Created by Malcolm Ong and Michael Karnjanaprakorn in 2010, Skillshare has been around for more than a decade and has taken its time to evolve into the hub of multi-category learning opportunities that it is today.
According to their website, Skillshare has been made with the purpose of inspiring people and multiplying creative exploration that leads to application, learning, and expression. In this Skillshare review, we take a look at how true the website is to its mission or whether you can benefit from it.
What is Skillshare?
Skillshare is quite simply an online learning platform and community. From thousands of classes and workshops to community groups, the platform has a lot for curious minds and creative thoughts.
Previously only available for individuals, Skillshare now offers services for teams too. By doing so, it has become a community with the following components:
- Members: The members or students get inspired by the thousands of classes on the website. They learn new skills and apply them in their existing careers or new interests.
- Teachers: The teachers on Skillshare are educators who hold classes and workshops to share their expertise and give back to the community. In doing so, they also earn money.
Over the years, Skillshare’s inventory of classes and workshops has increased significantly. Most people only know of the platform as a learning place for design and arts, but Skillshare has classes in a ton of other categories too. Some of them include:
- Graphic Design
- Freelance & Entrepreneurship
- Health & Wellness
- Mobile Development
- Web Development
It is important to mention here that Skillshare is not accredited. You will not get any recognized certification when you complete a course from Skillshare since the platform is not a college nor affiliated with one.
How Much Does Skillshare Cost?
When you sign up for Skillshare, you get a 7-day free trial. The trial period gives you unlimited access to thousands of classes on the platform.
After that, you can choose the $ 2.61/mo plan, billed $31 annually, which is the most popular package on the website. Alternatively, you can get a monthly plan, which costs $8.49 a month.
As for Team plans, they have customized billing since they are billed per user.
Benefits of a Premium Plan
With Skillshare’s Premium Plan, you get the following benefits:
- Unlimited Access: You have unlimited access to all classes and workshops on the website.
- Community: Skillshare has a community of creatives, entrepreneurs, and dreamers. With a Premium Plan, you can get feedback from your peers and take their support for learning skills.
- Offline Access: You can also save the class videos to your phone or tablet and watch them on your commute to work or snuggled in bed.
- No Ads: The Premium version does not have any ads, so there is no interruption in your class time.
Along with these benefits, an annual Premium subscription of Skillshare also gets you discounts on other websites.
- 20% off your annual Squarespace subscription
- 25% off all purchases from Society6, which is a platform selling everyday products designed by skilled artists
- Free 3-month Todoist Premium subscription – a productivity tool that lets you organize your work and life
- 15% off Adobe Creative Cloud
Skillshare also offers scholarships for members who meet the eligibility criteria. At any given time, the platform has a number of available scholarships that you can apply for.
At the time of writing, the Skillshare Student Scholarship was offering 50% off on Premium Memberships to all students who had a valid .edu email address.
In the past, Skillshare has given a VSCO Scholarship for Aspiring Photographers of $100,000 to an upcoming photographer. The platform also partnered with MailChimp to give a $100,000 Mailchimp Scholarship for Small Businesses.
How Does Skillshare Work?
Skillshare is an easy-to-use platform that makes it straightforward for every member to take the classes at their own pace.
If you have a Premium plan, you get access to a course catalog upon clicking on it. The course’s description page also tells you about the educator and the topics you will learn about.
Here’s how to find a relevant course for yourself on Skillshare:
- Suppose you want to find a beginner’s course on photography.
- When you search for ‘photography courses,’ you will see hundreds of options.
- Filter the results by choosing ‘Premium’ if you have a subscription and ‘All’ if you want a mix of free and paid courses.
- Choose the course length. The duration of a course can be anywhere from a few minutes to a few days worth of video material.
When you find the right course, click on it and read the ‘About’ page. It will tell you all you need to know about what the course is aimed at.
You can also click the ‘Discussions’ tab to read reviews from past students or go through their discussions. The ‘Project and Resources’ section of the course gives you an idea of what you will learn in the course.
If you like a course but do not have the time to take it just yet, download it to your phone. You can learn at your own pace irrespective of how long or short the course is.
Moreover, Skillshare’s app is available on Android and iOS, so you can learn on the go. The mobile app also has a ‘Discover’ feature that recommends courses based on your past interests.
Therefore, it helps you find the best courses for you, saving you the hassle.
Workshops on Skillshare are ideal for learners who know they will slack if they take self-paced courses and prefer something more structural. Workshops consist of two to three classes on the platform that a teacher schedules.
Typically, a workshop lasts for four weeks, and you are a part of it along with other students. So, it is a good opportunity to learn not only from the teacher but also from fellow learners.
Workshops give you a classroom feel since you have projects to finish. The Community Manager lets you track deadlines, giving you a fulfilling learning experience.
Even if you are not actively taking a class, there is a way to stay connected with your community on Skillshare. As the number of members increased, the founders realized that they needed a more robust system in place to connect the members.
That is how Groups came into being. You can be a part of a group related to your topic of interest. Groups are not only a great way to learn new things from your peers but also allow you to network and develop new skills.
Some common groups include:
- Digital marketers
- Creative business owners
Skillshare for Teams
Skillshare is not only for individual learners but also for teams. For instance, if you are a digital marketing agency, you can get your employees a Team Plan on Skillshare, allowing them to learn the novel concepts in digital marketing.
As a team administrator, you can shape your workforce by giving them access to more than 35,000 classes on the platform. Plus, you get an admin portal, where you can find the easy-to-follow onboarding process and manage your team.
Team Plans are customized according to the number of members.
Skillshare for Teachers
Now that we have discussed how Skillshare works for students let’s take a look at how teachers can earn from the platform. As a teacher on Skillshare, you can inspire creativity in others and teach them what you know about your subject or craft.
According to the platform, their top-earning teachers make more than $100,000 annually. Here are some reasons Skillshare is suitable for teachers:
- Make Money: If you have a skill and you are an expert in it, you can pass your knowledge further and earn money from it.
- Build a Community: Teachers on Skillshare play a huge role in community building by making students work together on projects and encouraging feedback-driven learning.
To become a teacher on Skillshare, you have to start by creating your first class. You can publish your class using the platform’s upload tool. After that, a crucial step is to grow your following so that you can get more students.
If, as a creative, you already have a rich social media presence, that could help you get a lot of students on Skillshare. The platform pays teachers in two ways:
- Referrals: A teacher gets $10 for every student they bring to the platform that ends up buying a membership.
- Royalties: Teachers also earn based on the number of minutes members have watched in their classes.
Pros of Skillshare
Here are the advantages of using Skillshare:
- Free Classes: Even if you do not have a premium membership, you can access nearly 3,000 classes for free. Although these are not detailed classes, most of them give you a good insight into the topic and allow you to decide if you would like to take a comprehensive course on the subject.
- Affordable: If you pay annually, Skillshare can be very affordable. You get thousands of classes from established experts for less than $100.
- Free Trial: One of the most applaudable things about Skillshare is the free trial. Unlike most other platforms, the free trial does not restrict you. Instead, you can access every feature of the platform to be fully comfortable with it before you pay.
- Community: Skillshare has a sense of community that is highly engaged and encourages participation. Often, newbies are unable to find people with similar interests as them, but Skillshare bridges this gap.
- Mobile App: Skillshare has a mobile app that you can download and learn, regardless of where you are. The app also lets you discover classes most relevant to what you have taken earlier.
- Many Categories: Skillshare literally has thousands of classes, so you will be spoilt for choice. For instance, if you want to start your photography business, you can also take a marketing and business class along with a photography workshop – all in one place.
Cons of Skillshare
Although it has many good points, here are some shortcomings of the platform:
- No Certification: Even after taking a whole workshop, you do not get a certificate. The platform is mainly focused on personal growth rather than providing accreditation.
- Only in English: Skillshare welcomes teachers to make learning content in other languages, too, but you will mainly only find classes in English.
- Quality Varies: Not every teacher on Skillshare is a rockstar in their niche or field. So, the responsibility of finding the best educator falls on you.
Who is Skillshare For?
Skillshare is for people who want to either learn a new skill or hone their existing talent. It is best for people who prefer learning at their own pace and want to learn from hands-on industry experts rather than from an academic point of view.
Most learners on Skillshare are freelancers who want to learn something new in their craft. For instance, Skillshare regularly partners with YouTubers who use the platform to learn basic skills, like video editing and crafting a thumbnail, etc.
Who is Skillshare Not For?
Skillshare is not ideal for people who want to get a certificate to show for what they have learned. Moreover, if you want to take long and detailed courses, you should look elsewhere.
It is best to take full advantage of the free trial and explore the website properly before you decide if you want to buy the premium subscription.
To wrap up, Skillshare has an abundance of courses in a wide range of categories that a lot of people can learn from. If you have an itch for learning but do not want to pay huge sums of money, Skillshare is the right place to satisfy your craving for knowledge.
More importantly, you can take classes to improve your existing skills and do even better in your respective field of work.