Udemy vs Skillshare: Side By Side Comparison & Review - Online Course How

Udemy vs Skillshare: Side By Side Comparison & Review

Udemy and Skillshare are both popular online ​learning platforms. Which is the better choice for you? This post will provide a side by side comparison to help you decide for yourself.

What are the main differences between Udemy and Skillshare?

Both Skillshare and Udemy offer thousands of online courses. The main difference between the two course platforms is their cost structure. On Udemy you will pay for each individual course. On Skillshare, you pay a monthly or annual subscription to unlock complete access to all courses on the platform. 

In this post I'll discuss the pros and cons of Udemy and Skillshare, how much each costs, what types of courses are offered, and more.

1. Overview – Udemy vs. Skillshare

Header

Udemy

​Skillshare

​Pricing

​from $10 ​per course

​from $8.15/month

​Pros

  1. ​lots of courses
  2.  lifetime access
  3.  ​mobile app
  4.  short bite-sized lessons
  1. ​one fee to access many courses
  2. ​high quality ​course videos and site navigation
  3. Offline access to courses

​Cons

  1. ​costs can add up if you​ take lots of courses
  2. ​not accredited
  3. some courses are lower quality
  1. ​some courses are very short
  2. l​ess ​course​s to choice from (especially non-creative topics)
  3. not accredited

Best For:

  • ​Taking just 1 or 2 courses
  •  Wide range of topics (including tech and business)
  • ​If you want to take a lot ​of courses
  •  Creative and craft based topics
Cell

Both Udemy and Skillshare are online course websites. They bring together students and instructors, and tend to focus on the transfer of practical skills, as opposed to more academic knowledge.

Whatever subject you'd like to learn about, there are likely courses on both of these platforms that can connect you with an expert to learn from.

Both platforms offer thousands of courses on topics like business, photography, music, cooking, writing, technology, and more.

With university and college courses becoming more and more expensive, platforms like Udemy and Skillshare offer cheaper alternatives to traditional education.

Instead of paying thousands of dollars and spending years of your time learning about a subject, online course platforms like Udemy and Skillshare enable you to gain the knowledge you need at a fraction of the time and cost.

Particularly for entrepreneurs who just need to learn specific skills to succeed in business, and don't necessarily care about receiving a diploma or degree to put on their resume.

Both Udemy and Skillshare allow students to work through course content at their own pace, and pick and choose individual courses that they're interested in.

Either platform will empower you as a student to make your own choices, learn about your passion, and potentially improve your career prospects.

One big feature that Skillshare has that Udemy lacks is offline access to classes. So if you're often on the go without access to wifi or cell signal, you can still access your course material and learn while you're on the go.

Choosing the right learning platform can be challenging. I recommend you to read the complete guide to online learning sites.

2. Costs

One of the main differences between Udemy and Skillshare are how they're structured in terms of cost.

When you want to take a course on Udemy, you have to pay for each individual course. Once you buy a course, you've got lifetime access to it. Courses on Udemy range from $10 to $150 or more.

However, courses frequently go on sale. So if you want a week or two, you can probably get a big discount on any course that you're thinking about buying.

Skillshare is a bit different. You pay a flat monthly subscription fee in order to get access to every course available on their platform. A subscription either costs $15 per month, or $8.25 per month if you pay for a full year all at once.

If you're someone who wants to be constantly learning new things, then Skillshare offers exceptional value.

You don't have to think about whether you want to spend money on a course or not, because you've already paid for your subscription. 

You can just log in and take as many classes as you want, whenever you want, without having to worry about the price.

On Skillshare, you can just start watching a course to see if it's something you'd be interested in. If it is, you can keep watching. If not, you can just move on to another course.

If you pay for an annual subscription to Skillshare, you also unlock discounts for other services like Squarespace, Shutterstock, or Adobe Premiere Pro.

Just looking to take one or two courses?

Then Udemy will likely work out cheaper for you, particularly if you only buy courses while they're on sale. But if you want to be constantly learning new things and taking more courses, then Skillshare will offer more value for your money.

3. Subjects/Topics Taught

Subjects/Topics Taught

Udemy has more than 30,000 courses taught by 18,000 instructors. Courses cover a huge variety of topics including test prop, health and fitness, photography, office productivity, marketing, personal development, and more.

Skillshare catalogue of courses

Skillshare has an equally impressive catalogue of courses, with more than 23,000 currently being offered. Its courses also cover a wide variety of categories such as creative, business, lifestyle, and technology.

If there's a skill you want to learn or a subject you want to know more about, either platform is likely to have the course that you're looking for.

In general, the biggest difference between course offerings of the two platforms are length. Skillshare classes can be as limited as 10 minutes, whereas on Udemy, 30 minutes is the minimum course length.

Both platforms also offer courses which are several hours long. But in general, Udemy tends to go a bit more in-depth into course materials, whereas Skillshare tends to offer classes that are shorter and more to the point. 

4. Course Examples

Here are a random selection of courses from each platform, to get a better idea of some of their offerings.

Skillshare

Skillshare course example
  • Mastering Illustrator: 10 Tips and Tricks to Speed Up Your Workflow
  • Creative Writing: Crafting Personal Essays With Impact
  • Going Freelance: Building and Branding Your Own Business
  • Going Viral: Write, Film, and Make Content People Share
  • Ink Drawing Techniques: Brush, Nib, and Pen Style
  • Presentation Essentials: How to Share Ideas That Inspire People
  • Fundamentals of DSLR Photography
  • Customizing Type with Draplin: Creating Wordmarks That Work

Udemy

Udemy course example
  • The Ultimate Guide to Game Development with Unity 2019
  • JavaScript: Understanding the Weird Parts
  • Ultimate AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate 2019
  • The Business Intelligence Analyst Course 2019
  • Cooper Crash Course: Design Thinking in 3 Steps
  • The Complete Presentation and Public Speaking/Speech Course
  • Neuroplasticity: How To Rewire Your Brain
  • Ultimate Google Ads / AdWords Course 2018 - Profit With PPC!
  • Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography

5. Who Are The Instructors?

Instructors on both Udemy and Skillshare are people just like you.

Anyone can sign up and start producing courses of their own. Respective experts in their field bring their experiences to each platform to offer lessons to others.

While most teachers on both Udemy and Skillshare don't necessarily have credentials such as a PhD that you'd expect from a university professor, most of them have valuable real-life experience with the subjects they're teaching about.

The downside to platforms where anyone can become an instructor is that course quality can vary dramatically.

On Skillshare this is less of an issue because of their subscription model. If you don't like a particular course or find it valuable, you can just move on.

Whereas if you buy a course that you aren't satisfied with on Udemy, you've paid for it individually.

Luckily Udemy offers 30 day refunds on all of their courses if you aren't satisfied. If you're constantly requesting refunds though, your account may be subject to suspension or termination.

Whether you're looking to take a course on Udemy or Skillshare, I'd recommend taking a look at the course ratings, reviews, and number of students who have already purchased the course.

Taking this extra step should help you to avoid wasting your time or money on low-quality courses.

6. Accreditation & Certificates (How Do Udemy or Skillshare Look on Your Resume or CV?)

Neither Udemy or Skillshare are academically accredited institutions.

Udemy offers completion certificates for all courses completed on their platform.

However, most companies won't value the skills you've learned through the platform the same way they would a university degree, so their value is questionable. 

Skillshare doesn't offer any kind of certificates. The only proof you have that you've completed courses on the platform are any projects you completed in the process, and the skills that you picked up along the way.

For that reason, neither Udemy or Skillshare are very good if you're looking for extra items to add to your CV or resume.

There are other online course providers that are likely a better fit, if certification and credentials are a main part of what you're looking for.

Both platforms are best suited for people who are mostly interested in gaining skills and real-world results.

So either can be great if you're an entrepreneur wanting to learn new skills to improve your business, or if you're just wanting to learn a new skill like computer programming as a hobby. 

Either Skillshare or Udemy will help you learn practical new skills and information at a fraction of the cost or time investment of a traditional university or other educational institution.

7. Time Commitment

Both Udemy and Skillshare require minimal time commitments.

With Udemy, once you purchase a course, you've got lifetime access to the material and can work through it at your own pace.

With Skillshare you need to pay a monthly subscription to access material, so there's a bit more pressure. But courses are short and unlikely to take you more than a month to complete anyway.

Skillshare courses can be as little as 10 minutes long. On Udemy, the minimum is 30 minutes.

The majority of courses on either platform are usually a few hours long at most. So either way, you aren't committed to spending weeks or months learning about any given topic.

Just because lessons are short doesn't mean they lack quality.

Courses on either platform tends to provide you with the best of the best information.

They give you the essential must-know information and tend to cut out all of the extra fluff or academic theory that you may not need to know about.

Both platforms are all about efficiently teaching you a new skill.

8. Summary of Pros & Cons For Each

Here are the pros and cons you should consider for both platforms before deciding which one to go with.

Udemy home

Udemy Pros

1

Huge course catalogue

Udemy has thousands of courses in its portfolio to choose from. For popular topics, there are most likely several courses from different experts, so you can pick and choose the one that most appeals to you.

2

Lifetime access

Once you buy a Udemy course, you have access to the course material forever. (Assuming the business doesn't close in the future.) Once you've purchased a course on Udemy, you get any additional content for free if the instructor updates or improves their course over time.

3

You can learn on the go

Udemy has a mobile app so that you can learn even if you're sitting in an airport or waiting room. Courses are broken down into short modules, so you can sit down and quickly work through one while you're waiting for a bus or otherwise have 10 to 15 minutes to spend.

Udemy Cons

1

Costs add up

Udemy has thousands of courses in its portfolio to choose from. For popular topics, there are most likely several courses from different experts, so you can pick and choose the one that most appeals to you.

2

Not accredited

While Udemy offers completion certificates for their courses, your future employer might not think they're worth the paper they're printed on. Especially if you're up against other candidates with accredited degrees from universities. Udemy is best for learning particular skills for yourself, not for adding items to your resume.

3

Course quality varies

Since anybody can sign up and make a Udemy course, the quality can vary a lot. So it's important to do a bit of research before purchasing a course to ensure it's legitimate and has lots of good reviews.

Online Classes by Skillshare

Skillshare Pros

1

High quality content

The video quality that you get from Skillshare classes is typically of a higher quality and more polished. That means the content itself will look better than most Youtube videos, or even courses on other platforms like Udemy.

2

Well designed platform

Skillshare is easy to navigate and straightforward in terms of using it. Some other e learning websites are less user-friendly.

3

One flat fee

For a monthly subscription, you can consume as many online courses as you have time for. So if you're a self development junkie, you can really get your money's worth in terms of new knowledge and skills that you pick up. If you're someone who values learning higher than entertainment, then you may just want to swap out your Netflix subscription for a Skillshare one.

4

Offline course access

If you aren't always within range of wifi or a cell signal, then offline course access is a must-have feature for you. Skillshare is one of only a few online course platforms that allow you to download course material and access it offline.

Skillshare Cons

1

Shorter courses

Courses on Skillshare are allowed to be a minimum of 10 minutes long. So for some classes, you may find yourself asking "Is that it?" and wishing that more information was included. Some instructors may simply pump out large quantities of short videos that don't offer much in-depth information.

2

More focused on creative content

Skillshare tends to have more courses on creative topics. So things such as Photoshop, photography, painting, and so on. Their selection of non-creative category courses are less than what Udemy offers.

3

No certificates

While Udemy's certificates aren't accredited, at least they offer them. Skillshare doesn't provide you with any certificate or proof of completing a course.

9. Udemy & Skillshare Alternatives

As mentioned, neither Udemy nor Skillshare offer any kind of accredited certification, and in this regard it's why these 2 platforms are probably the most similar to one another than ​the other e-leanring platforms that are currently out there.

Udemy & Skillshare Alternatives

However, if you're looking for an online course platform that offers accredited certificates or credentials that you can put on your resume, then I'd consider looking into Coursera or edX as alternative platforms.

Both of these offer more of an academic learning approach. Although the course cost and time commitments also reflects that.

-> You can read my comparison of Udemy vs Coursera to understand the differences between these 2 popular e learning platforms

-> or check out my guide and comparison of Coursera vs edX here

If you're not so bothered by official accreditation, but are looking for a high quality course on a topic ​in the IT or tech industry, then you should also check out Pluralsight or Udacity​ or Lynda.

All 3 of these platforms offer a range or career-focused courses with some degree of accreditation, though it isn't from universities.

-> I compare Udemy vs Pluralsight here

-> ​You can find out the differences between Udemy vs Udacity here

​-> And this article walks you through the differences between Udemy and Lynda

​If you're still feeling unsure which e learning site is best for you, or just want a gerneral overview of the options and features to look out for, then read my Complete Guide To Online Learning or see this post on the top Udemy alternatives for online learning.

Conclusion

Udemy and Skillshare are both excellent online course platforms that are each great in their own right.

Since they're so inexpensive compared to other forms of education, deciding between them doesn't need to be an all or nothing decision.

You might want to have a Skillshare subscription, but then also purchase individual courses on Udemy when you see something offered that more fits your requirements, especially if they're on sale (see here for more info on Udemy sales).

Skillshare is a bit better suited to creatives. So if you're looking to brush up on your current creative skills or learn some new ones, I would start off on Skillshare. The platform's classes tend to focus more on hands-on creative projects.

I'd recommend Udemy instead if you only plan to take one or two courses on a particular topic, and don't necessarily consider yourself a "lifelong learner" or someone who wants to be constantly taking new courses.

In that case, it might work out cheaper to just individually purchase the courses you're interest in when they're on sale, instead of paying for an ongoing subscription.

-> Check out my list of the top 10 Best Udemy Courses here

The same is also true if you're someone who wants to take a lot of time to work through course material at your own pace.

But at the end of the day, both Udemy and Skillshare are awesome platforms that I would highly recommend, and you can't really go wrong with either one.

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