Interested in mastering a new skill?
Online learning platforms allow us to broaden our horizons without ever leaving the comfort of our homes and with over 22,000 available classes, Skillshare has made it to the top ranks.
But how effective is it? Is investing your precious time and money into Skillshare a smart decision?
In this Skillshare review, we’ll try to answer these questions (and many others) so you have all the information you need to decide if Skillshare is for you.
What is Skillshare?
Skillshare is an online learning platform offering more than 22,000 educational courses in different niches.
The website provides classes on various topics ranging from entrepreneurship, technology, and business to creative arts, design, and different crafts.
Skillshare allows you to learn by subscribing to different courses, or you can sign up as a teacher and produce your own lectures to earn money.
How Much Does Skillshare Cost?
There are two different subscription models available on Skillshare.
Free Membership and Premium Membership
Signing up for a free account costs nothing but gives you access only to certain classes. The premium membership offers unlimited access to Skillshare’s video catalog which features more than 20k videos.
So, how much is Skillshare exactly?
The Premium Membership operates on a subscription level and offers the following:
Monthly Plan ($12/month)
Annual Plan ($8/year)
Both plans provide plenty of benefits like no ads, offline access to courses, teacher support, and scholarships, with the annual plan offering additional perks and bonuses to its users.
Whether you opt for a monthly or an annual subscription, Skillshare will give you a free trial for a period of one month.
This allows you to browse and utilize the complete Skillshare archive before deciding to make an official commitment to one of their plans.
To sign up for a free trial, you’ll need to provide your credit card information. If you decide to opt-out of your premium membership after the free trial, just cancel the subscription to make sure your card is not charged.
Overview of Classes
Skillshare has a vast catalog of classes from which you can choose.
Once you sign up for an account, you’ll be able to tick off certain topics that interest you, and the platform will give you recommendations based on your preferences.
You can also browse the catalog by category or search through some of the trending or most popular classes available on the website.
Some of the classes on Skillshare include web design, mobile development, social media marketing, calligraphy, photoshop, photography, cinematography, leadership, writing, and branding.
Since Skillshare allows people to sign up for the platform as teachers, the number of available classes is constantly growing. You can choose a class by some well-established companies and professionals, as well as individual contributors.
Some of the best classes on the platform include:
- Productivity Masterclass: Create a Custom System that Works by Thomas Frank
- Fundamentals of DSLR Photography by Photo Essentials x Justin Bridges
- Digital Illustration: Learn to Use Procreate by Jarom Vogel
- iPhone Photography: How to Take Pro Photos On Your iPhone by Dale McManus
- Video Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro for Beginners by Jordy Vandeput
Once you choose a class you’re interested in and click on the desired video, you’ll be taken to a page which includes some of the following information:
- Overview of the class
- Lesson breakdown
- Information about the creator of the class
- Reviews of the class
- Projects and resources where users can read additional material related to the class and share their learning processes
In addition to the informational content, the platform allows you to save the videos for later watching, add them to a calendar, or even share them on different social networks.
You can also follow the creator of the course so you’ll stay up to date with any future videos they might post.
Skillshare also provides its users with a more interactive learning environment.
These classes are called Skillshare workshops and allow you to attend lectures on a designated schedule alongside other students.
These workshops are designed for those who value a more structured and interactive learning approach.
Some workshops are limited to a certain number of students as a way of providing personalized and more effective lectures.
Depending on the class and subject teacher, some workshops require you to pay a one-time sign-up fee which is set by the teacher.
Becoming a Teacher at Skillshare
Those who wish to experience the other side of the coin and share their expertise can do so by becoming Skillshare teachers.
To become a Skillshare teacher you’re not required to pass any tests or go through a verification process.
The process is quite straightforward, and anybody who wishes to share their knowledge on a specific topic is allowed to create a class.
While this certainly streamlines the process for potential teachers, it also poses certain issues related to a growing number of lower quality classes available on the platform.
Skillshare also provides its teachers with a Teacher Handbook, a collection of useful information, tips, and tricks designed to help future lecturers create successful and engaging classes.
Once you sign up as a teacher, you’ll also gain access to the Teacher Center, a community of Skillshare teachers.
You can connect with other lecturers, ask for help and feedback, and get the support you need to create your first class.
If you need additional support, you can always sign up for the Teach Challenge, which is a more guided support system designed for first-time teachers.
After reading this far, you should have a good grasp on how Skillshare works and what it provides.
Still, the question remains: Is Skillshare worth it?
The answer comes down to how you approach it and what you consider a good investment.
Looking at it from the role of student, $8.00 a month for access to an archive of more than 20,000 educational videos seems like a good bargain, especially considering the interactive nature of the website that mirrors the experience of hiring a private tutor.
Even with a free membership, you’ll be able to put your time to good use and expand your skillset.
Another great perk of Skillshare is that it gives you the complete freedom to choose the topics that interest you, and there is no limit to how many classes you can attend.
However, as structured and engaging as they are, these learning platforms rely on your personal motivation and determination to follow through.
Nobody will track your attendance, send you to detention, or make you repeat a year if your scores aren’t satisfactory.
This amount of freedom may be perfect for some, but others may find it difficult to commit to a project and follow through without accountability..
Personal development can be an amazing thing, but only if you have the drive to engage in it.
If you choose to use the platform as a teacher, you can position yourself as an expert in your field while making some money.
You also have a very good support system and a great community that can help you grow as a teacher.
Being a Skillshare teacher requires some work and patience, as it takes time to grow a steady following and start earning some real money.
Whatever role you choose on the website, if you’re willing to dedicate your time and put real effort into the platform, then Skillshare is definitely worth it!
As the great Benjamin Franklin reminds, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
Skillshare Pros and Cons
- Interactive learning
- Multiple subscription models
- Free membership available
- Affordable premium membership
- Available for mobile and PC
- Wide assortment of classes
- Classes by well-established companies and experts in various fields
- Great community support
- Constant feedback
- Ability to earn money as a teacher
- Good support systems for students and teachers
- Classes aren’t accredited (no certificate upon course completion)
- Some classes have questionable quality
- Earning a steady income as a teacher takes time
- Limited course access with free membership
Is Skillshare for you?
If you have a passion for learning and developing new skills, Skillshare may be a great starting point.
It offers a great variety of courses in different categories and allows you to choose how much you’re willing to spend on it — even if you’re not willing to invest anything, you’re still getting a great deal!
While there’s certainly room for improvement, especially in terms of class accreditation and class quality, Skillshare gives you a unique opportunity to make the most of your time and put your new-found skills to good use.
And remember: “Time Spent Learning is Never a Waste.”