Photo Credit: Google Images
While LinkedIn Learning has been around since 2015 (and even earlier than that, if you consider that it actually started back in 1995 as Lynda.com), it has only been in 2020 that the site has exploded into online popularity because, well, pandemic. In the new era of COVID-19, everyone is going online to learn – and not just your kids. Professionals, techies and creative types are also exploring their learning options online, and LinkedIn Learning has been one of the biggest beneficiaries. For just under $30 per month, you can unlock courses for every step of your career, all without breaking the bank. For that reason, online learning – assuming that it’s here to stay for the long-term – could be the key to unlocking LinkedIn’s true value.
#1: LinkedIn Learning and the “lifetime learning” trend
One of the biggest trends of the past few years has been the shift to “lifetime learning.” In part, this is due to the rapid pace of technological change all around us. If you have a technical background, your skills and experience could already be out of date within 12 months of graduation. Think of all the major shifts that have happened in just the past five years – the rapid shift to mobile, the cloud, and now artificial intelligence. So LinkedIn Learning offers a very attractive way to catch up on everything new that’s happening around you, or to explore a new field or programming language that might be taking off right now. Overall, LinkedIn offers more than 15,000 courses, and dozens of new courses are being added regularly, with almost all of them grouped into three different categories: business, technology and creativity.
#2: LinkedIn Learning vs. the college degree
Another big trend that we’ve witnessed over the past few years is people calling into question the true value of a college degree. There are plenty of top business leaders who would claim that you don’t need a college degree at all to compete anymore in the workplace, and that’s why we’ve seen the rise of new innovations like Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs), new online learning platforms like Coursera and edX, and new ways of teaching (e.g. coding bootcamps). And now that type of thinking is expanding into every area of business. Do you really need an MBA to learn how to run a business? No, just sign up for something like a “Creativity Bootcamp” on LinkedIn Learning (currently featured as one of the most popular offerings), or a “Strategic Thinking” course (another popular option) that can help you map out the trajectory of a certain industry or vertical. Add up enough LinkedIn certifications, and you have the equivalent of an MBA, at a fraction of the price.
#3: LinkedIn Learning and the remote working trend
And, finally, LinkedIn Learning taps into the whole remote working trend forced upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some companies have hinted that all of their workers will be fully remote in just a few years. And that trend, first embraced by the tech industry, is going to spread like wildfire to every other industry. With that as a backdrop, it only makes sense that more remote working will lead to more remote learning, and this is where LinkedIn already has a built-in competitive advantage over other social media platforms. Forever, it seems, LinkedIn has been the social media platform of choice for career-changers and job seekers. So it’s a natural fit to make LinkedIn Learning part of this overall career experience.
If you think about all the other ways that LinkedIn has attempted to unlock its true value over the past five years, it’s clear that LinkedIn Learning might be the most exciting opportunity to date. LinkedIn Learning might not be a complete substitute for a college degree, but it’s probably the next best thing in these uncertain COVID-19 times. At the very least, it’s a good place to learn when you’re spending so much time at home already.