Online learning platforms have become the golden standard for learning new skills. Whether you’re after extra-curricular skills or professional skills, there are many options to choose from.
One of the most popular learning platforms for enhancing your professional skills is LinkedIn Learning. It’s a fairly new initiative by LinkedIn – after purchasing Lynda, a popular e-learning platform, LinkedIn rebranded it and renamed it to LinkedIn Learning.
On this platform, you’ll find many courses that will improve your professional skillset and will enhance your CV. However, the platform does come at a monthly cost.
Is LinkedIn Learning worth the money, and are the courses any good? Those are common questions, and after a thorough test of the platform, we’ll try to answer them in this LinkedIn Learning review.
LinkedIn Learning Review Summary
What is LinkedIn Learning and Whom is it For?
Have you ever heard of Lynda, the learning platform?
Well, LinkedIn Learning is basically a rebranded and slightly changed version of Lynda. The platform was initially launched in 1995 by Linda Weinman but was purchased by LinkedIn in 2015.
LinkedIn is a huge platform for job seekers, employers, and the B2B industry. If you’re a job seeker, then you certainly want to impress potential employers with your working experience and your skills.
And one thing that can put you to the top of the pile of resumes and LinkedIn applications are your skills earned through courses. Once you complete a course on LinkedIn learning, you can add it to your LinkedIn profile and show potential employers that you’re ready to go the extra mile for the job.
LinkedIn Learning has hundreds of courses for enhancing your CV, improving your career, and allowing you to take the next step in your career path. It’s meant for potential employees, job seekers, business professionals, and everyone looking to learn a new skill to enhance their career.
Courses on Offer
Despite LinkedIn Learning being a more professional and business-like platform, you’ll find hundreds of courses on different subjects.
As soon as you start creating your LinkedIn Learning account, you can choose the fields you’re most interested in:
But a huge advantage that this platform has over many other platforms is that it connects with your own LinkedIn account.
This means that the algorithm will determine which skills you’re interested in, and which fields you want to study. If you mention on your LinkedIn profile that you’re interested in Digital Marketing, then you’ll have courses on digital marketing on offer as soon as you log into LI Learning.
There are three main categories of courses you can choose from:
We’ve noticed that these three categories can actually overlap, so you’ll find some courses in the business category that are also in the creative or technology category.
As of July 2020, there are over 15.000 courses available on LinkedIn Learning – that’s huge, although not as huge as Udemy, for example.
The vast majority of courses are video courses, although you’ll often find that these courses have various resources available.
However, what we liked the most about the course selection is that you can choose a learning path when you’re selecting courses. For example, if you want to become an SEO specialist, then LinkedIn learning will offer you all the courses that will be useful for you in order to become one.
Nice, isn’t it?
At the same time, you can also select among courses that delve deeper into a subject. Or, if you deal with different software types on a daily basis, you can select courses on software, too. So there are three ways to select a course:
- Based on the subject,
- Based on software,
- And learning path.
Using LinkedIn Learning is pretty straightforward, and the interface is pretty easy to navigate. You’ll be using a very robust platform that will rarely lag, which is always welcome, even if you only want to take courses.
One thing that we noticed is that this platform was made for simplicity and with beginners in mind.
Finding courses is very easy. We liked the fact that the platform uses your LinkedIn profile (if you have one) to select courses for you. Of course, you are by no means obliged or forced to take these courses. You can always choose a learning path or just search for the skills you want to learn, and the platform will show all the relevant courses based on your query.
For example, if you want to become more proficient in Google Analytics, you can simply type “google analytics” in the search bar. Then, the platform will show you all the courses, videos, and learning paths on this topic.
On the left, you can choose what sorts of courses you’re after specifically. If you want to just watch some useful videos, you can do that. Or, if you want to take a full course or even a learning path, then you can select that.
Oh yeah, and I almost forgot to talk about the learning path. How dare I?!
Learning paths are the longest types of courses on LinkedIn Learning. They are often very complete courses that will allow you to become a master of skill, job, or software.
If you opt for a learning path, the platform will compile all the best and most essential courses and videos about your chosen learning path. These courses can vary in length: some might be 45-minute videos, while others might be 26-hour courses.
This is an example of the Google Analytics learning path:
We must also mention that while using the platform is fairly easy, it might lack some personality for some people. The design and the feel of the platform are slightly bland, but what else could you possibly expect from a business-orientated learning platform?
With LinkedIn Learning, you can be sure that you’re getting only hand-picked instructors. Experts in their fields. Professionals.
In fact, that’s something they guarantee. And after trying it out ourselves, we can confirm that. If you’re looking for advice and instructions from certified professionals, then try with this platform.
So this means that the platform is not for every course instructor looking to offer a course for others, unlike Udemy where almost anyone can post their course.
While this does mean a slightly lower number of courses, you can be completely safe and sure that every course you’re picking, you’re getting taught by someone who knows their stuff. End of discussion.
These people are certified teachers and have been trained to provide training. So in that respect, LinkedIn Learning is miles above open-source platforms.
However, not every course you’re getting is interesting. While all of the courses are given by experts, these instructors can sometimes be boring to listen to. It might have been just my personal experience, but that was how I felt like when going through one of the courses.
But even if the course is bland, you’re still getting plenty of value for the money you pay. For the one-time subscription monthly, you’ll have access to all the courses taught by certified teachers and experts in their fields. And you can always look for other courses.
There is one word that would very well describe the quality of the courses on offer: mediocre.
But that’s not because of the instructors, or how well they explain the concepts in each course. That is actually on a very high level, and you’re getting some very good instructors for your money.
However, where I believe that LinkedIn Learning lacks is the width of the content. To be more specific, there are far too many courses that are aimed at beginners, and there are not enough courses for more advanced learners.
And some people and users of the platform will actually argue that you can find courses that are free for beginners otherwise outside of the platform.
The problem arises because the courses are not and cannot be rated by the users, so you cannot see the reviews and ratings of the course like you do on Udemy. And that always forces you to do that little extra research to find a course that’s worthy of your time and that fits your level of learning.
Plus, there’s no way of knowing when a course was created and posted on the platform, which is not necessarily a problem for some skills. However, for learning more about different software types, this can be a huge issue since software gets updated constantly.
So we can say that we got mixed feelings about the course quality. There were some exceptional courses that were very interesting and useful. But finding these courses was challenging, which was exacerbated by the lack of ratings by users.
Flexibility and Time Commitment
LinkedIn Learning courses are very flexible – you can continue them at your own pace! The vast majority of courses don’t have drip content, which means you can access the content at any time, and with the LinkedIn app, anywhere you might be.
Since most courses are constructed via a series of videos, this gives you the ability to watch them any time and complete the course at your own pace.
But as we know too well, that’s not always the best, especially if you tend to be lazy!
As for the time commitment, most courses don’t force you to make a time commitment. However, there is a function that the platform offers you – and that is the Weekly Goal feature, where you can set how much time you should spend learning each week.
This forces you to at least put in an effort to meet your goals.
With LinkedIn Learning, you’re getting a 1-month trial for free – no commitment to the payment, and you can cancel it anytime you want. After that trial period, you’ll have to pay for the subscription monthly.
There are two ways you can arrange your LinkedIn subscription:
Monthly – $29.99
Yearly (billed monthly) – $24.99
And for this subscription, you’re getting access to all the courses on the platform, which is sweet.
To compare it with Udemy, you’re getting a whole month’s subscription and access to all the courses on the platform for the cost of two Udemy courses.
That’s neat and all, but there are some drawbacks to this pricing system. Namely, you’ll have to scroll through dozens of courses to find a worthy one. Plus, you won’t get a certification for course completion.
But we still believe that the platform is worth its price. You’re getting taught by experts in their fields, and once you complete the course, you can link it straight to your LinkedIn profile.
You can always try the platform for free for a month to see if you like it and then decide on the membership!
Alternatives for LinkedIn Learning
If you’re looking for the obvious alternatives for Linkedin Learning, then there are some big-name players you can consider:
- Udemy – the biggest open-source platform with thousands of different courses for enhancing both professional and extra-curricular skills.
- Udacity – very versatile platform with mainly professional-style courses.
- Pluralsight – great for learning technologies.
- Coursera – a platform with some great courses that are taught by industry leaders.
- Khan Academy – a great platform with many free courses.
- Skillsoft – a collection of a variety of courses, books, and resources to improve your potential.
If you want to see how the platform compares to its competition, check out these related articles:
Like many other platforms, LinkedIn Learning does have its pros and cons. For a modest monthly fee, you’re getting access to more than 15.000 different courses taught by professionals and experts in their fields.
The platform is easy to use and neatly organized, albeit lacking some personality and character. For beginners, the platform offers an easy way to get started.
As for the downsides, we have to mention a lack of advanced courses and sometimes, a boring approach from instructors. Finding the right course for your learning level can also take some time.
Overall, we think that LinkedIn Learning is worth the monthly fee, despite the drawbacks we talked about. For a modest fee, you’re getting access to an impressive library of more than 15.000 courses and resources that would look great on your LinkedIn profile.