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Lynda (Linked In Learning) Review

Online Course Provider Reviews

Lynda History

 

Lynda was one of the first online course providers. Founded in California way back in 1995. 

 

If you're wondering about the name, it was an inventive name devised by its creator, one, Lynda Weinman.

 

Over the years Lynda earned a great reputation. This attention caught the eye of another small start-up and in 2015 Lynda was bought by Linkedin. It became 'Linkedin Learning"

 

Did the magic remain after the sale?

Read our review to find out.

Lynda started with some great insights. It knew what the people wanted and it gave it to them.

 

The people wanted to be able to access educational content online. To learn at their own pace, while still be able to talk to their fellow students and share tips and war stories.

 

People still want these things and nowadays they want a lot more. In this review, we see if Lynda got stuck in a rut or has managed to stay with times. It is Apple or is it Kodak. 

That has, of course, lead to some confusion around the name.  You can still find the site at lynda.com but you can also find it at Linkedin under the Learning section.

 

For the purposes of this review, I will be referring to the cross-dressing online course provider as "Lynda" unless otherwise stated.

 

So without further ado welcome to our Lynda review.

Why did Linkedin buy Lynda.com and what does it mean for you? 

Now I must quickly take a very brief diversion to address why LinkedIn bought Lynda and what it means.

 

Obviously, Linkedin has a focus on businesses and career development. Therefore you will now find that most Lynda courses are focused and business and career-focused skills.

 

They focus on Business and Higher Education learning needs as well as self-directed individual learners. 

 

Lynda offers thousands of courses delivered by hundreds of expert teachers and the number of courses is growing by the day. Most classes are fairly concise in terms of what they cover and many are focused on specific tools and platforms used in an industry or role. 

 

There are no options for longer form learning so if you want to develop your new skills more deeply you will have to choose your own path.

How much does Lynda cost?

Lynda works on a subscription basis which means you get all the courses you want for $29.99 a month. 

 

You can get it for $24.99 a month if you sign up for a year, which is a good saving but also a big commitment. 

 

If you want to try before you buy they offer a free trial month so you can test out some of the courses before taking the plunge with your credit card. 

 

How does Lynda work?

Lynda focuses on technology & creative offerings. It offers courses and the ability to learn skills that are not available in such detail on many other platforms. 

Lynda is definitely a product of its time. By that I mean, it looks fairly old and a little bit stuffy. 

 

In all honesty, it seems more like a B2B sales platform than a place for to get your education online.

 

As you can see from the screenshot below, Lynda serves all manner of students. 

 

They separate them into 4 main categories

  • Business 

  • Higher Education

  • Government 

  • Individual

That being said they have spent a lot of time categorising their classes and courses.

 

The main focus of the platform is, unsurprisingly, on the big hitters of the online learning world. Namely Software & Web Development, Design and Business courses.

 

There is also a bit of real estate given to Photography classes but in general, this is where you come to learn skills to apply in businesses not so much hobby skills.

I am aware that photography occurs in business, but if you check out Lynda you will see what I mean. Lynda does not cater to those who want to learn skills to apply in their personal life.

 

What courses are available on Lynda

Here is the official breakdown of the online course types from Lynda

Lynda__Online_Courses__Classes__Training

 

Lynda/ Linkedin Learning has lots of classes for all the topics above. It is unlikely that you would struggle to find something to learn after you subscribe. 

 

Despite the large number of courses there is little chance of information overload as they have helpfully categorised them into subcategories. If you know exactly what you want to learn I recommend making use of the free text search and filter options to jump straight to the most relevant classes.

 

You can get a certificate when you complete a course. as Lynda is owned by LinkedIn, there is, obviously, a strong focus on getting the "Course Badge" on your Linkedin profile. 

 

As we discussed in our review of online course certificates it is not a bad thing to show prospective employers, and heck even your current ones, that you are taking the time to develop your skills. 

 

LinkedIn is a well-respected platform by most people. Despite all the recruiters, it is still the best place to show your skills to a large audience. Unless you are a juggler or trapeze artist. At that point, I would recommend joining a circus to find your large admiring audience.

 

This means that is you are looking to have a certificate that people will pay attention to but don't want to pay for an accredited course then a Lynda course is a good place to start your search. 

Lynda class types​

If you are looking to learn a specific skill then you can take a single class that will last anywhere between 30 minutes to 5 hours.

 

Most classes will be focused on making one practical improvement to your skillset and will take you around 2 or 3 hours. This will involve watching the videos, reading the course materials and then maybe a exam/ practical test. 

 

Because of the specific focus and short length of a class you can learn a skill or update your knowledge of a product on the weekend or in an evening and then it show off to your colleagues the next day. Courses like Creating Infographics with Illustrator Share or Street Photography: The City at Night

Once you have completed a class, many teachers will generally have advice for further reading or a place/ practice project to go put your new found skills to use.​

 

Top tip: Practise what you learn!

I highly recommend that you do take the time to practise the skills you learn in the short classes.

For most people, this is not a problem since Lynda teaches business skills they will get the chance to apply them the next day at work. 

 

If you are not part of this lucky group be careful with the short, 1 and done classes. The convenience and ease of completion that makes them so attractive can become a big problem.

 

One evening is too long to learn, remember and internalise a new skill or piece of information. Any new skill or addition to your intellectual repertoire will require you to practise and use it a few times to make sure it goes into your long term memory. ​

Avoid taking to many short courses on several different topics in quick succession. 

 

I did this when I first started with online learning courses. I practised Spanish, learnt the latest Management theories, learnt to code Python. 

 

I failed to practise any of them, forgot them and got disheartened for a while.

 

Then I wised up, picked one topic and stuck with it for a few months.

Make sure you: Set a goal that you can achieve in a few days or weeks, not hours or years. make and stick a schedule. Don't skip the hard bits. Have one place where you keep your notes. 

 

I followed the rules and gained some valuable tips, tricks and skills that led to me getting promoted. 

 

Lynda/ Linkedin Learning has a very handy filtering feature that allows you to choose between: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses. However, be careful and make sure you check the course content because I have not always found the categorisations to be 100% accurate. ​

A picture is worth a thousand words so here is a snapshot of a course category page. This page shows the Audio and Music Training and Tutorials category for anyone who wants to improve their audio and music skills.

Going to class

Lynda classes generally follow the same style and watching online videos and following along with your own camera, codebase or SaaS platform will be familiar to anyone who has tried online learning before. The classes are all fairly short in length and have a lot of support in terms of what they offer.

Lynda classes generally follow the same style and watching online videos and following along with your own camera, codebase or SaaS platform will be familiar to anyone who has tried online learning before. The classes are all fairly short in length and have a lot of support in terms of what they offer.

Lynda/ Linkedin Learning have a great app that means you can learn on the go. However, you will need a computer for most of the technology, coding, data or design courses.​

There is fairly good teacher support on Lynda but there is not the same community feeling and peer support that you get on other platforms. is good because there is little in the way of teacher support compared to some of the other online course providers.​

As with all online courses our advice is always to start off slow with a short course or class near to your current level then build up to longer more challenging paths. Remember any courses or class you take will require a lot of time and energy as they may require a fair amount of upfront time watching the videos and reading the documentation followed by homework each week. 

 

 

Lynda Course Overview Pages

The Lynda Course Overview pages do not have as much information as some other course providers.

 

There is a course overview video for each class but this is often not enough to get a true sense of the course. Also, you do not get the same help from ratings and reviews that you can get from other platforms.

Although Linkedin Learning does do some curation on what courses can be made available on the platform there sometimes multiple courses covering the same topic from different angles so as always do your research before deciding to start a course.

 

It is tempting to start a short course to see how it goes especially with an unlimited subscription but it will become a waste of time after the first few and you may end up getting disheartened instead of learning anything.

Below is an example of a Course Overview page for those who are looking for a Google Adwords class

In fact, the course overview pages seem a bit like an afterthought on the Lynda platform. This is a real shame because it is one of the most important parts for learners. 

 

Yes, of course, the course and classes are important but you want to make sure you get the right one. Here are some examples of where they fall down:

  • They give the number of views but not the ratings and reviews

  • They give you the course overview but not a detailed syllabus

  • They say the topics covered but not what you will actually learn

  • You can preview the course but they don't say what the requirements are (e.g. Microsoft Excel, Python installed, Adobe Photoshop License). 

 

 

One final note is that Linkedin learning has a stronger focus on businesses and teams than Lynda used to have. The courses are still of great quality but the website seems more dated and less focused on the individual weekend users than some of the other platforms.

Also since the courses are small bitesize chunks about popular business topics you may be able to get the same information for free on blogs and Youtube. 

In our opinion, Lynda was a great platform back in the day. The world of MOOC's and online learning owe it a lot. However, it has not kept pace with the times and there are better classes and more curated programmes available on other course providers.

 

Thanks for reading!

Check out our other reviews