Boston College will now provide LinkedIn Learning, an online “skill-building platform” offered by the networking website LinkedIn, to all students, faculty, and staff.
“I think this initiative to bring LinkedIn Learning to BC is really reflective of the way in which the academic and administrative departments at BC are working together really closely to create a really dynamic learning experience for our students,” said Brian Salerno, executive director of the Center for Digital Innovation in Learning.
According to its website, the platform gives users access to over 18,000 courses in various practical areas, including professional development, technology, and design. After the completion of a course or customized learning path, the user can add a certificate of completion to their LinkedIn profile to indicate certain skill proficiencies to employers.
The University has thousands of accounts available for the BC community, according to IT training manager Jonathan McGrath.
“We have licenses for everyone at BC, so we have thousands of licenses available,” he said. “As of just a few minutes ago, and this is day two, I think about 600 something of them have been activated.”
For students, this resource will be a major career resource, according to Associate Vice President of Career Services Joseph Du Pont.
“The employer is more and more focused on skills students have, like their competencies, rather than the specific coursework that they take,” Du Pont said. “And so this idea of you being able to build a bunch of skills at your own pace, inside and outside the classroom, is really appealing.”
LinkedIn Learning content can also be incorporated into classes, according to Salerno. Professors can add videos from LinkedIn Learning courses to their Canvas modules or encourage students to watch them independently, he said.
“Centers like the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Center for Digital Innovation in Learning, the library will very likely begin to work with faculty and reach out to them about ways in which they might utilize the content in their courses,” Salerno said.
In the long term, Carroll School of Management Senior Associate Dean Ethan Sullivan emphasized the value of LinkedIn Learning as a tool for the “life-long learner.”
“When students graduate from BC, they will constantly need to keep current and relevant in the information era,” Sullivan wrote in an email to The Heights. “Learning how to be a self-guided, life-long learner is crucial to that. Trying that out while at BC might help launch that.”
LinkedIn Learning is also a relevant staff resource, according to Associate Director of Human Resources Carolyn Donoghue. The home LinkedIn Learning page for faculty and staff features a list of courses compiled by Donoghue, which she said are meant to give these users a place to start building their skill sets.
“We tried to look at our competencies and then pick a few courses under that,” she said. “So it’s communication, team building, and management/leadership … then once someone’s in the system, they can then go and start looking for other [courses]. We’ll update this page, and we’ll add some more competencies as well.”
BC community members can register for LinkedIn Learning using their BC credentials. Further information is available on the BC LinkedIn Learning page, which also includes a link to a form for any further LinkedIn Learning–related questions.
LinkedIn Learning will be a valuable resource for the whole BC community moving forward, according to Du Pont.
“I’m excited about the possibilities that students can tailor their learning in ways that they think are most effective for them, or anyone really could,” Du Pont said. “And the fact that you can do it at your own pace, 24/7 … we’re really excited about introducing this tool to the community and then seeing how people start using it.”