LinkedIn Learning Review 2020: Is it worth your time

Our Verdict

4.5/5

Linkedin Learning is a market-leading online learning / professional development platform.  It is bursting at the seams with educational content (16,000 courses to be exact in over 7 languages) across a wide array of topics. LinkedIn Learning scores well in ease of use, the sheer amount of available content, and meeting learning outcomes. Overall we would say that if you’re looking to master a specific workplace subject, LinkedIn Learning is a definite must-have for you or your organization.

Linkedin Learning gives a full account of itself, especially if you want to learn about system training, leadership, and professional development. LinkedIn Learning is one of the best programs out there; the ability to create learning paths, easily search and navigate courses on a wide range of topics, the AI can recommend courses based on your learning history. You can also post your course completions to your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn Learning Review 2020_ Is it worth your time Having the opportunity to explore and learn new topics, soft skills, and more challenging technical skills is an integral part of life.
I have used this platform for the last seven months to give a well-rounded review of the system as a learner and administrator and offer everything I have learned using it in a commercial setting.

One of the things people find tricky, though, is juggling and managing typical life stresses, family, friends, and studying and the added stress of Covid-19 with the potential option of permanently working from home.

Online education is proven to be (on average) up to 50% easier to absorb and retain information than traditional instructor-led training. When you take into account the much lower cost and more significant ROI (return on investment) of knowledge retention, it makes it a foregone conclusion to at least consider a learning platform like this. Still, we will give LinkedIn Learning a full in-depth review, so let’s get into it.

Pro'scon's
Simple user interface Too much content choice
Huge library of courses No official accreditation
Reasonable monthly cost Some outdated courses
AI driven recommendations Pricing options could be expanded
Available in multiple languages
Unlimited Access
Certificates post to LinkedIn
Social Learning features e.g. Q&A
Easy to build learning paths
Easy to watch video format

LinkedIn Learning is one of the leading MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) platforms on offer today in 2020. It offers over 16,000 courses on various eLearning courses, understanding a system like excel, to learning how to be a better organization leader.

Having all this content at your fingertips gives a lot of control and accessibility to learning that face to face training cannot provide. One of the fantastic things about LinkedIn Learning is that a lot (not all) of the courses are authored and presented by industry experts in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors.

LinkedIn Learning puts the user at the forefront and utilizes all the power of LinkedIn as the worlds leading business professional development community. The ability to use artificial intelligence to develop learning paths, history, and new course ideas is inciteful and extremely helpful. The recommendations are based on the category topics you initially choose but later will look at courses you have taken and completed and look at what similar issues would be of interest.

Is it similar to Lynda.com?

Linda.com is one of the most established Online course platforms on the market. Lynda was founded around 20 years ago and, for years, has been the go-to system for multiple variants of online learning with its extensive array of courses across numerous subjects.

In 2015, LinkedIn decided to acquire Lynda and migrated all relevant learning data to the LinkedIn learning platform. One of the caveats is that Lynda still has its dedicated interface, including the Lynda app, which is still available in the app store, but you will be redirected to the LinkedIn Learning website.

LinkedIn has made a purposeful push into the education and e-learning space and has focused on big business across all areas of the economy. This is a brilliant move due to how many potential customers are available across the globe. I want to make a point here, though, although big business is a clear avenue for LinkedIn, they are still very welcoming to individuals who wish to buy individual courses from the platforms.

AI-driven personalized recommendations are made based on course history and what you view on your LinkedIn profile; this is a clear gap with Lynda, which Linkedin has covered off exceptionally well.

What can I learn on the platform?

LinkedIn Learning is a platform with over 16,000 courses so you will not be short of areas to learn.

As you will see, there are 3 main topic sections you can view, they are:

If you are using this within your business, you will see another section called My Org. My Org is where any courses or learning paths that have been created will be listed relating specifically to your organization.

Let’s have a look at each section. (Quick Tip – LinkedIn recommends using Google Chrome when browsing).

First up, Business

LinkedIn Learning Categories

As you can see, it is filtered into subjects, software, and learning paths. You can learn on various subject matters, including HR, Customer Service, and Training & Education all the way to excel, MS Office, and Zoom.

The learning can be created by you or by your company admin. A learning path is a collection of courses that you build preferably to learn linearly, i.e., course one, course two, then course 3. Learning paths can be shared with users or a single user depending on the topic.

Second is Creative

LinkedIn Learning Category - Creative

In the creative section, you can see the categories mainly focus on graphic, video, art-related subjects, and online classes such as web design.

I can imagine web and graphic design companies could gain a lot of learning potential for their employees, especially if they need to understand quick processes and features or if they want to get a wholesome comprehension of a system like Photoshop or Premiere.

Lastly, let’s have a look at Technology

LinkedIn Learning Category - Technology

The technology section probably has the most relevant subjects to most organizations due to it being mostly technical. This section can assist with more technical / IT teams and employees in regular groups requiring specialized training or professional development.

You can also learn a variety of computer languages and technical competencies and more general subjects such as mastering WordPress and PHP.

Having used the platform for at least six months, I would say the technology area is the most feature-rich platform when it comes to the number of courses on technical subjects.

These are generally self-paced and allow you to do sections or chapters up to a point, save your progress and come back when you have time. This will give you the ability to go away, practice what you have learned, and finish the course at a later point in time.

They learn by doing is a prominent feature of the platform and is based on solid learning principles that offer a strong return on investment for online education and learning competence.

Related: The Evolution of eLearning for Adult Learners

Check out this YouTube review

What do I get if I signup for LinkedIn Learning?

If you signed up for the LinkedIn Learning premium subscription, you could get unlimited access to all 16,0000+ courses. The sources are accessible on both desktop and mobile devices with a LinkedIn Learning and Lynda app to choose from to get the full mobile experience.

Once you have completed a course, you will get a certificate of completion to post to your LinkedIn profile as a badge or used like gamification. However, bear in mind this does not count as a certification.
The process of learning with LinkedIn is very much a watch and try model, which will work for a lot for people as it is one of the most used learning processes in the world.

The platform is all video content mixed with elements of social learning. The videos are generally of high quality in visual and audio components. You will be taught by leading experts in their industry, which gives credence and gravitas to their courses and adds trust from you as a learner.

With your subscription, the courses you can view are unlimited (if you purchase an individual course, you are limited to that specific course).

Another great thing is that new courses are added consistently, keeping an eye out as the more recent courses will be more up to date with current and emerging trends and features. Lastly, some courses have knowledge tests and quizzes to test your competence in what you have learned. I liked it as it gives you the ability to understand if you have any gaps in knowledge with content you have absorbed to date.

What do I get if I signup for LinkedIn Learning?

Yes, well, kind of. When you go to Linkedin.com and click on the learning icon (top right), you will see a 1-month free trial that you can access. You will gain access to every course in the trial period, but after this ends, you will be enrolled in the paid programs, which you can hear more about below. Although other vendors of similar platforms give free versions, it is a good option for Linkedin Learning to do, not everyone wants to dive into a paid version immediately but may later after testing a few courses out for themselves.

How much does a subscription cost?

LinkedIn Learning Affiliate Banner As a subscription-based product, you can choose between a monthly or annual fee, which gives the flexibility of learning and available discounts for all courses within the course / content library.

The LinkedIn Learning premium subscription currently retails at USD 29.99 per month, which is very reasonable compared to other eLearning platforms.
If you want to pay for an annual subscription, this is where the more significant discounts will come into play. Currently, it retail for $299 per year, which is a 17% reduction based on a month-to-month subscription cost giving you two months free.

As mentioned above, if you don’t want to pay on a subscription model, you can purchase an individual course. This is an excellent choice if you want only to learn a specific subject over a short amount of time, and you know the course you wish to beforehand.

So how does it work?

After you have signed up to the LinkedIn Learning free account, you now have full access to all content library courses. As above, in the “What can I learn on the platform” section, we speak about the range of topics you can choose from and how to navigate through the available courses.

I believe one of LinkedIn Learning’s greatest strengths is how easy the user interface is to navigate and search. The UI look is relatively minimal, which helps users regardless of how experienced or “techy” they are.

Remember, apart from searching via categories; you can also use the keyword search to find courses you like. See below:

LinkedIn Learning Toolbar

After you have found your course, it will give you a featured image, course length, title, author, release date, and the number of viewers. The other thing to remember is any tags applied, specifically the blue tag “popular,” which signifies if a lot of people have viewed the course or not. This tag gives the user a great perspective of what the course entails.

LinkedIn Learning Course Banner

After you have selected your course, you can see the course outline, the chapters of the course, the primary video pane, and the social / Q&A functionality below.

LinkedIn Learning Course Interface

You can also see the actual Q&A and social learning module, which allows you to communicate with the author, subject matter experts, and other learners to gain answers to your question.

LinkedIn Learning Course Q&A

So, is LinkedIn Learning a good investment?

Yes, it is an excellent investment to increase your skills across soft, technical skills, leadership, and professional development. LinkedIn Learning has a vast spectrum of courses that will suit your needs at a fair price.

Related: What are the benefits of Linkedin Learning courses

LinkedIn Learning is a great e-learning tool if you want to have authors and presenters at the top of their fields explain from a professional perspective in a simple to understand manner.

One of the other great things about the platform is the free 1st month. Still, even if you decide to go for the paid monthly or annual subscription, this platform will pay for itself many times over when you consider the prohibitive costs involved with face to face learning.

The most important part of the equation, which I haven’t realty mentioned too much in this post, is Covid-19. The pandemic has made it difficult and, in some cases, dangerous to be around other people, especially outside of your social circle so e-learning p making sure you can provide an excellent framework to learn safely at home in an interactive way.

Is it good across all subjects and topics?

Here I would have to say, not so much. If you want to learn a new system or increase your existing skills or as a business performance management tool, it is a terrific e-learning course solution.
If you are looking at this to focus down and include more niche areas like dev ops, data science, coding etc., it will be fairly minimal, and there are better options, such as Treehouse, Udemy  or Pluralsight.

TaughtUp Opinion

Overall, I would give LinkedIn Learning a 4.5/5 for its ease of use, simple interface, rich features, and a massive library of courses. It has a lot of room to develop. Based on our experiences dealing with the company, they have been very pro-active with support tickets, feature enhancement requests. They seem to be an organization that wants to evolve continually, which I like.

If you are an individual user or a company that isn’t in a super niche industry, I would highly recommend LinkedIn Learning for you to use.
For more technical courses, I would recommend systems such as treehouse or, in a more general sense, Udemy (click on the links to see our reviews of each platform mentioned).

Remember, there are so many eLearning platforms out there in the marketplace with their specialisms such as programming, IT, artistic fields, etc. Another that is I like is Coursera, although that does go after a slightly different audience.

Happy learning.

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