With more people considering their future amid the uncertainty of the pandemic, and significant workforce shifts caused by various closures and operational changes, LinkedIn’s Learning platform has seen increased demand, providing a direct avenue to professional skills development, aligned with available job listings on the platform.

As an example, in March, LinkedIn introduced a new ‘Skills Path’ option for on-platform job listings, which essentially allows employers to include additional tests to help more candidates demonstrate their suitability for a given role. Additionally, LinkedIn offers its Skill Assessments, which provide an additional way for people to demonstrate professional competency.

Given the direct connections between LinkedIn Learning’s educational platform and open positions, it’s no surprise that more people are turning to the platform to improve their skills. And this week, LinkedIn added another feature to its online courses to better cater to remote workers while also providing more support and personalization.

This week, LinkedIn is launching the capacity for LinkedIn Learning instructors to host live events on the platform, with a feature that it’s calling ‘Office Hours’.

LinkedIn Learning Office Hours

As you can see in this screenshot, members of LinkedIn Learning will soon be able to tune in to live-stream sessions with course instructors, offering a more direct path to education and industry networking opportunities.

As explained by LinkedIn:

The Office Hours feature allows learners to remain on top of industry trends while also interacting with experts and other learners in real time by submitting questions, comments, and responses.

LinkedIn goes on to say that the new feature will provide teachers additional opportunities to participate in the growing creative economy by using the platform to build their audience in a relevant professional context.

The instructors who have previously used this tool have expressed delight at how it enables them to interact with learners in a genuine and personal manner, which has resulted in more engagement and broader dissemination.

LinkedIn Office Hours

The addition of live video capability to LinkedIn Learning is in keeping with the wider trend toward online video, which has seen consumers become more open and responsive to video content and interaction in recent years. According to LinkedIn, having the ability to connect in real time also provides instructors with greater opportunities to grow their professional brands, while it may also aid in the replacement of at least some of the professional networking opportunities that have been lost as a result of the pandemic, as well.

This is important to note. Because so many people’s professions are built on networking, being unable to meet face-to-face has been a significant hindrance to progress in this area during the last year. Being able to communicate with other learners and industry professionals in real time may be very beneficial in raising awareness and optimizing potential on this topic.

In addition to this, LinkedIn has also announced its listing of the most popular LinkedIn Learning courses of 2021 thus far, which it’s making available for free till October 15th.

The courses cover a range of skills and elements, including:

The chance to acquire some new skills, or at the very least to get an understanding of how LinkedIn’s course structure works, as well as how the new “Office Hours” aspect might fit in and help you enhance your professional relationships, may present itself.

According to LinkedIn, 4.6 million professionals have viewed its 20 most popular LinkedIn Learning courses this year, compared to 3 million in 2020. Interest in the platform and the opportunities it may provide for your professional development is clearly on the rise, and now may be a good time for you to investigate the platform and the opportunities it may provide for your professional development.