Lynda.com Courses Available Free for Some LinkedIn Subscribers
About a year and a half ago, LinkedIn bought the online training site, Lynda.com. Until last week, the two remained separate entities, each offering a variety of paid and free options. Last Thursday, in a major expansion of the core mission of LinkedIn, the company announced free online learning to be available as a part of the Job Seeker and Business Plus subscription plans.
So, if you already have a Job Seeker or a Business Plus subscription to LinkedIn, it just became much more valuable if you are interested in taking – now free – courses on Lynda.com. Just click on Go to Learning.
LinkedIn offers a video of the initial roll-out the Lynda courses as well as other coming changes to LinkedIn on the (horribly titled) video Accelerating LinkedIn’s Vision Through Innovation.
LinkedIn’s Rationale for Continuous Learning
In the introduction of the presentation, Jeff Weiner describes how change will have an even greater impact on employment in the coming years. The World Economic Forum estimates that 5 million jobs will be displaced by tech by the year 2020. (Some might think that estimate too low.)
Weiner stated, “ …The idea that you can study a skill once and have a job for the rest of your life – those days are over.” He went on to say that there was a need for a “just-in-time, always on learning experience so that people are training for the jobs that are and will be and not just the jobs that once were.”
Later in the same video, LinkedIn’s Tanya Staples argued, “The useful shelf life of [technical] skills has shrunk to less than five years.” “Rapid change means everyone needs to be constantly learning.… Organizations need to skill and retrain their employees to remain competitive and, more important, to develop and retain top talent.”
(First time I’ve seen “skill” used as a verb.)
Effective immediately, all Job Seeker and Business Plus subscribers to LinkedIn will now have free access to Lynda.com’s offerings.
Soon, LinkedIn will also offer new tools to corporations to allow their employees to take Lynda.com courses when they need them. The company’s learning administrator will also be able to curate courses and make course recommendations for different departments and job titles (such as courses specifically for training new managers, for example).
Options for Current LinkedIn Members
If you were on the fence on whether to upgrade to a paid account, this might make a difference. The cost of the Job Seeker account and the Lynda.com premium account are currently the same. So if you are a job seeker who is also planning on taking courses to make yourself more attractive to hiring managers, you might as well upgrade to the LinkedIn Job Seeker account and also get the perks of the paid account (a few free Inmails, advanced search, a few training videos, and the ability to see who viewed your account over the past 90 days (unless the viewers have paid to keep their viewing anonymous – funny how LinkedIn makes money offering both).
Sometime in the next few months, if you are working and could use training, check with your employer to see if they are willing to pay for a LinkedIn Learning account. (LinkedIn doesn’t appear to have released pricing for that yet.)
If you are not a current job seeker nor a Business Plus subscriber, it might make more sense to simply go to Lynda.com direct. A basic subscription is $19.99 per month and a premium Lynda subscription is $29.99 which also allows you to download extra course materials (including project files and code practice), quizzes, and offline viewing. For classes in programming, HTML or other technical areas, the premium plan would probably make the most sense.
Both LinkedIn and Lynda.com offer free trials. I have seen no prohibitions about using a 30-day LinkedIn upgrade trial, followed by a Lynda.com ten-day free trial. I would think LinkedIn will eventually consider a free upgrade trial to also be a free Lynda.com trial. (But I could be wrong.)
LinkedIn offers a free 30-day upgrade trial about every 12 months to people who are NOT on a premium plan.
The Business Plus costs $47.99 or more per month. LinkedIn’s online advertising for Business Plus hasn’t yet caught up with listing the additional Lynda.com access, but LinkedIn Help says that it’s included.
LinkedIn doesn’t say whether the more expensive Sales or Recruiter plans will eventually include access to Lynda.com. LinkedIn may consider them corporate accounts, so the pricing might be different.
How Lynda.com Training May Help You
1. Job hunters might want to respond to job descriptions which include some skills or experience they do not have, or may need to brush up on. The Lynda courses can make it easy for you to study those skills in time for your job interview. Even if you haven’t actually used those skills in a corporate setting, you can still sound intelligent or ask the right questions during an interview.
2. Jobs, and the skill sets to do them, are changing. Being able to educate yourself with video courses and other forms of life-long learning is, in itself, a skill you need to develop (in work and elsewhere).
3. Career 2.0 (or Career 3.0, 4.0 or 5.0) may be a necessary option in today’s (or the near future’s) job markets. A good percentage of today’s jobs did not exist 15 years ago and many that exist now will disappear through automation and robotization. Over the course of a 40-60 year work life, it’s likely you will need to retrain or learn new skills. Many job skills used today may not be needed in the near future.
4. Even retirees may want to keep their mind sharp and their curiosity satisfied by taking courses, whether or not they are using LinkedIn for business purposes.
Alternatives to Lynda.com
The limitation of LinkedIn’s offering is that it only involves Lynda.com courseware. That makes sense for LinkedIn, but for the lifelong student there are many other alternatives, many of them free. Our next post will list many sources for personal, online learning.
Three images of adult education:
“Students in a Typing Class at the Broken Bow Business College” by Solomon D. Butcher (1856-1927), dated ca. 1903. From the Nebraska State Historical Society. From the online catalog of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, DC . Image cropped, adjusted and toned for web display.
“Congressional Speaking Class” by Harris & Ewing, ca. 1939. Part of the Harris & Ewing Collection of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, DC. Image cropped, adjusted and toned for web display. (Great hat!)
“International Law Class, Columbia [University]” from the Bain News Service collection of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, DC. Image cropped, adjusted and toned for web display.