LinkedIn Learning, formerly known as Lynda.com, is an online learning platform with on-demand, video-based content. The platform offers more than 16,000 courses, 9,000 of which are in English. Each is broken down into multiple short videos with specific learning goals. For example, a user learning about marketing strategies for Instagram can watch a five-minute video on how to develop a posting schedule for the social media platform.
(Courtesy of LinkedIn)
LinkedIn Learning courses are divided into three categories: business, technology and creative. Each category contains subcategories. Business, for instance, has 15 subcategories, such as online marketing training, professional development, soft skills, leadership management and training, and finance and accounting. Technology courses include information on applications, platforms and programming languages, among others. Creative courses range from web design and user experience to music and photography.
In addition to individual courses, LinkedIn Learning offers content to those studying for professional certification exams or earning continuing education credits. The platform has 34 certification courses. You can prepare for the Society of Human Resource Management certified professional and senior certified professional certifications, or learn the ins-and-outs of Adobe tools, including Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. Among the six available continuing education programs, you can earn credit toward project management, marketing or programming certifications, for instance.
While LinkedIn Learning is available for individuals, the platform has programs geared toward employers, libraries, government agencies and colleges and universities. These programs are data-driven and designed to provide learners with the skills they need to succeed. According to LinkedIn Learning, the platform can also improve government and business employee engagement. For students, LinkedIn Learning can furnish supplemental education and help job-seekers find employment after graduation.
LinkedIn Learning has more than 27 million users, and 78 Fortune 100 companies take advantage of the platform.
Explore LinkedIn Learning here.
You can get a monthly subscription to LinkedIn Learning for $29.99, with the first month free as a trial period, or an annual subscription for $19.99 per month, with the first month free. Those who pay monthly for LinkedIn Premium are automatically granted access to LinkedIn Learning. Whether monthly or annual, subscriptions automatically renew after the trial period.
According to LinkedIn Learning, employees may be able to claim their subscriptions on an expense report.
If you don’t want to purchase a subscription, you can choose to take individual courses instead. Prices vary per course, though many are priced at $49.99.
Enterprise subscriptions include additional benefits, such as analytic and reporting tools for human resources and a skills insights tool to assess gaps that LinkedIn Learning courses can fill. Subscription costs vary depending on the number of users.
LinkedIn Premium subscriptions, which include LinkedIn Learning, are nonrefundable. You can receive a refund on the purchase of individual courses within the first 30 days. After that period, courses are nonrefundable. Individual courses may remain available on your LinkedIn account unless you choose not to keep your account.
You can cancel your subscription from its settings page at any time, though LinkedIn Learning notes that you will then lose your premium status at the end of the billing cycle. You can also only delete payment information at the end of the current billing cycle. If you purchase a subscription at a special price or promotion that is no longer available, you cannot repurchase at the same price. However, if you change your mind, you can reactivate your subscription and you might receive the free one-month trial if you haven’t used it in the previous 12 months.
LinkedIn Learning might be worth it for you if you want to develop your professional skills, particularly if you’re an active LinkedIn user. Based on your profile, LinkedIn Learning can assess the skills you have listed or the ones you need to enhance your professional status.
“We use and leverage all of the real-time data that LinkedIn has to help people identify what skills you would need to learn, so that’s customized for your particular learning goals,” says Mordy Golding, director of content for LinkedIn Learning. “That’s usually based on what kind of information is on your profile, who’s in your network, what kind of jobs are you looking for, things like that.”
All of LinkedIn Learning’s courses are tagged with skills as well, which Golding says serves two purposes: You can instantly share the skills you’ve acquired after watching a video, and you can search for a specific skill in the course library to find a set of recommendations. The platform has also launched a career explorer tool that helps match your skills with potential jobs.
Because of its data-driven approach, LinkedIn Learning regularly adjusts its course offerings. The platform releases 50 new courses per week and offers free content to help you develop in-demand skills. LinkedIn Learning also identifies trending courses and tries to provide content that you have shown interest in. For example, courses on how to lead through a crisis, how to have an inclusive conversation over Zoom and how to prioritize women in tech are popular, Golding says.
Golding adds that the platform can help grow your network. LinkedIn Learning, which tends to evaluate and hire industry experts rather than professors, allows you to connect and chat with your instructors and other learners.
“It’s a direct connection to your entire professional life,” Golding says. “We have learning groups where people discuss what they’re learning, and you can tap into a network of other learners. You can make connections. You can grow in your network and career.”
Before subscribing to LinkedIn Learning, consider researching reviews of the platform.
LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, which pairs students with instructors, both provide bite-sized, video-based content with some overlap in options. For example, both platforms have professional development courses, such as in Python and Excel, and they both offer plans for employers.
Udemy for Business, like LinkedIn Learning, offers online courses from industry experts to learners around the world. Both also have teams that curate content and regularly retire outdated or irrelevant content. However, while LinkedIn Learning has about 16,000 courses within three categories – business, technology and creative – Udemy for Business features 5,000 courses spread over more than 75 categories. For instance, a Udemy for Business learner can watch 338 lectures totaling 60.5 hours on how to become an app developer using Android Java.
To accommodate global learners, LinkedIn Learning and Udemy for Business present classes in several languages other than English: French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese. LinkedIn Learning has courses in Mandarin, as well.
For those interested in topics other than professional development, Udemy has several categories ranging from home improvement and arts and crafts to music and design. You can take some individual courses for free, but others can cost up to around $200. Udemy for Business and LinkedIn Learning require subscriptions, and costs vary based on the number of users.
Like LinkedIn Learning, Coursera offers courses designed for students, government and businesses. According to Coursera, you can earn certificates or credit toward degrees, and you can master essential skills or develop the ones you need for new jobs. Coursera for Business, for example, has more than 4,200 courses that teach skills related to engineering, data science, managing, marketing and more.
Coursera for Business deviates from LinkedIn Learning when it comes to additional courses. Coursera for Business offers guided projects for data science, computer science and business, and employers can create projects tailored to their learners. Instructors then take users through each step of the project.
While LinkedIn Learning focuses on industry experts, Coursera provides instructors with industry or academic experience. The platform partners with companies and educational institutions for its content, and it offers continuing education paths, including online master’s programs and MasterTrack certificates, as well as specializations for job skills. Coursera also includes courses in the humanities, health and social sciences.
Coursera has free courses available, and paid courses start at $39. Coursera for Business costs $400 per user per year, and larger organizations may have custom pricing. Coursera for students and its basic plan for universities offer a free option to start, and its advanced plan for universities has customized prices. Those interested in Coursera for government might need to contact the company for pricing.
Pluralsight provides users a deep dive into professional skills needed for the tech industry. The platform incorporates courses on software development, information and cybersecurity, information technology operations, manufacturing and design, and more. You can prepare for IT certification exams or take a skills IQ test to find your strengths and weaknesses. Employers using this option can take advantage of analytics and role IQ tests to assess employees’ skills.
Pluralsight’s other learning path, Flow, is designed specifically for engineering teams. This option prioritizes workflow, offering employers tools to visualize their employees’ activities and abilities in producing and reviewing code. Flow also seeks to improve employee collaboration and culture, and it provides data-based guidance for managers, product leaders, engineers and executives on how to improve productivity.
Pluralsight, like LinkedIn Learning, is subscription-based. Individuals may pay $29 per month, $299 per year or $449 per year for a premium subscription, which includes interactive courses, projects and exams. Business subscriptions for skills may cost $579 or $779 per student per year, depending on how many features a subscriber prefers. Flow plans start at $499 per active contributor per year. Pluralsight also offers more than 50 courses for free, and you can create a free account to access the skill and role IQ tests.