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Back-to-school time: 10 free business training online courses for CIOs

September means it's time to go back to school -- even for CIOs. Check out these 10 free business training online courses from Stanford and more

Every smart CIO knows that the secret to staying on top of their game involves keeping their tech skills sharp.

It's one thing to encourage your IT staffers to pursue continued business training, but it's another thing to head to the classroom yourself. We've rounded up ten amazing free business training courses with respected institutions like Stanford University, Princeton University and Duke University. These free online training opportunities run anywhere from five to 12 weeks and cover subjects that are vital to success in today's businesses. These free, university-level online courses tend to fill up quickly -- we recommend signing up sooner rather than later.

Networks: Friends, Money and Bytes (Princeton University)

Course description: A free online training course driven by 20 practical questions about wireless, Web, and the Internet, about how products from companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, Ericsson, HP, Skype and AT&T work. Begins Sept. 17, 2012 (10 weeks long).

Networked Life (University of Pennsylvania)

Course description: Networked Life explores recent scientific efforts to explain social, economic and technological structures -- and the way these structures interact -- on many different scales, from the behavior of individuals or small groups to that of complex networks such as the Internet and the global economy. Begins Sept. 10, 2012 (six weeks long).

More training resources for IT professionals

Our calendar of upcoming IT conferences for CIOs

GRC conferences for compliance pros

Why future IT leaders must continually learn

Tips to avoid CIO job burnout

Social Network Analysis (University of Michigan)

Course description: This course will use social network analysis, both its theory and computational tools, to make sense of the social and information networks that have been fueled and rendered accessible by the internet. Begins Sept. 24, 2012 (eight weeks long).

An Introduction to Operations Management (University of Pennsylvania)

Course description: This free business training course teaches you how to analyze and improve business processes, be it in services or in manufacturing. You will learn how to improve productivity, provide more choices to customers, reduce response times and improve quality. Begins Sept. 24, 2012 (six weeks long).

Writing in the Sciences (Stanford University)

Course description: This course teaches scientists to become more effective writers, using practical examples and exercises. Topics include: principles of good writing, tricks for writing faster and with less anxiety, the format of a scientific manuscript and issues in publication and peer review. Begins Sept. 24, 2012 (eight weeks long).

Organizational Analysis (Stanford University)

Course description: In this introductory free online training course, you will learn multiple theories of organizational behavior and apply them to actual cases of organizational change. Begins Sept. 24, 2012 (10 weeks long).

Human-Computer Interaction (Stanford University)

Course description: Helps you build human-centered design skills, so that you have the principles and methods to create excellent interfaces with any technology. Begins Sept. 24, 2012 (five weeks long).

Functional Programming Principles in Scala (École Polytechnique)

Course description: Learn about functional programming and how it can be effectively combined with object-oriented programming. Gain practice in writing clean, functional code using the Scala programming language. Begins Sept. 18, 2012 (seven weeks long).

Think Again: How to Reason and Argue (Duke University)

Course description: Reasoning is important. This free online training course teaches you how to do it well. You will learn how to understand and assess arguments by other people and how to construct good arguments of your own about whatever matters to you. Begins Nov. 26, 2012 (12 weeks long).

E-Learning and Digital Cultures (The University of Edinburgh)

Course description: This free business training course explores how digital cultures and learning cultures connect and what this means for e-learning theory and practice. Begins Jan. 28, 2013 (five weeks long).

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