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As a freelance graphic design, I’m always looking for online resources and courses to keep my skills up to date. That’s how I came across Skillshare, because of its focus on creative classes, I knew from its library of 34,000+courses(or as they say classes) it had to have more than one that I would be interested in.
Skillshare was founded in New York back in 2010 by two veterans of the digital world, Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong. With more than 600K+ learners, it has become one of the most popular online learning platforms for creative professionals and entrepreneurs.
If you don’t have time to read our detailed review, then please check out of video below to give you a summary of what Skillshare is all about.
If you have time to read on, I explain all about my experience in this comprehensive and honestSkillshare review, without further ado, let’s get stuck in.
Even though you have to commit to Skillshare’s plan for a year, when you work it out monthly at ($13.99) its affordable compared to other online learning platforms.
Skillshare offers a free trial on its Premium membership, so you can enjoy the full learning experience before financially committing.
Skillshare has a highly engaged community, this can make its classes interactive and fun.
Big pool of classes
Skillshare offers thousands of classes, on topics that include illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing and much more. I think it will be hard for you to get bored with the selection.
Skillshare’s courses focus on developing practical skills using hands-on projects, which is a really engaging way to learn.
If you are looking to deepen your skillset with a set of curated classes for beginners to advanced learners.
Skillshare has 11K teachers and some of its classes are taught by industry leaders Youtuber Marques Brownlee and Photographer Amelie Satzger.
There isn’t any type of official (or non official) certification awarded when you finish a course. It’s a platform for personal growth.
Since anyone can create their own course at Skillshare the available courses’ quality can vary from course to course.
Only Available In English
Although Skillshare welcomes courses in any language, in reality, there isn’t much on offer in languages other than English.
The Skillshare Premium Membership only allows you to pay for its subscription annually.
Skillshare Review Verdict
Skillshare is an online learning platform, providing more than 34K+ classes covering a wide selection of creative fields such as animation, illustration, music, photography and much more. It offers a subscription plan, that gives users unlimited access to the platform charging $168 (equivalent to $13.99 per month). A free trial is available upon initial sign-up to Skillshare, enabling you to explore the platform before committing financially, and you won’t be charged if you decide to cancel within the first 14 days. Skillshare is an ideal platform for creatives, entrepreneurs or those eager to acquire new skills and broaden their knowledge in creative sectors. Its community encourages user interaction, collaboration and support, whether it’s providing feedback or sharing their final work with their peers. Besides the individual annual plan, Skillshare also offers ‘Skillshare Teams’, a plan priced at $159 per user per year, tailored for teams and businesses. The plan is adaptable to suit teams or businesses of any stage, structure or size. Scholarships and Financial aid are available for qualifying learners. Its free trial is a great place to start, be mindful that you’ll need to add your card details to get access to Skillshare’s free trial.
Who Is Skillshare For?
Skillshare is aimed at creatives who want to develop new skills or improve existing ones. Since its classes focus on topics like illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing and much more naturally it appeals to; creative workers (e.g. designers, chefs, artists, etc.), entrepreneurs(e.g. marketers or SEOs), freelancers or small businesses who all want to take the next step in their creative journey.
Skillshare Welcome Back
What Does Skillshare Offer?
Skillshare offers 34,000+ courses, that all fit under Skillshares 4 main categories; Creative, Business, Technology and Lifestyle. In case you can’t find what you are looking for under its main categories, you can browse using its subcategories. On top of its individual courses, you can access Skillshares learning paths, ChromaCourses and much more.
Skillshare Learning Paths
Skillshare Learning Paths is designed to help you achieve your learning goals with hand-picked sequential classes that will deepen your skill set with a set of curated classes that build on one another. The learning paths are available in a range of experience levels from beginner to advanced.
Skillshare has recently introduced four-week, immersive small group courses called ChromaCourse. The idea of it is to give a small group of learners access to exclusive content from expert teachers with live Q&As that get personalized feedback on your assignments.
Anyone can enroll on a Chroma Course, you don’t need to be a Skillshare member. All you need is access to Slack and Zoom, so you can participate in the live sessions. New Chroma Courses are launched each month and if you find the course you would like to join is full, there is the option to join the waiting list. You can purchase a Chroma Course with a debit or credit card, and then you will receive confirmation of purchase in your email.
Skillshare offers a digital event series, so you can learn alongside Skillshare teachers and fellow creatives. Anyone is free to join a Skillshare live session by registering through Eventbrite, you don’t need an active Skillshare membership to join. If you are looking to deepen your creative skills, be inspired by a Skillshare teacher or reach your creative goals, it’s worth checking them out.
Skillshare is an online learning community that believes in the importance of its members being able to come together to find inspiration, connect with one another and take the next steps into their creative journey.
Collaboration is a key part of the Skillshare platform. It has tamed up with some Skillshare teachers to bring you Groups. The Groups are broken up into 4 categories Creative, Technology, Business and Lifestyle.
The Groups are an opportunity for you to connect with other creators, share your work, and take your skills to the next level. By joining a Group, you’ll be able to connect with other Skillshare members in your industry, by asking questions, sharing your work, giving and receiving feedback or simply discuss your interests. If you have a free account you can join groups, but members with a Premium paid account can post in them.
Skillshare members can post the work they have been creating which can then be commented on and liked by other Skillshare members. It’s an ideal way to connect with others and share your work in an inspiring and creative community.
If you are someone who is looking for an online learning platform with a focus on community and connecting with members then Skillshare is the platform for you.
Originally, the Skillshare community was primarily English speakers, but it now reaches a much larger global community. So, that is why it now offering its content in four additional languages including German, Spanish, French and Portuguese. It is in the process of localizing its catalog of classes for all these languages.
Skillshare Language Menu
For its English speaking classes subtitles will accompany the class in the chosen language of the user. Just make sure that you select the right language in the Class Details section of the Class Creator.
Skillshare for Teams
Skillshare isn’t just an online learning platform for individuals, it offers a plan for teams and businesses. This plan is designed for teams or businesses of any size and designed to develop their creative skills.
Skillshare for teams: A plan that gives users a personalized experience with unlimited access to Skillshare’s 34,000+ classes, the ability to watch classes offline and detailed reporting and analytics.
However, if you are after some sort of formal education (or certificate), Skillshare won’t be a good match as it doesn’t offer certificates, and it doesn’t partner with accredited Universities or Companies. If that is what you are looking for, we suggest checking out Coursera.
How Much Is Skillshare?
Skillshare has a simple pricing model, its plans are all subscription based. Its premium plan for individual learners gives you unlimited access to its 34,000+ classes, which you can watch when and where you want. A team plan is also available for your team or business.
Skillshare Premium designed for individual learners is billed annually. The yearly cost is $167.88 (working out at $13.99 a month). As soon as you sign up for the annual membership you will need to enter your credit/debit or PayPal details, but you won’t be charged until the free trial ends. If you do decide that Skillshare Premium isn’t for you, you can cancel at anytime during your free trial, and you won’t be charged anything.
The cost of the Skillshare subscription plan is similar to that of the MasterClass platform, if you want to read a comparison on the two platforms, check out our Skillshare vs MasterClass article here.
In some cases, users may have signed up to a 30-day money-back guarantee offer, can request a refund up to 30 days after payment.
Be aware that Skillshare will not be able to cancel, refund, or manage subscriptions bought through apps like the iOS App Store or Google Play.
Cancel your membership
After you cancel your membership, your Skillshare account will be active for the remaining days of your membership plan. When your membership expires, you’ll lose access to your class videos and any downloadable material. If you change your mind you’re able to reactivate your membership plan at anytime.
Skillshare for Teams is designed for creative learning, developing the skills of your team or business.
Skillshare for Teams: $159 per user annually
Skillshare for Teams Pricing
The Skillshare for Teams is billed annually per user and there is no monthly option. The memberships are designed to provide flexibility for your organization. You have the option to add users to your account if your team grows.
Skillshare offers different Scholarships ranging from 50% off a membership for College and University students to furloughed workers in the UK. If you meet the requirements, then you are eligible to apply for the scholarship.
The application process is pretty straightforward, all you need to do is add your name, email and explain why you are applying for the Skillshare Scholarship. You will then be notified via email if you are successful.
When you click on Browse in the top-left corner you will see that Skillshare has divided its creative classes into 3 main categories Create, Build and Thrive (see image below).
Create: Animation, Creative Writing, Film & Video, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Music, Photography, UI/UX Design and Web Development.
Build: Business Analytics, Freelance & Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Management and Marketing.
Thrive: Lifestyle and Productivity
Skillshare offers thousands of free classes in all the areas listed above, so it is an ideal way for you to try out its courses. Plus the free trial on the Skillshare Premium plan gives you full access to its library of classes and courses.
Skillshare classes are not designed around a fixed format. Some of its classes are short and sweet around 10 minutes, whereas others run for longer hours even and can have up to 50 short videos. All its classes have assignments and encourage its learner to share their projects and learning along the way, and it encourages engagement with the Skillshare community.
Skillshare offers a couple of types of classes, the Skillshare Original and other Skillshare classes that are created by individuals. The Skillshare Originals are courses which Skillshare produce, and they normally collaborate with partners like Moz and Havenly. As well as these partners it also likes to work with celebrities or influencers who have a decent following like Marques Brownlee (YouTuber, Pocaster, Tech Head) and Ali Abdaal (Doctor & YouTuber). I actually took one of Ali Abdaal classes you can read about my experience here.
Under each class video are some features that help to deepen your learning which include About, Teacher, Class Ratings, Hands-on Class Project and Resources and Transcripts.
The About section gives a summary of the class, what the lessons will cover and most importantly what skills you will learn from taking this class.
A small blurb about the teacher teaching the class will tell you about their experience and background. In some cases, you may already be familiar with your teacher, but if not this gives you a well-rounded overview of who they are.
The class ratings are a good indication for new users about an insight into the class. You can check out the Expectations of previous users and read comments left by them, this may help your decision-making whether you want to take the class or not.
Examples Of Popular Skillshare Classes
Let’s checkout some of the most popular classes that users are enjoying at Skillshare, I have highlighted the top classes based on each category.
The Beginner’s Guide to After Effects – Taught by Jake Bartlett, a Motion Designer. This class is beginner-friendly and is for anyone interested in the world of motion design and is a comprehensive course covering everything you need to know to start creating animations in Adobe After Effects. It covers topics Panels & Workspaces, Resolution, Frame Rates, Combining Effects and much more. This class has been watched by over 12,000 students with 80% of students who said the course exceeded their expectations.
Blender 3D: Your First 3D Character – Taught by Remington Markham, a Motion and Animation Designer. This class is beginner-friendly, and you will design, model, and texture your own 3D character. This course will cover skills traditionally used in animation, motion design, video game design and some VFX. This class has been watched by over 12,500 students with 80% of positive feedback.
Creative Writing: Crafting Personal Essays with Impact – Taught by Roxane Gay, a Writer & Editor. This class is for all levels and is a one-hour masterclass that is an insightful and inspiring look at how to transform your story into a powerful personal essay. You will learn how to craft your personal voice and write to connect with people. This class has been enjoyed by close to 30,000 students with 70% of students who said this course exceeded their expectations.
Writing for Self-Discovery: 6 Journaling Prompts for Gratitude and Growth – Taught by Yasmine Cheyenne, a Writer, Speaker, Self-Healing Advocate. This class is for all levels and is made up of 12 video lessons. You will discover the power of journaling to cultivate confidence, mindfulness and growth by transforming your life in just 10 minutes a day. You’ll gain tools and frameworks through six meditative writing prompts. This class has been enjoyed by over 22,500 students with 80% of positive feedback.
Film & Video
Video Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro for Beginners – Taught by Jordy Vandeput, a Filmmaker and Youtuber. This class is beginner-friendly where you will learn how to take your creative ideas into amazing videos with Adobe Premiere Pro. You will learn a solid basis of Premiere Pro which allows you to perform basic edits, create custom graphics and texts, mix audio from speech, music, sound effects and much more. This class has been watched by over 71,000 students with over 60% of students saying the course exceeded their expectations.
YouTube Success: Build an Authentic Channel That’s Worth the Follow – Taught by Sorelle Amore, a Youtuber, Videographer and Photographer. This class is beginner-friendly, and you will learn tips and techniques for building up a devoted online following. You will learn how to find your topic niche and evolve it over time, prioritize authenticity over beauty, create a posting schedule and much more. This class has been watched by over 35,500 students with 60% of students say the course exceeded their expectations.
The Art of Science of Drawing – Taught by Brent Eviston, a Master Artist & Instructor. This class is beginner-friendly and designed for aspiring painters, graphic designers, illustrators and artists of all types. In this course you’ll learn how to use the pencil like an artist, how to draw any shape and how to analyze and draw any subject by simplifying it into a basic shapes. This class has been watched by over 56,000 students with over 60% of students say the course exceeded their expectations.
Acrylic Painting: Learn the Basics for Beginners – Taught by LaurieAnne Gonzalez, a Youtuber, Videographer and Photographer. This class is beginner-friendly and is broken down into 6 categories: Your Workspace, Color Mixing, Brushes, Texture (Acrylic Mediums), Dimension and Depth of Field. At the end of this class, you will have all the skills you need to begin painting. This class has been watched by over 21,000 students with 50% of students saying the course exceeded their expectations.
Adobe Photoshop CC – Essentials Training Course – Taught by Daniel Scott, an Adobe Certified Trainer. This class is beginner-friendly and will teach you everything you need to know about getting started with Photoshop. By the end of this course you’ll have the skills to retouch photographs, distort, transform and manipulate images and much more. This class has been watched by over 63,000 students with over 70% of students say the course exceeded their expectations.
Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design – Taught by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips, co-directors of the Graphic Design MFA program at MICA. This class is beginner-friendly and will give you a solid foundation and core principles of graphic design. You’ll learn and define 5 basic design principles, critique your work for effectiveness and balance and apply each core concept in future projects. This class has been watched by over 106,000 students with 80% of students sharing positive feedback.
Digital Illustration: Learn to Use Procreate – Taught by Jarom Vogel, a Digital Illustrator. This class is beginner-friendly where you’ll learn how to use Procreate on your iPad to create digital artwork. The key lessons in this course include: setting up your first canvas, using select tool, brushes and erasers, creating and organizing your layers, adding color, textures, and effects. This class has been watched by over 115,000 students with over 50% of students say the course exceeded their expectations.
Intro to Procreate: Illustrating on the iPad (UPDATED) – Taught by Brooke Glaser, Illustrator and Children’s Designer. This class is beginner-friendly and will cover all the hidden tools and gestures you need to make creating digital illustrations easy and fun. By the time you finish this class, creating digital illustrations will feel intuitive and natural as drawing with pencil and paper. This class has been watched by over 67,000 students with 65% of students say the course exceeded their expectations.
Learn How to Mix Music with Young Guru – Taught by Young Guru, Grammy-Nominated, Legendary Audio Engineer. This class is for intermediate level learner and the class is made up of four sections which include: Organizing a Mix, Determining Levels, Adding Effects and Tonal Balance. This class has been watched by over 23,000 students with 50% of students say the course exceeded their expectations.
SINGING MADE EASY (Level 1): Complete Vocal Training System – Taught by GB Voice Academy, Voice Coach. This class is beginner-friendly and this course will provide you with a wealth of information and tools to bring your singing voice to the next level. Some of what you will learn are expanding your vocal range, how to properly warm up your voice, how to utilize your breath efficiently, how to sing with more emotion and feeling and much more. This class has been watched by over 22,000 students with over 60% of students say the course exceeded their expectations.
Fundamentals of DSLR Photography – Taught by Justin Bridges, Fashion and Portrait Photographer. This class is beginner-friendly, an introductory photography class where you’ll learn how to manually balance shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to achieve perfect exposure. You’ll also learn Justin’s go-to camera settings, must-have gear and recommendations on a budget. This class has been watched by over 86,000 students with over 65% of students say the course exceeded their expectations.
iPhone Photography: How to Take Pro Photos On Your iPhone – Taught by Dale McManus, a Photographer and Videographer. This class is beginner-friendly and will teach you everything you need to be a professional digital photographer. In this course you’ll learn plenty of tips and tricks that you can use during every day shooting to make your photos stand out from the rest. Some of what you’ll learn is how to take stunning photos by utilizing shot composition, how to create depth in your photography, how to professionally edit photos in Lightroom and much more. This class has been watched by over 95,000 students with over 60% of students say the course exceeded their expectations.
User Experience Design Essentials – Adobe XD UI UX Design – Taught by Daniel Scott, an Adober Certified Trainer. This class is beginner-friendly, and you’ll learn the difference between UX and UI Design. You’ll learn the essential tools necessary for creating excellent wireframes, including type, colours, icons and much more. This class has been watched by over 21,000 students with over 70% of students who said the course exceeded their expectations.
Intro to UX: Designing with a User-Centered Approach – Taught by Cinthya Mohr, Sr. UX Manager @ Google. This class is beginner-friendly and Cinthya will teach you to look at the user’s experience with your product, so you can create designs that serve your user effectively. By the end of the class, you’ll have the tools you need to design digital products that keep your users engaged and give you the results you’re looking for. This class has been watched by over 7,500 students with nearly 50% of learners saying it exceeded their expectations.
Responsive Web Design Essentials – HTML5 CSS3 Bootstrap – Taught by Daniel Scott, an Adobe Certified Trainer. This class is beginner-friendly, and you’ll learn how to build professional responsive web sites, which look good on mobiles, tablets and desktop screens. You’ll build 4 sites together; a simple but elegant restaurant website, a bike repair website, a responsive portfolio website and a Bootstrap website. This class has been watched by over 6,500 students with close to 80% of students who said the course exceeded their expectations.
Coding for Beginners 1: You Can Code!– Taught by Applause Interactive, Digital Skills for Life. This class is beginner-friendly and has been designed as a generic, foundation level course, to introduce you to many of the common coding concepts that you’ll go on to use in whichever programming language you choose to learn next. This class has been watched by over 8,000 students with over 60% of learners saying it exceeded their expectations.
Microsoft Excel Essentials: Level 1 Basics – Master Excel Step-By-Step – Learn Excel Fundamentals – Taught by Alan Jarvis, a master of Excel. This class is beginner-friendly, and you’ll learn the fundamentals of Excel. In this class you will concentrate on building a single complete project from scratch, using all the basic functions and give you a thorough understanding. This class has been watched by over 13,000 students with over 60% of students saying the course exceeded their expectations.
Fundamentals of Google Analytics– Taught by Jeff Sauer, Google Analytics Strategist. This class is beginner-friendly, and you will learn to get the most out of your website data with Google Analytics. You will learn about user demographics to creating the perfect dashboard and each lesson is packed with actionable tips and tricksto help you articulate your goals. This class has been watched by over 13,000 students with close to 50% of students saying the course exceeded their expectations.
Freelance & Entrepreneurship
Stock Market Fundamentals – Taught by Zac Hartley, an Entrepreneur and Day Trader. This class is beginner-friendly and perfect for someone interested in getting into day trading, swing trading or dividend investing and all the fundamentals are covered to getting started. This class has been watched by over 2,000 students with over 80% of students saying the course exceeded their expectations.
Make a Living as an Artist: Strategies for Crafting Your Creative Business – Taught by Brooke Glaser, Illustrator and Children’s Designer. The class is for all levels, and if you’re starting your first art business, then this class is for you. It is a fun, practical and comprehensive guide to making money as an artist. This class has been watched by over 21,000 students with over 75% of students saying the course exceeded their expectations.
Leadership & Management
Presentation Essentials: How to Share Ideas That Inspire Action – Taught by Simon Sinek, Optimist and Author. This class is for all levels, and you will learn Sinek’s secrets for giving a presentation that audiences love, remember, and repeat. You’ll learn how to identify your passions, speak with conviction and master public speaking and transform nerves into natural energy. This class has been watched by over 55,000 students with more than 50% of students saying the course exceeded their expectations.
Communication Skills: Become More Clear, Concise, & Confident – Taught by Alex Lyon, Communication Professor. The class is for all levels, and is here to help leaders develop clear, concise, and confident communication. The communication skills you’ll learn can be applied to one-on-one conversations, team meetings, and presentations. This class has been watched by over 6,500 students with more than 50% of students saying the course exceeded their expectations.
Social Media Marketing: Top Tips for Growing Your Followers & Going Viral – Taught by Cat Coquillete, Artist, Entrepreneur and Educator. This class is beginner-friendly and someone wanting to learn strategies for using social media to grow follows and to cultivate a strong brand. The focus will be on social media platforms: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. This class has been watched by over 48,000 students with close to 50% of students saying the course exceeded their expectations.
Growing Your Creative Business Through Instagram – Taught by Cat Coquillete, Artist, Entrepreneur and Educator. The class is for all levels and for any creatives (artists, designers, illustrators, photographers, content creators) who are looking to grow their brand successfully on Instagram. You’ll learn strategies for driving sales, tips for photographing your work, content and caption brainstorming ideas, advice for growing followers and much more. This class has been watched by over 13,000 students with more than 60% of students saying the course exceeded their expectations.
Learn Anything With Flashcards – The Ultimate Guide to Anki – Taught by Ali Abdaal, a Doctor and YouTuber. This class is for all levels and for someone looking for the right tools and techniques for learning. This class provides and extensive walkthrough of the flashcard app Anki, a tool which has made studying more effective, more efficient and less stressful. You will come away from this class with helpful tips and advice. This class has been watched by over 15,500 students with more than 70% of students saying the course exceeded their expectations.
Style Your Space: Creative Tips and Techniques for Interior Design – Taught by Emily Henderson, Stylist, Author and Host. This class is beginner-friendly and for anyone looking for practical ways to create a space that’s uniquely yours. In this class Emily shows 20+ examples of her designs and shares tips on finding your interior style, how to mix and match your favorite styles, implement style trends and choose pieces you’ll love for a lifetime. This class has been watched by over 35,500 students with close to 50% of students saying the course exceeded their expectations.
Productivity Masterclass: Create a Custom System that Works– Taught by Thomas Frank, YouTuber, Author, Entrepreneur. This class is for all levels and will help you transform your personal and professional life by creating a simple, customized productivity system. The key lessons you will take away from this class are task management essentials, how to take (and keep) notes, email tips and tricks and more. This class has been watched by over 93,000 students with more than 50% of students saying the course exceeded their expectations.
Real Productivity: How to Build Habits That Last – Taught by Thomas Frank, YouTuber, Author, Entrepreneur. This class is for all levels and will help you build habits to build yourself up for success and keep yourself on track. You’ll learn to set reasonable and realistic goals, how to handle failure without giving up, a better understanding of habit formation and much more. This class has been watched by over 53,500 students with over 50% of students saying the course exceeded their expectations.
Skillshare has over 8,000+ teachers within its community. If you are looking to teach online and trying to decide on your class topic then Skillshare offers up-to-date teaching resources and teachers tips videos (see image below). You can also join a Skillshare Teachers group to ask questions, share tips, and you can email email@example.com for any specific questions.
As well as all the resources and tips that Skillshare offers for new teachers it also highlights success stories of teachers on its blog to inspire you to build a following, engage with learners and earn a passive income.
Top Skillshare Teachers
Hayden Aube: An illustrator, designer and teacher at Skillshare. Hayden offers a variety of classes from Character Design to Illustration. His classes are short and to the point and the focus is on delivering the most important information that’s going to make the biggest impact on your work. Some of Hayden’s most popular classes are Adobe Illustrator: Design with Gradients, Teach Yourself to Draw Anything: A Step-by-Step Process and Vector Illustration: Playing with Texture.
Mel Armstrong: An illustrator, Pattern Addict and teacher at Skillshare. Mel is obsessed with creating beautiful things, from craft to illustration. Her classes focus on learning pattern design as well as digital illustration. Some of Mel’s most popular classes are Illustrating in Procreate: Draw a fox!, 10 Photoshop Tips for Surface Designers and Surface Pattern Design Fundamentals.
Sean Dalton: A travel and lifestyle photographer and teacher at Skillshare. Sean strives to capture the true essence of a scene with his camera. His classes relate to his travel and lifestyle photography background, but his focus is constantly expanding as he continues to grow as a photographer. Some of Sean’s most popular classes are Photography Essentials: Understanding the Basics, Adobe Lightroom: Finding Your Unique Editing Style and Dark & Moody Food Photography for Instagram Success: Visual Storytelling with Emotional Food Photos.
My initial feelings were that Ali Abdaal (Doctor & YouTuber), who is the teacher of the class, was engaging and was able to explain productivity concepts clearly and concisely. The interface of the class design make it easy for users to move around and find what you are looking for.
The video lesson’s template is very intuitively designed(see image below). You can find all the video lessons and duration on the right side of the video player. Then below the video player is subheadings of the class like About, Reviews, Discussions, Projects & Resources and Transcripts.
This Productivity Masterclass – Principles and Tools to Boost Your Productivity consists of 15 video lessonswhich are all bite sized, with the longest video around 20 minutes long. I particularly enjoyed the video lesson on The Power of Habits as it was one of my favourite classes, I took a lot away from it, especially about how once something becomes a habit it becomes so much easier to sustain. Also, the fact that it is about identity change and the identities we reinforce on ourselves and making the smallest changes will impact us long term.
Projects & Discussions
Throughout the Productivity Masterclass, Ali Abdaal encourages students to share their experiences via Student Projects or Discussions. Many of the video lessons have journaling and writing prompts for learners to help you reflect on your own practice. This reflective writing helps you to engage with the class.
I added my own response to the prompt “I Don’t Have Time” (see image below) and even though I won’t be getting any feedback from Ali Abdaal it did make me think about what am I avoiding when I say to myself “I don’t have time” and write down what that is. I believe much of what this class is about is changing old habits of behavior, so having this reflective practice enforces you to think about changing patterns of behavior.
Before concluding all the reasons, you should take a Skillshare class. It would only be fair to highlight where the platform is lacking and why it may not be right for you. Skillshare doesn’t offer certificates or any sort of formal accreditation. If that is something you are looking for then Coursera or Udacity would be the right fit.
Like most of the other elearning platforms, Skillshare has a review system that you can check to find out what previous students think about a certain course. But these aren’t the only ways you can find the right course for you, let me highlight some tips on how you can find the right class for you.
Filter out the classes
If you buy on sites like Amazon or eBay you are probably used to the filters to narrow your searches down. Skillshare’s interface comes with filters you can use to find the right course for you.
Skillshare filter view
Once you’ve selected a category (topic) you can then filter the classes out by free vs premium and select the desired course duration(in minutes). There is also the possibility to order the classes by popularity or trend.
Sadly, its filters don’t have as many options as the ones you can find in other elearning platforms such as Coursera or Udemy, but they can be useful too.
About this class
In the course landing page, you can find the ‘About this class’, a section that will detail who the course is aimed at, what you will learn, the level of the class (from beginner to advanced) and the skills that you’ll be able to acquire after completion.
Skillshare about this class
There is also a short blurb about the instructor, normally it details their experience, passion and why they teach this subject.
A good place to start is checking that the skills taught in the course are what you are looking to learn and that the level of the course matches your experience.
Since Skillshare classes are project-based, you can have a sneak peek of the projects that the instructor will use to support her or his teaching throughout the lessons.
Skillshare sneak peek of the course projects
As you can see in the image above, the course resources can be accessed even before starting the course. I’d recommend doing so as they will give you a pretty clear idea of what you’ll be practising and learning.
Read reviews at Skillshare
Another great tip to find the course of your dreams is to be checking what past students have to say about it.
Skillshare reviews and rating
Its review system offers a breakdown of what students thought of the course, you can then click on one of the grades and read the reviews for it (e.g. only ‘Exceeded!’ rating reviews).
You can also go ahead and read some of the reviews from other users, but be aware that Skillshare sorts them by default from best to worse. you can always sort them by ‘Most Recent’ to read a more balanced pool of users’ feedback.
I also checked the ‘Most Liked’ section too, this section provides information about the different aspects that students valued the most. For example, helpful examples, the instructor was clear or how organized the classes are.
Find out more about the instructor
At Skillshare.com, every teacher has a page where they explain who they are, their professional experience and what their teaching goals are. Going through this page can be useful to get a vibe of each teacher and see if you like their approach to education.
Skillshare instructor profile
However you are not limited to the information that you can read on their instructor landing page, as you can see in the image above, they normally have references to either their website or their social media accounts. Check them out to gather more information on your potential teacher – but please don’t be a creepy stalker 🙂
The 7-day free trial gives you the opportunity to try out the Skillshare platform and all its courses for a week.
Skillshare premium 7 day free trial
Remember, you can always cancel before the first 7-day if you want to avoid continuing with the Skillshare premium plan, and you won’t be charged anything.
Skillshare mobile app
You can access Skillshare from your tablet or phone thanks to the Skillshare app. With the premium membership, you can learn on the go even when you are offline. All you need to do is download the classes beforehand, and then you can learn from anywhere. As you progress in different classes, this will all be synced with all your devices, be it your computer, tablet or phone.
So if you have a busy schedule, or a long commute, then learning with the Skillshare app maybe the answer for you. The Skillshare app is available for IOS (4.8 rating) and Android (4.5 rating).
Ease of use
Signing up to Skillshare is really straightforward; you only need an email and a password. It’s also possible to register using Facebook or Google.
Before purchasing the premium membership you will get access to a 1-month free trial. If you don’t want to continue with the premium plan, you will need to cancel before the trial ends, and you won’t be charged anything.
Using Skillshare’s interface is also straightforward, there is enough information about the classes and the backend is intuitive. It could have a more detailed knowledge base though.
Skillshare is an online learning community to master real-world skills with thousands of classes(courses).
Skillshare offers a completely unrestricted free trial for 1 month, to its premium membership. The premium plan allows you to watch its classes offline.
Besides its website, you can use their mobile apps (Android and Apple) to follow a class. Users like Skillshare apps as their rating at the app stores is higher than 4.5 (out of 5).
Skillshare is not accredited with any educational institution (e.g. universities) and you will not receive a certificate when you complete a course.
The available classes are meant (mainly) for creatives that want to improve a skill or learn new ones and don’t need official accreditation.
Skillshare offers over 34,000+ online classes. The classes are offered in four main categories: Creative & Design, Business, Technology and Lifestyle.
If you are looking for a wider range of courses, then Udemy has courses on every topic you could imagine.
Skillshare no longer offers free classes. However, it does offer a 7 – day free trial on its premium memberships, which gives you full access to all classes on the platform.
Every class has short lessons and hands-on projects for you to work on. You will then share your project in the class and receive feedback from Skillshare’s community.
Some complaints are that the classes and the instructors lack quality control as pretty much anyone can post their own Skillshare course.
Skillshare accepts classes in all languages. Its community is primarily English speakers. Recently, it has added four additional languages: French, German, Portuguese and Spanish to appeal to its growing global community.
As well as offering course subscriptions it also allows you to sign up as a teacher and produce your own classes.
Skillshare classes are taught by creators, entrepreneurs and professionals from all over the world. Skillshare teachers are responsible for every aspect of their course, from designing it to uploading videos and materials. They are then paid a royalty based on the number of minutes of your classes that Skillshare users watch.
There aren’t many specific requirements a course must meet other than ‘it must be educational’, ‘good sound quality’, ‘include a presentation’, ‘well-organized content’ or ‘high-resolution video’. Classes must be, at least, 10-minutes long though.
One positive thing is that all classes must include a project the students will be able to use to learn.
Skillshare online classes consist of a video window that plays the course content which is divided into small bite-size classes. Some of the classes can vary from minutes to hours.
You will also have the information about the instructor’s profile, links to additional information and a project (or projects) to follow the course.
The course program and structure are well detailed within the course page, so you’ll know what to expect from each class.
Quizzes & tests
Some Skillshare classes include quizzes in their content, but this isn’t a requirement.
Payments & refunds
Skillshare works on an annual subscription model. You pay a fixed fee every year with full access to the platform.
Skillshare premium is billed annually at $167.88 working out at $13.99 a month for individual learners. There is also Skillshare for Teams that’s $159 per user, per year and the plan can be adapted for a team or business of any size.
You have a 14-day refund policy for the premium annual plan. Use a credit card or PayPal to pay for your subscription.
You can reach out to Skillshare via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. At times, they can be slow to answer. They have some support materials, but they don’t answer all the questions you may have about the platform as they aren’t super detailed either.
Skillshare offers such a wide variety of creative classes that you can learn at your own pace. Sadly, they don’t offer courses on every topic, other platforms like Udemy have courses about pretty much everything.
If you are looking for an accredited certification it would be best to explore Coursera or edX.
Will Skillshare Help Me With My Career?
Whereas Skillshare won’t get you a formal promotion as it doesn’t have accredited certificates, it’s very possible that it helps improve your professional skills so you can work confidently.
All Skillshare classes are project-based
I would say that Skillshare is ideal if you are a freelancer (or part of a creative team) and you don’t care too much about earning certificates and developing your CV. Skillshare is more about teaching you the knowledge you can apply to your work.
There is also an engaged community of students at Skillshare, this can be a great way to get in touch with other professionals from your field.
Is Skillshare Legit?
Sure, Skillshare is an elearning platform that has been operating since 2010, which means that it’s older than most of its competitors. They have their headquarters in New York and companies such as Vice, Stapels or Virgin TV use them for their employees’ development.
Skillshare Premium free trial
Its website is SSL secured and the payments can be done using a credit card or PayPal, you’ll have a 14-day refund policy for annual subscriptions. On top of that, you’ll be able to trial the platform and its classes for some time completely free.
Publish a course at Skillshare
There aren’t any formal requirements to publish a course at Skillshare, you won’t have to be a university lecturer or a super famous designer or artist – although that helps.
As a Skillshare instructor, you’ll be in charge of designing your course, producing the videos and materials, uploading the resources to Skillshare and keeping in touch with your students.
There are two ways in which Skillshare teachers are paid:
You would get paid $10 for every new student you bring to Skillshare
For each viewed minute of your classes, Skillshare will pay you a royalty.
Payments to instructors are made via PayPal, sadly, there isn’t any other way to get paid with Skillshare.
Please be aware that the speed at which students watch your classes has an impact on your revenue. For example, if they watch 20 minutes at 2x, you’ll be paid for 10 minutes, and if they watch 20 minutes at 0.5x you’ll be paid for 40 minutes.
There are guidelines for instructors when creating classes, but they are mainly common-sense recommendations:
Create engaging and educational content
Sound and video should be good quality
You must have an introduction/presentation video
Classes need to be project-based
No self-promotion outside the intro and outro of the classes
Max upload 1 class a week
Some topics aren’t allowed: passive income, other educational platforms (e.g. Udemy), reselling products or medical content
Minimum of 10 minutes per course
Skillshare Vs Udemy
Skillshare and Udemy are both very popular online learning platforms that offer a wide range of topics, but they do have some key differences. For example, Udemy offers over 200K courses, compared to Skillshare’s 35,000+ courses. It also has a much broader range of categories like Business, Technology, Personal development and more. Whereas Skillshare focuses around creative topics like Graphic design, Photography, Animation and so on. Each platform has a different pricing model, Skillshare is subscription-based and Udemy’s courses are paid for individually. The quality of its courses are similar on both platforms as it allows anyone to teach a course. If you want to try out either platform for free, then you can take advantage of Skillshare’s 1-month free trial or try one of Udemy’s free courses. If you want to read in more detail comparing these two platforms, then check out our Skillshare Vs Udemy article.
Skillshare Vs MasterClass
Skillshare and MasterClass are both popular online learning platforms, they have many things in common, but equally have some differences. Skillshare focuses on creative topics like Animation, Creative Writing, Graphic Design, Photography and more, which makes it stand out from the rest. Whereas what makes MasterClass unique are its VIP and celebrity instructors teaching its courses. Both platforms offer annual membership plans, MasterClass charges a slightly higher fee, but has a more generous refund policy. The quality of MasterClasses video lessons are top, it’s almost cinematic like. Whereas at Skillshare anyone can teach and record a class, which may mean the quality suffers. It is important to try and both platforms to compare, if you want to read in more detail, then please check out our Skillshare Vs MasterClass article.
Last Thoughts: Is Skillshare Worth It?
After this in-depth Skillshare review, I hope you have a clearer understanding of how this popular creative online learning platform works and whether it is right for you. Let me summarize why it’s worth it;
Its premium planis affordable and gives you access to 34,000+ classes which are geared towards creative professionals, entrepreneurs and learners. The course community is normally engaged, so interacting with other students can be a fun way to learn. The 1-month free trial gives you the opportunity to test the waters out before financially committing.
If you are part of a creative team or business, one of its three team plans may be suitable. The starter plan is the cheapest option, and then you have the Enterprise or Revive, which are both custom plans.
As mentioned earlier, if you are looking for any kind of official recognition of your learnings (e.g. a certificate), you’ll have to look elsewhere (e.g. Coursera or edX). Even if they have a lot of online courses available, they are normally focused on design, marketing and entrepreneurship – you may not be able to find the course you need.
Please leave a comment below if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to help you out.
09/07/23 – Skillshare Introduction – Updated
08/23/23 – Skillshare Live Sessions
07/26/23 – Skillshare Verdict – Updated
07/05/23 – Skillshare Pros and Cons Updated
05/12/23 – Skillshare Refund Policy Updated
05/16/23 – Skillshare Pros & Cons Updated
03/28/23 – Skillshare Review Verdict Updated
03/13/23 – FAQ: Is Skillshare legit?
02/28/23 – Skillshare Refund Policy
02/23/23 – Skillshare Vs MasterClass
02/17/23 – Skillshare Vs Udemy
02/08/23 – Skillshare Refund Policy
01/21/23 – Skillshare Refund Policy
12/24/22 – Added Skillshare Pro (Creative Experts)
12/14/22 – Skillshare Verdict Updated
11/23/22 – How much is Skillshare?
11/17/22 – Skillshare Verdict Updated
11/10/22 – Skillshare for Teams
08/23/22 – How are Skillshare Classes Structured?
08/08/22 – Can Skillshare be used for free?
07/31/22 -General Update
07/08/22 -Language Menu
05/11/22 -What are Skillshare Classes like?
05/09/22 – Skillshare Free Trial Promo
03/20/22 – How much is Skillshare?
03/13/22 – Skillshare annual price, free trial and number of courses
02/12/22 – Skillshare Chroma Courses
11/30/21 – Skillshare Scholarships
11/22/21 – Skillshare Vs MasterClass Article
11/12/21 – My Skillshare Experience
10/20/21 – How much is Skillshare?
09/29/21 – Skillshare Premium Plan
09/27/21 – Skillshare Pricing and Find the Perfect Class
09/05/21 – How Much is Skillshare & Skillshare Verdict
Hey. I am Catherine and I have been working as a freelancer for many years now. In 2005, I graduated from a BA honours in Art & Design from BCU and then went onto complete a Master’s Degree in Teaching from UEL. The skills I gained from learning and teaching have led me to create Upskillwise, a place for learners like myself to find the best possible resources and courses to train and upskill themselves, either personally or professionally. If you have a question, please feel free to ask me anything or leave me a comment.
Udemy: Udemy is possibly the most popular elearning platform in the world, it has more than 150,000 courses and it’s available in several languages. They cover a wide range of topics, from programming to icing cakes, so if you can’t find the course you like in Skillshare, check out Udemy.
Coursera: With over 50 million students and more than 4,000 courses created by universities and companies is a big fish in the elearning world. The main perk of Coursera is that you can earn accredited certificates, something Skillshare is unable to offer.
edX: More than 24 students have trusted on this platform. With more than 2,800 courses from universities like Harvard or Berkeley, and official recognition (certificates) it’s a solid alternative for many.
Please, leave a comment below if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help you out.
Can Skillshare be used for free?
Skillshare no longer offers a free membership option. Instead, it offers a free trial on its Premium paid plan, which you will need to add a credit card to when you first sign up. You will, however, be able to cancel your free trial at anytime if you decide not to continue with it.
Is Skillshare legit?
Yes, Skillshare was founded in 2010 and has grown to offer thousands of classes in creative skills. It’s a legitimate and well-regarded online learning platform and has a refund policy if you aren’t happy with the platform.
Does Skillshare come with a free trial?
Yes, Skillshare nearly always offers a free trial when you first sign up to its annual plan. Its offers change from 7-days to 1 month and you can cancel in that time period if you change your mind.