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Using Lynda.com to Improve Your Software Skills

A few months ago, I stumbled upon a great tutorial site called Lynda.com, thanks to a very talented and partly self-taught designer friend.  He had used some of the more advanced Lynda design tutorials to take his formal education a couple steps further, and he encouraged me to try out some of their beginner courses to improve my software skills.

Here at Stryve Group, we get stuff done. But with multiple moving parts involved with each client and a very busy team, the occasional bottleneck is inevitable. Knee deep in setting up a social media campaign, I often wished I knew the ins and outs of Photoshop so I could take care of quick rounds of revisions rather than derail our designer’s workflow just to add some copy or  swap out an image.

The “Up and Running with Photoshop CS6” course offered by Lynda covered all of the basics I needed to know from navigating Photoshop’s interface and working with shortcuts, to what each of the tools can do and how to use them effectively.  The 11 modules were well organized and took me less than four hours in total to complete.  And even better, it was self-paced so I was able to complete parts of it as I found time to spare during my day.

Who can benefit from Lynda.com?

I see value in using Lynda for a range of purposes, whether you’re looking to learn brand new software skills, brush up on existing ones, expand your skill set, or even fill a temporary resource gap on your team.  Their videos are conveniently organized by skill level so that beginners, intermediates, and advanced users can find appropriate courses.

What types of courses does Lynda.com offer?

Lynda’s 1,899 courses and 98,000 tutorials led by well-vetted pro’s are categorized into nine broad topics: 3D + Animation, Audio, Business, Design, Developer, Documentaries, Photography, Video, and Web.  You can also look up courses by software and find courses relating to almost 400 software applications. Remember, it’s not just the “nerdy” stuff — for business users there are courses on a bunch of useful topics like management skills, boosting productivity, career development, and delivering pitches and keynote speeches.

What’s the damage?

You can get your feet wet and decide if Lynda is for you by starting with their 7-day free trial. Like their paid memberships, you can access as many tutorials and courses as you want, anytime. Beyond those 7 days, memberships are broken down like this:

  • Monthly subscription: $25/month – You can cancel and reactivate at any time, only committing for one month at a time.
  • Monthly premium subscription: $37.50/month – A premium subscription provides you access to “project files” that match the ones used in the videos so you can follow along and actually put directions into practice.  Personally, I found this useful during my beginner Photoshop course as I was able to make sure that what I did looked like what the instructor had done.  If you’re a more seasoned user, you will probably find the basic subscription sufficient.
  • Annual subscription: $250/year – If you see yourself using Lynda on an ongoing basis, you can save $50/year (two “free” months) by committing to an annual membership.
  • Annual premium subscription: $375/year – This is the same deal as the basic annual subscription, but with project files included and savings of $75/year (two “free” months).

The bottom line:

A Lynda.com membership can be a very valuable asset for a busy professional looking to keep their mind and software skills sharp.  Continuous learning is a healthy and effective way to compete in any industry, and at $25/month, Lynda is a bargain.

Have you tried Lynda? Let us know what you thought!

Chloe Rolph

Senior Account Manager

Chloe is a PPC advertising pro, and loves to cook up healthy & delicious meals.