LinkedIn offers top 20 professional courses for free

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It’s back-to-school time for employees too — LinkedIn Learning is offering their 20 most popular online courses of the year for free throughout the month of September.

LinkedIn executives say they’re offering the courses free of charge to help as many employees as possible cope with the pandemic — especially workers from underrepresented communities and those affected by layoffs. LinkedIn Learning saw a 130% uptick in course participation once shelter-in-place orders were issued in March.

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“With a lot of people out of work or working remotely at this time, we are seeing a lot of employees investing in themselves and their careers,” says Mordy Golding, director of content strategy for English-language at LinkedIn Learning. “Our hard skill classes, like Excel, are still popular, but there are soft skills we all need in order to succeed in the new normal.”

LinkedIn’s most popular course teaches people strategies for helping them work from home more efficiently. The shift to remote work has been a challenge for employees, who have struggled with increased stress and burnout, says Dave Crenshaw, a productive leadership author and LinkedIn Learning instructor.

“We have a lot of freedom when we’re working from home,” says Crenshaw, who has worked remotely for the past 20 years. “[Employers’] biggest concern is that the people working from home are going to slack off. But the bigger problem is that people never stop working, and that hurts productivity in the long run — performance degrades and work-life balance erodes.”

While employees and managers may be tempted to stick to hard skill courses, Golding recommends participating in classes that focus on soft skills like “being a good listener” because it “transfers well to the remote workforce,” he says. He also suggests that employers take advantage of LinkedIn Learning’s group feature to allow teams to take the courses collectively.

“A very large percentage of people who watch the courses can immediately apply the skills they’ll learn to their job,” Golding says. “If you’re thinking about the long-term health of your organization, it’s a good idea to leverage learning to have an immediate impact on productivity, and bring people together.”

Check out the full list of free LinkedIn Learning courses being offered through September:

Time Management: Working from Home
Instructor: Dave Crenshaw

Help your employees learn how to set up a dedicated workspace for maximum productivity, collaborate with their colleagues, craft their daily schedule and master the art of virtual meetings. This course also offers advice for working parents, and other caregivers, about how to more effectively balance professional and personal responsibilities at home.
Strategic Thinking
Instructor: Dorie Clark

Clark defines strategic thinking as the ability to think on a big and small scale, long and short term and into the past and the present. She teaches how strategic thinking can help guide teams to align on more effective business solutions.
Remote Work Foundations
Instructor: Mike Gutman

This course shows employees how to use today's cloud-based communication and collaboration tools. Gutman teaches employees how to create a productive work environment, avoid distractions and build rapport with remote colleagues.
Learning Python
Instructor: Joe Marini

Whether your engineers are new to programming or experienced developers, this course can help them get started with Python. Marini provides an overview of the installation process, basic syntax and how to construct and run a simple Python program. He also shows employees how to work with dates and times, read and write files and retrieve and parse HTML, JSON and XML data from the web.
Developing Your Emotional Intelligence
Instructor: Gemma Leigh Roberts

Roberts explains what emotional intelligence is and why it's important in today’s workforce. She can help learners become more self-aware so they can acclimate to the dynamic new world of work.
Excel 2016 Essential Training
Instructor: Dennis Taylor

Taylor shows how to best enter and organize data, perform calculations with simple functions, work with multiple worksheets, format the appearance of your data and cells and build charts and PivotTables.
Excel Essential Training (Office 365)
Instructor: Dennis Taylor

Taylor demonstrates how to efficiently enter and organize data, perform calculations with simple functions and format the appearance of rows, columns, cells and data.
Communicating with Confidence
Instructor: Jeff Ansell

Ansell provides communication tools, strategies and tips to overcome a fear of public speaking. Employees will learn strategies for sounding more confident, using body and language to better express ideas and overcoming anxiety.
Cert Prep: Project Management Professional (PMP)
Instructor: Sandra M. Mitchell

Successful large-scale and complex undertakings always have skilled project managers at their core. Mitchell will help employees learn what it takes to pass the PMP exam, the gold standard in project management certification.
Project Management Foundations
Instructor: Bonnie Biafore

In this course, Biafore explains the fundamentals of project management — from establishing project goals and objectives to managing resources, meeting deadlines and bringing projects to completion.
Critical Thinking
Instructor: Mike Figliuolo

Figliuolo outlines a series of techniques to help employers develop their employees’ critical thinking skills. He reveals how to define a problem and then provides critical thinking tools such as blowing up the business, asking the “5 whys” and the “7 so whats” and exploring the 80/20 rule.
Learning Personal Branding
Instructor: Chelsea Krost

Honing your employees’ personal branding helps their ideas get noticed to sell to internal stakeholders, partners and customers. Krost explains how to develop a personal story and build a personal brand presence online and off.
Interpersonal Communication
Instructor: Dorie Clark

Clark shares techniques about how to get a message across effectively, grapple with tricky situations, handle interruptions, respond to critical feedback and communicate across cultures.
Communication Foundations
Instructors: Tatiana Kolovou and Brenda Bailey-Hughes

This course helps your employees communicate more effectively in a variety of situations including meetings, email messages, pitches and presentations. Kolovou and Bailey-Hughes share the four most important building blocks of communication: people, message, context and listening — and how they apply to different situations.
Improving Your Listening Skills
Instructor: Dorie Clark

Dorie to the rescue, once again. She decodes the riddle for us—why it's hard to listen well and develop the mindset of a good listener. She also provides multiple listening strategies when an employee is not being listened to, how to stop interrupting, and listen to what’s not being said.
Microsoft Teams Essential Training
Instructor: Nick Brazzi

Microsoft Teams is the new cool kid on the chat communication block. (Disclaimer: LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft.) Help employees learn the basic Teams setup, use it for meetings, integrate into calendar invites, and so much more. We use it heavily internally at LinkedIn and highly recommend this course.
Time Management Fundamentals
Instructor: Dave Crenshaw

Crenshaw gives employees practical strategies for powering up productivity in three areas: developing habits to be more organized and reducing clutter, eliminating floating the to-dos and developing a time budget to get the most done during the workday and focus on your most valuable activities.
Python Essential Training
Instructor: Bill Weinman

Showing up twice on the list, coding Python is a critical skill for the new world of work. It’s the scripting language of choice for many large organizations including Google, Yahoo, IBM, and LinkedIn. A thorough understanding of Python 3 will help your engineers write more efficient and effective scripts. Python #FTW.
Excel: Tips and Tricks
Instructor: Dennis Taylor

Excel courses make the list three times, like a charm. In this course, Dennis shares time-saving tricks for creating formulas, accelerating data entry, and navigating within worksheets efficiently. Plus, your employees can learn ‘drag and drop’ techniques, formatting shortcuts, charting and PivotTable tips, and much more. For the record, anyone that masters PivotTables is a modern day hero.
Online Marketing Foundations
Instructor: Brad Batesole

For marketers, staying current is critical. In this course, Batesole explains the most current digital marketing techniques and how to build a successful online marketing campaign on all digital channels: search, video, social, email and display.
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