Continuing My Education – Thoughts On Udemy and LinkedIn Learning Platforms

MBA Diploma and Short Story Collection Crushes by Eric Shay Howard

Hello, fellow creatives! It’s time a brutally honest post. I don’t make very much money from my writing, so I have a day job at a firm. I have an MBA and I’m proud of it because it was actually hard and took a lot of work. I coordinate IT stuff in an office and do office coordinator things during the day and I write my strange, quirky fiction about secret gay crushes and arsonists in the late evening hours. Since my day job generates the majority of my income, I have to keep up my “business education” so that I can generate more income as time goes on, because inflation is unfortunately a real thing and we need to admit that to ourselves as we plan our creative writing endeavors. For me, that means doing things like taking courses about business, management, and leadership. This past week, I took some LinkedIn Learning and Udemy courses. I have thoughts about the platforms.

My Thoughts On The Leadership Courses

First, I’ll disclose that I didn’t have to pay for either of these platforms. Western Governor’s University has some amazing resources and they continue to give access to things like LinkedIn Learning and Udemy for Business to their alumni. I thought maybe there’d be a limit, but I seem to be able to take courses and learn new things about business as often as I’d like. I like that. I’ve only completed two courses so far, though. I finished a course on “Practical Leadership Skills” by Chris Croft on Udemy, and a course on “Managing Teams” by Daisy Lovelace on LinkedIn. They were easier courses to understand and take in. The leadership skills course was a great refresher of some of the leadership theories and philosophies that I learned during my MBA, and it did a great job of applying those theories to real world situations. I actually find leadership theory just as interesting as some of the literary theories that I studied for my English degree. The team leadership course was also a good crash course and would be great for a new manager or supervisor. I’m not a manager yet, but I do hope to be one soon. What’d I’d really like to focus on in this article, though, is the learning platforms themselves. I did run into a few snags here and there.

My Experience with the Udemy for Business Platform

The Udemy course was the most interesting of the courses I took. It had both very relevant information and very academic information and was presented in a way that was understandable. It took me a while to complete all of the content in the course. Once I completed it, I wanted my certificate of completion so that I could post it on my LinkedIn and show people that I’m actually trying to stay brushed up on leadership skills. Unfortunately, the certificate wasn’t generating. I’ve completed all of the content and it tells me I have a certificate, but when I click the certificate page, it doesn’t show my certificate and I can’t download it. It’s like it’s stuck on a server somewhere and the page for it hasn’t been properly generated. I emailed Udemy support and am waiting on their reply. (Update: it took a day or so for the Udemy certificate to fully generate and become available ON MY iPHONE, but it still won’t load on my Mac or my iPad. Still unable to share it on LinkedIn.)

You may be asking, is this certificate a big deal? Well, yes. I put time and effort into learning about a topic and I was promised a certificate, so I want it. I know it’s not a recognized credential or from an academically accredited institution, but it still shows initiative. Additionally, certificates are a great personal reminder and motivator when you’re looking to self-assess your progress on a new set of skills.

In the Udemy course, there were a lot of downloadable charts and diagrams. Some of these resources were easily downloadable on my iPad, while others were embedded in a way that required me to use Safari on my Mac to be able to find the “save as PDF” button. There was really no reason for this that I could think of, other than purposefully making it harder to download SOME of the diagrams, but really easy to download others. Some of it was downloadable onto my device but stuck inside the Udemy app, other content was able to be saved my Files app. I think it’s weird and they need to think about that a little more.

My Experience with the LinkedIn Learning Platform

The LinkedIn Learning platform doesn’t mess around. It’s intuitive, quick to load, works well, and I can ACTUALLY DOWNLOAD my certificates and share them on LinkedIn without any trouble. The downside of the platform is that the content tends to be very fast paced. The videos are often shorter and more concise. This may appeal to some, but I enjoy the conversational, slower classroom style lecture of Udemy for Business a little bit more. I’m sure there are differences between courses on LinkedIn Learning and some may be more conversational than others, but I have clicked around and started a few different courses and so far the fast-paced, brief style is very popular on LinkedIn.

It may be a good thing in the long run. The shorter the content, the more learning I can squeeze into my week. I may have to adjust my learning style a little. I didn’t really have to take any notes when I took the Udemy course because the diagrams and charts were baked into the content menus and were their own “sections” of the course. LinkedIn Learning tends to keep files and downloadable files off to the side in a separate place that you can access outside of the video content.

Udemy and LinkedIn Learning: Which One Is Better?

If I had to pick one over the other as a company to provide its employees with continued learning experiences, I’m honestly not 100% sure which one I’d pick. I think the Udemy for Business model offers a little more flexibility from the company side of things. You can set course paths and prioritize things. The LinkedIn Learning model is sort of a Netflix style, “all you can learn” model. At least on LinkedIn you can network and chat with co-workers and other connections and share your successes a little easier. Again, my experience with the certificates actually working on LinkedIn Learning is also gives the platform significant favor.

I suppose I’d say, if you’re taking it up on yourself to learn things and your company isn’t providing you with one or the other, LinkedIn offers a few more benefits for your career when you buy the premium subscription. You have have access to LinkedIn Learning plus more stats and tools for your job-hunting.

If your company is providing you with one of them, you might as well take advantage of that one. There’s plenty of worthwhile content on both Udemy and LinkedIn Learning, so don’t stress about not having one if you have the other.

Here’s my actual certificate from LinkedIn Learning. I’m still unable to get my certificate from Udemy. I will update this blog post if I can ever get it downloaded.

Update: It took a day or so for the Udemy certificate to fully generate, but it finally did and I was able to download it.

I’m working on my LinkedIn page as well, so I guess I’ll put a link to that on here. I’m not great at LinkedIn, but I need to get better at it.

By Eric Shay Howard

Eric Shay Howard lives in Indianapolis. He's a teacher, a literary editor, and writer. He's a graduate student in the Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA in Creative Writing program at Eastern Kentucky University. He also has MBA and BA degrees.

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