Last Updated on September, 2023
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself“- John Dewey.
I’m sure all avid learners will agree with the above phrase. But education is more than the standard academic curriculum we learn in schools, universities, or other institutes. It is so much more.
And Skillshare is one such extension that covers a whole different world of education for creativity-driven people.
You being here means you know a little something about Skillshare and are curious to learn more. Let me tell you one thing before we dive into this Skillshare review. This curiosity of yours is what will help Skillshare work for you.
In this review of Skillshare, I will connect on various topics to help you understand how Skillshare works.
I have systematically broken down this Skillshare review into multiple subtopics covering all the necessary information you need to know as a potential Skillshare user.
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- 1 A Deeper Look Into Skillshare
- 1.1 1. What is Skillshare?
- 1.2 2. Who is Skillshare for?
- 1.3 3. Accessing Skillshare
- 1.4 4. Skillshare Course Categories
- 1.5 5. Skillshare Course Structure
- 1.6 6. Skillshare Instructors
- 1.7 7. Skillshare Chroma Course
- 1.8 8. Skillshare Learning Paths
- 1.9 9. Skillshare Community
- 2 How Much Does Skillshare Cost?
- 3 Comparing Skillshare to its Alternatives
- 4 Customer Testimonials
- 5 My Experience: Is Skillshare Worth it?
- 6 Tips on Finding the Perfect Skillshare Class for You
- 7 Pros and Cons of Skillshare
- 8 Publishing With Skillshare
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions
- 10 Final Thoughts
Skillshare is an online learning platform. This platform allows students to learn through video lessons from experts, creators, professionals, and entrepreneurs.
The Skillshare platform is designed to teach anyone looking to learn anything.
Skillshare was founded in 2010 in New York by two experts in the digital world, Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong. This online learning platform was launched with over 34,000 Skillshare classes.
With an 8 million user engagement, Skillshare is one of the most popular online learning platforms catering to a wide variety of topics.
Skillshare is aimed at people with a creative mind space wanting to develop new skills or further their existing skills. Skillshare classes cover topics appealing to creative workers (designers, artists, chefs), entrepreneurs (marketers, SEOs,) freelancers, or small business starters.
Skillshare is accessible online at skillshare.com or through the Skillshare mobile app. The Skillshare app is available in both Android and iOS versions. Using the app, users can download courses for offline viewing.
However, to use Skillshare, one must first sign up and create a Skillshare account or sign in using an already existing account.
Follow the steps below to open an account with Skillshare;
- Visit Skillshare.com and click ‘Sign up’ (top right corner) to create a new Skillshare account or ‘Sign in’ to use an existing one.
- If you prefer, you can also continue using your Facebook, Google, or Apple account.
- You will then be redirected to the page requesting your payment details. Here you can add the relevant information.
- Once complete, you access Skillshare and start your 1-month free trial.
The Skillshare app provides convenient access to the platform. It is easy to use and navigate for new course options.
To stay up-to-date on newly added online courses by Skillshare, you can turn on the push notifications feature of the app to receive updates directly to your mobile phone.
Skillshare is an excellent online learning community as a launching point for creativity-driven people to boost career skills and discover new interests.
Skillshare is a treasure trove when it comes to topics revolving around creativity. You can easily browse their database through the ‘search’ option to find the course you want.
You can narrow down your search by applying the search filters available on the platform to obtain more refined results on a keyword. You can filter by;
- Skillshare original or staff-picked courses
- Course difficulty (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
- Course length
- Published date of the course (to figure out current relevance)
If you aren’t sure where your curiosities lie, you can browse the Skillshare site via the predetermined categories listed below;
- Creative: Animation, Drawing, Graphic Design, Motion Graphics, Illustration, Photography, Street Photography, Digital Photography, Lifestyle Photography, Photo Editing, Photo Retouching, Photographic Composition, Portrait Photography, 2D Animation, 3D Animation, 3D Design, 3D Modeling, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, Video Editing, Videography, Voice Over, Art, Calligraphy, Character Design, Cinematography, Comic Art, Concept Art, Copywriting, Creative Writing, Design, Digital Illustration, Digital Painting, Editing, Fashion, Figure Drawing, Film Production, Fine Art, Hand Lettering, Handwriting, Lettering, Logo Design, Music, Music Production, Painting, Watercolor, Pattern Design, Product Design, Publishing, Sketching, Sketchup, Storytelling, Surface Pattern Design, Typography, UI Design, UI/UX Design, UX Design, Vector Graphics, Web Design, Writing
- Business: Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Freelance & Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Marketing, Content Marketing, Productivity, Accounting, Branding, Data Visualization, Finance, Management, Microsoft Excel, Powerpoint, Project Management, Public Speaking, SEO, Social Media Marketing, Blogging, Bitcoin
- Lifestyle: Culinary, Cooking, Baking, Gaming, Health & Wellness, Languages, Embroidery, Knitting, Fashion Design, T-Shirt Design, Flower Arranging, Interior Design, Jewelry Design, Makeup, Crafts, Pattern Making, Screen Printing, Sewing,
As you can see, creative courses dominate Skillshare. If you find the above list too much, Skillshare further narrows things down for you. The site broadly categorizes the course offerings into 3 sections: Create, Build, and Thrive. Under these three broad categories,
Skillshare offers 16 subcategories as follows;
- Create covers topics for creators of all stripes: Animation, Creative Writing, Film & Video, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Music, Photography, UI/UX Design, and Web Development.
- Build is mostly related to business: Business Analytics, Freelance & Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Management, and Marketing.
- Thrive Lifestyle and Productivity.
Since Skillshare has a massive collection of course offerings, no matter what you’re looking for, you will likely find a course that will fill your knowledge gap.
Skillshare has also launched ‘Learning Paths’ to help make course selection easier among the massive course variety. More on ‘Learning Paths’ is covered below.
Although Skillshare does not follow a fixed format, it revolves around traditional online learning through video lessons.
Some classes are short and can be finished in as little time as 10 minutes, but some can run long for up to 50 short videos. All courses are designed to be followed at your own pace.
The videos on each course page are arranged to the right of the video playback screen (on the website).
This gives easy access to toggle between all the videos and gives you an idea of how the videos are organized.
Moreover, all classes have projects and assignments encouraging learning and engagement with the Skillshare community.
As additional learning support, following the class videos, you’ll find the below learning components;
- Projects And Resources
The ‘About’ section outlines the class to give you an idea of the elements covered and what you can expect to learn by following this class. Some classes even include a part on ‘Who is this class for?’ to help you find new courses of interest.
This section gives you a brief introduction to the teacher/creator of the course. You can gain a well-rounded overview with information on the teacher’s background and experience.
Ratings & Reviews
In the ratings and reviews section, you can read reviews of past students on their experience in following a particular class. You can see to what extent the previous students’ expectations were met and what students liked the most about the course.
In these reviews, Skillshare also allows reviewers to recommend the class by beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.
The ‘Discussions’ component is a space for students to interact with other students. Here students can post questions and receive feedback.
Sometimes even the Skillshare instructor joins the discussions to clarify any doubts. This group learning section is helpful for students who thrive on feedback to fuel their progress.
Projects and Resources
Every course comes with student projects or assignments to complete. This is actually beneficial to test your knowledge on how well you’ve soaked up the contents and understood what you learned from a particular class.
This section entails a detailed project description and additional resources for reference.
After completing the projects, students can share their projects with an optional write-up to receive feedback from peers and the teacher.
This is where you’ll find the transcripts of the Skillshare courses. Suppose you want to recall certain content sections and don’t want to re-watch the video. In that case, the transcripts are handy for revisiting the course contents.
And it is easier to take notes on detailed sections of a course by looking at a transcript to ensure you are getting it right.
Scheduling a Class
I thought this bonus function was interesting and valuable for all learners. Next to the menu option, Skillshare has a ‘Schedule’ option that lets you schedule your learning times.
Activating this option will send an invite notification to the calendar app you use to plan your events and appointments. So with this feature, you will receive a timely reminder on when to take your next class.
The 34,000+ courses Skillshare offers are taught by over 8,000+ Skillshare teachers. These teachers come from various backgrounds with different talents and experience levels.
Some Skillshare courses are created by partnering with celebrity instructors such as Neil Patrick Harris, Olivia Wilde, and Chris’ Ludacris’ Bridges. You can also find influencers such as Ali Abdaal and Marques Brownlee as instructors.
However, unlike in other online learning platforms like Masterclass, just anyone with a knack for teaching and inspiring others to learn can join the Skillshare teacher community.
To assure users of reliable learning content and high-quality courses, Skillshare recently launched a segregation method where Skillshare quality-controlled courses are labeled as Skillshare originals (these courses are created by the Skillshare team), or Staff picked (high-quality user-created courses).
These labels make courses easily discoverable and offset worries about course quality.
Skillshare strongly supports its current teacher community and those who want to get into teaching online classes. By providing such support, Skillshare creates a well-informed circle of instructors to ensure the delivery of high-quality learning materials.
Skillshare offers valuable teaching resources and teacher tips videos such as How to Teach an Amazing Skillshare Class from Scratch, Teaching on the Skillshare Platform: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Started Quickly, and many more for guidance.
You can also join a Skillshare teachers group to clarify your doubts and share any teaching tips or directly email [email protected] for inquiries on any specific questions.
New course creators can find tons of resources and guides from the Skillshare blog.
The Chroma course is an immersive learning method designed for small groups. They are multi-week courses with limited seating capacity featuring exclusive content from expert teachers, live Q & A, and personalized assignment feedback sessions.
This learning method allows you to communicate and collaborate with the other learners enrolled in the course through private channels. Although it’s open to anyone, limited seating makes enrolling in one of these difficult.
If you don’t get into a chroma course, you can add your name to the waiting list to enroll in one of the upcoming courses.
Also, Chroma courses cost an additional $499. So it can be a bit overwhelming for an average learner.
However, based on community and user information gathered, Skillshare has discontinued the Chroma course feature since it last ran in June 2022.
Although not a substitute, Skillshare has recently introduced ‘Learning Paths,’ which we will look into in the following topic.
Learning Paths is a feature designed for learners who want to continue learning but don’t want to spend time browsing for the next course.
In learning paths, you will find hand-picked sequential classes to help you achieve your learning goals. A collection of curated classes on the most popular topics will help grow your skill set along a cohesive path.
Initially, 35 learning paths were introduced under various topics, from playing piano to self-care. And they are available for all three experience levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.
Choosing to go for a Learning path means you’ll be following a series of at least 3-5 courses under a given topic. And as of now, Skillshare only features Skillshare Originals in their Learning paths.
Skillshare used to have a feature called ‘Groups,’ which allowed learners to connect, collaborate and share/find inspiration and new ideas.
It was intended to progress skills to the next levels in their creative journey. Similar to the Chroma Course, this feature is also not available anymore.
However, the ‘Student Projects’ feature I discussed early on in the Skillshare review allows students to post their completed projects for reviews and feedback from other learners and instructors.
To become a Skillshare member, you must have a Skillshare membership. Skillshare has annual membership plans for individuals, teams, and businesses. The Skillshare pricing model is explained in the following topics.
A Skillshare premium membership is designed for individual learners. It is priced at $14 per month, an average cost of $168 per year. Premium membership allows unlimited access to the entire course collection without any restrictions.
Signing up for this annual membership makes Skillshare members eligible for the 1-month free trial.
Even though the site requires you to input payment details, you will only be charged for your premium membership when the Skillshare free trial ends. (Learn more about Skillshare free here.)
You can use this free trial period to exploit the unlimited access and go through free online courses of interest to decide if Skillshare has what you want.
You can take as many free classes as you want during this free trial, and if you do not wish to continue, you can cancel Skillshare anytime. And if you cancel Skillshare before the free trial ends, you won’t be charged anything.
Skillshare membership is not only for individuals. Skillshare offers plans for teams and businesses too. The Skillshare teams plan will suit groups of any size.
Although created for teams, it gives users a personalized experience to help develop their creative skills. The Starter package is currently priced at $159 per user per year.
Skillshare members can request a refund within the first 14 days after processing the charge. You can complete the request form and apply for a refund for your annual membership.
During signing up, if you opted for a 30-day money-back guarantee offer, you can request a refund within 30 days of the payment.
Students with Skillshare subscriptions can refer a friend to get one free month of Skillshare usage. So if you refer 12 friends, you can score a whole year for free. That’s a good deal for anyone looking to save.
Read my complete Skillshare cost guide.
Comparing Skillshare to other e-learning platforms will help you understand what sets Skillshare apart. Below I have discussed a few other learning platforms that Skillshare users and other students looking to get into online learning can consider.
Skillshare and Masterclass are popular learning platforms that share many common things, but a few differences set them apart.
Unlike Skillshare, Masterclass courses are taught by VIP and celebrity instructors, which makes it one of the most unique e-learning platforms.
The video classes featured in Masterclass are top-quality and almost comparable to cinematic production. Whereas in Skillshare, anyone can create and publish a class, so the quality is questionable.
Skillshare covers many creative topics, offering a massive collection of courses. At the same time, Masterclass has just over 150 courses in its library. Cost-wise, Masterclass is priced at $96 per year for a standard subscription plan.
Although Masterclass charges may be slightly higher, the instructor caliber and production value make it worth your investment. Also, they do offer a generous and risk-free refund policy.
The Udemy platform is like a bargain store for e-learning. Compared to 35,000+ Skillshare courses on Udemy, you can find over 200K courses.
While Skillshare covers more creative topics, Udemy touches a broader range, including business, technology, and personal development.
Udemy does not have any monthly or yearly membership plans. Instead, you pay per class you take. In Udemy, you can find many classes under the same topic at different rates.
So based on your budget, you can choose a course that is affordable for you. However, this makes course discovery a bit tricky.
Quality-wise, Skillshare, and Udemy are on par because both platforms allow anyone to teach a course. To try out Udemy, you can take one of the free courses available on the platform.
LinkedIn learning is more focused on developing skills beneficial for professional and career growth, but Skillshare classes are much more on the fun learning side that allows you to learn new skills. Skillshare classes are more enjoyable for an average user like me.
LinkedIn Learning is priced at $324 per annum, which is way more expensive than Skillshare. And I feel they don’t provide value for the investment.
Unlike any of the above comparisons, Coursera is on another level, offering courses from world-leading universities. So it gives users a more traditional learning experience than the enjoyable video classes from Skillshare.
Coursera courses are designed for professional users to build skills related to their profession. These courses come with certifications and degrees.
Coursera is a fantastic platform to try if you want to learn new skills on a professional level. Plus, they offer many free courses, including acting and writing classes.
edX is similar to Coursera and LinkedIn learning, where you can learn new and further existing skills for career development, while Skillshare is for personal improvement.
Featuring university-level courses, edX provides accredited certifications and is more expensive compared to Skillshare.
Below is the social proof that illustrates how other Skillshare users feel about their experience with the Skillshare platform. It is important to note, there are mixed reviews as each person is different and each class quality varies.
I came across Skillshare on my journey of ‘never stop learning.’ When I researched Skillshare, I learned it differed from other formal e-learning platforms.
What got my attention was that Skillshare masters a major section on creative topics focused on creative individuals.
Since you only find a few sites focused on creative educational content, I signed up to see what all the hype was about. Initially, I thought I’ll use the free trial and bounce back. But Skillshare left a lasting impression within just a few days of use.
Skillshare has classes that can benefit your career, indulge your hobbies, and help you accomplish something new that may lead you to discover new interests and hobbies. Skillshare is a fun platform to nourish your brain.
So far, I’ve taken classes on interior design and styling, self-care, DIY skincare, and personal development. Most of the classes I took already had large numbers of students enrolled, so I confidently went ahead and watched the classes.
I’m a neat freak who likes to coordinate and style the spaces I use very often. The interior design and style classes taught me so much, from color combinations to different angles at which things should be arranged.
The self-care classes touched me in a spiritual sense. Learning about daily routines, journaling, yoga, and brain health activities has changed how I approach my daily activities.
It has made me more aware of things I always knew but didn’t pay much attention to.
I sometimes have time management issues. And sometimes, despite investing so much time into a project, I don’t achieve anything productive. So I knew I had to take personal development classes.
These classes covered areas like organization, work ethics, confidence, problem-solving, and more, which helped my personal growth.
I’ve taken multiple classes on the same topic. Most classes were thorough and well-produced, featuring short videos with useful resources and interactive projects.
To answer your question, Skillshare is worth it for creative individuals looking to explore new avenues and develop creative skills.
I advise you to sign up with Skillshare and use the free trial to find out what Skillshare Kindles are for you, so you can decide for yourself if it is worth it or not. There is so much more that even I am yet to discover through Skillshare.
You may already know what classes you want to take from Skillshare, or you may have a knack for all things creative but have yet to discover what interests you the most.
Whatever category you belong to, apart from taking the best use out of the free trial, the tips listed below to find the best online courses for you will maximize your experience with Skillshare.
1. Use the Built-In Filter System
Using the filter and ‘sort by’ option will narrow the search results to a manageable number, of which most classes will be related to your search. Some of the filter components include;
- Class length
- Class type
- Trending or Popular classes
2. Read the Course Landing Page
The ‘about this class’ and instructor profile are two useful sections with valuable information that can give you an insight into the course. This page also displays how many students have taken the class and the number of projects submitted.
These details give you a hint about the class quality so you can decide whether you want to take the class.
3. Definitely Spend Time Reading the Reviews
Reading past students’ reviews on a particular class is a fantastic way of understanding what your experience would be like.
Check the most recent reviews and read both positive and negative comments. Also, check the course rating and most liked section to read the different areas and aspects of the course the students valued or disliked.
4. Check the Projects and Resource Section
All Skillshare courses revolve around projects. If you look into this section, you’ll see the attached learning materials and additional resources available to support learning in that class.
By checking these materials, you’ll get a clear idea of the learning quality the class can give you.
5. Find Out More About the Instructor
Every Skillshare teacher has a dedicated page with an account of the teacher. This account typically includes details on who they are, their background, professional exposure, and their teaching techniques.
Reading this will give you an idea of what the teacher is like. It will also help you understand if their approach is suitable for you.
You can also check the linked sites and social media pages to learn more about a potential teacher.
The Skillshare help center says,
“There’s no application or approval process, and you don’t need teaching experience. Our teachers are creatives, entrepreneurs, and professionals who are great at what they do and passionate about sharing their skills with others. Each has a unique background, perspective, and teaching style.”
Although you don’t need formal or professional backgrounds, having them will make you stand out. And if you also want to become a Skillshare instructor, you will be completely in charge of creating classes.
You can design the course, produce video content, choose relevant course materials and resources, and upload them. From there on, you can keep in touch with your students and guide them as required.
Skillshare instructors are paid;
- $10 for every new student you bring into Skillshare
- A royalty fee for every minute of the class watched by other Skillshare members
Payments are made only to the Paypal account of the instructor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let me leave you with this: Yes, Skillshare works, and Yes, Skillshare is worth it, but it’s up to you to make it work and gain value out of what it offers.
Unlike in a formal education pathway, you should willingly search where your curiosities lie to learn from Skillshare.
And since Skillshare courses can be followed at your own pace, learning is made easier, especially for those wanting to explore several interests and curiosities.
To sum up, for this honest Skillshare review, you can make Skillshare work by picking the right courses, watching the video content, working on your projects, using additional resources, and submitting your projects for feedback.
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