Learning with Lynda: An affordable resource for young professionals

The year twenty-sixteen started out a little hazy. I had a full-time job; however, I didn’t want to make a career out of it. After soul searching, I decided on digital marketing. So, with my metaphorical compass in hand, I started my journey. It wasn’t long before I stumbled and realized that although I had some great skills in my back pocket, I had way more to learn.

When getting started in any career you have to have a foundation. While my background in communication studies and sales helped, I was still missing vital knowledge of digital concepts. Skills that topped the list were SEO, content marketing, web analytics, such as Google Analytics, and digital paid ads. (I was able to identify these highly sought after skills by looking at job postings.) This is when the million-dollar question was posed; how could I learn these skills from an authoritative source at an affordable price?

I proceeded to find the answer by searching for classes or certificates I could earn. I even enquired with a local community college about the courses they offered, but no one from the department returned my call. That is when a good friend of mine recommended Lynda.com.lynda-com-logoLynda.com, or Lynda for short, is an online learning platform featuring video courses taught by industry leaders. You can take the classes at your own pace – watching on a laptop or through their mobile app – and the best part is the most expensive plan is only $34.99 a month.

Lynda.com specifically specializes in teaching business, software, technology, and creative, all relevant skills to the marketing communication discipline. You can watch as little or as much ask you like and there are no test or deadlines. Some courses even have short quizzes after every chapter.

While affordability and convenience made me try the platform. It was the platforms functionality that made me fall in love. One of my favorite components is the way Lynda groups and divides their courses. For example, they have a section called Learning Paths that is great for recent graduates. This feature works like a custom playlist, bringing together courses around one job position. Completion of each path gives you substantial background knowledge of the field and tips, tricks, and strategies to help you do that specific job.

They also divide their individual courses into a section and chapter format. This makes it easy to identify areas of interest without having to watch the whole course. To give an example, I watched a refresher course on WordPress. One section was focused on “Extending WordPress with Plugins” and one of the chapters inside was called “Finding, vetting, and selecting plugins.”

Everyone’s time is valuable, so to help with the continued learning search, I identified three cohorts that I believe would benefit the most from this learning tool.

  1. Recent graduates looking to gain specific skills they did not acquire in college.
  2. Professionals looking to brush up on or widen their skillset.
  3. Business owners who aren’t specialized in the area they need help in. For example, a mechanic looking to market his business.

Starting a career or being excellent in your field requires continuous learning. To do that successfully you have to find a channel that works for you. Finding the right quality and flexible learning opportunities at an affordable price isn’t easy and Lynda is a great digital tool to help marketing communication professionals continue that education.

-Caroline Robinson

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