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LinkedIn Learning Reviews: Good or a Waste of Time & Money?

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LinkedIn Learning first began as Lynda.com in 1995 before LinkedIn brought it in 2015. Currently it claims to have over 15,000 courses to help you in your professional career, with courses on things such as spreadsheets, programming, leadership, data analysis and more, and it’s very widely used by professionals on LinkedIn.

As you’re here because you’d like to know if LinkedIn Learning courses are any good, here is a summary of the comments and reviews people have submitted to us on it (if you’ve used LinkedIn Learning before, you’re welcome to add a comment here). Most people speak fairly highly of LinkedIn Learning (see for example this comment), with some of the good things about LinkedIn Learning being the following:

  • Instructors are vetted and qualified to teach, unlike with platforms like Udemy and Skillshare (see this comment)
  • Upon completion of a course, you get a “certificate” that you can put on your LinkedIn profile which may have some benefits
  • Many LinkedIn Learning courses are short and direct enough such that you can quickly gain an overall understanding of some topic or buzzword very quickly, so it’s useful if you need to know some new technology people are talking about at work, for example (see this comment)

The downsides of LinkedIn Learning are that its courses definitely seem to be less in-depth than other platforms like Coursera (see here), you may find Udemy cheaper (see here) and at least one person has reported that the LinkedIn Learning courses they took were somewhat basic and outdated (here). Therefore, if your goal is to master some subject, what LinkedIn Learning offers may be insufficient.

I've used LinkedIn Learning and thought it was a very good online learning platform. It's well organized and most of the video courses are of a very high quality.

I'd still rather use Udemy for a simple reason: cost. Udemy courses are also really good, and very often, they have special offers and discount codes that you can use to only pay about $15 for a similar course that would cost more money on LinkedIn Learning.

I think Udemy makes more sense financially.

--Gregory Golinski, YourParkingSpace.co.uk

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/linkedin-learning#gregory

My organization provides LinkedIn Learning licenses to aid employees annual development goals. These are part of a package of options Shop LC provides.

Initially, I was very skeptical of the platform. This was when it was still Lynda.com. I think it came from a place of feeling reputable. I wasn’t sure if I could trust the experts.

However, once I started looking for development courses, I found the offerings to be of good quality. I also think it has improved greatly after the LinkedIn acquisition. The quality and quantity of material have both gone up!

I’ve found LinkedIn Learning to be useful in two ways.

First, it has been great for getting new and different perspectives on things I already know. For example, I work in communications and CSR. Reviewing some of the courses around creating press releases gave me new insight into how I create and distribute my own. This helped me tweak our existing approach for greater lift.

Second, it has been nice for intros into new topics and areas of interest. Since the licenses are provided as part of our development, the only cost to me is my time. So, it’s a good way to explore something that I might want to add to my career path without a huge investment of effort or time. And, if it looks appealing, I can learn more through the courses or pursue more formal training, if required.

Being able to share the courses has also been very helpful. It makes it possible to increase learning inside the organization, and outside too. Since someone can view the course I shared, some of my LinkedIn connections have benefited from this knowledge sharing.

--Darren Bogus, Shop LC

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/linkedin-learning#darren

I've used lynda and now LinkedIn Learning and it's great! There are other platforms I have used that are also quite similar. They are skillshare and udemy.

Now the reason why I like Linkedin Learning more is because the instructors have been vetted and are certified in their field to teach. Whereas Skillshare and Udemy, there isn't much of a vetted system and it's easy for anyone to teach on there.

There is a benefit to each platform and I suggest using them all and learning as much as you can about the subject you're interested in in. But if you're someone looking to learn a skill and use it to land a job, LinkedIn Learning is the best.

--Benjamin Ottis, Full Color Cleaners

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/linkedin-learning#benjamin

I've taken about 100 hours of Lynda courses in the last 10 years. You ask, are they good? That depends on what you want from the course. I don't use them to learn something new. I use them to speak like I've known something for years.

As soon as a team member mentioned Agile in a meeting, I took a 1 hour course on Agile teams that same day. The next meeting I was speaking the same language, and no one new that I just learned it 24 hours ago. In other words, I can talk the talk. Lynda/linkedIn uses industry language that I can quickly apply to my current work. I can stay on top of the latest jargon and trends for $120/year. Why not? Lynda gives me enough information to remain relevant to my peers, effective for my leaders, and useful to my subordinates.

That said, if when I'm trying to update my resume, I use workshops and bootcamps. Unlike Lynda, they help my quickly, learn, compare, and apply my new skill, with the confidence that someone will correct me if I make a mistake.

--Praxedis Prax Pineda, praxedispineda.com

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/linkedin-learning#praxedis

I have taken courses on Lynda which are good for cursory overview and introduction to key themes and topics of interest but to be brutally honest, they leave a lot to be desired. The content was very basic, outdated and not specialised at all. In case you are looking for career up-gradation and detailed understanding of a topic, I'd rather recommend opting for courseware on third-party sites like udemy, Pluralsight, or Coursera. I find the content on other platforms more engaging and of a higher quality.

--Abhishek Joshi, Dog with Blog

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/linkedin-learning#abhishek

I have completed several courses on LinkedIn Learning and the badges are visible at my LinkedIn profile.

Pros:

1. Free access with LinkedIn premium. Access to 1000s of courses without spending an extra penny. Similar courses on Udemy/Coursera are available at a much higher price.

2. Same courses: Several instructors who have popular courses on Udemy and other platforms are available here too.

3. Contacting the author: The author's LinkedIn profile is available and one can directly reach out to them. It isn't possible on most of the other platforms. Course creators don't usually respond on comments at Udemy or other alteranatives. 4. UI/UX: The user experience is seamless and very similar to LinkedIn. Good integration.

Cons:

1. Smaller catalogue: Although free, but the catalogue of courses is much smaller than other platforms.

2. Exams/Tests: The GUI for the exams/tests is not comfortable. Doesn't validate learning well.

3. One can fast forward the courses easily and grab a certificate due to point number 2 leading to people grabbing fake certificates and decreasing their value.

--Akram Tariq Khan, YourLibaas

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/linkedin-learning#akram

LinkedIn Learning has a massive selection of courses that are relevant and up-to-date. The courses range from soft skills like improving your presentation and executive presence to technical skills like python or database administration. What I like about LinkedIn Learning is that you see most of the instructors in a video recording and not just a powerpoint presentation or a computer screen share. It is good and worth the time and money if this type of learning works for you.

Other learning platforms to consider are: Pluralsight and Oreilly.

Pluralsight has a roughly similar selection of course titles by different instructors and comes at a similar price as LinkedIn Learning. What I find impressive with Pluralsight is that they have well-known experts in their fields as instructors. The teaching method is slightly different in that you don't see much of the instructors apart from their gravatars.

Oreilly's strength is their selection of books. They have videos and live courses that you can register to as well. The learning experience is a little different. It is a bit more expensive than the other two options.

--Fred Blair, AwesomeHoops.com

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/linkedin-learning#fred

I love the courses on LinkedIn Learning, especially those that relate to marketing. I've applied some of the concepts to my eCommerce business and the impact has been pretty good so far. I also like how they designed the tool to be more learner-focused and accessible. Overall, the content is great for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want affordable online learning resources by industry experts.

--Finn Cardiff, Beachgoer

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/linkedin-learning#finn

It really depends on what type of content you're looking for. For instance, customer service and marketing modules tend to be plenty so the range of options is quite large. However, for more in-depth learning, I would suggest taking courses from Coursera offered by professors from top universities in the US and Europe. You get more discussions and engagement on the platform although it would cost you a bit more.

--Michael Hammelburger, The Expense Reduction Group

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/linkedin-learning#michael

I believe the courses on LinkedIn Learning are indeed very valuable. So much so that I often recommend others to explore the vast catalog of courses on the platform and take the ones that align with what they do. LinkedIn Learning includes courses that cover relevant topics for seemingly everyone, every industry.

The courses are taught by industry leaders, are broken down into modules and have quizzes after each module. Beyond gaining new knowledge and skills, course participants are provided certificates that can be loaded to their profiles and/or downloaded. Having the certificates on their profiles help LinkedIn members gain more credibility. This is especially true for job seekers and those who may not have any post secondary education. I have taken several LinkedIn Learning courses and try to take them as time allows.

--Clarene Mitchell, TCM Communications

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/linkedin-learning#clarene

I have taken multiple LinkedIn Learning courses. As a professor at the University of Florida, I have taken courses to help me improve on my teaching and to brush up on topics that I can then incorporate in the classroom in my lectures. LinkedIn Learning courses are a valuable resource because they allow you to learn new topics and ideas. I have also assigned students in multiple classes to take LinkedIn Learning courses and then post them to their professional LinkedIn account. In one class, I encourage students to take whatever class they want that fits their interest or need. They can take classes on anything from video editing to financial accounting. As I tell my students, it is as important to keep learning and never get stagnant in your skills. Whether it is during the semester, or during a break, students have the choice to watch Netflix or to learn new skills and develop the ones they have. We live in a digital world but one with almost unlimited opportunities if you have the skills needed. But you can’t wait for someone to teach you the skills you need when it is possible to learn them on your own and at your own pace. LinkedIn Learning courses won’t replace a university degree, but a university degree can’t cover every interest and every skill. LinkedIn Learning therefore becomes a valuable resource to add another skill to your toolbelt to better prepare you for an unexpected opportunity.

--Andrew Selepak, aselepak.com

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/linkedin-learning#andrew

Yes, the two courses I’ve taken are quite good. I’d give them a sold 4 of 5. One of the best aspects is that LinkedIn Learning classes are pre-vetted. They definitely go for the quality (over quantity) approach and it shows.

Each platform fulfills a certain need and caters to a certain niche. So for example, Coursera and edX specialize in providing the most traditional, academic feel to their courses. From their duration to the methodology you can feel the classroom being replicated in a modern, digital environment.

On the other hand, Udemy and Skillshare go for the pragmatic approach by inviting everyone to become a “professor/teacher” no matter their credential (or lack thereof). As such they have a decidedly YouTube feel about them where you can find quality, but you’ll have to dig for it, for some time.

LinkedIn Learning stays in tune with its parent company’s main mission. It’s all about business and professional growth and development. Thus what the platform may lack in a breadth of classes, it makes up for in quality. The teachers are experts in their respective fields, who’ve earned their stripes via real-life experience. This pedigree and quality assurance are key in my opinion.

Finally, the ability to seamlessly announce (i.e. low-key brag) to your network, that you’ve just completed a course is a nice addition that gives you that extra bit of motivation to show the world your latest and greatest intellectual acquisition.

--Peter Bryla, ResumeLab

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/linkedin-learning#peter

I have taken a handful of Business, Sales, Leadership, and Accounting courses on LinkedIn Learning.

Pros:

1) Get a certificate for completing the course from LinkedIn - this is the biggest selling point in my opinion as LinkedIn is well known and very trusted.

2) Large variety of courses available .

Cons:

1) Can be very expensive depending on how you use it.

2) Quality varies massively by course (some have been quite poor).

3) Mainly focused on people at the beginning of their careers.

Best for:

People early on in their careers who are looking to develop professional skills and gain accreditations. To get the best value you need to be taking multiple classes throughout the year. Don't always expect to be amazed by the courses on the platform.

--Finn O'Hurley, learnopoly.com

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/linkedin-learning#finn

At my 9-5 corporate role, I run Professional Skills (Soft Skills) training for the enterprise. A part of my role is to assess the needs then build or buy training solutions that meet this need. In 2019, we elevated many eLearning providers and ultimately choose Linkedin Learning. We rolled it out in April, During the evaluation, the rollout and the continued need to recommend courses I've taken hundreds of Linkedin Learning Courses.

Here is my response to your query:

Are the courses on LinkedIn Learning (LL) any good?

Yes, I think they are superior to other courses on the market. Here is why.

1. They are professionally produced to the same standard. It's not Bob sat in his bedroom rambling on topic with no objectives.

2. All LL courses have objectives, course materials you can download the exercise files and you can take notes within the course as you go along.

3. All of the courses are instructional sound. Meaning courses are organized in a way that flows, gives contextual examples, and a variety of exercises and examples to connect the learning.

4. All courses have menus that allow you to navigate to a specific topic vs. forcing you to complete the entire course.

5. Many of the courses offer continuing education for professional designations.

6. The formats vary. Sometimes the course is a panel-based discussion, sometimes a podcast, some courses with videos. But all produced with the same quality levels.

7. All presenters or instructors are qualified, again it's not Bob who knows a little about topic X.

8. They have the biggest most robust library on the market.

9. They offer learning paths that are like a curriculum on a topic. This allows you to learn a new skill from start to end.

Are there much better online learning platforms?

I spent all of last year evaluating providers. We looked at Skillsoft, Cornerstone, Udemy, and several smaller players. None of them came close to what LL offers.

--Nikki Webster, Brit on the Move

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/linkedin-learning#nikki

Kevin Smith

I joined OutwitTrade to contribute reviews on all the different educational products I've used throughout my time working online.

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