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LinkedIn was already a place for tracking skills. Now it’s becoming a place for acquiring them.

The company’s agreement to buy online training site Lynda.com for $1.5 billion, announced this morning, aims to expand LinkedIn’s influence as the go-to service for career and professional development.

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner

In a post on LinkedIn this morning, CEO Jeff Weiner explained how the company sees Lynda fitting with its existing strategy and user base.

“LinkedIn has the members, the jobs, a unique understanding of the skills required to do those jobs, and a publishing platform that can be accessed by roughly 350 million people to share professionally relevant knowledge,” he wrote. “lynda.com’s service has the premium library of skills-based courses. Together, we can bring opportunities and access to knowledge that everyone deserves.”

This is the latest in a series of professional services that LinkedIn has been adding over time, such as its earlier acquisition of SlideShare and its publishing feature.

The acquisition of lynda.com positions LinkedIn to offer and suggest work-related courses tailored to a user’s profile, said GeekWire columnist Frank Catalano, an education technology consultant who wrote about lynda.com’s latest $186 million investment round amid record spending on education technology.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they follow this with a better way to indicate and share on a LinkedIn profile that a formal online course has been successfully completed, in a way that another user or employer could confirm,” he said. “That may be the next shoe to drop.”

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