Our perspective on online learning and the way it can help us grow has changed drastically, especially after COVID. Right now, there is a wide range of online resources available that benefit millions of job seekers around the globe. But how do you know which platform is right for you?
It depends a lot on what you’re looking for. For example, if you want to improve your general life skills, Skillshare is the common answer. If you’re looking strictly for math and computer science courses, you should check out Brilliant.
Similarly, if you’re thinking about polishing your professional skills, LinkedIn Learning should be your first stop.
What is LinkedIn Learning?
LinkedIn Learning is the next generation of Lynda.com and offers 10,000+ online courses. It has the same content as Lynda.com but uses LinkedIn data to provide engagement opportunities for the users.
The three main course categories are:
- Business: Full range of business topics including leadership and management
- Creative: Skills, knowledge, and tools required for a creative industry
- Technology: Skills, knowledge, and tools required to build tech expertise
It also offers another line of categorization:
- Subject: Individual topics within one of the three main categories
- Softwares: Knowledge of tools used in any of the three main categories
- Learning Path: Career paths you can pursue within each of the three main categories
How do I get started on LinkedIn Learning?
To access content on LinkedIn Learning, you need to have a premium LinkedIn account. This costs $29.99 per month but you can avail the 30-days free trial to test the platform first. If you change your mind mid-way, you can easily cancel the subscription at any point.
It is recommended that you complete at least one course before signing up for the monthly premium subscription.
But why should I use LinkedIn Learning?
Upon completing a course, LinkedIn Learning offers users a certificate of completion. This can be added to your resume and LinkedIn to demonstrate your growth mindset and technical knowledge on a topic.
Below are some more features that make LinkedIn Learning a great learning platform:
Weekly goals and achievement emails:
LinkedIn Learning allows you to set weekly goals to track your progress. The ‘In progress’ tab at the top serves a similar function. It tells you how many courses you’ve taken and how much content you’ve covered.
Similarly, weekly achievement emails keep you updated on your learning. The content is categorized into the LinkedIn Learning list and LinkedIn Learning lookback. The former recommends content matching your interest and the latter informs about your weekly progress.
This collaborative feature facilitates group discussions for any given course. People from around the world share their learning journeys about a common topic. They can ask questions and share thoughts, thereby creating a collaborative learning experience.
This also serves as an excellent opportunity to network with other subject matter experts, instructors, and industrialists from around the world.
Choosing one course from a long list of options can be overwhelming. LinkedIn Learning takes care of that by a feature called Learning paths.
Filter your search by learning paths and you will find the right order in which you should sign up for related courses.
Recommendations (based on your industry, interests, and skillset):
Based on your learning activity, LinkedIn Learning suggests loads of relevant content that can maximize your learning potential. The recommendation algorithms use your interests, industry, and historical data to suggest possible courses you may be interested in.
You can learn offline with the mobile app. Just download your lessons beforehand and continue learning on the go. So, if you have to do an hour-long commute every day to work, you can use that time to go through the marketing course you recently enrolled in.
The app is available for both iOS and Android users.
How can LinkedIn Learning help in my job search?
The platform offers comprehensive courses on topics like Creating a Career Plan, Recovering from a Layoff, Transitioning Out of Your Job, Resume Makeover, and Informational Interviewing. Such courses can massively help you in the different stages of your job search.
The collaborative nature of the platform offers you a lot of networking opportunities. You can connect with subject matter experts and industrialists across the world. They can provide you with valuable advice that can help you get your dream job.
Moreover, if you’re a career changer, you can sign up for courses in your new target industry to build skill mastery.
You can mention completed courses in your resume and talk about them in interviews. This will help build the impression that you’re highly adaptable to learning new things and like to work on your professional growth.
But is it worth it though?
There can be few downsides to an otherwise great learning experience at LinkedIn Learning.
For example, you can’t tell how old the course is because the launch date is not mentioned. This is not an issue for courses that teach the core principles of a concept. However, people will be frustrated if a course on ‘the latest industry technology and software’ turns out to have outdated content.
Secondly, some people may find the monthly subscription price unreasonable, especially considering the availability of other resources like Coursera and Udacity.
Nevertheless, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks here.
Final recommendation: it’s worth it!
Before you sign up for LinkedIn Learning, you must focus on developing a great LinkedIn profile to catch recruiters’ attention. I have created a free LinkedIn cheat sheet for you that you can use to develop a great LinkedIn profile.