With more individuals evaluating their future in the midst of the pandemic's uncertainty, and major workforce shifts caused by different closures and operational adjustments, LinkedIn's Learning platform has experienced increasing demand, offering a direct channel to professional skills development that is matched with existing job postings on the network.
Matter of fact, LinkedIn introduced a new ‘Skills Path' option for on-platform job listings in March, allowing businesses to add extra tests to assist more candidates establish their aptitude for a specific career, in addition to its Skill Assessments, which provide another opportunity for individuals to show professional proficiency.
Given the direct links between its educational platform and open roles, it's no surprise that more people are switching to LinkedIn Learning to improve their skills. This week, LinkedIn introduced another component to effectively accommodate remote workers, while also offering more support and personalization to its online courses.
LinkedIn Learning instructors will be able to organize live events on the site starting this week, thanks to a new feature called 'Office Hours.'
As seen above, LinkedIn Learning users will soon be able to check in to live-stream sessions with course instructors, giving a more direct path to education and industry networking.
According to LinkedIn:
“With Office Hours, learners are able to stay on top of industry trends and interact with experts and fellow learners in real-time by posting questions, comments and reactions.”
LinkedIn goes on to say that the option will provide teachers additional opportunities to participate in the expanding creative economy by leveraging the platform to develop their audience in a related professional context.
“We’re excited to already hear from our instructors that this feature allows them to connect with learners in an authentic and personal way that drives deeper engagement and wider distribution.”
The addition of live video capability to LinkedIn Learning is consistent with the expanding online video trend, with individuals becoming more open and responsive to video content and connection. As LinkedIn points out, having the ability to interact in real-time provides teachers additional opportunity to develop their professional brands, and it may also assist to replace at least part of the professional networking opportunities missed due to the pandemic.
That's fairly significant. Many people's professions depend on networking, and the incapacity to meet face-to-face has significantly hampered progress in this regard over the past year. The ability to communicate in real-time with fellow learners and industry professionals might play a critical role in increasing awareness and potential on this front.
Furthermore, LinkedIn has released a list of the most popular LinkedIn Learning courses for 2021, which it is making available for free until October 15th.
The courses cover a variety of skills and aspects, such as:
Strategic Thinking with Dorie Clark
Confronting Bias: Thriving Across Our Differences with Vernā Myers and Arianna Huffington
Learning Personal Branding with Chelsea Krost
Online Marketing Foundations with Brad Batesole
It might be an excellent chance to acquire some new skills, or at least, to get a sense of how LinkedIn's course structure works, as well as how the new 'Office Hours' feature could fit in and help you enhance your professional relationships.
According to LinkedIn, 4.6 million professionals visited its 20 most popular LinkedIn Learning courses this year, up from 3 million in 2020, indicating that interest is growing. Now could be a good time for you to check out the platform and the potential it can bring for your professional growth.