Learning new skills or broaden your mind is something that never goes out of fashion. And there are so many easy ways to do this. YouTube, massive online open courses (mooc’s), podcasts to name a few. But there are other ways to gain professionally and that’s where e-learning platforms come in. LinkedIn Learning, sometimes better known as Lynda.com, is one of them. And I have to admit: I am addicted.
A few years ago LinkedIn decided it wanted to take a leap into professional development and education: it took over Lynda.com for 1,5 billion dollars and renamed it LinkedIn Learning. It is an online platform for homeschool training. You can complement your resume, learn a new skill or competence. Courses are varying from Excel or Photoshop to app development or algorithms. And when you’ve finished the course you’ll get a certificate. Bonus!
Not all trainers are world-famous in their fields (which of course doesn’t make them less professional or qualified!), but it might not be a bad idea to check the name of your instructor and his or her credentials via a quick Google search before embarking on a new e-learning journey. You might want to know who you’re learning from and are spending your precious time with right?
Membership for individuals and teams
Via this e-learning platform you get access to a new world of information. But LinkedIn Learning doesn’t come for free. For 30 euros per month (20 if you opt for membership of a year) you get access to more than 13,000 courses led by experts and as a bonus, you’ll get access to LinkedIn Premium Career. As a company, you can get a business deal and get a team membership. So ask your boss or team leader about it, they might even already have one and you can join in.
A short review
It is very handy that courses can be followed via desktop and via an app on your phone. I loved that by some learning paths that you are tested after watching one or more videos to see if you’ve made progress. However, I do value the opinion of others during deciding what course I should follow. LinkedIn Learning doesn’t offer a rating of the course. Even after following a course you don’t get to evaluate the teacher, which seems a little odd… Another critical note: you cannot see how old the courses are as the date they were added to the platform are not mentioned. So make sure when you are watching technical courses that it is one that handles current data.
Does the knowledge stick? Well, that’s up to you really. I noticed that when I gave the course my full attention – most of the time when I was behind my desktop – it manages to cling on my brain. And when I found out I was tested after some video’s it triggers more focus. But when I was on a couch watching via phone I noticed that my brain started to wander off more often. It is quite addictive though: during the course, you’re informed about your progress (there is a timeline which tells you how long to go before finished, a percentage that shows – when following a learning path – how much you’ve completed) and you always want to know more… So make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.
Other online learning platforms
Of course, LinkedIn Learning is not one of kind. There are other e-learning platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, Futurelearn, and Skillshare.
- Coursera is an American platform that offers courses in for instance data science and personal development from 145 universities, such as Johns Hopkins, Stanford and the University of London. This platform was developed by the professors of Stanford University who wanted a broader audience. A part of the course via Coursera is free, for full content you pay a fee up to 100 dollar and you’ll get a certificate at the end. More courses together form a specialization, which costs 250 – 400 dollars.
- Udemy is another online marketplace with 100,000 online courses varying from Python boot camp to a lifestyle course. Anyone can offer their course there. You’ll pay per course (the price varies: from 11 – 200 euros) and get lifetime access for the course. No certificates or quality guarantees however…
- Futurelearn is a British platform, from the Open University. Their mission is to make education accessible for everyone and they help institutes of knowledge to display their content in an accessible digital manner. The platform is full of free (!) courses of universities and cultural institutes from all over the world. These courses have a fixed starting date and last about 2 to 8 weeks.
- Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes in design, business, tech, creativity and more. It offers professionals and creatives a way to share their skills with others and earn money while doing so. It has millions of members and each course shows how many students it has. You’ll get a free month (two if you can find an influencer with a discount code) and after that you pay up to 15 dollars per month, depending on the plan you pick.
Whatever platform you pick, there is so much to learn out there: happy learning!
And of course, I’m very interested in your experiences via e-learning/online platforms! Will you share them with me beneath this post?