Course list

Budgeting is a key skill, especially for scientists and engineers. Money management skills are crucial for reaching your personal and professional goals. How can you learn to generate a comprehensive budget and leverage it to help you make important financial decisions?

In this course, you will investigate the many elements that comprise an accurate, inclusive budget. You will explore how a budget can help guide your financial choices and map out options to respond to change. You will use a spreadsheet to create your own personal budget and, through quantitative examples, you will understand the important budgetary implications of elements such as taxes, debt, and longer-term savings. By the end of the course, you will have these critical skills to manage your personal and professional money with ease.

Recommending the purchase of a new asset and approximating its cost is often a key responsibility of engineers and scientists. For the financial health of the organization, it's important that such purchases are only made when truly necessary and that cost estimates are accurate. How can you gain the skills necessary to assess these factors?

In this course, you will identify the different types of common business assets and how to determine their value. Through real-world examples, you will also examine alternatives to new capital investments and consider methods to account for the loss of an asset's value over time. This course includes electronic access to a key reference text, “Product and Process Design Principles” (Seider and Seader), which you will use to practice estimating the capital cost and depreciation losses of a major piece of process equipment. By the end of this course, you will be set up for success as you better understand the value of assets in your work.

Technical expertise can help you boost efficiency and innovate new products, but to convince stakeholders to invest in these advances, you will need a degree of financial literacy. What financial documents are you likely to encounter? How can you use that information to determine the fiscal health of an organization? If you are seeking investors for a new venture, how can you ensure your financials are making a compelling case?

In this course, you will explore accounting standards and three of the most critical corporate financial documents: the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flow. Using real-world examples, you will examine a corporate annual report and calculate metrics that can reveal the financial health of an organization. You will also investigate how scientists and engineers contribute to improving organizational finances, with special consideration for the cost of manufacturing, an expense most commonly determined by the work of technical personnel. By the end of this course, you will have new skills in understanding corporate financial documents, calculating ratios, and estimating operating costs.

Whether you are using your technical expertise to plan a project within an organization or to seek investors for a new venture, you will need to peer into the financial future of your endeavors. This likely includes identifying potential areas of risk, incorporating the changing value of money over time, and projecting future revenues and rates of return for your proposal.

In this course, you will practice the skills needed to determine whether a new project makes good financial sense. Based on sample calculations and guidance on making projections for a new venture, you will incorporate simple equations to compare the present and future value of money and to determine rates of return, return on investment, and payback periods. Finally, you will consider the uncertainties involved in new project proposals and methods to visualize them for the benefit of you and your stakeholders. By the end of this course, you will have experience calculating critical metrics and analyzing risks, enabling you to fully evaluate the financial viability of a proposed project.

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