If you have been looking at online professional education options lately, you’ve almost certainly stumbled across LinkedIn Learning.
It’s a platform we have been looking at too here at Raven360.
In fact, beginning in early 2021, we'll be offering a complete integration between our very own corporate LMS and LinkedIn learning. We're excited as this will allow our customers to access industry-leading education and training in the same place as their company-owned training content.
Given this development - we thought we’d provide an overview of what LinkedIn Learning is, what features it offers, and take a closer look at its courses, materials, and costs.
We will also cover all the benefits and drawbacks and bring it all together to give you a comprehensive recommendation.
(But if you just want a quick overview of the pros and cons, we have left those below for you)
LinkedIn Learning Pros and Cons
- Huge variety of courses
- Unlimited access to all content with a subscription
- Low monthly price tag
- Personalized course recommendations
- User-friendly platform
- No free option after the trial
- No accreditation
- No large-scale exercises like projects within course modules
- Course content is almost exclusively in English
What Is LinkedIn Learning?
LinkedIn hardly needs an introduction – being the largest professional social network in the world.
However, its learning platform has not had quite the same level of attention. But that all changed in 2020 – with more people working from home and looking for digital training platforms.
LinkedIn Learning started out as Lynda.com, a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) site and has grown into a site that offers thousands of courses to LinkedIn users.
These courses cover a huge variety of content: from focused technical skills (such as typography) all the way through to soft skills – like people management.
An example of some of the courses offered are included in the image below.
Source: LinkedIn Learning
Much like using an enterprise learning management system, courses can be completed on demand and at the learner’s own pace – which makes finding the time to study much easier as it’s all broken down into bitesize pieces.
This push for shorter but more consistent blocks of learning means that LinkedIn Learning offers a solution that fits in well around most people’s lives. A commonly used feature of LinkedIn Learning is the ability to learn more about a topic in 30 minutes or less, giving users the benefit of easily fitting learning into their schedules.
Source: LinkedIn Learning
What Is Included In A LinkedIn Learning Subscription?
LinkedIn Learning offers access to thousands of courses – available with a subscription. Materials work seamlessly on both mobile and desktop and all content can be downloaded and viewed offline – so that when you’re on the go you aren’t reliant on cell signal or having to use your data plan.
There is no limit on the number of courses you can take – it is totally dependent on your goals and schedule.
Each course is also almost completely video-based.
All the lessons come with transcripts that link to timestamps within the videos – so if you ever feel like you missed something it’s really easy to click back to the spot you want to revisit.
Many of the courses available have a level of interaction; meaning you follow along with the instructions in the videos.
For example, during the ‘How to Develop your Career Plan’ course you are asked to write down your goals.
Source: LinkedIn Learning
While these features make each course more engaging, the only downside is that some of the learning can feel a little shallow as modules are not designed to cover off material in any great amount of depth.
Although the platform supports one of seven languages, English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin, and Portuguese, this does not cover the transcripts or videos themselves, which are predominantly in English.
This is a minor complaint, but it would be great to have further support for users if they don’t speak English.
One lesser-known feature is the Q&A section.
This provides learners with a place to turn if they get stuck. It is essentially a forum where they can post their queries to instructors and other members of the wider LinkedIn Learning community.
They can also check out all of the previous questions that have been asked and answered.
How Much Does LinkedIn Learning Cost?
LinkedIn Learning, like most online platforms, runs with a monthly fee that covers all of the content on the site. While many other providers have tiered pricing, LinkedIn Learning has a flat fee of $29.99 per month – which gives users unlimited access to all of the content on offer.
There is also the option to pay annually at a discounted rate of $299.88 – basically giving learners two months free.
The monthly option provides users with the flexibility to pick up and put down learning whenever they want – supporting the core ‘adaptability’ concept of the platform.
On top of that, there is the option to get a free 1 month trial. This provides full use of the site and is a great way to make sure it is right for you.
Alternatively, if there is a topic that you are really interested in, you can always buy individual courses. This might prove more cost effective if you don’t plan on taking on any additional subjects and courses after you have covered off your chosen area of study.
If you’re reading this and you already have a premium subscription on LinkedIn – you’ll already have full access to LinkedIn Learning: at no additional charge!
What Courses Does LinkedIn Learning Offer?
LinkedIn Learning offers an extremely wide array of courses that fall under a long list of categories. If you know what you want to study straight away, then you can simply search for a specific course under that subject.
If, however, you aren’t so sure what you are looking for, LinkedIn Learning allows you to tailor your recommended courses by areas of interest.
These areas could be anything from Brand Design to Strategic Planning, Analytics to Business Development.
Taking Business Intelligence as an example, if you selected this as an area of interest you could well be recommended the following courses:
- Power BI Essential Training
- Advanced Microsoft Power BI
- Data Analytics for Business Professionals
- Introduction to SAP BI/BW
- Excel: Advanced Formulas and Functions
Given the choices, flexibility, and applied learning formats, people studying on LinkedIn Learning can easily cross-reference their areas of development with current work requirements – or look to upskill in a subject that might benefit them in a future role.
Is LinkedIn Learning Accredited?
In short, no.
But participants receive a Certificate of Completion once they’ve completed all of the video content within a course.
None of the courses have assessments, so it is a simple case of working through all of the content available and managing your own progress.
Some people thrive on the pressure or deadlines that an assessment brings, but for flexible learning, content only courses are a great way for people to get started.
There are plenty of accredited options for study, but they are almost always at a higher price point. In this way LinkedIn Learning is a great way to get a foundation of knowledge within a subject without having to commit to a costly program.
Once you have completed a course, you can show off your Certificates of Completion on your LinkedIn profile.
They can be a great way of showing people in your network or even prospective employers that you’re committed to learning and development.
Is LinkedIn Learning Worth It?
LinkedIn Learning is without a doubt one of the best e-learning platforms available to a wide consumer audience.
The major criticism of the platform is that there is no official accreditation available with any of the completion of the courses. There is no doubt that this is going to limit the depth of learning available to a user.
However, LinkedIn Learning offers a range of content that is designed to get people studying, learning, and growing and it accomplishes this mission brilliantly.
The videos are by and large well produced, with detailed transcripts and a style of teaching that encourages user engagement.
Finding the right course for you is also really easy and by selecting a few professional interests you will quickly be presented with tailored courses to match your subject areas.
Ready to give it a go?
Why not sign up the free trial for yourself and see what’s on offer!
Taking LinkedIn Learning to the Next Level With Raven360
As we mentioned above, Raven360 will be launching its very own integration with LinkedIn Learning in early 2021!
So, if you think LinkedIn learning is the right solution for you, consider a corporate learning management system like Raven360 that brings all of your learning content together.