Are you looking to upgrade your graphic and design skills without having to go back to school? Lynda.com can be the perfect solution to staying up to date in your field without having to emptying your wallet.
I first heard about the site a few weeks ago, when some friends of ours visited from out of town. I took them to one of my favorite sushi spots in town for lunch and we were discussing projects we were working on. My friend was brushing up on Photoshop for a new job.
She’s wasn’t taking a course at college, she was using a site called Lynda.com for her training. Since I have a pretty tight schedule myself, that caught my attention and I wanted to learn more.
Trying Out Lynda.com For Myself
As you know, one of our goals is to have a location independent source of income that will allow us to pay our monthly expenses. I had been trying to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator through books, but found it hard to stay focused as some of the written instructions were unclear. I’ve learned the basics, but I felt I needed to see the steps and techniques visually so I could pick them up faster and easier.
When I had a problem I went online and found some videos on YouTube and other sites, but nothing that worked well for me. When my friend mentioned Lynda.com, I decided to sign up and try it out myself. The price seemed extremely reasonable ($25-$37/month, see below for more details) and it had whole courses covering the ins and outs of the program.
The vast amount of information was impressive and it was easy to filter it according to the specific Illustrator topic I wanted to cover and my level of expertise.
Who is Lynda.com For?
I would be upfront and tell you that Lynda.com is a fantastic resource for those involved in graphic design and web developers. Over the years they have expanded their courses considerably to include more business, photography, and programming content.
It’s a very competitive job market now, so staying on top of your industry’s software is essential. If you’re a small business or freelancer, it’s even more so. Your competition may be dropping prices to get more business, but if you can add substantial value to your work you can charge accordingly instead lowering your fees.
Since 1997, lynda.com has provided education and technical training solutions for designers, computer graphics specialists, digital media users, and computer owners. lynda.com products include web-based training, instructional books, CD- and DVD-based video training, self-paced online learning, and events for creative designers, instructors, students, and hobbyists. lynda.com specializes in teaching fundamental design and graphics principles along with the latest computer software, digital media technologies, and techniques.
While they seek to offer lessons to benefit anyone with a computer, I think the site especially excels in creative software instruction. The videos are broken down by topic clearly labelled so beginners and experts can find exactly what they need.
Membership Costs for Lynda.com
Lynda.com offers different online subscriptions, either a manageable monthly payment or a discounted annual payment. The online subscription gives you access to 700 training courses with over 100,000 tutorials and instructional video lessons.
According to the site, they add new courses on a weekly basis and I can vouch that they regularly grown their course offerings since I’ve joined. For those thinking of signing up, I’ve included the costs and the benefits of each membership level.
Monthly Membership Subscription
This basic membership comes with access to all the programs online and support
It would take up too much space to list all of the courses on Lynda.com, but I do want to highlight some major ones.
For those looking at improving their productivity at the office, there are also courses on Microsoft Office.
Superb Investment for Creative Professionals
Some people are looking for something cheaper and they’re only brushing up on a very particular topic. I would recommend searching online and seeing if there are any videos on it. You may find some free help there. You should also go ahead to Lynda.com and check out the free access on some of the tutorials to see which works better for you.
I would definitely recommend the program to many in the creative field as its a comprehensive resource that they can access easily for a reasonable price. If you’re serious about improving your education on creative and office software, but don’t have the time and money to attend a course on campus, this is a really good deal for you.
Depending on how much time you can devote to a topic, you can pick up a new skill or master a program in a relatively short time. Check with your employer to see if they would reimburse you for the membership. It doesn’t hurt to ask. If they won’t then you may want to consider if you’ll increase your potential earnings enough with Lynda.com.
Thoughts on Lynda.com
How many of you are Lynda.com members? How many of you work part-time or full time in the creative industry? I’d also want to hear your stories on being a successful freelancer. What have you’ve found extremely helpful to growing your business?