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Change To Come: Microsoft Acquires LinkedIn

by Meg Conlan


Article excerpt

How Will Microsoft’s Acquisition of LinkedIn Affect Higher Ed?

As soon as Microsoft announced its $26.2 billion deal to purchase professional networking site LinkedIn, members of the higher education community started wondering: What does it mean for us? Speculations center around Microsoft’s stated intentions for the popular online learning platform,, which LinkedIn acquired in 2015.

Our take

The Microsoft/LinkedIn Alignment: Threat or Opportunity?

While it’s yet unclear exactly how Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn might affect higher ed, most believe that it will. Whether that will come in the form of head-to-head competition in the higher ed marketplace, or through aggressive entry into the fragmented corporate space is up for debate, although many believe Microsoft would be unlikely to compete with its own higher ed customers. What might this new alignment mean for you?

While it may not mean head-to-head competition, at least one education expert suggests that it could result in a more rapid move to unbundle traditional degree programs in colleges and universities to focus more on competency-based certifications. Not all impacts will necessarily be negative, though. Schools at the higher ed and K-12 levels may also be able to take advantage of some of these potential educational offerings to augment their own curriculum.