a webpage on a custom domain and set up a cloud server and create a repository in GitHub. Upon completion of the online program, participants who pass with 80% or more will receive a certificate of completion and 3.6 CEUs.

Who should take this course: Professionals in traditional companies and startups who want to learn more about the technologies driving digital transformation and how they can be of value to their business. Past participants include managing directors and operations managers in IT services, head of finance and banking and project managers in telecommunications.

Price: $2,300 program fee with flexible payment options and a discount of up to 20% for groups.

Duration: The online program is offered on a quarterly basis and takes six weeks to complete.

7. LinkedIn Learning Digital Transformation

Course details: Considered one of the more popular courses on digital transformation on LinkedIn Learning with over 100,000 learners, Digital Transformation aims to help business leaders better understand what exactly digital transformation is and why it can make or break an organization. The course, which is only about 45 minutes, focuses on the different stages of digital maturity, examines digital-born companies -- such as Google, Amazon and FedEx -- to gain better insight and explains how to come up with an effective digital transformation roadmap and strategy. The course is led by Peter High, president of technology strategy firm Metis Strategy, author and moderator of the podcast The Forum on World Class IT. Once the course content is completed, learners will receive a LinkedIn Learning certificate, which individuals can showcase on their LinkedIn profile or print out.

Who should take this course: This is an informative online course intended for business leaders active on LinkedIn who are interested in learning more about digital transformation trends and their implications for companies.

Price: LinkedIn's learning plan offers a $29.99 monthly subscription or an annual subscription that would come out to $19.99 a month.

Duration: The course is roughly 45 minutes and remains available for as long as the LinkedIn account is active.

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