On-demand Online Training Programs: STEM and Beyond

Finding yourself quarantined at home with more time on your hands?

Written by Mark Pond, Business Research Librarian, Spokane Public Library

Based on data from the World Economic Forum, one third of core job skills will change in the next 5 years.

We’ve all heard such sentiments before but let’s pause for a moment and think through the implications of that reality.

This means Spokane’s businesses will need an ever-more nimble and skilled workforce to remain competitive regionally, nationally and globally. The days of learning a single task or skill and then repeating that for an entire career are well behind us.

This situation leaves our local businesses in a bind. There are multiple case studies showing how retaining employees and lowering staff turnover can benefit both employees and employers. Rather than constantly hiring the new talent needed for the future, how can Spokane businesses train up their existing staff so those skills can be developed in-house?

Ten years ago, I would have said the answer might surprise you. But we’ve come a long way and there is a solid population of local businesses who already know the answer: their local public library.

The Spokane Public Library, the Spokane County Library District and the Liberty Lake Library all subscribe to a slew of business and workforce development tools but there is one in particular worth calling out: (*soon changing its name to LinkedIn Learning).

Owned by LinkedIn, is an online, on-demand education and training platform offering over 7,900 courses that local skill-builders can engage with at their preferred location at their preferred time. All for the price of a library card. Which is a coy way of saying these courses are free. As in, already paid for by your library.

Is there a front office staff needing to be certified as Microsoft Excel Specialists? There are six courses within for a combined total of 25 hours of Excel instruction and deep, deep dives into the spreadsheet world. Need to get someone on staff trained up to become a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®? 23 hours of expert-created video tutorials await. Need to learn how to become a Python developer? 33 hours of instruction are on tap. Need to develop a staff member to become the local expert on effectively running a Google Ad campaign? There’s a 3 hour and 7 minute long course just for that.

With each completed course, offers certificates of completion. Learners can then post their accomplishments and highlight their new skills directly on LinkedIn. And now it’s a two-way street: businesses need to make sure they are doing all they can to retain their newly developed talent because that employee can now easily be found by a recruiter via a LinkedIn search. Businesses, treat your talent well.

To get access to (and way, way more) feel free to either reach out to Mark directly at the contact information below. He would be happy to get you pointed in the right direction with and a host of other top-shelf business development tools.

Mark Pond
Business Research Librarian


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