Exploring and Reviewing LinkedIn Learning- From short courses to learning paths

LinkedIn Learning is an online education platform or learning service that offers various high-quality online courses(over 13,000) ranging from Business to Personal Development, and IT, and lots more added every week. You can watch small size videos as well as in-depth lectures for hands-on experience.

After completing each course, you can attach accomplished certificates on your LinkedIn account’s certification section to bolster your profile.

If you’re looking for topics that are skewed around marketing, business, and strategy, you are going to have a lot of choices on this platform.

LinkedIn Learning Membership and Cost

LinkedIn Learning ties directly to your LinkedIn profile and can be accessed in two different ways. You can either do:

  1. Buy LinkedIn Learning by itself which is $29.99 a month(includes LinkedIn Premium) or
  2. You can do LinkedIn premium which is also $29.99 a month(access to LinkedIn Learning courses)

The membership also gives you access to different aspects of the LinkedIn platform. You can use InMail, you can see who’s viewed your profile so far over the last 90 days, you can connect with hiring managers, prepare for interviews, and more.

When you register for LinkedIn Learning, it will ask for your card details as a subscription fee but currently, LinkedIn is providing a one-month free subscription through which you can access and unlock 13,000+ course libraries and also get a certificate of completion.

The TIP is to register for the LinkedIn Learning account and try to finish as many courses as you can in your first month. When you complete any course you will be provided with a certificate that is valid for lifelong. At the end of your first month make sure to cancel your monthly subscription to avoid any charges from LinkedIn. However, if you’re happy with the course material you may wish to continue by paying the monthly subscription charges.

LinkedIn Learning Best Courses

LinkedIn Learning has some of the best courses for brushing up on certain soft and hard skills. Let’s take a look at some courses which you can start today.

  1. Excel 2016 Essential Training by Dennis Taylor
  2. Advertising on Facebook by Megan Adams
  3. Body Language for Leaders by Carol Kinsey Goman
  4. Project Management Foundations by Bonnie Biafore
  5. Online Marketing Foundations by Brad Batesole
  6. Access 2016 Essential Training by Adam Wilbert
  7. Managing Your Time by Todd Dewett
  8. Critical Thinking by Mike Figliuolo
  9. Data science by Professor Jungwoo Ryoo

Linkedin Learning Paths

LinkedIn Learning Paths are a systematic arrangement of courses to develop skills and professional knowledge on specific topics. Learning Paths are like specialization courses of Coursera where it essentially gives you a path for a particular item. So, for instance with Data Science, it just gives you a pathway of what that process looks like and what courses you need to take to get that skill set(from introductory to advanced).

LinkedIn Learning Pros

  1. It can be part of the LinkedIn premium
  2. Completion badges
  3. 30-day free trial
  4. Less time investment(Short courses)
  5. Learn from the best
  6. Sense of achievement
  7. Fair Price

1. It can be part of the LinkedIn premium

You’re not just getting LinkedIn Learning but you also get access to LinkedIn premium. So those InMails, the who’s viewed you in the last 90 days, and that the different suite that you get with LinkedIn premium, it’s definitely a big benefit!

2. Completion badges

You also get completion badges that you can put on your Linkedin profile. They are not the same as certifications per se but in your LinkedIn Profile, the badges reflect as someone has particularly done a course or a specialization.

3. 30-day free trial

Linkedin gives you a 30-day free trial so that you can go through the process, and see if it’s even something that you like. You can do as many courses as you want and get a certificate of completion.

4. Less time investment

The time required to complete most of the courses on LinkedIn learning is crazy short. You can take a course of an average time duration of about 45 minutes and finish it in one sitting. If you’re super busy or you just have something better to do, than sit in front of a laptop all day, the super short courses are there for you. If you’re going for volume, say you want to learn as much as you can to maximize the monthly subscription, just take 20 of those short courses on LinkedIn Learning.

5. Learn from the best

Some of the world’s smartest businessmen, professors, and famous authors have programs and courses on Linkedin Learning. They might not have a YouTube channel or a tv show to talk about their experiences, but they have content on LinkedIn Learning. This is also a great opportunity for you to sit in classes at some of the best universities in the world.

6. Sense of achievement

When you finish a course on LinkedIn Learning, you will get a certificate of completion. If you take a graded quiz and pass, you can even get certificates that give you credit for Professional Certifications, or even degree programs you’re enrolled in. The platform also makes it easy to share all of those certifications on your profile. There are companies out there that value these things, and at the very least having them on your profile will not hurt your resume.

7. Fair Price

The price or cost will always be a barrier to learning for many of us. At $30 a month or free, if your company offers, it’s not too expensive as to be impossible but not too cheap as to treat the courses with zero commitment. If you save as little as 10$ in two weeks, you pretty much have more than enough for one month of access to the platform. It’s a good deal.

LinkedIn Learning Flaws or Cons

  1. Non-accredited courses
  2. Limited access to content
  3. Course Updation
  4. The quality of some content
  5. The cultural gap between the content and the real-world experiences of the learner
  6. Lack of interaction between students

1. Non-accredited courses

The courses offered by Linkedin Learning are not accredited by any college or university. So, if you’re planning to get continuing education, for most of the courses, that may not be relevant.

2. Limited access to content

Linkedin Learning is kind of like Skillshare. It’s a subscription-based service. So, as soon as you stop paying for the subscription, you no longer get access to all the paid courses except the completed ones. However, once you do finish a particular course or specialization, or path, that badge stays on your LinkedIn profile regardless of whether you have a LinkedIn premium or not.

3. Course Updation

The course quality is generally pretty good but what it doesn’t tell you is how recent that course is. So, for example, some of the courses on LinkedIn Learning are relatively old and no longer are relevant to their particular segment.

In Data Science for example, over the last couple of years, it’s made a lot of different strides and has become way more advanced in certain areas. The statistical models, the mathematical models, all that stuff is relatively the same but the tools that you use and to get the outcomes you’re looking for, may have changed. So, some of the older courses on LinkedIn Learning are no longer relevant. As you’re going through this process, make sure to identify the course and get a general sense of how old or how recent it may be.

4. The quality of some content

Some of the short courses on LinkedIn Learning that would take you just about an hour or two to complete, are not going to give you a lot of value. In fact, some of them are just common sense in video form. Also, they may not go as in-depth as you want. If you have a few years of work experience under your belt, you might have a hard time getting any sort of challenge from some of the courses.

The quizzes are also for the most part are quite easy. In some cases, you can skip ahead to the learning checkpoints, and still pass. To make things worse for LinkedIn Learning, some of the skill-based content like public speaking or presentation skills are taught better on other platforms such as YouTube. Moreover, you can also learn skills such as MS Excel, Access, Formatting, and other software-related training on YouTube for free.

5. The Cultural-Gap (between the content and the real-world experiences of the learner)

LinkedIn Learning is primarily an American platform, so, it’s expected that most of the content is going to be US-specific. Many found it hard to apply lessons from courses and topics like Communications, Leadership, or Marketing.

Cultural nuances are important for people in areas such as Southeast Asia, especially with business topics and these are not covered properly by some of the courses. The majority of case studies are also on American brands or American companies, so it might be quite difficult to relate to their unique set of wins and losses.

6. Lack of interaction between students

There’s very little interaction with other people on Linkedin Learning. Online learning is already pretty impersonal, so it’s quite easy to lose focus and motivation.

However, when you compared LinkedIn Learning with other platforms such as Coursera or edX, the student-to-student interaction on those other platforms is miles ahead, especially when you’re studying by yourself.

On Coursera for example, part of the requirement is to form groups in order to do recorded assignments. On edX responding to group chats and communicating with others is highly encouraged from the start of the programs. This makes the learning experience more personal and interactive and also allows you to build your network.

LinkedIn Learning Alternative: Coursera

LinkedIn Learning is better for most people. But, if you’re going after something that needs continuing education or you’re looking for something that is more degree or certification-focused, Coursera might be a better shot for you.

It depends on what you’re going after but from a generalist term, LinkedIn Learning is going to give you the different skills that you’re wanting and the pathways that you’re going to go after with them. You can add those on your LinkedIn profile which adds benefit for when you’re going after recruiters or hiring managers. They can look directly at your profile and see that you’ve done something by passing a particular skill set piece.

Final verdict

Despite the flaws of LinkedIn Learning, they’re not enough to break the entire experience. If you’re after the introduction or beginner level knowledge, you’ll find that the majority of courses are good enough for that. The information is enough and generally, you’ll still walk away with one or two things that you can use for your day-to-day needs.

Moreover, if you’re looking for a bang for the buck platform, it’s actually quite okay as well. For $30 a month, you can go on turbo mode and just do as many courses as you can. It doesn’t hurt that after completing a course you have some sort of social proof to show for it. Especially, if the companies that you’re applying for, value those kinds of certifications or certificates.