5,000 LinkedIn Learning sessions are free this week

More than half of all the online training courses available in LinkedIn's Learning catalogue are free to all of its 450 million users through the month of October. The number of people who file job applications on the site spikes in October, according to the company's data, so the professional social network is promoting its new training service with a free offer. 

[ Related: LinkedIn Learning puts Lynda.com to work ]

"Chances are you or someone you know is thinking about landing a new gig," wrote Catherine Fisher, LinkedIn's career expert and senior director of corporate communications, in a related post. The "week of learning" promotion kicked off a month after LinkedIn repackaged the training materials from the Lynda.com deal as part of its main service. LinkedIn acquired the company for $1.5 billion in April 2015. 

6 million open jobs on LinkedIn

LinkedIn members can prepare for hiring spikes in early 2017 by learning new skills or reinforcing existing ones, the company says. LinkedIn currently hosts more than 6 million job postings. Members who complete training courses and showcase new skills on their LinkedIn profiles will also show up higher in recruiters' search results, according to the company.

Earlier this month, LinkedIn published its annual list of skills employers most often look for in candidates. The global job-market trends revealed in its "Global Top Skills of 2016" list could help professionals develop in-demand skills for career advancement. Marketing skills were highly sought after last year, for example, but the supply of workers with those skills has since caught up to the demand, according to LinkedIn. Marketing campaign management skills dropped completely off the list, and search engine optimization fell from No. 4 to No. 9. 

Cloud and distributed computing remained in the top spot, followed by statistical analysis and data mining, according to LinkedIn. User-interface design landed in the No. 5 slot, and data visualization jumped to No. 8 on the list. LinkedIn says it analyzed hiring and recruiting activity on its site to identify the users' skills that resulted in new jobs or interest from recruiters. 

[ Related: Why LinkedIn spent big on Lynda.com ]

Roughly 5,000 of the 9,000 courses in the LinkedIn Learning library are available at no cost through the remainder of this week. After the promotional period ends, LinkedIn members can subscribe to one of the site's premium services for ongoing access to training materials. The "Job Seeker" plan is the most affordable subscription service, and it costs $30 per month or $300 a year.

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