No one would every blame LinkedIn for being a 98-pound weakling in the career sphere, but now, the social networking giant adds a lot more power to its punch: It was announced on April 9th that LinkedIn has acquired eLearning website, Lynda.com, as part of a new push toward eLearning and changing the way the world looks at education credentials.
In a welcome letter addressed to the employees of Lynda.com, Head of Content for LinkedIn Ryan Roslansky pointed out that the marriage of LinkedIn and Lynda.com was a natural match for both of the respective powerhouses, saying, “We get so excited about the possibilities that could come from the integration of lynda.com and LinkedIn.”
For her part, Lynda Weinman, the owner of Lynda.com, hopes to forge a bridge that spans the skills gap in corporate America today. But what does it mean for both companies going forward?
A New Dawn
This isn’t LinkedIn’s first foray into the eLearning ring: Less-effective credentialing campaigns have lacked the power to really take off on the social networking platform. Last fall, LinkedIn announced a partnership with Udemy, promising better credentials displayed on user profiles if and when courses were completed on the eLearning site.
But Lynda.com might be the most established off all the DIY learning sites, which lends LinkedIn the authority it craves for eLearning purposes. By combining LinkedIn and Lynda, the seamless platform could make it easier than ever for users to showcase their certifications—all while learning new skills that improve their chances of getting hired.
Power, Meet Punch
LinkedIn has long been a force for good in the social networking world. Like the serious older brother of Facebook, LinkedIn’s biggest weakness has been the platform’s lack of action. Most professionals have a LinkedIn account–giving the site plenty of social capital–but don’t really do much with those profiles other than connect and only occasionally post content.
One can only speculate what’s next for LinkedIn, now it owns the extensive eLearning catalogs, courses, and videos from Lynda.com, but Roslansky gives a few hints: “Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, like Denver, and then to be prompted to take the relevant and accredited course to help you acquire this skill,” he suggests. “Or doing a search on SlideShare to learn about integrated marketing and then to be prompted with a lynda.com course on the same subject.”
This acquisition makes LinkedIn a more action-based platform, with the ability for job-seekers and professionals alike to further their education, show off their expertise, and put a little more power in their profile.