In 2010 two veterans of the digital world founded Skillshare in New York. With over 5 million users and more than 27,000+ courses (or as they say classes), it is one of the most popular elearning platforms with a focus on creative professionals and entrepreneurs.
It’s a bit different from other platforms as Skillshare course topics are aimed at the creative and entrepreneurial niche. As with many other competitors, a selection of classes are offered free, but are they worth it?
But hold on. Is Skillshare any good? How much is it? Let’s find out more in this thorough Skillshare review.
Skillshare offers about 10% of its classes for free meaning about 2,000 classes can be accessed at no cost.
Skillshare pricing is affordable, especially if you commit for a yearly deal as you’ll get more than a 50% discount.
Skillshare offers a 14-day free trial on its Premium paid membership for you to enjoy and explore the full library of its classes.
Skillshare has a highly engaged community, this can make its classes interactive and fun.
Big pool of classes
Skillshare offers thousands of classes and all are available with the premium Skillshare membership. I think it will be hard for you to get bored with the selection.
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.
Skillshare Review Verdict
It’s also an affordable solution as it can be as cheap as $8.25 a month if you decide to go for an annual subscription (be aware that you’ll need to pay the full amount in advance).
There is also a 14 day free trial for the Premium plan which gives you unlimited access to thousands of classes and you can cancel at anytime within that 14-day if you decide not to continue.
How To Open A Skillshare Account?
Open an account with Skillshare
Opening a Skillshare account is very easy to open, you only need to follow these steps:
- Visit Skillshare.com and click on ‘Sign in’ (top right corner)
- Click on ‘Sign up’ and decide what registration system you’d like to use: your own email, Facebook or your Google account
- Check your Skillshare confirmation email
Go Premium Skillshare button
If you’d like to get a premium Skillshare account, you only need to click on the ‘Go Premium’ button (see image above) and decide what subscription model you’d like to purchase (annual or monthly).
6 tips To Find The Perfect Skillshare Class
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.
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 🙂
Try It for free
If you don’t have a Premium Skillshare account, you can always try out the 14-day free trial that will give you access to the full library of classes.
Skillshare course intro video
But of course, if a premium account is not for you, you can always cancel before the 14 days end. Another way to get a feel for the course is to watch the course introduction (see image above) to find out a bit more. These videos are available for everyone.
|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.
You will also have the option to try out the 14 day free trial for the Premium membership. If you don’t want to continue with the Premium account you are able to cancel before the 14 days ends and not pay 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 14-days, but there are also about 2,000 free classes.
You can watch the classes online on its website or Android and iOS app. Classes are available offline if you are a paying user.
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 27,000+ 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.
About 10% of the Skillshare library is offered for free meaning that more than 2,000 classes can be accessed at no cost. Free users can also access the Skillshare community to follow classes.
In my experience, the free classes are normally basic classes. Skillshare seems to save the ‘best’ classes for the paid users – fair enough.
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, but their community is primarily English speaking. Currently, (English) subtitles are available only on the classes that are ‘Skillshare Original’ or ‘Staff Pick’.
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 a subscription model. You pay a fixed fee every month (or year) to have unlimited access to its library.
Skillshare works out $8.25 (€8 or £7) per month if you for 1 year up-front, or $19 (€16 or £14.50) per month if you prefer to pay monthly.
There are also plans available for companies, they start at $99 a year per user (minimum of 3 students).
You have a 7-day refund policy for annual plans. Use a credit card or PayPal to pay for your subscription.
For a more detailed review on Skillshare costs and pricing plan.
You can reach out to Skillshare via email at email@example.com. 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, 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.
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.
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
Last Thoughts: Is Skillshare Worth It?
After this in-depth Skillshare review, I hope you have a clearer understanding of how this popular elearning platform works and whether it is right for you. Let me add a couple of things you should take into account;
It’s very affordable and there are thousands of classes geared towards creative professionals and entrepreneurs. The course community is normally engaged, so interacting with other students can be a fun way to learn. They also offer a 14-day free plan if you just want to test the waters.
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.
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.