Some things are fun to debate—but where to spend your money isn’t one of them.
The discussions will continue to go back and forth on which is better: cats or dogs, red or blue, pineapple on pizza or not. But when it comes to online learning, you don’t need an endless debate—you need to have a place to land.
You want to take your learning into your own hands, but you don’t know where’s the best place to start. There are hundreds of online learning sites, and thousands of reviews saying that one is best—but they can’t all be the best. We’re going to cut through all the chatter, and see how sites actually compare to their competitors.
Today, we’re going to dig into two of the biggest personal-learning sites: Udemy and SkillShare. But we’re not going to just review them—we’re going to compare them to each other. We’ll see how they compare in price, quality, and which one may be better suited to different learners. You want to learn, but you want to learn from the best; so today, we’re going to see what site earns that title. Let’s jump into our review of Udemy versus SkillShare.
Udemy’s is an online course site whose motto is to “improve lives through learning.” Their founder grew up in a remote Turkish village. He than began learning advanced mathematics online, and was able to create a better life through his knowledge, which is where Udemy’s motto comes from. Udemy seeks to help anyone learn anything. With videos on over 3,000 topics, and in 65 languages Udemy has a lot to offer.
With Udemy’s goal being to help “anyone learn anything” they include a wide range of topics. Their topics are vast, from Technology to Beauty to Art. Courses are purchased individually, and each course is made up of 5-10-minute videos and quizzes. Once a course is complete, you’ll receive a certificate of completion.
SkillShare was founded in 2010, and with over 20,000 courses and 4 million students, it’s one of the most recognizable names in online learning. While all their courses are divided into three large categories of Create, Business, Technology, and Lifestyle, the emphasis of many of their courses is on creative pursuits. Whether it’s photography, animating, photoshop, or watercolors, SkillShare has a course for it.
SkillShare works mainly on a subscription-based model, where a monthly fee gives you access to all of their courses. Each course is made up of short, bite-sized videos, and includes a project you create as you learn. This project, along with the certificate of completion, serve to prove that you’ve learned the information.
Ease Of Use
The first thing you’ll notice about any site is its ease of use. After all, you don’t want to have to scroll through pages and pages of nice-but-irrelevant information, just to find the one thing you need. Or if videos take too long to stream, you may spend more of your time looking at a loading bar than learning. How do our two contenders compare in this respect?
When you first open Udemy, you’ll find the whole library of courses. You then have the option to scroll through the most popular ones, search for keywords, or browse Udemy’s categories. Udemy provides a variety of large categories that then have their own sub-categories within. As you scroll through, you are able to see the ratings of each course and how many users have taken that course.
Ratings are definitely useful, but they can also be deceiving. Udemy does ask for the first review only about twenty minutes into the course—which seems far too short a time to really be able to judge the quality of the entire course.
t’s also important to remember that Udemy charges per course, so make sure to check out what discounts Udemy is currently offering here.
Udemy aims to make their lessons easy to learn in between other activities and tasks, that’s why lessons are divided into 2-10-minute videos. Udemy also offers an app. Additionally, videos are downloadable so you can learn on the go, anywhere anytime.
Udemy’s video player also offers an array of useful features. You have the ability to adjust the playback speed of any video, or another option of being able to simply read the transcript given. You are able to skip ahead to future lessons if you choose and come back to older ones, as well. Udemy makes the process simple to start, so you don’t have to be caught up in anything other than learning.
SkillShare’s “create account” button is the first thing you see—so you waste no time getting started. SkillShare recommends several classes for you to jump into, offering different videos that may interest you, based on previous courses. As soon as you click on a class, the first video will start playing, and your learning begins. However, if this is a class you want to keep learning from, be sure to click the “save class” tab, so it will be saved for you to easily access later.
You are also able to stream classes from any device, or download the videos so you can learn from any location. You have the option to speed up your video, turn on captions, or write notes as the lesson plays.
Each course also will explain how to complete the accompanying project, and tabs are available for you to download the course notes, ask questions, and upload your project.
However, one thing that does make SkillShare difficult to use is the pushes to become a premium subscriber. It will often take you to that page when you log in, and though you can side-step the process, you have to look for the small button to click to continue.
While it’s close, Udemy edges out SkillShare. If you aren’t using SkillShare’s premium account, then the constant pushes to do so can be annoying. However, if you’re a Premium member, then both Udemy and SkillShare are equally easy to use.
When it comes down to it, this is the most important part of any learning site. If you’re spending money, you want to be sure you have the best. Is their teaching accurate? Are the videos well made? Is it worth the time and money I’m spending? Let’s see whether Udemy or SkillShare is more worthy of your investment.
Since Udemy aims to help anyone learn anything, they’ve also allowed anyone to teach—which can bring up issues. A benefit of this is it does allow for hundreds of lessons on any subject. The downside, though, is there’s no vetting process for either the instructors or the video courses, which can lead to no quality control. This can also mean that the certificates of completion you receive from Udemy may not be worth much on your resume.
There are also notes from some users complaining of poorly-made videos or barely-understandable audio. There have also been reports of unethical and scamming methods that have been taught in these online courses. With no vetting process, even if the instructor is doing their best, the information can often be out-of-date, especially when it comes to technology or design fields.
Udemy attempts to help weed out these poor courses with their rating system, which does often allow the most high-quality courses to rise to the top. Reviews can still be misleading, though, as responses are submitted after only 20 minutes of instruction. Additionally, users may not even know that the information being taught is incorrect.
SkillShare has the same issue as Udemy—but hasn’t suffered in the same way. SkillShare doesn’t have instructors who are necessarily professors or paid professionals. But they have still managed to have high-quality courses. SkillShare boasts of having industry rock stars, and it holds true. This may be because SkillShare incentivizes good teachers, and allows students to easily see the profiles of instructors and their backgrounds.
SkillShare also regularly updates their videos, and ensures that newest information is included in their courses.
SkillShare has held high praise, whether that’s by Youtubers, podcast creators, or creators around the world. It’s reputed to be high-quality—and it does not disappoint. You can always test the quality out yourself, as well, with a free trial of Skillshare and 14 days of Skillshare Premium free!
Both sites have the same shortcoming—but where Udemy falters, SkillShare thrives. SkillShare’s high quality and regular updates makes it highest quality.
SkillShare has partnered with several other organization to offer special perks to its Premium Members. Whether that’s 20% off Squarespace, or a free trial of BenchTax, a bookkeeping service for small business, SkillShare boasts that a Premium membership more than pays for itself.
SkillShare also offers workshops—live, curated courses you take alongside other students. You’ll be able to interact with and learn from both peers and teacher in real-time, and create projects together.
Udemy doesn’t offer any special tools or perks for its users
Conclusion: Special Tools/Perks
SkillShare is the clear winner here—and the perks it offers are a goody box of discounts and free trials.
Which Is Priced Better?
The price tag can make or break a site. It doesn’t matter how high-quality it is, or how many useful tools it offers—if you can’t afford it, you can’t learn from it. How do Udemy and SkillShare compare?
Many of Udemy’s courses show a list price of $100-$250. In reality, though, they have almost-constant sales that put their price more commonly at $15-$25 per course. Check here to see what discounts Udemy may be offering.
While Udemy does not offer an option to watch courses for free, they do provide a 30-day money-back guarantee—a useful option to help lessen the concern of possible low-quality courses.
SkillShare offers many of their courses for free—including many of their “Original” series. While you do still have to deal with ads encouraging you to get a Premium subscription, the free courses are still high-quality, and allow you to create projects.
SkillShare’s Premium subscription gives you full access to all of their courses and tools. Premium costs $19 per month if you pay as you go, or $99 a year if you pay at once (Which comes out to $8.25/month).
However, there’s many ways to get discounts on a SkillShare subscription. Many youtubers and bloggers promoting it will offer a code that gives their followers a 10% discount. Use the codes LEARN10 to get 10% off at any time. College students with a .edu address also receive 50% off the Premium subscription. SkillShare itself offers a free 2-month trial for first time users + 14 days free premium, with no contract and a hassle-free cancel policy.
SkillShare’s free courses, reasonably-priced all-access subscription, and regular discounts make it easily the cheaper option
Is Either Better Suited For Different Learners?
Not everyone approaches online learning in the same way. Maybe there’s one specific topic you want to master. Maybe you want to dive into anything that strikes your fancy. Whether you’re curious for learning’s sake or wanting to further your career will affect what you need from your learning site.
Both Udemy and SkillShare are geared toward the curious learner. Because their certificates are not accredited, neither will help much to the professional needing to boost his resume. However, if you want to simply broader your understanding, or fulfill that childhood dream, then both of these courses are for you.
SkillShare is slightly better if you want to learn many things, and Udemy if only one. If you know precisely what you want to learn, and there’s only a few things, then Udemy’s one-time payment and life-time access is for you. However, if you want to ever keep expanding, and feel free to dip your toes in many different topics, then SkillShare’s all-access subscription is for you.
Based on our tests, SkillShare is the better learning site. It is high-quality, thorough, easy to use, and reasonably priced. The perks included in the Premium subscription more than pays for it, and the projects you create with each course is a great way to see tangible progress as you learn. Whether you want to learn to improve your skillset, fulfill your childhood dream, or simply to unlock your creative side, SkillShare is the site to use.
- Meet The Sites: Udemy And SkillShare
- Ease Of Use
- Special Tools/Perks
- Which Is Priced Better?
- Is Either Better Suited For Different Learners?
- Which Is Better: Udemy Or SkillShare?