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The University of Southampton
Doctoral College

LinkedIn and LinkedIn Learning for Doctoral Researchers

Curated by Ellie Atayee-Bennett, PhD Researcher in Sociology, University of Southampton

February LinkedIn Learning Challenge

Throughout February we are running a LinkedIn Learning Challenge, so why not take part? It’s quick, it’s fun, and it helps with professional development. So how does it work? Spend a few minutes each weekday watching training videos that will help you as a doctoral researcher and beyond.

 Download the calendar as a PDF for ease of reference and for additional links.

PDF Cheat Sheets

Haven’t got LinkedIn? Have it but need to update it? Download these cheat sheets and get the most from LinkedIn right away.

Creating your LinkedIn Profile
Using LinkedIn Effectively
LinkedIn Learning

How can LinkedIn and LinkedIn Learning help Doctoral Researchers?

LinkedIn is an online platform that connects professionals. Many employers now turn to LinkedIn to find prospective candidates and many professionals are using it to look for jobs, network with others and improve their career prospects. It is also gaining popularity among researchers. So how can it help doctoral researchers?

Do you have a LinkedIn account yet? If not, check out the cheat sheet above and set yours up now.

What about LinkedIn Learning?

LinkedIn Learning, a subsidiary of LinkedIn previously known as, is an online platform offering a wide range of video courses which are grouped into the categories of Business, Creative, and Technology. As a University of Southampton student, you have free access to LinkedIn Learning – all you need is a LinkedIn account. On LinkedIn Learning there are over 16,000 courses available in 7 different languages and over 50 courses are added every single week. As you can probably imagine, this resource has a wealth of knowledge! So, how can it help a doctoral researcher.

You can download the LinkedIn Learning app onto your phone and listen to trainings at any time or place (I like to listen while I am cooking or doing household chores!), and since many videos are very short, at only a few minutes each, it is very easy to pick up and put down.

So how do you incorporate learning into your busy schedule? Follow these easy top tips and you’ll be learning in no time! 

  1. Start small. Even 10 minutes a day or half an hour a week is hugely beneficial. If you manage an hour a week, that’s 52 hours of learning per year, and just think how much new knowledge you could absorb in that time.
  2. Put aside some time in your weekly schedule. Add this to your diary or your online calendar and set yourself reminders. Perhaps you could commit to 10 minutes of learning over coffee break or you could set aside an hour every Friday afternoon. Do what works for you.
  3. Think about what you want to learn. Perhaps you have some strengths you want to develop, or some weaknesses you want to eradicate. Perhaps you want to learn skills relevant to your field or learn something entirely new. Jot down some notes and begin searching for courses that interest you.
  4. Commit! When the time comes, don’t make excuses. Know that any learning will help you to develop into a better you so it is time well spent. Prioritise your learning time and do not let anyone or anything interrupt.
  5. Make notes. Making notes not only helps you to retain knowledge, but it’s also a useful exercise as it enables you to return to them at a later date. To make life easier for yourself, keep all of your notes in a central, easily accessible place, such as OneNote or EverNote.

Find Out More

Be sure to check out the LinkedIn Learning at Southampton page, a hugely valuable resource and excellent starting point.

You can read below what Ellie has to say about how LinkedIn and LinkedIn Learning have been so incredibly beneficial to her during her doctoral studies. 

LinkedIn and LinkedIn Learning offer many benefits for doctoral researchers, as I have found out personally. I only updated my LinkedIn account and discovered LinkedIn Learning last year, but already I have benefited hugely from these two platforms. With LinkedIn, I have been able to connect with academics and other PhD researchers across the globe and with LinkedIn Learning, I have been able to work towards my professional development, despite the difficult circumstances we are all living in.

When the first lockdown came into effect, professional development opportunities became severely limited and I felt like time was passing but I had no growth to show for it. Also as a mum of two under 5 I was really struggling to find both opportunities and time for professional development. It wasn't easy to sit down with live trainings or courses that required my attention for considerable amounts of time.

When I discovered LinkedIn Learning, I was impressed by not only the wealth of knowledge available, but also the easy format that the courses come in. I downloaded the app on my phone and was able to listen on the go - usually while cooking and cleaning since these tasks never seem to end with kids around!! With videos only a few minutes long, it was so easy to pick it up and put it down as needed.

Fast forward a few months, I have now completed a range of courses and have already noticed improvements in my skills. For example, I have adopted new strategies to make myself more time efficient and I have improved my communication skills in a variety of ways, such as learning assertiveness. Having experienced first-hand the benefits that LinkedIn Learning offers, I will definitely be including LinkedIn Learning in my weekly schedule for the rest of my PhD.

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