LinkedIn Learning, which is owned by Microsoft, purchased Lynda.com for $1.5 billion dollars (U.S.) in 2015. Online learning continues to grow in popularity and will continue to do so in the future. According to LinkedIn's press release for 2020 Q4 profits:
People will increasingly need to move beyond current domain expertise to learn new skills, and they are turning to LinkedIn. Professionals watched nearly 4x the amount of LinkedIn Learning content in June 2020 than they did a year ago. (Source: LinkedIn Business Highlights from Microsoft’s FY20 Q4 Earnings)
LinkedIn Learning has over 5,000 courses to choose among. A subscription costs $29.99 when paid monthly or $19.99 when paid annually. It is bundled with the Job Seeker and Business Premium subscriptions, which deliver a much higher ROI. Therefore, if you're looking for more LinkedIn features, consider the LinkedIn Learning a bonus with those subscriptions. While many of the courses are formatted into lectures, they demonstrate high-quality production. I have yet to find a course that hasn't provided me new insights and starting points for new skills. I have completed over 15 courses and I am working sporadically on 30 others.
Some organizations, businesses, and universities have contracts with LinkedIn, so you may have free access to the content. As an instructor, the value of your university having LinkedIn Learning is immeasurable. I teach an Advanced Business Communication course every two years at Elmhurst University. EU has a subscription to LinkedIn learning, which links directly to the learning management system (LMS).
I use the LinkedIn Learning courses like I would books or other course materials. I guide students through the main points, offer summary lectures and additional materials, and so on. In short, you still have to teach. Two of the courses I include in this course are listed below: UX Foundations and Information Management. If you have questions about this, just ask. You can access the course outline on this page.
When I originally set out to write this post, the title I was kicking around was College Professor: Reasons Why You Should Be ACTIVE On LinkedIn. The main idea was to impress the importance of being active. However, the current title has a higher search engine ranking score. The tactics of titling posts for search engine ranking will be a point I return to later; however, being active on LinkedIn remains the central thesis of this post. It's not just enough to have a profile on LinkedIn; the best way to approach LinkedIn is to engage.
LinkedIn has more than 740 million users and is a growing social media powerhouse. It is not just for networking among professionals. It is now an influential content platform, powerful search engine, and marketing gold mine. In Q1 of 2021, LinkedIn's revenue increased by 21% year-over-year and the amount of content shared on LinkedIn increased by 50%.
You're on LinkedIn, but are you ACTIVE on LinkedIn? If you're not engaging the platform, you're missing opportunities. If you're not feeding the beast (aka algorithm), you're not being found. In this post, I hope to convince colleagues of the value -- financial, social, education, professional -- that LinkedIn can provide faculty who are active on the platform.
Source: 31 LinkedIn Stats That Marketers Need to Know in 2021 (hubspot.com)
Admittedly, the list of courses feels incomplete to me. How can I narrow a list of recommended courses to just three? When it comes to educating oneself, more learning is usually better. However, after reflecting on this post during 100+ miles of cycling (follow me on Strava), I have homed in on three courses that I'd recommend based on the following praxeological criteria: 1. practical and 2. universal utility value. I mean practical in the most definitional sense: "... of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas." By universal utility value, I mean it provides a positive, useful outcome for most people.
I could list 50+ college or non-college courses with a good ROI. But by solely choosing three, I'm more likely to retain readers. Feel free, though, to tell me why I am wrong in the comments and name your top three course recommendations. Or, tell me how right I am and how you've used one of the courses in your personal or professional life. Let's start a conversation.
The fall term is about to begin at colleges and universities. Take a moment to envision your professors submitting final grades at the end of the term. As they move down the list of students, they're thinking about whether to upgrade a student's grade from an A- to an A or another student's grade from a C+ to a B. Because they don't know anything about one student, they log the C+ as a C+. The student obviously did what was required but the professor only recognizes their name. They think: Who the hell is this learner?
However, you heeded the advice in this blog, you get bumped from a B+ to an A. How the hell did you influence your miserly professor in this way? The answer: Application of exchange relations theory, which is a fancy-pants understanding of the timeless art of interpersonal influence.
Many professors are egomaniacs. Focus on them and you focus on something they love. Themselves.
I am an instructor of business communication at SIUC. Connect with me on LinkedIn.