“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”― Albert Einstein
In our quest to better ourselves, we must constantly evolve and keep learning. Up until a century ago, learning was only for the privileged and wealthy. Nowadays, learning resources are much more easily available. Besides formal education, there are numerous free and paid online courses you can take and one of them is LinkedIn Learning.
Today, we’ll take a look at this learning platform, its history, the pros and cons and see how it stacks up against some other paid online courses out there.
What is LinkedIn Learning?
You’ve definitely heard of LinkedIn by now. It’s the largest platform for professional networking. It’s the social network to go present yourself as a professional and find colleagues and potentially land a job.
LinkedIn Learning is the network’s platform for online courses, launched to help LinkedIn members educate themselves and better their careers.
The platform was launched in 2015 when LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com, the famous online learning platform. Subsequently, all of the courses available on Lynda now became available on LinkedIn Learning as well.
Similarly to Udemy, LinkedIn Learning is a paid platform. It has more than 13,000 available courses which you can attend on demand. You get certificates after completing courses and taking tests. You can showcase these certificates on your LinkedIn Profile.
Review – How Does LinkedIn Learning Work?
Let’s say that you want to give the platform a go and find some courses to attend. You can do this in three ways.
- First, you can choose a certain topic, for example, sales. Once you put that in your search bar, you will find relevant courses. Note: there really are tons of courses, so take your time to choose the right one before you get started.
- The second way is to choose a specific tool or software you want to learn. For example, you can take a look at specialized Excel or Photoshop courses. If you need a certain tool for your next job, this is a great way to pick up on something relevant to get a promotion or a new position. Be mindful of the course release date to find the most recent and relevant information here.
- The third way is perhaps the most interesting and it’s called Learning Paths. Just as its name says, this learning method lets you take a path towards a certain field of expertise. For example, say that you want to get started with content marketing.
Learning Paths will suggest courses in copywriting, SEO writing, content promotion, etc. It can’t give you a degree in digital marketing, but Learning Paths is a great way to quickly get up to speed in certain fields where no formal education is available.
Once you’ve found a course you want to attend, you’ll get the following information:
- Course difficulty
- Course length
- Date released (especially important for software and tool courses)
- The number of viewers
- The number of members who like the course
- The content which you’ll learn upon course completion
- What’s included in the course (files, quizzes, type of access, certificates, etc.)
- Companies where most viewers work
- Course description
- Skills covered in the course
- About the instructor
- Related courses
All of this may seem overwhelming, but it’s actually great information. Once you take a look at a few courses, you can use all of this info to choose the right one, which we’ll discuss in a minute.
All of the videos come with transcripts, which is particularly handy if English is not your native language and you want to pick up on some new terminology. The transcripts also allow you to quickly make notes as you highlight the words within them.
I recently took a look at the lesson called PowerPoint for Teachers by Faith Brill. Coming in at just over 37 minutes, you may consider it too short for an actual lesson. But the amount is just right for someone who’s never worked in PowerPoint. I just wanted to get acquainted with the most used tools and features.
Faith Brill is one of the main educators at LinkedIn Learning and she takes a topic that we all think we’re too familiar with – PowerPoint.
She puts a new twist on this Microsoft Office tool. Faith teaches us how to make presentations into excellent learning tools, instead of slides with bullet points that most people simply ignore.
Another good example of a starting course is UX Foundations: Style Guides and Design Systems. Taught by Chris Nodder and lasting for 1 hour and 40 minutes, this course is a must for anyone who wants to get started with user experience from scratch.
You’ll learn the basics of style guides and design systems, define your audience and voice. As part of your learning path in UX, I strongly recommend taking this course.
If you want to do something for the better of your company, you can take the course titled Human Resources: Strategic Workforce Planning. The title may seem complicated, but it’s all about providing practical value – teaching you how to manage a company in case you’ve suddenly lost an important member of your company management.
Taught by Wayne Cascio, this 47-minute course is a must for anyone looking to deepen their knowledge of human resources management.
If you’re looking to brush up on your soft skills, what better person to learn from than the COO of Facebook?
In Option B: Building Resilience, Sheryl Sandberg and psychologist Adam Grant talk about how to build resilience in the face of adversity.
It’s only 20 minutes long but it has been seen well over 280,000 times so it’s definitely worth dedicating your time to it.
Quality of the Courses
The courses I’ve personally listened to are of high quality. In terms of the speakers, the content and the quality of the video materials. Not all courses are perfect and not all will give you the same quality of content.
The one major downside to LinkedIn Learning is that how much you can do with it depends entirely on yourself. Learning Paths will give you some guidance on the best choice of courses, but you will have to do a lot of digging on your own.
There are thousands of courses available and you may run into five of them on sales prospecting, for example. It’s up to you to do research and pick up the best one.
For the US, LinkedIn Learning is available as a Premium subscription and costs $29.99 a month for a monthly subscription.
Annual subscriptions cost $299.88 per year. This means you get 2 months for free if you choose this plan.
The subscription gives you access to all courses, which you can watch at any time on your phone. You get access to certificates once you pass a course and offline access to courses for when you’re on the go.
The LinkedIn Learning plan gives you the features which are also available in the standard LinkedIn Premium subscription:
- InMail (to contact and message anyone on LinkedIn)
- Ability to see who viewed your LinkedIn profile
- Ability to see who else applied for the same jobs as you
Once you factor in that the competitors such as Udemy and Coursera charge per course, you will quickly go over the price of one monthly payment for LinkedIn learning. You are essentially only limited by time. Anow much you can watch and learn within a month.
Another thing worth mentioning is that you get some Premium LinkedIn account features with the Premium LinkedIn Learning account. A normal Premium LinkedIn account costs $29.99 and upwards monthly, so you get two for the price of one.
The good side of LinkedIn Learning is that you get a wide selection for your money and that you can try it out for a month for free before committing to a subscription. LinkedIn Premium features are definitely worth it if you’re an active job seeker. The courses are good quality and Learning Paths can be extremely useful in pursuing a new career.
The courses range from 5 minutes to 10 hours and there are some great, but also some not-so-great instructors, so finding the right course can take a bit of time. The good thing is that you don’t buy courses, so you can go over as many as you want.
LinkedIn Learning is a great option if you’re already on LinkedIn and actively searching for a job, and you could benefit from learning new skills and Premium account features.
If you’re actively looking for new courses to learn from and to add certifications to your LinkedIn profile, you should definitely try the LinkedIn Learning platform.