PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING site LinkedIn Corp. said it entered into a partnership with Microsoft Corp. to offer free courses and affordable certifications to boost participants’ employability in what it characterized as a “skills-based economy.”

In a statement Wednesday, LinkedIn said it will offer the LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn courses until the end of the year. The free online courses and low-cost certifications are configured to suit the 10 most in-demand jobs as ranked by LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is also launching LinkedIn Skills Path, which helps recruiters connect and assess with the LinkedIn Learning courses and lead them to hire suitable candidates.

LinkedIn Managing Director and Vice-President for Asia Pacific and China Olivier Legrand said in a statement that skills are the “new currency” especially in the future of work, which makes it crucial to continuously improve on them. 

“LinkedIn, together with Microsoft, is committed to helping everyone shift towards a skills-based economy. In 2021, we will continue our efforts to equip job seekers with the right resources to pick up new skills and connect them to opportunities, as well as aim to help 250,000 organizations make a skills-first hire,” he said.

LinkedIn will also offer a Microsoft Teams app called Career Coach, aimed to guide college students in their career path of choice by helping discover their interests and goals. 

LinkedIn will also offer Microsoft Career Connector, which hopes to job-match 50,000 employment seekers to technology-related positions. 

Last year, LinkedIn said it helped over 5 million people build new digital skills through other initiatives with Microsoft. — Gillian M. Cortez