LinkedIn’s acquisition of the online-education site sets up the professional social network for its own midlife career change—from your job-seeking assistant to your job-training aide.

See also: Founder: I Was Educating Online Before Online Education Was Cool

Of course, LinkedIn has been expanding from its original professional-networking roots for some time. Over the past several years, it’s turned itself into a major online publisher featuring regular career-related posts from ordinary members and “influencers” like Bill Gates and Deepak Chopra alike. It has also rolled out a number of interesting career-related tools, such as one that compares your trajectory to other people like you so that you can predict where your career might be taking you.

But with its latest purchase—LinkedIn’s largest to date, at $1.5 billion—the network makes it possible for professionals to both identify skills they may need going forward, and then to acquire them quickly via’s online training. The idea is clearly to turn the site into a sort of one-stop shop for all your career needs.

Founded in 1995 by technical author Lynda Weinman and co-founder Bruce Heavin, offers thousands of courses for learning technical, business and online-media skills. These courses, taught by industry professionals, instruction in everything from Photoshop, HTML and CSS to foreign languages and professional topics such as “integrated marketing.”

Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn’s director of content, describes it this way:

Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, like Denver, and then to be prompted to take the relevant and accredited course to help you acquire this skill.

Lead photo by Mambembe Arts & Crafts