Skip to main content
Last update: Jan 02, 2024

Udemy vs Skillshare: Which One Is Right for You?

Udemy vs Skillshare
4.3

Best for

  • Affordable Courses
Visit site
vs
4.5

Best for

  • Creative Courses
Visit site
Photo of Catherine Cooke

Written by

Catherine Cooke

Catherine Cooke

Upskillwise Advisor

I'm Catherine, originally from London, now living in Spain. My professional journey led me from being a certified teacher to a yoga instructor and then a freelancer designer. These changes were made possible by online learning platforms like Skillshare and Coursera. It wasn't always easy, but so worth it and inspired me to start Upskillwise.

Photo of Catherine Cooke

Upskillwise.com is fully supported by its readers. If you register or buy a course using our links, we may receive a commission. This does not affect our ratings, methodology or partners.

When I started looking for online resources to help me top up my graphic design game, two names came up frequently: Udemy and Skillshare. But I wasn’t sure which one of the two was the best, in fact, I didn’t know what each exactly offered.

Of course, both providers offer courses on many topics other than graphic design (what I was looking to learn). So, what is it like to use their platforms? And more importantly, which one will be the best choice for you?

To answer these questions, I’ve created an in-depth Udemy vs Skillshare comparison. I’ll tell you all about their prices, course quality, instructors and much more.

Let’s make a Start!

Take Our 3-Minute Quiz: To Find Out Which Is Best?

Udemy Vs Skillshare Summary

Udemy is one of the most popular online learning platforms on the market, offering a big pool of courses, more than 210K+ which covers a wide range of topics. Its wide range of topics include Development, Business, Music, Cooking and much more, there is something to suit everyone. Skillshare, on the other hand, focuses on creative topics like Graphic Design, Photography, Animation and much more, offering 25,000+ courses. Its focus is to learn creative skills, so learners can achieve personal and professional goals.

Udemy does offer a bunch of its courses for free, be mindful that most are for complete beginners and come with limited features. Its paid courses range between $19.99 and $199.99 and if you prefer subscription-based learning, its Personal Plan starts at $16.58 USD per month, which includes a 7-day free trial and access to 8,000+ courses. Skillshare solely offers a subscription-based plan costing $168 annually including a 1-month free trial is included when you first sign up. If you are looking to explore a wider range of topics, then Udemy would be a better fit. Whereas if a hands-on creative learning experience is what you are looking for, Skillshare would be the best option.

Let’s dive in and examine both providers in detail, so by the end of this comparison, you’ll know if Skillshare or Udemy is right for you.

Compare Udemy vs Skillshare Side By Side

4.3

Variety of Courses

$12.99 USD

5
i
4
i
5
i
4
i
3
i
3
i
5
i
3
i
3
i
4
i
3
i
5
i
4
i
4.5

Best For Creative Courses

$29 USD a month

4
i
5
i
5
i
3.5
i
4
i
4
i
4
i
5
i
3.5
i
3
i
3
i
4
i
3
i

Round 2: Ease-of-Use & Interface

Alright, we all want easy to follow and intuitive interfaces and straightforward workflows, so let’s find out which one provides the easiest to use system. Shall we?

Registration

The registration process at Udemy is very simple To create an account you’ll only need your name, email and set a password. After that, you’ll only need to confirm the email that they send you.

Udemy registration process
Udemy registration process

Skillshare works similarly.  You can create your account by simply adding an email account and a password. On top of that, you are also allowed to create an account using your Gmail or Facebook account.

Backend & Design

Once you log in at Udemy you’ll realize that an effort has been made to keep the interface intuitive and well-designed. I like how easy it is to create your own ‘Collection’ of courses organized using the same topics (e.g. programming, design, etc.).

The actual course interface is also very smartly designed. Besides the usual video player options (playback speed, video quality, subtitle management, etc.), you also can add a note to a certain moment of a video (see image below).

Udemy adding a note to a lesson
Udemy adding a note to a lesson

It’s also very convenient how the course lessons are organized in the right-hand sidebar (above image). It provides easy access to each chapter and lesson of the course. You can also tick or untick each lesson to keep track of your progress.

Access Udemy using your favourite internet browser on laptops and desktops, or download the iOS or Android app to watch courses on the go.

Skillshare also offers a way to create course lists to keep your resources organized and adding notes to your courses. I would say that its design is good, but maybe not as modern-looking as Udemy’s (not a big issue though).

Skillshare video player options
Skillshare video player options

The Skillshare’s video player isn’t as advanced as Udemy’s, it lacks some options like being able to set up the video quality or managing captions. The course sidebar with the lessons is also a more simple version of Udemy’s.

As with Udemy, Skillshare is available for desktops and laptops using a browser, and via apps for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices. You won’t be able to watch courses offline with the free version.

Winner: Both are super easy to use, and this is a tough call, but I think Udemy is a bit fancier looking and a tiny bit easier to use.

Udemy is taking the lead with 2 – 0

Round 3: Courses & Programs

A couple of questions that you’ll need to ask yourself before choosing between Udemy or Skillshare are: What platform has more choice? Which one allows you to choose easily?

Course Information

A big issue of these platforms is how to filter the vast offering they have. With thousands of online courses available, you could spend days choosing your next class. So they all make efforts to make your life a bit easier.

Skillshare offers some categories to browse its library, you’ll be able to narrow down your searches by topic (currently it has 16 categories). There are also a couple of filters that will offer a more defined search: free vs paid courses when the course was created and the class duration. There is also a section with ‘Recommended Classes’, a selection of internally picked Skillshare classes.

Skillshare filters
Skillshare filters

All Skillshare courses come with information about the class structure, access to resources and a presentation video about the course and the instructor. There is also an easy way to assess the course level (e.g. beginner, intermediate or advanced), this is based on students’ feedback. Finally, the review section of each course will allow you to read what other students think about a certain course – this is a bit basic as it doesn’t have an aggregated value.

Udemy offers a similar approach. All its courses are classified into topics (13 categories and dozens of subcategories). Udemy’s filters are much more advanced as you have more flexibility, filter by level, student rating, language, duration, available resources and more.

Udemy filters
Udemy filters

There is also the ability to read reviews from other users, a video presentation of the course and the instructor and a useful summary of the available resources (e.g. assignments and quizzes).

In terms of the number of courses, Udemy offers a 6 times larger class repository (150,000) and 8,000 free courses versus 2,500 complementary courses from Skillshare and over 25,000 premium courses.

The course quality is difficult to assess, as pretty much everyone can publish on both elearning platforms. Both Udemy and Skillshare have formal requirements instructors must meet (e.g. HD videos, minimum length and educational goals). However, some of the courses at Skillshare are produced internally and by big companies (e.g. Moz, Adobe or Mailchimp), so maybe they offer a tiny bit more.

Winner: Sure, Udemy makes it easier for you to read reviews and find courses, but since I believe the course quality is a bit higher at Skillshare, the point goes for them.

Skillshare is now in the running with the score at 2 – 1

Popular Skillshare & Udemy Courses

Let me mention a couple of popular Udemy and Skillshare courses to get an idea of what types of topics they cover:

Udemy Courses:

Complete Guitar System – Beginner to Advanced – This is a course that has taught around 150,000 people how to play the guitar. It is around 35 hours long and over 15,000 reviews gave it a 4.4. out of 5.

Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from zero to hero in Python 3 – Jose Portilla’s Python course is a Udemy top seller, more than 900,000 people have enrolled in the course. There are 24 hours of lessons and past students awarded a 4.5 out of 5 to this course.

The Complete Financial Analyst Course 2020 – There are also courses about finances, this one was joined by almost 200,000 students and has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5.

Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography – This Udemy bestseller is a 22-hour-long course that will teach anyone how to take better pictures. Around 150,000 students have enrolled, and it has a 4.6 out of 5 in the reviews.

Read the Udemy review here

Skillshare Courses:

Intro to UX: Fundamentals of Usability – Marieke McCloskey teaches in this Skillshare Original course the fundamentals of usability and user experience. So far around 15,000 students have seen this on-demand video course.

Learn How Young Guru Engineers for Jay Z: An Introduction to Audio Recording – This course has taught, more or less, 6,000 people sound engineering in 9 lessons (44 minutes in total).

YouTube Success: Build an Authentic Channel That’s Worth the Follow – Another popular Skillshare Original that has shown around 12,000 people how to build a YouTube audience more effectively.

The JavaScript Toolkit: Write Cleaner, Faster & Better Code – This JavaScript Skillshare Original shows students how to write better JavaScript. 6,000 users have enrolled in this course so far.

Read the Skillshare review here

Round 4: Free Courses at Udemy & Skillshare

I have to say that some of the questions I get asked a lot are related to free courses. What platform is better for free courses?

Udemy free courses
Browse Udemy Free Courses

Udemy offers close to 600 free courses which are a simplified experience with limited features. For example, you won’t receive a certificate of completion when you complete the course and additional features like Q&A and direct messaging aren’t available. Which means, although Udemy is generous to offer free courses, you won’t necessarily get the full learning experience.

Skillshare recently stopped offering any free classes and now the only way to check out the platform and its classes is by signing up for the premium plan, which will give you access to a free trial. The free trial will give you full access to the platform and its 25,000+ creative classes. By registering for the premium plan, you will get the full learning experience of the platform and are free to cancel before the trial ends so that you won’t be charged anything. Skillshare’s current free trial offer is for 1-month which gives you plenty of time to test the waters and decide if it’s worth keeping.

Winner: As Udemy offers a small selection of free courses and Skillshare a free trial. It’s a hard call to pick one platform over the other, so I will have to give a point to each.

That leaves the score at 3 – 2

Round 5: Available Languages

Alright, I promise this will be a short round.

Whilst Skillshare encourages teaching in any language, the reality is that their community is primarily English speaking. It does have several language learning courses (e.g. for Spanish, German or French), but I haven’t been able to find courses about other topics in other languages than English.

Udemy courses in other languages
Udemy courses in other languages

On the other hand, Udemy does offer courses in many other languages, even some of the English courses have subtitles in Spanish, German or French. In fact, Udemy incorporates a filter to find courses in several languages (see image above).

Winner: This point has to go to Udemy with the sheer quantity of languages offered.

Udemy takes this one at 4 – 2.

Round 6: Udemy Vs Skillshare Certificates

Certificates are good to make your CV more appealing or to hang them on your office, they can help you get a better job or a juicy promotion. However, they have to be issued by a credible institution.

Once you complete an Udemy course, you’ll be able to print a completion certificate. However, Udemy is not an accredited institution, so there’s no real formal value for you. Note that free courses don’t include completion certificates.

Udemy completion certificate example
Udemy completion certificate example

Skillshare doesn’t provide a certificate after you complete a course, fair enough.

Winner: Since Skillshare doesn’t issue certificates and the ones Udemy issues aren’t accredited, no one gets a point for this round.

Check out Coursera or edX as an alternative if you are looking for an accredited certificate.

Round 7: Teachers & Community

Udemy is open to anyone who is willing to put in a huge effort to create a course, of course, you have to meet some requirements, and you can’t just put together a poor quality 10-minute course about a topic. But yes, if you are willing to put the effort and create a course, you’ll be able to sell it on Udemy. Udemy itself creates its own courses (known as Udemy official courses) that are produced by the Udemy Instructor team.

And with Skillshare it is the same case. This elearning platform is open to anyone who is eager to teach a course. Like Udemy, Skillshare also produces some of its own courses (known as Skillshare Originals), and they team up with very successful professionals and companies to push some amazing classes.

SEO course from Moz at Skillshare
SEO course from Moz at Skillshare

For example, you can find a beginner SEO course taught by Rand Fishkin, one of the most important SEO experts in the world – equivalent to having Michael Jordan teaching you basketball fundamentals.

Both Skillshare and Udemy have a way for students to communicate and interact with each other. Having a narrower range of topics and working on a subscription model, I think benefits Skillshare here and its community is a bit more engaged.

Winner: Having a more engaged community and featuring big industry professionals and companies as instructors, this point goes to Skillshare.

Skillshare is catching up with the score at 4 – 3.

Round 8: Customer support

Alright, one thing that we all get frustrated with is slow support and bad customer care, right?

Udemy has a well-organized knowledge base with tutorials and guides on how its platform works, it’s also easy to find the information you need about the prices and terms of use.

Udemy support
Udemy support

It’s not easy to contact Udemy with your questions, you can try contacting Udemy’s support via email at support@udemy.com or pestering them on social media.

On the other hand, Skillshare’s knowledge base is a bit more rudimentary, and sometimes I found its support articles a bit thin (not detailed enough). However, reaching out to their support is easy (by email at help@skillshare.com) and I always had a good experience with them – support seems slower when you have a free account, but hey, it’s free.

Winner: Both have good and bad things, so Udemy gets a point for having a clearer support system, and Skillshare gets it because it has friendlier support.

Things are getting exciting, the score is now 5 – 4 with Udemy still out in front.

Round 9: Which One Is Better for Businesses

Elearning platforms are a great way to have your team or company improving skills and learning new drills, especially for fast-changing industries such as marketing or development.

Skillshare offers a Team plan that gives employees unlimited access to 25,000+ courses. The plan is designed for teams of any size, and costs $159 per user annually.

Skillshare for teams plans
Skillshare for teams plans

Udemy offers 3 different business plans. The Team plan is for 5 – 20 users, costing $360 a year per user. Then there is the Enterprise plan for more than 21 users which is custom priced and finally the Leadership Development Program, again custom priced.

Udemy Business plans explained
Udemy Business plans
Winner: It’s another hard one to pick as Udemy offers more courses, but it’s way more expensive than Skillshare. So, another point for both.

The score is left at 6-5 with Udemy still leading.

Round 10: Udemy Vs Skillshare Pricing

Probably the most important category is the pricing, it’s great if a platform comes with all the blows and whistles, but if you are not able to afford it won’t be useful for you.

Both Udemy and Skillshare offer different pricing models, so let me explain to you how much they are.

Udemy Skillshare
Premium courses ~210,000+ ~25,000+
Free courses 480+ Free Trial
Platforms Desktop, iOS & Android Desktop, iOS & Android
Prices

Individual Course: $9.99 to $199.99 USD a course.

Personal Plan: $20 USD per month.

Monthly Plan: $29 USD

Annual Plan: $99 USD (working out at $8.25 a month)

More information udemy.com skillshare.com

Udemy’s individual courses start at $9.99 per course, or if you prefer to pay for a monthly subscription plan which will gives you access to 11,000+ courses, then its personal plan is your answer. It will set you back $20.00 a month and can be billed monthly or annually. Udemy regularly offers discounts on its individual courses, so best take advantage of these offers. On top of that, a 30-day refund policy is available if you change your mind.

Skillshare on the other hand, only offers subscription plans which can be paid for monthly or annually. The annual fee is $99 and works out cheaper long term if you take full advantage of the membership, but if you only want to commit for a month then the monthly plan for $29 makes the most sense. Be mindful that Skillshare does offer a full refund, but you must contact them 7 days after signing up for the free trial.

As Udemy gives you the option to purchase a course individually as well as its subscription plan, the point will have to go to them.

Winner: Udemy

In the penultimate round, the score is at 7–5 to Udemy.

Round 11: Udemy Vs Skillshare Customer Reviews

To provide a comprehensive view for this Udemy Vs Skillshare review, I took a look at what customers are sharing on Trustpilot, one of the most popular review sites. That way, we get to hear what a wider range of users think of these two online learning platforms.

Online Ratings Udemy Skillshare
5-star 37% 47%
4-star 12% 12%
3-star 6% 3%
2-star 6% 2%
1-star 39% 36%
Overall 2.2 out of 5 stars 1.4 out of 5 stars

Data gathered on 10/18/2023

The Udemy review comes from 1,173 users and the Skillshare review has been left by 1,499 customers. Skillshare has nearly 50% of its customers leaving a 5-star rating, many complimenting is affordability, good customer service and free trial. “I’ve had a great experience so far and found plenty of quality courses. The price is relatively cheap…” a happy 5-star customer said.

It left me curious to explore what issues Udemy users were having, with nearly 40% leaving a 1-star review. Many complained about bad customer service, billing issues and bad user experience. “Udemy has no way to contact their instructors and their customer service is horrendous” an unhappy 1-star customer said.

Winner: Although Udemy technically comes out on top, with its overall rating. When you break down each of the stars, you can see that Skillshare tops Udemy on its 5-stars and is lower for its 1-star. So, for that reason, I will give a point to both, leaving the final score at 8–6.

Final Winner: Well done, Udemy!

Bonus Round: Udemy Vs Skillshare Alternatives

There are a bunch of cases in which Udemy and Skillshare aren’t good matches. For example, you need accredited certificates, or when you are looking for career advice and help to write your CV.

So let me mention a couple of alternatives you should consider:

Coursera

Coursera is one of the most prestigious online learning platforms, that has partnered with 300+ top Universities and Organizations to create its courses and learning programs. If you are looking to earn a verified certificate, Coursera maybe your answer.

Coursera alternative
Coursera is a good alternative to Skillshare and Udemy

Coursera offers thousands of courses for free, but if you want a certificate you’ll have to purchase a paid version. Coursera has several types of learning options, its Guided Projects start at $9.99 USD and its Degree Programs start at $9,000 USD.

Visit Coursera.com Read Coursera review

edX

Similarly to Coursera, edX offers courses from leading universities like Harvard, The University of Texas, MIT or Berkeley. You’ll be able to earn accredited certificates too for industries such as business, computer science, engineering or humanities.

edX alternative online learning platform
edX can be a good alternative to Udemy or Skillshare

There are several free courses, but if you’d like to get a certificate from edX, you’ll need to pay for the course ($50 to $300 depending on the course).

Visit edx.org Read edX review

Udacity

Udacity doesn’t offer as many courses as Udemy or Skillshare, but it creates its own resources partnering with leading companies for all their courses (e.g. Google, Mercedes or Nvidia). The list of topics they cover is also limited (mainly business and technology), but the areas are almost Sci-fi (from AI to autonomous driving).

Udacity career advice

Udacity career advice

There are also a bunch of free courses (about 200). It groups its courses into Nanodegrees, a bundle of 4 to 10 subjects that will let you deepen in a topic. Career advice is also offered and its certificates, even if they are not accredited, certificates are taken seriously by many companies.

However, it won’t be cheap, a Nanodegree will cost you between $700 to $2,000 depending on its duration.

Visit Udacity.com Read Udacity review

Final thoughts: Udemy vs Skillshare

Alright, after this long and detailed comparison, I hope it has helped you choose the right platform for you. To conclude, I have highlighted each platform’s strengths and weaknesses.

Udemy Pros

  • Affordable: Udemy courses are highly affordable, with prices ranging from $11.99 to $199.99, making it accessible for many.
  • Free Courses: Learners can take advantage of Udemy’s library of nearly 600 free courses on various subjects, including Investing, Excel, Animation and much more.
  • Refund Policy: Udemy’s 30-day refund policy is extremely generous, meaning learners can get a full refund within the first month of purchase.
  • Wide Selection: Udemy boosts the largest collection of online courses. on the market, with over 213,000 courses spanning across 13 categories and numerous subcategories.

Udemy Cons

  • Non-Accredited Certificates: Udemy does provide a certificate upon completing a course, the certificate isn’t accredited by external partners like a University or Organization.
  • Lack of Quality: Since anyone can become an Udemy instructor, the quality of its courses may not be guaranteed. It’s important to research the instructor and course thoroughly before enrolling.

Visit Udemy

Read Udemy review

Skillshare Pros

  • Free Trial: Skillshare’s free trial, on its premium plan, gives you full access to its platform and its 25,000 classes.
  • Affordable: Its affordable subscription plan is excellent value for money, allowing learners to access a vast library of classes.
  • Interactive: Skillshare’s classes are designed to be interactive and engaging, with hands-on projects that learners must submit to ensure a practical learning experience.
  • Engaged Community: Skillshare boasts an active and engaged community, providing a space for learners to interact, ask questions, and receive feedback from peers.
  • Offline Viewing: Skillshare offers offline viewing with its app, so you can enjoy its classes whilst on the go or when you aren’t connected to the internet.
  • Refund: If you change your mind and contact Skillshare within 14 days of purchasing an annual membership, you will receive a full refund.

Skillshare Cons

  • No Accreditation: Skillshare’s classes are created and designed by individuals, therefore aren’t accredited by an external partner like a University or Organization. If an accreditation is what you are looking for, it may be worth checking out platforms like Coursera.
  • Instructor Quality: As individuals design and create Skillshare’s classes, there may be variation in the quality of the classes. It’s important you do your due diligence before enrolling in a class.

Visit Skillshare

Read Skillshare review