Building new skills for entry-level jobs can be difficult. First of all, how do you know what skills to learn if you aren’t sure what you need? And then, how do you learn those skills? These are questions that I struggled with when I graduated from college with a degree in Media, Culture, and Communications. My degree was largely focused on sociology and communication theory – not so much about Excel and how to be professional in an office. I wanted to learn more technical skills that would help me in an entry-level job but didn’t know where to go.
What is LinkedIn Learning?
I wish I had known about LinkedIn Learning when I was in school. LinkedIn Learning is an offshoot of LinkedIn, and it offers online video courses about skills useful in the workplace. These courses are taught by industry professionals and the topics range from software to soft skills. You can take a class about the basics of Python, and then right after, take a class about inclusivity in the office. There are thousands of courses on LinkedIn Learning, and the opportunities to learn are endless.
While I didn’t explore LinkedIn Learning when I was in college, I have found the website to be helpful now that I am an associate editor with Wiley. The courses on LinkedIn Learning helped me expand my working knowledge and introduced me to new areas of business that I might be interested in. Taking a LinkedIn Learning course might sound daunting, but it was a great learning experience that allowed me to learn on my own time and gain skills that I could use in my job day-to-day.
Choosing my LinkedIn Learning Course
This summer, I looked into the courses that LinkedIn Learning offers. My goal was learn how to more effectively use Excel. As a humanities major in college, I was under-prepared for Excel and the knowledge required to successfully look at data. I knew the basics (with the help of Google), but I wanted to learn more about Excel so I wasn’t panicking each time my manager asked me to create a pivot table. I found tons of different courses about Excel and different ways to use it. Some of these classes were as short as 10 minutes, while others 10+ hours. I thought about the time that I could dedicate to a course and searched for a course that matched my interest and time commitment.
I chose a course that worked for me and my level of interest, which ended up being “Data Fluency: Exploring and Describing Data” with a focus on Excel. This was a 4-hour course, but I am a firm believer in the idea that you get what you put into something. I knew that in order to get the most out of my online Excel class, I would need to put in the work to make sure I understood the material. As many students from the past year know, it’s hard to stay motivated with online learning. So, I created a schedule for myself, where I blocked off a couple hours a week to put the time into this.
Taking the Course
While the full course was four hours, it was split into 6 segments. This made it feel like I was taking short classes rather than one long course. The material also felt very relevant to my own day-to-day work with Excel. Since LinkedIn Learning courses are created by industry professionals, they know how people use and don’t use Excel. It was helpful to know that I was learning material from people who practice what they teach.
In the course, each section had an option for me to learn alongside the video. The course included an attachment of Excel files related to each section. When we got to a new section, I could pull up the Excel document and follow along by myself. I found that this was very helpful – I was able to do the formulas myself and make sure I understood how to use the data functions. At the end of each section, I also took an optional quiz to make sure I understood the material. These quizzes weren’t very difficult but were a chance for me to prove that I knew how to use Excel on my own. Plus, at the end of the entire course, I took the “exam.” When I passed, I got a LinkedIn certification for the course.
Finishing My Course
The entire course took only a few afternoons to complete. It was a nice way to learn a new skill on my own time. Since taking the course, I don’t use everything I learned, and honestly, don’t remember everything. But when asked to analyze data and create visual graphs, I can use what I learned without panicking. I feel less overwhelmed using Excel functions, and I have been able to save time by not Googling every step.
“LinkedIn Learning has helped me not only expand upon skills, but also discover new areas of growth.
This is just one of the thousands of LinkedIn Learning courses that are available. Since joining LinkedIn Learning, I have also discovered entirely new sides of business that I had no knowledge about. I am currently taking some introductory classes in business analysis to see whether it interests me. LinkedIn Learning also has quick videos about soft skills in the workplace. This includes topics such as how to speak up for yourself at work or how to use more inclusive language. Some of these courses are about things you don’t necessarily learn at college, or even recognize as important skills when you start working. Communication and connection is a huge part of work. LinkedIn Learning is a place to grow and expand on skills you might want to brush up on. LinkedIn Learning has helped me not only expand upon skills, but also discover new areas of growth.
My Experience with LinkedIn Learning
For me, the LinkedIn Learning course I took was completely worth it! It only took me a few afternoons, and I now have more confidence working with Excel day to day. The course taught me a practical skill that I can use in the workplace. If you are in college or have just graduated, I highly recommend trying out some LinkedIn Learning classes! You can start a 1-month free trial and start looking around at the options. It might seem overwhelming at first, but even taking a 10-minute class can be worth it.
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