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10 Jun 2021 Austin Belcak

Are LinkedIn Learning Courses Worth It In 2021?

Whether your goal is to earn a promotion or change careers, improving and expanding your skillset always deserves a place on your to-do list. But you already know this. Because, with so many e-learning platforms to choose from, you want to know, “Is LinkedIn Learning really worth it?”

And when you say “worth,” I know you’re not only wondering, “how much is LinkedIn Learning?” No, you also want to know if the course offerings will actually help you advance your career! You probably also want an inside perspective of what a subscription has to offer.

Well, I’m going to tell you all of that and more in this post! But, before I do, let me tell you a little about what makes LinkedIn Learning unique.

What is LinkedIn Learning?

LinkedIn Learning is an online learning platform with over 16,000 video courses in 7 languages. With a subscription, you gain access to courses taught by industry professionals in the business, technology, and creative fields.

The platform lets you choose between individual courses to quickly learn professional skills or go more in-depth with 34 certification courses.

To date, over 27 million people are using LinkedIn Learning to get ahead in their careers. And 78 of the Fortune 100 companies offer their employees access to the platform.

Is LinkedIn Learning Worth Pursuing?

LinkedIn Learning will be extremely worth it for some people. And for others… not so much. So, how do you figure out whether it’s worth it for you? Easy!

Ask yourself this question: “Have others who’ve already reached my career goals gotten there with the level of knowledge I might learn in an online course?”

Once you can answer the question, the decision is a simple one. But how do you gather the information you need to answer that question? What if you don’t know anyone that’s reached your career goals? Also, easy!

Find those people using LinkedIn! I dive into all the ways you can do this in my guide on how to find a job without applying online. But here are three ways you can figure out the value of LinkedIn Learning for your goals.

  1. Search for the people who have the role and/or work at one or more of your dream companies. Then go through their profile, specifically studying the “Experience” and “Skills” sections of their profile. What are the tasks and skills they highlight as being most relevant to their job?
  2. Study their “Education,” “Licenses and certifications,” and “Courses” (under Accomplishments). Where did they most likely learn the skills relevant to the part of their career path you aspire to emulate? Is it possible they learned those skills from online courses?
  3. Send them a cold email. If the above two methods aren't helping you find the right answer, just ask! Reach out to someone with a similar career path and tell them what your career goals are, why you think they’re a great person to get advice from, and a little about the LinkedIn Learning course you’re thinking of taking. Then, ask them: “If you were in my position, would you pursue a course like this one or [alternative option]?”

Will everyone you send this kind of email respond? Probably not. But some will — especially if you learn how to write cold emails that get responses! You can also boost your chances by reaching out to people in your college’s or alma mater’s LinkedIn alumni network.

How much does LinkedIn Learning cost?

If you’re already paying for LinkedIn Premium, then you have full access to LinkedIn Learning. If not, you can still get the first month free. After the trial period, you can choose to either purchase a subscription or pay for individual courses.

Currently, a monthly subscription costs $29.99/month. An annual subscription costs $19.99/month. And the cost of individual courses ranges from $20-$40 (plus tax).

Depending on the employee benefits at your current job, you may also be able to claim your subscription fees and get your money back.

The Pros And Cons Of LinkedIn Learning

To give you an even better idea of whether the cost is worth it, let’s take a look at a few of the pros and cons of LinkedIn Learning.

Pros

Huge variety of courses. On top of the wide range of courses, the platform adds about 50 new courses a week! LinkedIn's algorithm will also give you personalized recommendations on which courses can help you gain the fastest-growing skills in your industry.

Certificate of completion. Whenever you complete a course, you will receive a LinkedIn Learning certificate that you can display on your profile. This is particularly useful when you’re building transferable skills in preparation for a career change!

No assignments. All of the courses allow you to learn at your own pace without the added stress of graded assignments that you might get in a more formal learning environment.

Networking opportunities. With industry professionals as your teachers, you have an easy way of connecting with a leader in your field. You’ll also have opportunities to connect with like-minded students within each course’s learning community.

Cons

Not accredited. Even though you receive a certificate of completion, some jobs might not recognize it since most of the courses are not accredited by a formal academic institution.

Limited course subjects. Just because you have a lot of courses to choose from doesn’t mean you’ll find one completely relevant to your career. If what you’d like to learn falls outside of the tech, business, and creative categories, you may need to look elsewhere.

Not sufficient knowledge for some careers. Some courses only teach you enough information to reach an intermediate level of understanding. That might be good to give you an overview of a field. But if your goal is to transition into a highly technical role, you may need a course that goes more in-depth.

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt about it. With LinkedIn Learning, you can develop a whole new set of skills at your own pace for a relatively low cost.

But you’ll need to do a little reflection and possibly some networking to truly figure out if it’s worth it for you and your career goals. I hope what I’ve shared here gives you all the information to do just that!

Either way, LinkedIn is an incredible platform that can help you get ahead in your career — if you know how to use it effectively! To get more advice on how to do just that, check out my favorite LinkedIn profile tips!

Austin Belcak

Austin is the founder of Cultivated Culture where he helps people land jobs without connections, without traditional experience, and without applying online. His strategies have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, & Fast Company and has helped people just like you land jobs at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, & more.

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