My new gig at LinkedIn: Lynda.com and the Economic Graph

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This post is meant to explain my excitement about being the first Lynda.com employee based in Canada and why I am even more excited about the future of Lynda.com and LinkedIn together. Days after the acquisition I wrote this post summarizing the press and my views on why LinkedIn spent 1.5 billion on an educational video library. Since then, I’ve been working with LinkedIn’s Economic Graph team on a Metro Insights project to help disadvantaged youth in Toronto connect with the skills they need and employers looking to hire them. This work coupled with a growing understanding of the potential contained in Lynda.com’s library confirms that the Lynda acquisition is perhaps the single greatest step towards achieving LinkedIn’s goal to create an Economic Graph.

In our CEO’s words, the LinkedIn Economic Graph hopes to “digitally map the global economy, identifying the connections between people, jobs, skills, companies, and professional knowledge — and spot in real-time the trends pointing to economic opportunities.” This is aligned with LinkedIn’s Vision to “create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce” and is a broader and in my opinion more equitable and therefor moral goal than our Mission to “Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”

Our Toronto Metro Insights project demonstrated the potential of LinkedIn’s data to trace pathways of learning and the skills required to attain jobs. We were able to identify which tech skills individuals in Toronto seeking a job early in their career need and then connect them with the organizations that can train them. For instance, our data showed that Toronto employers are seeking mobile web development skills. We also know that bootcamps like the one I founded, Lighthouse Labs, coupled with online learning, such as Lynda.com’s courses, can provide low cost, fast ways to attain these skills. Bring this all together and we can now enable students to achieve their career goals on LinkedIn.

Established brick and mortar universities and colleges and online schools can also benefit from using Lynda. Lynda enables teachers to implement many advances in pedagogy such as flipping their classroom. In this model, course content is studied at home allowing students to interact and engage more with the material in class. With courses that can be many hours broken down into digestible, several minute long segments, Lynda’s content can be inserted into lectures or other online content as well. This format makes it easy to distribute across LinkedIn’s network. Lynda’s content is also ideal for professional development, allowing those who already have jobs to change career tracks or level up. And by working with our partners such as Adobe to revise our courses as soon as their software is updated, we can ensure students’ skills are cutting edge.

A recent post by one of my colleagues on the Economic Graph team with whom I worked closely on the Toronto Metro Insights project highlights the power of connecting LinkedIn’s data with Lynda’s courses. Sohan Murthy outlines the top skills to get a job in 2016 and then links to the Lynda courses that provide these capabilities. As we continue to map Canada’s economy, LinkedIn will more and more clearly be able to chart pathways to learning and promotion like this and with Lynda we can now deliver on the promise of enabling individuals with the skills they need to follow these paths.

My new gig at LinkedIn: Lynda.com and the Economic Graph

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