Taking an online course is easier than ever, but deciding which online learning platforms work best for your budget, schedule and personal interests still needs a little effort to research. Luckily, if you’re reading this, you’ll learn how to break down the Skillshare vs Udemy pros and cons.
As a brief review, Udemy is unlike most of its fellow MOOC (massive open online course) providers as it functions more like a marketplace where users can create and get paid to teach their own courses. Their business model has been successful for well over a decade, leading to Udemy being one of the most popular online learning options to date, serving more than a million students each year.
In sharp contrast, Skillshare is a smaller MOOC service that has nevertheless earned a sterling reputation as one of the better places to learn online. You can usually hear about them while watching videos as plenty of YouTubers consistently tout the quality of the courses on Skillshare.
We’d like to give you a more qualitative review of Skillshare and Udemy based on three major considerations: namely, the types of courses you want to learn, the cadence of your learning experience, and the compatibility of their prices with your budget.
Udemy’s library is larger and more academically-related. Skillshare is more artisanal and vocational.
Finding the ideal online course can be a bit tricky. Not only do you have to find a course that caters to your studying needs, but you have to sift through many similar courses to discover one of superior quality.
Udemy has over 100 000 courses, so you can expect to find a class on every topic imaginable. This is great if you interested in either academic subjects and specific niches. Many real-life instructors teach professional-quality classes on mathematics, computer science, programming, chemistry, biology, and foreign languages.
When you enter Udemy, however, you won’t feel overwhelmed by the number of choices. Sure, there may be a lot of poor quality classes, but the selection list probably won’t bring many up. Udemy has an excellent system for curating the best courses based on user reviews, pricing and content, so you’ll save time judging which ones are a perfect fit. You can also customize filters to search for a course at the appropriate skill level, in the right length, and in your language.
Skillshare’s library is significantly smaller, with approximately 30,000 courses, but course quality rarely suffers. The platform is frequented by people interested in picking up creative skills like digital and hand-drawn illustration, creative writing, animation, photography, interior design, and personal development. You can find a lot of overlap between Skillshare and Udemy in the arts & crafts department, but Skillshare seems to win out in the quality of these kinds of courses.
They make in-house courses, called Skillshare Originals, with the help of instructors from partnered industry giants like Adobe, LG, and Moz. These courses are professionally-made and elevate the platform’s quality.
Skillshare is straight-to-the-point and saves time. Udemy is a little more comprehensive.
As a rule of thumb, Udemy and Skillshare are built to be streamlined and efficient when it comes to teaching learners. They’re more casual than the workload in real-life universities, focusing on asynchronous studying and ubiquity with the option of using mobile applications to access courses.
Udemy and Skillshare’s online courses generally use videos as their main medium of instruction. While both platforms try to keep the quality of videos decent, Skillshare further emphasizes shorter, bite-sized content as the norm. This means you can slide in a class or two during your ten-minutes-long office break. It can be surprising how much you’ll end up learning, though; the culture in Skillshare has imbued class creators with a certain brevity for teaching their students. On the other hand, courses on Udemy will feel a little heftier overall. Many of their instructors opt for longer classes, taking one, two, or even up to five hours long.
The video player on Udemy is more advanced than Skillshare’s, since you can annotate a certain moment in the video, manually pick the video quality, and add captions.
If we consider their actual completion experience, however, Skillshare strikes back with its distinct project-based requirements. To complete any course, a user must produce an actual output using the skills they’ve acquired throughout the whole ordeal.
For focusing on a single subject, go with Udemy. If you want way more options, Skillshare’s better.
Here’s where Udemy and Skillshare really start to split, and you might find yourself gravitating towards one or the other after reading through their pricing plans.
First off, Udemy likes to shower you with discounts, and they’re quite a steal if you want to get the most value out of your course shopping. Udemy, after all, is a marketplace for online classes, and each class has to be bought separately. A Udemy purchase nets you lifetime access per course
Udemy offers courses for as low as $19.99 to $199.99, but many of them, especially the pricier ones, are discounted for as much as 95%, so you can bag unlimited access to a $200 course for $20 or less. Just watch out as your total expenses will stack up with each course purchased. But if you’ve already made up your mind with studying only one subject, that wouldn’t be a problem.
Meanwhile, Skillshare’s model is subscription-based. The basic subscription is free, giving you access to courses that are, well, free. If you avail of their monthly subscription, which runs at $15 per month, you’ll be able to enroll in all of those high-quality paid courses. Everything in the learning platform becomes available for your perusal. A Skillshare subscription is perfect if you have multiple interests that you want to dabble in, or if you want to diversify yourself with related and marketable skills, such as illustration and animation for graphics design.
If you’re a free user, you still have tons of options. Many courses offered on Udemy are completely free, just like a smorgasbord of information. Udemy can be compared to Coursera in this regard, giving users the chance to still acquire a ton of new knowledge without paying a single dollar. And finally, Skillshare offers its Premium membership as a 7-day free trial, which you should definitely take as a taste of the power of Skillshare’s paid subscription.
We hope this article can serve as a guide for deciding whether to enroll in Udemy, one of the largest services for online education, or Skillshare, a veritable hub for sharing creative and artisanal skills. Enjoy studying!