Did you know that all UBC Vancouver degree-seeking students have free access to LinkedIn Learning? I gave LinkedIn Learning a try and will share my experience. I also spoke with Kimberley Rawes, Career Educator for the Centre for Student Involvement & Careers, about this resource. But first, you may be wondering, what exactly is LinkedIn Learning?
What is LinkedIn Learning?
LinkedIn Learning is an online learning platform with over 17,400 courses and Learning Paths taught by industry leaders. Some courses are available in several languages, including French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese. Until 2017, LinkedIn Learning was formerly Lynda.com. Its parent company, LinkedIn, is a social network allowing you to build professional connections, showcase your professional story and apply for jobs. My coworker Maitreyi has written a blog post about LinkedIn if you’re interested in reading more! However, you do not need a LinkedIn account to access LinkedIn Learning.
As UBC students’ free access to LinkedIn Learning is currently a pilot project, students have access until July 2022. But, this end date may be extended depending on factors, including student experience and usage. If you are an alum, a student in certificate or diploma programs or registered in extended learning courses, you can still access this resource through your local public library. For example, you can access LinkedIn Learning through the Vancouver Public Library with your VPL card number and pin.
First Steps & Personal Experience
When I first signed into the website, I was given a short survey of skills I was interested in building. These skills were split into three categories: Business, Creative and Technology. I was then directed to the home page that had recommended courses based on my survey responses. I have to admit, I had trouble choosing which course to start with because there were so many interesting ones! However, I recommend starting with “How to use LinkedIn Learning” to familiarize yourself with the platform’s features.
After looking through the selection of interesting courses, I decided to take “Communications Foundations” because I hope to further improve my communication skills in my classes, work as a CLC Assistant and everyday life.
I found watching LinkedIn Learning courses easier to pace myself because they are organized into short videos, not one long video I needed to sit through. There was also no need to write down a particular timestamp to remember which part of the video I left off. As I watched, the transcript feature allowed me to quickly find specific parts of the video, particularly helpful when taking notes.
The course I took was split into three segments:
- Four Building Blocks of Communication
- Communication for Common Situations
- Communication for Challenging Situations.
After each segment, there was a quiz to solidify my learning. After I completed the course, I earned a certificate of completion! Although these certificates are not equivalent to a degree program or software certification program, it can be convincing for employers to know that you have this skill.
I learned specific communication strategies to utilize in particular situations through this course. For example, if I find myself in a situation that catches me off guard, I should ignore my first two thoughts (since they could be defensive and accusatory) to reach the third thought (problem-solving-based). This course reminded me that communication requires practice and reflection, like any skill. The toolkits portion in this course includes everyday practice scenarios.
A Conversation with Kimberley Rawes, Career Educator for the Centre for Student Involvement & Careers
I spoke to Kimberley because I hoped to connect with someone who uses this resource and recommends this resource to students as a career educator.
A: This LinkedIn Learning Pilot (August 2021-July 2022) resulted from a partnership between UBC’s Vice-President Students Office and the Alma Mater Society (AMS) to give students access to a valuable way to learn new skills.
A: It would be great to see more students try out LinkedIn Learning and let us know what they’ve gained from the tool through the survey featured on the landing page inside LinkedIn learning. (As seen on the screenshot above).
A: LinkedIn Learning is a great place to test out and try things. For example, there are courses on project management, coding and entrepreneurship. This platform is a cool way of testing and trying out new things. It is also risk-free. It does not take any money, although it does take time. LinkedIn Learning allows you to challenge yourself and build skills. You can choose courses that complement your degree or even beyond your degree.
A: There is a sheer variety! Choose courses that best match your goals.
- Courses related to Job Search or Professionalism
- Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (Learning Paths)
- Data Foundations - UBC resources, which you can also find on the UBC Centre for Student Involvement & Careers YouTube Channel
- How to have a difficult conversation
- Programming languages
A: Log in and check it out for yourself, see what’s out there and match your goals. You don’t need to have a plan in mind!
After interviewing Kimberley, I went back to LinkedIn Learning to determine my next steps, …
Learning Paths, a curated collection of courses for a specific topic, is something I might try next. As mentioned above, UBC also has its courses and Learning Paths. An example of a Learning Path from UBC is “Launch a Career in Canada: International Student Career Development.” There are also live office hours with industry leaders, and in case you miss them, you can also watch past live events.
Out of interest, a course that I have in progress is Photography Foundations: Mobile Photography. I have always been intrigued by how others can take professional-looking shots from their phones. I have also started Teamwork Foundations to continue building my teamwork skills.
In summary, I have gained a lot of insight from these courses. I noticed that I have become more mindful whenever I utilize something that I have learned. For example, using non-verbal cues more often or clarifying with another person to ensure I am on the same page, especially essential when working in a team! I have also noticed that I now take better photos, especially family portraits, from the techniques I have learned so far.
I highly recommend using this platform! Access LinkedIn Learning and learn more about it from the Centre of Student Involvement and Careers here.
- LinkedIn Help – Learning certificates of completion- FAQs.
- Building your digital avatar using LinkedIn by Maitreyi
- UBC Centre for Student Involvement & Careers Youtube
- UBC Student Services – LinkedIn Learning.
- Vancouver Public Library – LinkedIn Learning.