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LinkedIn Learning Offers a Path to Academic Credit, But it’s Complicated

LinkedIn Learning credit system resembles edX’s MicroMasters, but there are some important differences.

As of recently, you can earn academic credit via LinkedIn Learning. In short, some of their Learning Paths can be applied toward certain qualifications at some partner universities. The system is similar to edX’s MicroMasters or Coursera’s MasterTrack. But looking at the fine print, there are some important differences. Here’s how LinkedIn Learning’s credit system works.

Learning Paths

LinkedIn Learning’s credit system starts with their Learning Paths. These are curated lists of courses geared toward a certain skill or job — for instance, Become a Graphic Designer. To enroll in a path, you must subscribe to LinkedIn Learning ($30 a month or $240 a year). But as Class Central noted in a previous article, some LinkedIn Learning Paths are free

Currently, LinkedIn Learning offers over 500 Learning Paths. However, only ~40 of them (most in English), can lead to academic credit. And this modality is limited to LinkedIn Learning’s university partners, and to specific qualifications within those universities.

University Partners

LinkedIn Learning First Credit Partners

For now, LinkedIn Learning has partnered with seven academic institutions worldwide. Each of these institutions has endorsed certain Learning Paths, meaning that these can count toward some of the qualifications offered by the university, chiefly some of their degree programs.

For example, the University of Northumbria, UK, has endorsed the Become a Data Scientist and Become a Data Analyst paths: these can count toward the university master’s degree in data science as equivalent to 20 of the degree’s 180 credits. But there are some caveats.

Caveats & Competition

So far, the credit system we’ve described closely resembles edX’s MicroMasters and Coursera’s MasterTracks. And the similarities don’t stop here. Most notably, completing a Learning Path doesn’t guarantee acceptance into the corresponding degree at the endorsing university: while they might help you get accepted, you still need to apply to the university like anyone else.

But herein also lies a difference. Unlike with MicroMasters, to use a Learning Path toward a degree, finishing the path isn’t enough. You also have to complete an assignment to validate your learning. For instance, the University of Huddersfield, UK, asks for a 2500-word report demonstrating your knowledge and readiness for their degrees. The University of South Australia will even ask you to pay $125 to take their online assessment.

So it’s only after (1) completing the Learning Path, (2) completing the corresponding (sometimes paid) assessment, and finally (3) being accepted into the corresponding university and degree program that you’ll effectively be able to earn academic credit through LinkedIn Learning.

Note that it’s only after spending effort completing (1) and (2), that you’ll find out about (3), since you’ll need to submit your path certificate and assignment when you apply to the university. This isn’t too different from credit transfer in traditional universities: you typically only apply for credit transfer after acceptance. But if you’re rejected, you can try to take your credit elsewhere.

With LinkedIn Learning Paths, by contrast, credit is conditional: it’s tied to a specific institution and program. So if you’re rejected, you might find yourself with a certificate you don’t need and an assessment you can’t use. Your only option to earn academic credit might be to reapply.

Manoel Cortes Mendez Profile Image

Manoel Cortes Mendez

Software engineer and online graduate student in computer science passionate about education, technology, and their intersection.

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