Can you boost your career and skillset? A LinkedIn Learning review
LinkedIn Learning is a popular and growing online education platform offering a wide variety of relevant and marketable skills suitable for students, professionals and individuals alike. It’s mostly aimed at developing and advancing professional skills.
Are you an individual looking to acquire new job skills? Do you want to become more adept and advanced in your current skill set to measure up with the rising demands of today’s world? Or, are you an employer looking for intensive online training sessions for your workforce? Then, keep reading our LinkedIn Learning review to see if this provider can fulfill your educational needs and help you reach your goals.
Our review covers everything you need or want to know about LinkedIn Learning to decide whether to give it a try or move on. I discuss highlights, pros and cons and walk you through the most important features, categories and navigation structures.
LinkedIn Learning – Review Overview
We all know about Linkedin’s social media platform and how it may help connect to like-minded people in your industry. Communicating skills and work experiences are key here. Thus, it was only logical that LinkedIn Learning expanded its eLearning efforts when acquiring Lynda.com a few years back.
Since then the number of LinkedIn Courses (our top list) has been growing steadily. The LinkedIn Learning website, lets you search for classes but also for jobs and people related to your industry. This is a great synergy effect on LinkedIn’s social media platform.
However, keep in mind that if even you have a premium membership with the platform, LinkedIn Learning is not included. However, it works the other way around. There are various plans available to do so, but more on that later. For now, let’s look at the main features and subjects to get a quick overview.
LinkedIn Learning Features
- LL features over 16,000 classes offered in seven languages.
- Skills and subjects are taught by certified experts in different fields.
- Content aims to develop skills for business, technology and creative industries.
- Available in different languages
- Algorithms offer personalized recommendations based on a user’s profile.
- Simple to use interface. Straight-forward navigation offering many filter options.
- Apps are available to access LL on your phone or desktop. Offline mode.
- Premium subscription fees start from 29.99 per month.
- A free one-month trial is available to test features and content.
As briefly mentioned, you will find any content catalogued into three sections which are business, technology and creative subjects:
Business Paths – Learn the “hows” of working productively, managing people, resources and conflicts in fast-paced business environments. Dive into leadership, marketing or project management training. This category also overs personal development, digital transformation, business analysis, career, entrepreneurship or finance paths.
Technology Paths – Gain competency and literacy in developing digital technology tools. Trendy lectures under this section are data science, web development, cloud computing classes, software management or development, IT infrastructure training and many more.
Creative Paths – Learn how to design and visualize your ideas and dreams with well-packaged content. Key lectures here cover introductions and advanced techniques for software such as Autocard, Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator but also expand to teaching graphic design, audio and music, animation photography and video production.
Subscriptions – LinkedIn Learning offers various plans to match students’ preferences. Some of its content is available for free but the majority is available through subscriptions, though it is possible to purchase selected classes individually. Plans start from $29.90 a month or $238/year if you want to pay upfront with a discount.
Classes: 16,0000+ | Students: 1,000,000+
Subjects: Business, Technology, Professional Skills
Language: English, Spanish, French, and others
Pricing: $29.90/month or $238/year (save $120).
Apps: iOS, Android | Certification: Yes
LinkedIn Learning Review Rating: ★★★★★ | 4.7
How does LinkedIn Learning Work?
Like every other online provider, LinkedIn Learning delivers its training sessions through audio and video presentations. Students can access their instructional content through visual demonstrations, slideshows, and text-based materials from a didactic point of view. Most curriculums offer transcripts which is suitable for students of other languages.
With the wide spectrum of materials and topics, virtually every topic can be covered on LinkedIn Learning. Take a look at more specific courses that the platform offers:
- Becoming a Project Manager
- Learning Photoshop
- Network and System Administration
- Learning Data Analytics
- Design Thinking: Understanding the Process
Languages – On LinkedIn Learning, instructional content comes in seven different languages which include Spanish, French, English, German, Japanese and Simplified Chinese. However, it does not mean that all content is available in those languages. The biggest chunk is still taken by English. LinkedIn Learning already offers over 16,000 classes and adds more content every week.
Certifications – Linkedln Learning is not an alternative credential academic source. Though you can acquire continuing education units (CEUs) via LinkedIn Learning, you cannot obtain accredited degrees or certificates through these offerings. However, you can get LinkedIn Learning badges and certifications and have them clearly displayed on your profiles which serve as proofs of your professional development and expertise.
LinkedIn Learning Review – Navigation & Filters
When it comes to usability and interface of websites and services, users often need to hope for the best. LinkedIn Learning is not different here. It is certainly easy to navigate but also comes with its very own obstacles. Let’s look at the many ways you can filter through the platform’s content to find what you want.
The search bar is located in the header. Simply type a keyword that contains a subject or skill and press enter to access the class finder interface. If you write ‘Business’ you will get all content available to that niche with a selection of suitable options.
You can filter down your options by using the drop-down menus. If you have a subscription, I recommend going straight for ‘learning paths’ which you find under ‘Type’. This way you can explore entire career paths with ideas and inspirations for complementary skills. Furthermore, in this way, you will often find the best content.
Alternatively, if you rather want to search for specific skills you can filter by level or time to complete. Latter I do really like. Over time, I started preferring short and snappy classes over lengthy tutorials I might not complete in the end due to time schedules.
Once you have set your filters, start browsing the results. The bottom-right corner of each class image reveals the duration while the descriptions offer information about the instructor, total viewers and release date. I use the headline and those metadata to quickly skim and scan the results to decide whether I open a description or not. Ok, sometimes I simply open a lot of them in separate tabs.
The class page again lets you watch the trailer, which offers an intro or sometimes even one of two of the first lectures. Certainly, if you have a subscription, this does not matter to you as you could simply start the class.
Next to the video intro, you will find the curriculum with all lectures and lessons. Use them to decide if the content suits you. There are also a lot of details that mention learning outcomes and goals. Everything is well displayed. If you want further inspiration, you can use the related offers or tags to continue browsing from here.
LinkedIn Learning Review – Pricing & Costs
Unlike other MOOC platforms notably Coursera or edX, LinkedIn Learning is based on subscription. You get the whole package and you are not paying for individual classes. Ok, that is not fully true as some content can also be purchased individually.
However, a premium subscription entitles you to have unrestricted access to all the content available on the platform. Streaming services are not different here and it is a good comparison of how it works with all its pros and cons. A few classes come for free, though but those are often limited to short videos.
It’s worth noting that you can access LinkedIn Learning Premium for free. But this can only happen through their one-month free trial. LinkedIn Learning will ask for a recurring subscription fee for further access when the free trial period ends. If you are keen on using the platform after your free trial expires, you have just two options:
- Monthly fee: under this plan, you pay $29.99 per month.
- Annual fee: if you are opting for a yearly subscription, then you will land yourself an added benefit which is a discounted price of $239.88 every year. Under the yearly subscription plan, you are going to save $10 every month. So, in a year, you end up saving 120 dollars.
The biggest benefit of subscriptions is the option to binge-watch or binge-learn. If you don’t like the content you simply move on. I still prefer a subscription-based model over individual pricing, see Udemy review here. You may end up paying more but have actually seen less. However, I’m not saying that LinkedIn Learning is cheaper than Udemy.
However, money does not grow on trees and it needs to be invested wisely and LL certainly does not charge peanuts compared to its competitors like CreaetiveLive or Skillshare. You certainly need an educational plan to make it worth it. Theoretically, you could get 15-20 Udemy courses for an annual LinkedIn Learning subscription.
When is it worth it? – As an active and adventurous learner, you can actually make the most of LinkedIn Learning. Serious-minded students will go far beyond the limit they initially set for themselves in their quest for professional development. The annual subscription offers interesting value here. If you plan to take 3-4 classes per year, a monthly subscription might be the better deal.
LinkedIn Learning Review – Learning Paths
Learning paths are a series of classes packaged together to offer learners how-to information from start to finish on a particular topic. It is a convenient pathway to start a specific career and prepare yourself to land a job in your target industry.
These kinds of interwoven series are easy to come to by on MOOC sites. They are mostly called “micro-credential programs”. Udacity’s Nanodegrees, edX’s MicroMasters and Coursera’s MasterTracks are popular examples of this kind of skill program.
Taking an example from LinkedIn Learning, the series called “Become a Project Manager” is almost 27 hours long and is made up of 17 units. As soon as you conclude this path, LL offers you a certificate of completion to prove your expertise among other purposes.
Without saying, this certificate will appear on your LinkedIn profile. Interestingly, Linkedln Learning certifications might serve as an added advantage for employees or job-seekers who are keen on exhibiting their personal trajectory of professional development.
Overall, paths are an essential feature of each platform and LinkedIn Learning conveniently curates the most suitable classes together here. This is why I recommended to already filter for those paths when searching as it likely gets you to be best content straight away.
LinkedIn Learning – Benefits of Video Content
LinkedIn Learning is basically a video-based adventure. It delivers instructional education of any sort seamlessly through videos. Ideally, you simply watch and follow an instructor to teach you a chosen topic while relevant content and slides appear on the screen.
There is also a section for the learners to ask questions. The instructor would always show up after videos to address the audience just as the case in an in-person seminar format.
Since LinkedIn Learning provides its subscribers with unrestricted access to materials, you may want to multitask while learning new skills. Even though multitasking is questionably from a productivity point of view you may still want to combine your learning time while doing house chores such as gardening or making dinner. Find out what works for you.
At this point, their mobile app comes into the picture. You can absorb the content everywhere whether in public transport or while multitasking. Later in the day, you can view the content again in a more concentrated and diligent manner on your desktop.
However, not everyone will like the video-based style teaching method. While many people prefer the audio/visual strategy, others might find it unsuitable for their peculiar conditions.
Some users actually prefer to read and absorb the materials instead of having it in a spoken form. This may be because it is not easy at all to scan through videos. LinkedIn Learning offers transcripts as a solution here. With the CTRL-F functionality, you can easily find valuable information or review it.
Another benefit of having both video and access to transcripts is that some students feel they read faster than the presenters can actually speak. Also, while speakers or headphones are ubiquitous these days, it does not mean they are available to everyone at any time. Therefore, transcripts for most videos offer additional assistance and reduce barriers for learners who prefer to read the online content.
LinkedIn Learning Review – Pros and Cons
LinkedIn Learning is a very robust MOOC platform geared towards helping people build new job skills or get more adept and advanced with existing skillsets. This among other reasons, is why LinkedIn Learning is worth it. Well, certainly worth a try.
These are some of the major benefits or advantages of LinkedIn Learning:
- Easy to use interface
- Questions and answers with expert instructors and field experts
- Many topics covered
- Certificates and badges
- Mobile A+app
- Technical topics for advanced learners
Easy to Use Interface – LinkedIn Learning offers its learners an intuitive learning environment, simple navigation and well-structured filters. The front page lists out customized and more specific topics to learners.
Many Topics Covered – The platform covers a wide array of topics ranging from tech-related, business to creative topics. The learning path offers several hours of instruction.
Q&As with Expert Instructors – It offers the learners an opportunity to ask questions and receive answers from the field experts. Presenters would swing by and address the learner’s inquiries, questions or queries.
Badges and Certificates – LinkedIn Learning offers learners at the completion of their class badges or certificates that are displayed on their LinkedIn profile. These certifications help their profiles look more appealing and desirable to current or prospective employers.
Linkedln Learning Cons (Disadvantages)
While Linkedin Learning is certainly worth a try, it’s also pertinent to mention some of its shortcomings.
These are the major cons of Linkedln Learning:
- No accreditation
- Difficulty levels are not always reliable and accurate
- No variety in content delivery strategies and methods
- Rather expensive subscription plans
LinkedIn Learning Review 2021 – Is It Worth It?
Wrapping up our LinkedIn Learning review, this popular platform offers a wide variety of content via video or audio-based learning. It’s actually not cheap. But it’s quite affordable. Nothing of high quality comes at a very cheap rate. To make the fee worth it, learners must create adequate time to learn and use it a lot.
That the content is not accredited is not really a big deal. Well, the lack of accreditation applies to other MOOC providers too. This only implies that the classes are not university-supported. LinkedIn Learning is tailored to corporate users, not just academics. However, if accreditation is a must, we recommend looking into Coursera and edX.
Thanks for reading our LinkedIn Learning review. The bottom line is that LinkedIn Learning is worth it. Try and test it. However, keep in mind the costs and plans and that you will need an educational plan to get a decent return of investment of both your time and money.