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Honest Skillshare Review – Is It Really Worth The Money?

skillshare review
skillshare review

To be honest, Skillshare isn’t for everyone…

But if you are wondering whether or not it’s right for you, and if it’s worth the money, don’t miss this revealing Skillshare review.

After using Skillshare for the past 3 years and writing dozens of articles about their classes, I thought it was finally time to share my thoughts and experience of the platform.

So if you are after a thorough and detailed review of Skillshare in 2021, look no further!

Skillshare Review – A Quick Overview In 2021

skillshare quick overview

One sentence overview: Skillshare is one of the best learning platforms thanks to its 29,000+ video classes, expert instructors, and fun/ actionable lessons.

Who is it for: Skillshare is great for creators, curious minds, entrepreneurs, photographers, designers, bloggers, marketers, and those interested in personal development.

Who should avoid it: If you are looking to pursue a new career or pivot, you may be best suited with LinkedIn Learning or Coursera as they offer more advanced learning paths.

Pros

  • 27,000+ on-demand lessons
  • Wide range of expert instructors
  • High quality “Original” classes
  • iPhone/ Android app for mobile viewing
  • Various student groups
  • Offline watching (downloadable classes)
  • 1-month free trial
  • Group workshops
  • No strings attached
  • Classes constantly added

Cons

  • No certificates of completion
  • Teacher quality can vary a lot
  • Cancellation process is a little confusing

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Skillshare Review From An Actual User In 2021

Screen Shot 2020 07 30 at 11.57.19 am Honest Skillshare Review - Is It Really Worth The Money?

What Is Skillshare?

Simply put, Skillshare is the education equivalent of Netflix as it allows users to stream consumable and high-quality classes. Here are some of the similarities between the two services:

  • Skillshare produce their own in-house classes
  • 29,000+ educational classes
  • Subscription-based service
  • Bite-sized lessons
  • Recommended class/ playlists
  • Bingeable classes
  • Can be view on mobile/ desktop

As for the company itself, Skillshare was founded in 2010 and has since gone from strength to strength.

At the of writing this, Skillshare has over 8 million students, 29,000+ classes (around 3,000 new classes added every year), and thriving communities on their platform where users can get feedback, advice, and motivation.

Unlike other online learning platforms, Skillshare is made up of in-house and community-driven instructors.

This system creates a positive feedback loop as new teachers can earn money from their classes, while students get access to new content.

Who Is Skillshare For?

who is skillshare for

To be upfront and honest, Skillshare is not for everyone.

Let me explain…

If you are someone who is pursuing a career or is interested in a dense subject like data science, social studies, humanities, law, or biology.

Skillshare is most likely NOT a good fit.

However….

If you are someone who wants to:

  • Learn a new skill
  • Pursue a passion
  • Reignite an existing interest
  • Curious about a topic
  • Want to stay more relevant in the workforce
  • Unleash your creativity
  • Learn about personal development
  • Start a new business
  • Plus more…

Then Skillshare is a fantastic learning provider that can fill almost any passion or interest.

So while there are more extensive, advanced, thorough, and detailed platforms available.

It’s very rare to find fun, informative, and actionable classes like the ones that Skillshare has on offer.

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What Type Of Classes Are On Skillshare?

What Type Of Classes Are On Skillshare?

Over the 3 years of using Skillshare, I have found that Skillshare delivers classes and learning experiences about real-life topics, designed for real-life people.

And this is the main reason why I am still using them to this day.

Some of many “real-word” categories Skillshare covers include:

  • Animation
  • Creative writing
  • Film & Video
  • Fine art
  • Graphic design
  • Illustration
  • Music
  • Photography
  • UI/UX design
  • Web development
  • Business
  • Freelance 
  • Leadership & management
  • Lifestyle
  • Productivity
  • Entreneaurship

One thing to note is that these are only the categories. When you dig a little deeper into each one, this uncovers a HUGE range of specific classes.

Some notable class topics include:

  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Product design
  • PHP
  • HTML
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Revit
  • Time management
  • Drawing
  • Water coloring
  • Comedy
  • Sign Language

What’s crazy is that the above list is really only scratching the surface as to the number of classes that are included with Skillshare.

While I have received a ton of value from taking over 50 classes. I am also always on the lookout for new topics that might perk my interest too.

As an example, when I signed up for the service, Skillshare had around 20,000 classes. So in the space of just 3 years, there have been 9,000 new classes added, which almost 10 per day!

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Quality Of The Instructors & Course Content

Quality Of The Instructors & Course Content

Unlike other online learning websites, Skillshares classes are produced in-house by expert instructors (called Originals) and by community users, much like YouTube. Hence the “Share” in Skillshare.

When it comes to the “Skillshare Original” classes. I have yet to come across one where I haven’t been impressed by either the instructor, class content, or the production quality.

Much like MasterClass, Skillshare actively seeks out leaders in a given field and partners up to produce these Skillshare Originals. Some of the standout teachers include:

  • Gary Vaynerchuk
  • Seth Godin
  • Guy Kawasaki
  • Thomas Frank
  • Ali Abdaal
  • Justin Bridges
  • Jessica Hische
  • Michael Chernow
  • Jonathan Van Ness

Now, of course, the instructors won’t be the same caliber as MasterClass, but I don’t mind that.

If anything, the skills you learn from these instructors are more realistic, actionable, and fit into the real world.

On the flip side of the coin, when it comes to the classes created by independent teachers. I would say 90% of them are extremely well made, structured, and very informative.

But every now and again, I will come across a class that is a bit meh, which is something you should be aware of if you decide to signup with Skillshare.

skillshare class review system

But if you want to avoid these “meh” classes altogether, Skillshare does have a user rating system that I have found to be quite accurate.

As you can see above, the review system covers aspects such as expectations met, clarity of instruction, engaging teacher, actionable steps, and personal reviews of past students.

Overall, I would give two thumbs up to the quality of instructors and the class content on Skillshare.

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User Interface Of Skillshare

user interface of skillshare

After trying dozens of eLearning platforms over the past 3 years, I have found that the user interface and experience can be make or break.

As an example, I have used a few platforms (not sharing names) that are slow, clunky, hard to navigate, and complicated.

So regardless of how good the class may be, I generally don’t stick around.

Thankfully, Skillshare has a strong emphasis on the UI/UX which has allowed me to uncover new classes, see recommendations, easily search/ navigate, and keep tabs on my current/ completed classes.

To break this down further, here is how Skillshare is structured.

Searching For Classes

searching for classes

As Skillshare has such an abundance of classes, it can sometimes feel overwhelming on where to begin.

This is why I typically start with the search feature to pinpoint a particular topic I want to learn

For example, you can see the above image which shows the results when searching for “photography”. Usually, the Skillshare Originals will rank up the top alongside “Staff Picks” which are also quite handy.

From there, it’s very easy to view the course duration, amount of students, the instructor, class length, how recently it was created, and also sub-topics for more refinement.

Recommended Classes

Reccomended Classes

If you’re not exactly sure what you want to learn, or where to start. Skillshare does have curated lists of classes that may perk your interests and curiosity.

These lists are broken down into:

  • Recommended lists
  • Featured lists/ classes
  • Trending classes
  • Workshops (curated set of classes)
  • Best classes of the month

Also, as you search and take more classes, Skillshare learns what you like and will start delivering up more tailored classes to your likings.

Viewing Your Classes

Viewing Your Classes

When I initially signed up for Skillshare, I was extremely enthusiastic and enrolled in close to a dozen classes at once. ????‍♂️

To manage all these new lessons, there is the “My Classes” section which allowed me to categorize my classes into lists, view all saved classes, remove classes, and view my watch history so I was able to pick up where I left off.

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Taking a Skillshare Class

Taking a Skillshare Class

When it came to actually take a Skillshare class, I found the overall experience to be very seamless and enjoyable.

For example, I recently enrolled in the Productivity Masterclass taught by Ali Abdaal, who is a Doctor, YouTuber, Podcaster, and productivity junkie, which I would highly recommend!

Once I clicked into the class (see above), I was shown all the lessons, duration of the class, a brief overview of the class, student reviews, note-taking section, ability to save the class, discussions, projects, and resources.

Another benefit I appreciated was the ability to set a reminder so I could continue watching the class at a later date.

These reminders integrate directly into the Outlook Calendar, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, and Yahoo.

Student Discussions

Student Discussions

While undertaking this on-demand video class, I was also able to take advantage of the discussion section, where you can interact directly with the instructor.

Depending on the popularity of the class, I have found the discussion areas to be either thriving or ghost towns.

However, when I have reached out to the instructors, even for less popular class, 9/10 they respond and are extremely happy to answer any questions.

Projects & Resources

Projects & Resources

As the name suggests, this section of the class shares any projects, tools, books, apps, articles, downloads, websites, or additional videos that the instructor mentioned in the class.

For more hands-on classes about illustration, drawing, watercolor, photography, etc. There are typically downloadable PDFs and workbooks which are handy to have when following along.

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The Cost Of Skillshare

As for the price of Skillshare, it can vary a lot depending on the option selected when signing up.

And these are very important to know as they can save you A LOT of money.

To share an example of this, I went through the checkout process again so you can have a clear understanding of their pricing structure.

The Cost Of Skillshare

As you can see from the above image, there are 3 structures to the pricing.

  1. $8.25/mo ($99 billed annually)
  2. $19/mo (billed monthly)
  3. $4.95/mo with a 40% discount (then billed $99/yr after that)

One thing to keep in mind is that these prices only kick in once the 1-month free trial ends (which can be canceled anytime during that period).

So if you are looking to save some money, option 3 is by far the most cost-effective over the long term.

However, if you only want to use Skillshare for 1-2 months after that trail, then the monthly plan is also a suitable option.

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Is Skillshare Worth The Money?

Is Skillshare Worth The Money?

When it comes to the cost of Skillshare, I would say it’s extremely well priced for what you get.

And when you compare Skillshare to Udemy, MasterClass, LinkedIn Learning, and Coursera, the pricing looks even more attractive.

Some of these course providers charge $100 upwards for a single class. ????

So when it comes to value for money, I would say that Skillshare is definitely worth the money.

And from my experience, its a very small price to pay to learn new skills and exercise your mind!

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Pros Of Skillshare

After using Skillshare for just over 3 years, here are some of the major benefits that I have found when using their service.

29,000+ on-demand video lessons: Skillshare has one of the largest catalogs of classes in the industry which covers a wide range of topics.

Wide range of expert instructors: I have found Skillshare instructors to be very informative, entertaining, and share actionable tactics.

High quality “Original” classes: The in-house Originals are very well made, structured, produced, and deliver a very high standard of learning.

iPhone/ Android app for mobile viewing: Using the iPhone Skillshare made it easy for me to kill time in a more productive way. Goodbye aimless Facebook scrolling!

Community student groups: For popular classes, there are very helpful and passionate group discussions that help with guidance, motivation, and questions.

Offline watching (downloadable classes): The ability to download classes was very helpful on long-haul flights. This is only available on the app, however.

1-month free trial: When first signing up, I got a TON of value from the free trial. So much that I decided to stick around.

Group workshops: With many classes, the workshops are a great place where you can upload and view other student’s projects.

No strings attached: The ability to cancel anytime gives good peace of mind.

Classes constantly added: Since signing up for Skillshare, they have added close to 7,000 classes, and add around 10 new classes every day.

Cons Of Skillshare

While Skillshare does a lot right, I did find there were a few things that let them down. Not deal-breakers, but things you should know.

No certificates of completion: One thing I wish Skillshare offered were certificates. Typically, certificates from online course providers carry no weight or accreditation, but nonetheless, it does give you a great sense of achievement.

Teacher quality can vary: When viewing the video classes of the community-based teachers, in some instances, I found the quality was hit and miss for about 10% of the classes.

The cancellation process is a little confusing: I have heard that the cancellation process is quite confusing as you have to confirm 2-3 times that you want to cancel. This can lead to confusion when you might get a bill for a service that you thought you canceled.

My Favorite Skillshare Classes

After taking close to 50 individual Skillshare classes over the past 3 years. Here are 3 classes that have had the greatest impact on me, and I still continue to rewatch.

1. Productivity Masterclass: Create a Custom System that Works

Productivity Masterclass: Create a Custom System that Works

My hands-down favorite pick is the productivity masterclass taught by Thomas Frank, who is a famous YouTuber and time hacker.

This class alone changed my mindset on how I think about productivity and has enabled me to get more done in a smaller time frame.

What I really love about this class is that there is ZERO fluff and instead actionable tips, systems, and processes on how to take control of your time.

Some of the topics Thomas covers in this class are how to manage tasks, set up a calendar, take notes, organize files, be a better emailer, and a review day.

So if you are someone who thinks “I never have enough time”, this is a phenomenal class!

2. Context is Key: Social Media Strategy in a Noisy Online World

Context is Key Social Media Strategy in a Noisy Online World

For an extremely long time, I always dreaded engaging in social media, which I’m sure is a common fear for many people.

To combat this, I took the Social Media Strategy course taught by Gary Vanyerchuk, which you have most likely seen plastered over Facebook and YouTube, thanks to his passionate speeches and presentations.

While this is a very condensed class, GaryVee covers some revealing tips such as how to select the right social media platform like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, how balance punchy posts with long term audience building and how to tell the right story in the right context.

As you might be able to tell, there is a common thread amongst these classes of personal development and growing my business which I am a big fan of.

Overall, this is an outstanding class that has taught me some invaluable presentation skills.

3. Street Photography: Capture the Life of Your City

Street Photography: Capture the Life of Your City

During the past 10 years, I have always dabbled in photography, but never really taken it seriously. Mostly, I was interested in architectural and street photography.

So when I saw this Skillshare class on street photography, I immediately took it! And boy was I not disappointed!

For this class, I was taught by “Trashhand” in conjunction with VSCO which covers many lessons that include motion, portraits, lighting, editing, exposure, night shots, and heaps more.

Since taking this class, I now have a better understanding of the process of taking great photos, and being able to replicate it myself!

Skillshare F.A.Q.

After running this website and writing various articles about Skillshare classes, these are some of the most common questions that I always get asked.

Is Skillshare a Scam?

No. Skillshare is a legitimate American based company that provides on-demand video lessons for students all around the world. Since 2010, Skillshare has helped 8 million students and has 29,000+ classes on their platform.

Is Skillshare Accredited?

No. Unfortunately, Skillshare does not provide any accreditation for their classes, tutorials, or lessons. While this has been rumored, this would be a hard feat as their classes are taught by a wide range of in-house and user-based teachers.

Does Skillshare Offer Certificates?

No. Skillshare currently does not provide any certificates of completion to their students. However, students are free to add a completed class to their resume or CV.

Can You Cancel Skillshare After The Free Trial?

Yes. Once students start the Skillshare 1-month trial, this can be canceled anytime during that period with no strings attached. To Cancel, navigate to Profile > Account Settings > Payments > Cancel > Continue with cancellation > Confirm cancellation.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you are to cancel during the free trial, you will cease to have access to Skillshare Premium, even if you cancel on the first day.

Can You Watch Skillshare on iPhone/ Android?

Yes. When signing up for a Skillshare Premium account, this allows users to access their account across multiple devices. This includes laptops, computers, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. Unfortunately, there is no app for the Apple TV, Roku, Firestick, or Windows phones.

Can Skillshare Classes Be Downloaded?

Yes, Skillshare classes can be downloaded for offline viewing. However, this capability is only available on smartphone devices/ tablets for either iOS or Android. Unfortunately, this can not be done on desktop devices.

Conclusion Of My Skillshare Review

In conclusion, Skillshare is a well-rounded online course platform that delivers actionable classes for creators, curious minds, entrepreneurs, and those interested in personal development. With a price tag of $8.25/mo and 29,000+ video classes, Skillshare delivers incredible value at a competitive price.

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3 Comments

  1. I was wanting to see how they find their teachers and the application process. Do you know? It’s hard to google. Thanks. Great article.

  2. I’m glad that I have an enquiring mind; I looked Skillshare up and they have an F rating with the Better Business Bureau.