A Complete & Honest Skillshare Review: Is Skillshare Worth It In 2023?

This Skillshare review will look at its value for online learners and whether there are any better options out there.I'm constantly picking up new skills as an online creator and consultant in order to stay current in my field and satisfy clients. Over the past five years, I've relied heavily on online learning to accomplish this. Most of the time, when I want to learn something new, I just head over to YouTube, type in my question, and pray that it gets answered.

The majority of the time, I watch videos that "experts" teach me from, complete with endless commercial breaks and sales pitches. What else should you anticipate from "free courses," after all? I recently turned to a platform for online learning called Skillshare after growing tired of the shoddy and dubious knowledge shared on free platforms.

After being impressed by Skillshare's excellent free classes, I decided to sign up for an annual membership (and received a 40% discount, more on that in the Skillshare pricing section) and delve further into the premium courses that Skillshare has to offer.

In this thorough review, I'll talk about my experience using Skillshare. Everything you are about to read is based on my personal experience as a voracious learner, unlike some reviews of online courses that frequently read like sales pages.

If you are looking for a TLDR version of this review, here it is:

TLDR Skillshare review

For beginners and experts looking for an at-your-own-pace learning experience, Skillshare is definitely worth it when compared to other pricey online learning platforms. You have unrestricted access to a huge selection of online classes with a Skillshare account. For students to succeed in the real world, Skillshare provides the ideal blend of specific skill development and aspirational learning. Check out Skillshare for the free 7-day trial and reasonably priced premium membership!

I appreciate a good pros and cons list, just like Leslie Knope. I'll put mine here for Skillshare:

Pros: 

  • A wide range of over 30,000 courses
  • Free trial for one month
  • A wide range of course lengths and topics
  • Project-based education
  • Reasonably priced
  • Benefits and discounts for additional goods and services
  • Refer a friend and receive a free month extra.
  • Cultivated Learning Paths

Cons: 

  • Courses' quality can vary.
  • Absence of credentials or accreditation
  • No instructors of the "MasterClass caliber"

I like to look for an easy course to try out whenever I dive into a new online learning platform. Why? Because before enrolling in more difficult courses, I like to fully grasp the inner workings of the course platform (course structure, the learning experience, mobile app vs. browser).

In the case of Skillshare, my curiosity won out. I took some creativity classes in MasterClass before looking through Skillshare's course catalog and discovering one on—don't laugh—how to clean and organize your fridge.

Two things stood out: 

  • Here was a practical course I desperately needed
  • It was only 26 minutes long (21 minutes after watching on 1.25x speed)

Because Skillshare has a wealth of accessible and useful courses in a variety of categories, including creative, lifestyle, business, and productivity, in contrast to other high-end online course platforms (like MasterClass). Not to mention being succinct and direct.

This Skillshare review will show you that its commitment to hosting specialized subjects distinguishes it from other e-learning platforms. They achieve this by providing a wide range of courses and allowing virtually anyone to submit a course (more on this below) (over 30,000 at the time of publication).

Despite the fact that this might seem overwhelming, in my experience course discovery is rarely a problem. Skillshare provides expertly chosen courses with seals of approval (dubbed "Staff Picks") as well as internally created programs (dubbed "Originals"). Recently, they introduced Learning Paths, a new feature that consists of "hand-picked, sequential classes."

The review of Skillshare that follows is accurate and truthful coming from someone who enjoys learning. Let's quickly go over what Skillshare is, though, first.

Students can take online video classes at their own pace through the online learning community Skillshare. The Skillshare platform offers a wide range of specialized skills, including web development, graphic design, business analytics, UX design, and much more.

The main way to learn with Skillshare, which was established in 2010 in New York by Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong, is to complete a project while watching online videos.

Skillshare is more affordable than other e-learning platforms and a great place to start for those looking to advance their professional skills or find new courses to pique their interests.

Skillshare divides its courses into the following categories:

  • Advertising
  • Business
  • Design
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Fashion and style
  • Film and video
  • Food and drink
  • Gaming
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Social media
  • Technology
  • Writing and publishing

The structure of Skillshare courses follows a conventional online learning setup with some cool added functionality.

There are the video lessons first. On the web browser version, the video lessons are arranged and displayed to the right of the video playback screen, making it simple to switch between lessons or quickly see how the course is structured.

Beneath the video playback screen is five options to further your learning:

  • About
  • Reviews
  • Discussion
  • Projects and Resources
  • Transcripts

About

The course's description and the lessons you can expect to learn are outlined in the About section. Some courses also state who they are specifically intended for (helpful when browsing for new courses).

Reviews

When looking for new courses to take, the Reviews section is especially beneficial. You can read testimonials and views from former course participants here. What students liked the most about the course, who it is "Best suited for" (beginners, advanced, etc.), and whether or not it met expectations are all conveniently displayed by Skillshare.

I'm not sure about you, but I find this review format to be very beneficial in ensuring that I don't waste time enrolling in a class that is either too difficult or subpar.

Discussion

Students can post questions and solicit feedback from one another in the Discussion section. The best part is when the Skillshare teacher steps in to respond to comments. For learners who are looking for feedback to assess their progress in a particular area, the group learning component is advantageous.

Projects and Resources

Every Skillshare course has a project to complete, as I've already mentioned. You can find a thorough description of the project here, along with some additional teaching resources shared by the instructor. Students are encouraged to share photos (and an optional write-up) of their projects so that peers and the instructor can provide feedback.

Transcripts

Personally, I find that reading along with what I'm listening to helps me learn more. The transcript section is helpful in this situation. Additionally, the transcript section is a very useful tool because it allows you to refer back to sections where the instructor provides additional detail or lists specifics.

Bonus: Scheduling functionality

This most recent feature really impressed me. A button to "Schedule" your study time is located next to the menu options. You can use the button to send a personal reminder to attend your classes to whichever calendar app you use (Google, Outlook, etc.) by pressing it. This is beneficial for people who occasionally forget things (like me).

Skillshare members have access to nearly 30,000 courses taught by thousands of instructors with a wide range of skills and expertise. Susan Orlean, Young Guru, Marc Ecko, Gary Vaynerchuk, Guy Kawasaki, and Paula Scher are a few well-known Skillshare instructors.

But unlike other top-notch online learning environments, Skillshare allows anyone to become an instructor.

"There is no application or approval procedure, and prior teaching experience is not required. Our instructors are talented professionals, business owners, and artists who are enthusiastic about imparting their knowledge to others. Everybody has a different background, outlook, and teaching style.

Skillshare Support Page

Skillshare recently introduced Skillshare Originals, which are courses made by their in-house content team, to allay any concerns about the caliber of educational content. The Staff Picks and Skillshare Originals make it simple for students to find worthwhile courses.

Furthermore, Skillshare shows how much it values its instructors by providing a course on how to design a productive Skillshare course. With a wealth of resources and guides, their blog is a useful tool for course designers as well. In other words, Skillshare makes a lot of efforts to guarantee that its instructors are knowledgeable and producing top-notch courses.

Hold on to your seats if group learning, customized feedback, and in-person Q&A sessions sound like your style of learning.

Chroma Courses are "multi-week, immersive, small group courses that feature limited seating, exclusive content from expert teachers, live Q&As, and personalized feedback on your assignments," according to a recent Skillshare release.

You can collaborate with other students in private Slack channels through Chroma courses. Everyone is welcome to attend, but space is limited. You can always put your name on the waitlist for a Chroma course if it is full or you can wait until the following month when a new session begins.

Chroma Courses do come with an additional $499 cost, which is a bit much for me and other average students.

Update on Chroma Courses

As you can see above, Chroma Courses was a feature that Skillshare offered for a short while. Although I personally never signed up for one (I thought they were a little too expensive), Skillshare made the decision to reverse the feature and introduce Learning Paths in its place (more on that in the following section).

I got in touch with Skillshare to voice my opinion regarding the removal of Chroma Courses. What they said was as follows:

"We decided to deprecate Chroma Courses based on the feedback we received from our community and students while running our Chroma Courses. In June 2022, our final Chroma Course was held. We recently introduced Learning Paths with curated classes on some of our most popular topics, though they are not meant to replace Chroma Courses.

For learners who are eager to learn but don't want to spend time looking for the ideal course to take, Learning Paths definitely feels better suited. Instead, Skillshare developed Learning Paths, which are collections of carefully chosen courses that are combined to form, you guessed it, a learning path.

At the time of publication, Skillshare had 35 Learning Paths available, covering a range of topics like self-care and playing the piano.

In essence, when you sign up for a Learning Path, you're signing up for three to five Skillshare courses.

I've looked through a few of them and discovered that every class is an original creation from Skillshare. That does not imply that they won't collaborate with the instructors in the Skillshare community to develop additional Learning Paths. However, it appears Skillshare is keeping the content of this new feature internal for the time being.

Raise your knowledge of Learning Paths


Skillshare used to allow users to join groups in order to interact with other users, ask questions, and share ideas, much like Chroma Courses does now. However, it appears that this feature has also been removed.


Instead, the Student Projects section of Skillshare now allows users to upload their work for review and comment from other users (and instructors). The only downside is that student projects frequently focus on creative or artistic endeavors.

Several examples of September 2022 student projects

You're not the only one who searched for "Skillshare cost" but was unable to locate a pricing page. Although Skillshare is secretive about its pricing, we've put together a quick breakdown of what you can expect to pay for Skillshare to save you the trouble of doing your own internet research.

  • Skillshare offers a free trial membership for one month when you sign up for their monthly plan (you can always cancel before you are charged).
  • Monthly fee: Skillshare costs $32 per month after your free trial.
  • Yearly—If you want to save money, a yearly membership costs $168, or $14 per month on average.

Throughout the year, Skillshare occasionally offers a 40% off promotion (promo code "annual40aff"), allowing you to purchase an annual subscription for just a little bit more than $100. (Prices for readers outside the United States vary.) You can, however, use the button below to get a 30% off discount for the remaining times of the year. (For the most recent prices, see my Skillshare Pricing Guide.)

Right now, Skillshare is offering a 50% off Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday deal with the promo code AFF50. Before the promotion ends on November 28 at midnight, act quickly and grab this!

If you want to give your book club or office coworkers access, Skillshare also provides team subscriptions.

Last but not least, Skillshare gives students one month free for each new student they refer if you want to save money. That's right, if you recommend a dozen of your friends, you'll get a free year's access to Skillshare. That's a respectable offer.

I have a lot of love. The benefits available to Skillshare subscribers are available to you right away once you subscribe. A wide range of creative services and products, including Adobe Premiere Pro, Squarespace, Todoist, Freshbooks, Canva, and more, are offered as benefits.

Savings from the benefits vary, but they soon add up. After signing up, go to skillshare.com/perks to redeem the benefits.

Exist other learning platforms besides this one? What distinguishes Skillshare? Below are a few options to think about if you're looking for other accredited or high-quality online learning alternatives to Skillshare.

Unlike Skillshare, MasterClass offers a limited number of excellent courses taught by well-known experts and celebrities. Despite being comparable in price (the MasterClass Standard plan costs $96 annually), MasterClass only has slightly more than 150 courses in its catalog, with 2 to 3 new courses being added on average each month.

The majority of MasterClass courses are also high-level and designed for beginners who want to learn a diverse range of skills rather than specialized niche subjects (like the fridge organization course I found on Skillshare).

Don't get me wrong, MasterClass has a wide range of subject matter and high production value, making it one of my favorite online learning platforms. It's definitely worth a look (they offer a risk-free 30-day refund policy).

MasterClass

You have access to the online learning marketplace at a discount thanks to Udemy. While Udemy offers thousands of inexpensive online classes from thousands of unidentified instructors, Skillshare offers over 30,000 high-quality online courses from qualified instructors.

However, Udemy promotes a significantly more specialized topic approach where students can pick up specialized technical know-how from less well-known but still extremely qualified experts. Since some topics have hundreds of video courses alone, finding the right course can be challenging.

They don't offer yearly or monthly subscriptions, so if you have the time, browse Udemy for a hidden gem. Instead, you pay for access per class.

Udemy.

I don't particularly like LinkedIn (or user). LinkedIn lost its identity and purpose along the way, and as a result, the company launched LinkedIn Learning and entered the online learning market.

For significantly less value than Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning costs $39.99 per month, or $323.88 when paid annually. I can see how providing employees with this training for career development could be beneficial for employers. However, I'd much rather use my time for personal purposes to learn from the much more enjoyable Skillshare (which never feels like homework).

Coursera, in contrast to Skillshare, provides instruction from prestigious universities rather than common teachers.

Compared to Skillshare, Coursera's user interface has a much more traditional feel. However, Coursera is designed for more experienced users who want to advance their careers by earning real degrees and certificates.

The fact that Skillshare offers a wider variety of videos, is simpler to use, and has Learning Paths that have been carefully selected gives them the edge over Coursera despite having a much larger selection of professional and accredited courses.

There are many free courses available if you want to try Coursera. I'm currently enrolled in a free novel writing course offered by Michigan State University.

Coursera

You can easily access Skillshare on their mobile app or online at skillshare.com. Users of the Skillshare app have the option to download courses for offline viewing, and the app is available in both the iOS and Android app stores.

However, in order to use the app, you must either create a free 1-month trial account or sign in with an existing one.

Searching for new course content and navigating the Skillshare app are both simple. If you want to receive notifications on new Skillshare classes as soon as they become available, you can enable push notifications on your mobile device.

a few images of the iOS application

I get it. You might be interested in Skillshare but hesitant to sign up because you anticipate a lot of hassle should you decide to cancel. avert your fears.

To cancel your Skillshare subscription, take the following actions sequentially:

  1. Navigate to "Payments" by clicking on your profile icon.
  2. Select "Cancel Membership" from the "Account Settings" menu.
  3. Use the cancellation instructions.

It really is that simple. There are no numbers to call, no haggling with stingy customer service representatives, and no unexpected charges made to your credit card after cancellation.

Despite having over 30,000 courses on a variety of topics, Skillshare is undoubtedly targeted at (and geared toward) creative people. Although you can probably find courses on almost anything (like how to organize your fridge), Skillshare is worthwhile for anyone looking to develop their creative abilities.

Here are a few of the most popular Skillshare courses from the previous six months as evidence (March-September 2023). Observe a pattern?

No need to worry if using a pencil is the extent of your creative abilities; a Skillshare premium membership includes enough courses to keep you occupied. Instead of Netflix, students can watch short, simple videos during their lunch breaks, while riding the bus, or at night.

With most courses including a project to complete, Skillshare is unquestionably worthwhile if you prefer more hands-on learning. By the way, I am this kind of person, which is why I initially registered for Skillshare.

Did I also mention that there are many other options available if you don't like a course? You won't find a writing class taught by Margaret Atwood, but you will find hundreds of classes taught by popular and well-known authors.

You can always try a Skillshare free trial to see if it's worth it for you, as I keep emphasizing.

How To Use Skillshare Premium Account Free

  1. Please wait until the 60 seconds below, the time will continue to run backwards, don't reload your page
  2. Click the link that has appeared after 60 seconds
  3. Open skillshare.com then sign in
  4. Use all the account information provided, if you can't log in or the account has an error. That means you are late to use the account. Because we always update the account in the telegram group with members who have reached 30,000. In order to be more updated, we advise you to join the telegram group by clicking the telegram icon below.

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