LinkedIn rolls out LinkedIn Learning for individuals and soon for enterprise

The new product combines Microsoft's resources with Lynda's content and LinkedIn's vast trove of professional and networking data.

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LinkedIn Learning gives users access to online courses to advance their professional skills.

LinkedIn on Thursday announced the availability of LinkedIn Learning, a product that capitalizes on the company's 2015 acquisition of the online learning portal Lynda. The product, currently available for individuals and soon to be available for enterprises, also illustrates how Microsoft's massive acquisition of LinkedIn is giving Microsoft more heft in the sector of human capital management.

LinkedIn Learning gives users access to online courses to advance their professional skills, while letting them use the LinkedIn platform to promote their refreshed resume. Once the enterprise version is available, managers will be able to recommend or assign courses to their employees.

Effectively, the new product combines Microsoft's resources with Lynda's content and LinkedIn's vast trove of professional and networking data. After Microsoft acquired LinkedIn, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner noted that six of the top 25 most popular Lynda.com courses are related to Microsoft products. Education and workforce training is a significant market that is opened up to Microsoft and LinkedIn through the acquisition.

"There is a critical need to help people acquire new skills through a highly personalized, data-driven and engaging learning experience," Ryan Roslansky, vice president of product at LinkedIn, wrote in a blog post. "With more than 450 million member profiles, we have a unique view of how jobs, industries, organizations and skills evolve over time. From this, we can take the guesswork out of what to learn by identifying the skills you need and deliver expert-led courses to help you obtain those skills."

In a presentation delivered Thursday, Roslansky said that the products and features LinkedIn is going to build over LinkedIn Learning in the next one to two years will "transform the way professionals learn over the next two decades."

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