Skillshare Review | Is It Worth It?

By Jeremy Kallowitz | Course Provider Reviews

Oct 10

Thanks to the internet, people can gain knowledge from sources beyond universities and school. Online education is becoming increasingly more important as aspects of our society shift. Learning in this manner is easily accessible. Anyone from around the globe can learn new things.

The first wave of online education mimicked the more traditional ways of teaching. Like teaching someone face-to-face, these early incarnations had the same form and content. Teachers would deliver lectures via audio files or slides, and students would listen. But recent developments allow these lessons to be more interactive, and they fulfill the potential that their digital status offers.

Skillshare Logo

Skillshare has developed out of this online education revolution.  When it was established in 2012, the platform offered only 15 courses. Today, it’s grown into so much more. The website is now an international e-learning environment that has over 15,000 courses and 2 million students signed up for their services. They even have some well-known influencers enrolled such as Gary Vaynerchuk (social media), Marc Ecko (branding), Guy Kawasaki (business), and Seth Godin (entrepreneurship). 

In this Skillshare review, you’ll learn all you need to know about what the platform offers. You’ll also have some common concerns answered, like “Is Skillshare a scam?” and “Is Skillshare worth it?” You’ll also learn how it’s different from other services that offer the same or similar opportunities. Through all of this, you’ll get an accurate sense of whether it’s something that’s worth checking out.

What Is Skillshare?

Skillshare is a community that is completely based on the internet. It’s designed for teachers to pass on real-world skills to students. These skills can be discovered on the platform by simply browsing through specific categories. Students learn these skills with the help of classes that are project-based.

The way the site is set up allows students and teachers an opportunity to access courses, content, and presentation related to almost any subject they’re interested in. These subjects vary and include business, cooking, crafts, design, DIY, gaming, fashion, film, marketing, music, photography, technology, and more. 

Professionals seeking to teach other tricks of their trade can utilize this site as well. They can do this simply by creating and publishing a class.

This platform’s entire mission is to empower both students and teachers. It gives users a way to improve their lives, perform their passion, and excel in their career. Skillshare is an online learning community that guarantees that their users will have access to high-quality learning.

What It Has to Offer

Skillshare homepage

As of today, you will find that Skillshare has more than 23,000 classes that are dedicated to developing skills. Of these courses, many of them focus on well-known and useful topics. Topics are dedicated to the arts, business, graphic design, cinematography, motion graphics, technology, and a vast number of other topics. Many of these subjects are either extremely useful to today’s job market or are expensive to pursue in traditional education spaces.

With over 2 million students from around the world connected through this online learning and teaching platform, you have access to so many different perspectives. On Skillshare, you can find all different types of interactive lectures. They’re presented in the English language and very easy for most people to grasp.

Those looking to teach on the platform have the opportunity to earn a big boost to their overall income. They also offer a premium membership for their platform that allows people to access an unlimited number of items from their library.

The Benefits of Skillshares

Flexible to Diverse Learning Objectives

Skillshare is a tool that is very useful to students who have different learning needs or objectives. It’s a platform that has a robust amount of content. The courses and classes that they have are aimed to improve, enhance, or expand your set of skills.

Whether you’re looking to add some useful tools to your belt or are wanting a refresher on a topic you’re familiar with, Skillshare has courses that can help you.

Shared Learning Experiences

When you use Skillshare, you’ll see that they don’t offer classes that are just one-on-one. Some people will see this as a disadvantage. However, this focus on a shared learning experience allows students to share their insights and perspective with each other.

This not only gives students a chance to learn unique skills but also allows them to widen their worldview. This setup is also useful as students can offer each other support and gain networking opportunities in fields they’re interested in.

The platform is specifically designed to enhance and promote creativity. Their use of video lessons and project creation helps students unlock this creativity.

Community and Networking for Teachers

Skillshare isn’t designed to just help students looking for a unique learning environment. The platform makes it easy for teachers to join their network. Those looking to teach can simply create a class, add a class description, and publish their creation.

The tools that Skillshare provides for teachers makes creating their classes an easy process. The site also gives instructors a step-by-step guide to creating and publishing their content and allows you to promote it by building a channel.

Lucrative for Professional Development

Additionally, the platform helps creators, entrepreneurs, and professionals earn extra money. Skillshare offers compensation for instructors when students enroll in their courses and watch their instructive videos lessons. They can also earn some extra money by referring students to the premium subscription membership.

Membership Benefits

If students take advantage of this membership, they gain access to the complete catalog of premium courses. They can also view classes offline if they opt for the premium membership. However, offline classes can only be viewed through the Skillshare mobile app. Those not interested in paying the premium price can easily access the free courses that Skillshare offers.

Notable Features

Skillshare has a number of features that both students and teachers can utilize. These features include the aforementioned referral program, class creation and publication tools, building channels, free classes, networking opportunities, a shared learning experience, and offline viewing for premium students. Other features that have been around for a while are the high-quality learning materials they offer and their catalog of premium classes.

While the features listed above have been a part of the platform for a while, Skillshare has recently introduced quite a few new features. These features include helpful tools that make broadcasting and finding courses easier and that offer the ability to attach files. These additions and more help make the process of creating courses and experiencing the course easier than ever. 

  • Skill Tags. As an instructor, you can use skills tags when you create or edit a course. You can add up 5 of these tags. The purpose for teachers is to increase the discoverability of the course. As a student, this new feature can now narrow down your search to what you specifically want. Students can also follow these tags to help personalize the classes they’re recommended from the platform. 
  • Upload Video Lessons. Instructors are now able to upload their video lesson directly from their desktop to Skillshare. This means that your courses are hosted on the website, and exclusive to only your students on the platform.
  • Interactive Project Steps. The platform is specifically project-based, which makes the project step an integral part in teaching and learning on the site. Skillshare has recently stepped up this feature by allowing teachers to expand what they include in each step. Instructors can also determine how students interact with each project step.
  • The process is easy. Teachers can add rich text and attach photos directly from a computer for every step in the project. This gives teachers the ability to display information exactly how they want in each step.   
  • When students take a class, they can now expand and collapse each of these steps. They can now check off the steps they’ve completed and even mark off an entire unit when they’re done. This makes tracking their progress with lessons extremely easy.
  • Attach Files to Videos, Steps, & Resources. If for some reason, an instructor is unable to fit all the information they want into a course, they can now attach documents and files. This includes extra information about a specific project step, a slideshow, or a .psd that a teacher may find essential for students to have.

Who Is Skillshare for?

If you feel that there are areas or skills that you want to learn or expand to improve your life, then this Skillshare review is for you. The courses offered can improve your performance in business and your personal life.

Many of the classes they offer also give you the tools you need to grow professionally. They grow your business skills so that you can pursue your passion as a career. It doesn’t matter if that area of interest is in a certain field or is freelancing. Skillshare’s ultimate goal is to assist people to improve all aspects of their life.  

Who Is It Not for?

If you feel that you know everything there is to know about your field and your skills are perfect, then Skillshare may not be the best fit. If you find that you’re being judgemental of the courses offered in your area of expertise or reluctant to take them, this platform isn’t for you. This space is best for those who are open-minded and eager to learn.

How Much Does It Cost?

With so many features, you might think that a subscription to such a service will come with a hefty price. However, Skillshare is pretty affordable, and it has a few options for you to choose from.

 If you want, you can just become a free member. As a free member, you can browse and participate in a lot of courses at no cost to you whatsoever. Sometimes, instructors will provide links to free premium content to promote their classes.

Another option is for you to pay monthly. The monthly cost is $12 and gives you unlimited access to every course. This is virtually the same price as a Netflix subscription and way more affordable than taking a class at university or college.

If you want, you can pay for the whole year. With this subscription, you either pay $8 monthly or you pay out one payment of $96 per year. If you end up loving the service, this subscription will save you 33 percent each year.

For those struggling financially, Skillshare is still an option for you. If you want to use Skillshare but can’t afford it, then you can apply for a scholarship. Skillshare offers scholarships that can take 50 to 100 percent off their price. Be sure to read their terms of service before applying to ensure that you’re eligible. To test whether Skillshare is right for you, you can also sign up for a free one-month trial.

Pros & Cons

While Skillshare has many advantages and pros, it’s not completely free of issues and mistakes. The following is a look into the pros and cons of the platform.

Pros:

  • There are a wide number of teachers on Skillshare who offer insight that is invaluable and put a real focus on interactive teaching and learning.
  • It’s super easy to use; anyone can upload a standardized class on the platform.
  • The video quality of even their free video content is of high-quality, especially when compared to the majority of YouTube videos.
  • Once you’ve finished your course, you can share what you’ve completed with the community members on Skillshare.
  • The design of the platform is well-developed, straightforward, and engaging so users can easily navigate their way around.
  • The price is a lot more affordable than traditional classes and popular online learning platforms.

Cons:

Courses that aren’t as focused on creative pursuits don’t quite have that high-quality standard. Plus, these courses have lectures that tend to be a bit shorter.

The selection of courses that are creativity-driven is slim.

Skillshare doesn’t put a restriction on video length. With no standard, you can find videos that are 10 minutes and videos that are a few hours.

The learning process, while interactive, might not be for everyone. If you learn better by just listening to lectures or reading materials, you might struggle with the website’s setup.

A Look at Courses Offered

Intro to Surface Pattern Design: Learn Adobe Illustrator | Create Patterns. Artists and graphic designers can find numerous courses similar to this one. This course provides aspiring designers and artists some tips and tricks to learning Adobe Illustrator, a valuable tool in both job fields. The course focuses on the creation of repeating patterns, which can be used by freelancers and entrepreneurs to advance their career. This class starts with the very basics and builds up to more advanced techniques to give you the knowledge you need to begin designing.   

Context Is Key: Social Media Strategy in a Noisy Online World. Mastery of social media is essential for those looking to start their own business. Companies use social media to tell their story and build their brand. This course teaches you how to develop a social media platform that will develop results. The instructor promises to break down how to utilize all the major platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr. The teacher for this course is an expert in his field, working for brands like PepsiCo and GE.

This course promises to teach you how to build long-term relationships with your customers. It gives you the skills to customize your content so that it’s appealing to your specific audience. It offers real-world examples of social media accounts that work and ones that don’t so that you can apply them to your own campaigns. 

Context is Key encourages students to create their own platform while going through this course. If you don’t have your own brand, you can try to create a social media strategy for your favorite brand.

Introduction to SEO: Tactics and Strategy for Entrepreneurs. This course on Skillshare is focused on helping those interested in entrepreneurship. It teaches students tactics and insights that they can apply to their content. These tricks optimize your content and show you how you can organically raise your online presence. This class is advertised as offering bite-sized lessons that are easy-to-follow.

This class will work for everyone. SEO is a marketing strategy that doesn’t change across industries. The fundamentals gone over in this course can be applied universally.

At the end of instruction, students are invited to work on a project to put their new skills to the test. They’re encouraged to share their own SEO method by optimizing a blog post based on keyword research.

Is It a Scam?

Skillshare offers interested users a 1-month free trial to help you answer the question: Is Skillshare worth it? It’s a good offer that many subscription services have.

People who do sign up for this free month but don’t enjoy their experience sometimes find that after that month is up they get charged for the next month. This isn’t a scam like many people claim. It’s just that to get the free trial you have to sign up for a subscription. If you don’t cancel that subscription, you’re going to get charged like you would any other service.

Why There Are Complaints

If you look at other Skillshare reviews and feedback, you’ll see that there are a few complaints. You’ll also find that many of the articles question the validity of the platform. With a closer look at these complaints, however, you’ll notice that there are easy solutions.

Here are a few complaints you might run into when looking at other feedback and Skillshare review and the solution to them. 

  • The most common complaint is that a person forgot to cancel their subscription after their free trial. They expect the platform to remind them, but that’s not a common practice for any subscription service. When you cancel your subscription at least a few days before the trial ends, you’ll avoid all disputes and charges. You can cancel by going to your payment settings and do so.
  • Another complaint also deals with money. Quite a few people don’t feel comfortable giving out their credit card information for the free trial. As a legitimate business entity, the company has a physical location with real employees. However, it is based online, so payment information has to be collected this way. Collecting this information when you sign up for the free trial allows you to easily transition to the actual subscription when you’ve decided that Skillshare is right for you. It also filters out people who try to take advantage of the system by signing up using multiple email address.
  • Users who have tried Skillshare sometimes say that they never had the time to take any classes. This is understandable. Skillshare can actually help with that issue. They offer courses on time management. This will help you prioritize what you want to do, including taking other Skillshare classes.
  • A less common complaint is that people can’t find a course that they’re interested in, even though the platform has a wide range of topics. However, if you feel they might not have what you’re looking for, you can always browse their course before signing up. This will let you know if there are classes that you’re actually interested in. 
  • An outdated complaint in itself, people use to complain that there was no way to see if a class was outdated. The site has actually tackled this problem. You can now browse through the course and filter them by their date of creation. You can also filter classes by how popular they are and which ones are trending.

How It Compares to YouTube

When you compare Skillshare to other online learning platforms, it beats them in almost every category thanks to the low price and high-quality content. But, how does it compare to a completely free service like YouTube?

When you look at both the production quality and the quality of the content, Skillshare comes out on top. While some YouTube videos have good production quality, they often lack organization and structure. The professionals teaching at Skillshare ensure that their video content has both. Also, Skillshare doesn’t pester its students with advertisements or other unrelated videos.

Skillshare is an online learning community that guarantees high quality education

This platform have the opportunity to earn a big boost to their overall income

Skillshare also offers you an incentive to really learn. Since YouTube is free, you’re less likely to stay committed to learning what you want. The $12 that comes out of your bank account every month is a great reminder that you should be bettering yourself.

The most crucial feature that Skillshare has over YouTube is that it puts what you’re learning into practice. You’re given tasks to complete to ensure that you’re using what you’re taught. This practice helps create the neurological pathways needed to really cement these new skills into your brain. With YouTube, you’re left struggling to remember what was said.

Is Skillshare Worth It?

Skillshare is a social and casual alternative to traditional learning methods. It focuses on the details that really make learning stick so that students can apply what they’re taught in the real world.

While Skillshare provides you with all you need to succeed, it’s your decision to figure out whether or not it’s worth it for you. Do some extra research. Read some more Skillshare reviews and give the free trial a whirl. Discover for yourself how the valuable information provided by industry professionals is what you’re looking for.

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