Learning meets networking in the industry's newest acquisition. (Photo by Nan Palmero, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.)
Today, LinkedIn Corp. announced it has agreed to buy Lynda.com, an online learning company based in Carpinteria, California, in a deal valued at $1.5 billion. The deal is expected to close second quarter this year, and LinkedIn will pay some 52 percent in cash and 48 percent stock for the company.
It’s an appropriate match; Lynda.com specializes in courses and video tutorials on technology and business skills. In a brief from MarketWatch, LinkedIn’s Chief Executive Jeff Weiner said the company’s extensive library of premium video content will help empower people to develop the skills they need to accelerate their careers. “When integrated with the hundreds of millions of members and millions of jobs on LinkedIn, Lynda.com can change the way in which people connect to opportunity.”
Video-based content is an increasingly important delivery system not just for learning, but for media and information in general. It makes sense that one of the world’s premier job sites would acquire an organization that can advance its career development strategy.
In a blog post discussing the deal, Weiner talked about “the need to transition from a 20th century approach heavily reliant on rote learning to a 21st century curriculum focused on collaboration, critical reasoning and creative problem solving; provide more opportunities for experiential vs. textbook learning … and provide today's students with the skills they need to obtain the jobs that are and will be vs. the jobs that once were.”
He also said he believes every student who “wants to learn should have access to a quality education and not need to win a lottery to attend the right school.” LinkedIn, he said, provides the other piece of the educational equation — access to economic opportunity that will help meet the growing skills gap challenging the global economy.
Lynda.com co-founder Lynda Weinman echoed his thoughts, saying the two companies share the same vision to connect with and provide relevant knowledge for any one of LinkedIn’s 350 million users who is in need of new or stronger skills.
“This is a moment in history when people can learn anytime, anywhere, and with no boundaries,” Weinman wrote. “We believe in LinkedIn’s future stewardship and vision, and feel that we have found a perfect cultural fit for our mission. We are thrilled to be part of something bigger than ourselves, and look forward to helping more people learn the skills that are needed in today’s rapidly changing economic landscape.”