The Best Learning Option Outside of College

With COVID-19 disrupting college classes across the nation and most high schools closed for the rest of the academic year, it may seem tempting to defer structured learning until things get back to normal. I would strongly encourage students not to put their education on hold. Fortunately, there are ever increasing ways for people to expand their knowledge and improve their skills outside of higher education. In this post I want to highlight the program that I believe is the best online learning option outside of higher education.

For several years I have been an enthusiastic supporter of LinkedIn Learning. Ultimately owned by Microsoft Corporation, LinkedIn is better known as a professional networking company that offers a Facebook-like approach to career advancement and professional development. LinkedIn owns LinkedIn Learning, which provides thousands of online video courses on an ever widening range of topics. Most of the instructors are leaders in the subjects in which they teach. The videos are professionally created and edited, and broken up into easily digestible sections. Students can also view the videos on their own schedule.

LinkedIn Learning is not free, although many students can access the program at no charge through their institution (if it has an enterprise licence). For the individual, subscriber, the price varies from $19.99 per month on an annual contract or a month-to-month $29.99. A bit pricey for most people, Fortunately, you can try out this learning program for 30-days for free. Just be sure to turn off the auto renew feature as the company will not warn you before your month ends and you will be automatically charged. Nor will LinkedIn refund you if you call to cancel after you are charged. (To be quite frank, not emailing a warning to customers to remind them that they will be charged is poor customer service on LinkedIn's part.)

Nevertheless, LinkedIn Learning is well worth the price if you use it regularly. There are excellent courses on everything from how to invest in stocks to how to reduce stress at work. I particularly recommend their courses focused on developing soft skills and those that provide leadership training. Before checking out the 30-day trial, I would encourage you to find out if your local library has a subscription that you can use or if your school is already a licensee.

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