With more people considering their future amid the uncertainty of the pandemic, and significant workforce shifts caused by various closures and operational changes, LinkedIn’s Learning platform has seen increased demand, providing a direct avenue to professional skills development, aligned with available job listings on the platform.

Indeed, back in March, LinkedIn added a new ‘Skills Path’ option for on-platform job listings, which essentially enables employers to add additional tests to help more candidates display their suitability for a given role, while it also has its Skill Assessments, providing another way for people to demonstrate professional competency.

Given the direct linkages between its educational platform and open roles, it’s no surprise to see more people turning to LinkedIn Learning to up their skills, and this week, LinkedIn has added another element in order to better cater to remote workers, while also providing more support and personalization to its online courses.

This week, LinkedIn is launching the capacity for LinkedIn Learning instructors to host live events on the platform, with a feature that it’s calling ‘Office Hours’.

LinkedIn Adds New Live-Stream Events for LinkedIn Learning, Lists Most Popular Courses of 2021 Thus Far

As you can see here, soon, LinkedIn Learning users will be able to tune into live-stream sessions with course instructors, providing a more direct avenue to education and industry networking.

As explained by 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 further notes that the option will provide more capacity for instructors to play a role in the burgeoning creator economy, by using the platform to grow their audience in a relevant 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.”

LinkedIn Adds New Live-Stream Events for LinkedIn Learning, Lists Most Popular Courses of 2021 Thus Far

The addition of live video capacity within LinkedIn Learning aligns with the broader online video shift, with people increasingly open and receptive to video content and connection. Having the capacity to connect in real-time also, as LinkedIn notes, gives instructors more potential to grow their professional brands, while it could also help to replace at least some of the professional networking opportunities that have been lost due to the pandemic.

Which is significant. In many people’s careers, it’s networking that will get you your next opportunity, and over the past year, the inability to meet face-to-face has severely impeded growth in this respect. Being able to talk to fellow learners and industry experts, in real-time, could play a key role in maximizing awareness and potential on this front.

In addition to this, LinkedIn has also announced its listing of the most popular LinkedIn Learning courses of 2021 thus far, which it’s making available for free till October 15th.

The courses cover a range of skills and elements, including:

  • 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 could be a good opportunity to learn some new skills, or at least, to get an idea of how LinkedIn’s course structure works, and how the new ‘Office Hours’ element could fit in and help you improve your professional connections.

LinkedIn says that 4.6 million professionals have viewed its 20 most popular LinkedIn Learning courses this year, compared to 3 million in 2020, so interest is clearly on the rise, and now may be a good time for you to check out the platform and the opportunities it could provide for your development.

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