The future of learning is online training, and if you're looking for a job or a promotion, it's a fast way to get yourself into a new position.
Imagine sitting down in an interview, knowing that a small but important part of the job will be creating proposals using Excel.
You're worried, because your self-taught skills are from an old version of the software, and you know you're not that good.
Now imagine the same interview, but this time you're confident because you can honestly say, "My skills are at the very top level and I'm up to date with the most advanced functions of Excel."
That's what do-it-yourself learning can do for you. It gives you both knowledge and confidence. And that will give you an edge over your competition.
That's why I love Lynda.com.
Lynda Weinman started Lynda.com back in 1995 to teach web designers in the early days of the internet. She wrote what was literally the first book on web design, which became an international best seller, and then expanded into live classes in her California offices.
When digital streaming became widespread, she and her designer husband decided to put the company put the video training library online, to immediate resounding success. Today there are 81,000 videos available, 5,000 of them free.
Companies like Lynda.com fill a great need in the world of learning. I sure don't have the time or interest to register at college, then drive every Tuesday night to sit in a room just to learn how to use my iPad. And I don't want to weed through lists of short amateur YouTube videos, either.
Lynda.com is a member-supported online learning platform.
WIth online training, you take courses at the time and pace that works for you, is the answer for people who want the knowledge, rather than the college credit. There is no advertising and there are no sponsors.
Content comes from 125 instructors who are experts in their topic; they get a royalties from views of their classes. Ninety-five percent of the videos are produced in-house, and they range from beginner intros to advanced courses.
Online education is amazingly affordable.
With Lynda.com, just $25 a month buys you anytime access to 81,000 tutorials. Premium accounts receive additional materials like workbooks.
It would be worth it if you only did one or two, but imagine what would happen if you did one a day. Think of how much you can brush up on your skills—or learn some entirely new ones—to prepare yourself to hit the ground running when you do get your next job, or bring a new level of awesome to the job you have now. Or just do it for fun.
Some of the classes I think look interesting:
- Still confused about what the heck Pinterest is? Check out Up and Running with Pinterest. If it has to do with computers, design and websites, you'll find classes for it.
- Love your iPad but you know you're not even close to really getting the most out of it? The three-hour course iPad Tips and Tricks will teach you all about apps, setting up email accounts and ways to open and edit files.
- Are you interviewing with a company in the cloud software space, but you have no idea what that actually means? Cloud Computing First Look will walk you through the basics of what it is, how it works, how to use it and why it makes business sense.
- Want to design your own brochures and marketing materials? You could start by taking Up and Running with InDesign, which will show you how to use Adobe's publishing application, and then dive into Designing a Brochure to learn how design professionals do it.
- And for more fun in your leisure time, Creating a Vacation Video with iMovie, taught by, by award-producer and director Abba Shapiro, gives step-by-step instruction for recording and editing your footage, and even special effects, aimed at beginners. When you're ready to share it, you can take YouTube Essential Training to learn about how it all works, including technical tips.
- To prepare for that interview, there are classes in Excel budgets and Quickbooks as part of the accounting courses available.
- Thinking you'd like to write a blog to get your name out there before a job search? WordPress.com Essential Training shows you how to start from scratch, including how to add images, format, do custom themes and even how to promote your blog with social marketing.
Many companies use Lynda.com for their employees, but at this low cost, it's easy to do it on your own. This is the future of lifelong learning that will keep you engaged, hone your mind skills and mind, and give you a real advantage for your career.
Lynda.com isn't the only company in this space, but they are one of the oldest and one of the best. What other lifelong learning resources have you found? I'd love to know.
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