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Welcome to my in-depth review of Skillshare, where we’ll look at everything you get from the online learning platform, how its features compare to other online learning websites, and how you can get a FREE trial.
Here’s everything we’ll cover:
Skillshare.com is a popular website offering thousands of online classes on a wide range of professional and other topics. You pay one monthly fee and can access more than 26,000 classes in verticals like business, technology, design, photography, writing, and much more.
And each category has many sub-categories that you can learn new skills in! For example, within business, you’ll find business analytics, marketing, and much more.
To help you choose the right courses, Skillshare shows you an introductory video that the instructor has recorded, and shows you how many students are enrolled.
You can also read reviews left by students who have gone through the course in the past!
The courses are in video format and tend to be very high quality (good sound quality, good camera work, etc.) and Skillshare classes are self-paced, meaning you watch the videos and complete the assignments and lessons whenever you want. Your progress is saved within each course so you can pick up where you left off each time you return.
Notable Skillshare instructors include Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Guy Kawasaki, and many other teachers recognized as being at the top of their respective fields.
There are two particular features that we want to make sure we mention in this review of Skillshare because they’re particularly valuable.
So you don’t have to pick and choose what you want to learn, and you never have to worry if you’re making a mistake by signing up for a class.
That means Skillshare is a GREAT deal if you’ve got a lot of time to commit to learning online. You could power through multiple courses, and even multiple courses on different topics if you want to learn a few things at once. (For example, you could study photography, and also photo/video editing, creating a very comprehensive skill set that you could then use to start a freelance career!
Also, one big benefit to unlimited classes is that if you join a course and don’t love it… you can just find a different course/teacher to learn the topic from. No regrets and no wasted money.
Students who are enrolled in a Skillshare course can interact with other students to share tips, talk about progress, answer each other’s questions, etc.
So along with learning from your computer or phone, you’ll have a chance to join a community of people who are interested in learning the same topics as you are. This will help you stay motivated and could even turn into networking opportunities for you.
Skillshare also offers groups around various topics you’re interested in. This allows you to meet people with similar interests and share ideas, share projects, collaborate, and more.
Here’s an example of a discussion from the Skillshare writer’s group, which has more than 6,600 members:
There isn’t much we dislike about Skillshare, but there are a couple of things to be aware of before joining or grabbing a free trial (we’ll show you how to get the best possible trial coming up, so keep reading!)
One of the major cons with Skillshare is something you’ll find with any of the big online learning platforms: There’s a big variance in the quality of instructors and courses. Some teachers are just much better than others.
Fortunately, you can watch intro videos before joining a course AND see past student reviews, so Skillshare does everything possible to give you the necessary info to choose great courses.
One more con that’s worth mentioning: Skillshare does not provide certificates of completion or any type of official documentation to show you’ve completed a course.
I can tell you as a former Executive Recruiter, though, that this is NOT as big of a deal as most professionals think. For the most part, employers want to see skills, real-world projects, examples of work, etc. This is especially true in modern fields like digital marketing, software engineering, data science, etc.
However, there are still some niches and market sectors where certifications matter. So if you’re someone who needs an official certification on a topic, then Skillshare is not the right choice.
Yes – Skillshare is one of the largest websites in the e-learning space and it does work. It’s an effective way to learn new skills in our experience. However, since a variety of instructors upload courses to Skillshare, the quality varies and some courses are better than others. Therefore, you should carefully read reviews from past students when choosing a course to enroll in.
But if you choose a top-rated Skillshare course with positive reviews, the platform does work and you can expect high-quality courses and real results from your time spent learning.
So if you’re wondering whether Skillshare is actually good for learning topics online, then rest assured – it is!
Next, you’re probably wondering, “How much does Skillshare cost?” so let’s discuss that, and then I’ll show you where to get a free trial without paying anything!
A Skillshare membership costs $19 per month. They also offer an annual membership for $99, paid upfront. This equates to just $8.25 per month when averaged over the year, so you can save more than 50% off the monthly price of Skillshare by simply paying for a year-long membership upfront.
They also offer a free trial membership so you can test the platform without paying anything and then decide if you want to pay later.
And if you don’t end up liking the platform, you can cancel Skillshare at any time.
When you cancel your membership, you will stop being billed at the next billing cycle. If you cancel Skillshare during the trial period, you won’t be charged anything.
As mentioned above, you can take Skillshare classes for free via their trial membership before deciding if it’s worth the money!
In the past, Skillshare has offered 2 month free trials, and even 3 months for free occasionally.
Right now, Skillshare offers 14 days of free access. This is the best offer for taking free Skillshare courses that we’ve found at the moment.
While it’s not quite as long as the trial periods they’ve offered in the past, it does give you time to enroll in multiple courses and maybe complete one or two.
If you’re trying to decide on one single e-learning platform to join, then it gets a bit trickier. Two of Skillshare’s closest competitors are Udemy and LinkedIn learning, and each platform has its pros and cons.
In our opinion, the best choice depends on the topic you’re looking to learn. Overall, we’ve found the content on Skillshare and LinkedIn learning to be a bit higher-quality than Udemy, especially in terms of production quality (great-looking video and sound, etc.)
This is just a general observation on average. It doesn’t mean there aren’t great classes on Udemy, too.
I just have one concern with Udemy (which may be an issue on other platforms. I’m not sure). As a former digital marketer, I ran into quite a few people who uploaded a basic, small version of their course to Udemy, mostly as a way to generate leads.
Then, they’d try to sell those people on their bigger, main course which they sold on their own website.
I’m not sure if this is still commonplace, but it was a concern in past years. Still, I’ve found good courses on Udemy and the platform is legitimate!
However, based on my personal experience, I recommend most people start with Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning.
They both offer free trials, so the best thing to do would be to compare courses in the topic you’re interested in learning to see which platform delivers the best info in that niche!
Free trial signups:
Now, since this is a job search & career blog primarily, let’s review some specific benefits and use cases for Skillshare for job seekers and professionals!
If you’re a job seeker, there are a couple of specific reasons this will help you get more interviews and more job offers.
We hinted at these above, but let’s go into more depth here on how to use this to your advantage on your resume and in interviews.
Hiring managers love to see someone taking an active approach to their career development.
If you’re unemployed, they might ask you in an interview what you’ve done to keep your skills fresh.
Instead of hesitating to answer, you’ll be able to proudly say that you completed a course recently, and then explain what you learned and did.
And having this on your resume will help you get more interviews, too.
You can list your SkillShare course in your resume “skills” section. Here’s an example of how you might list this:
Basics of Java Programming – SkillShare.com Course; Completed February 2019
You can mention it in your cover letter too, to show that you’re working hard to grow your skills even while job searching.
Even if you just grab the free trial and just take one course on a topic in your industry, you can do all of this.
And if you’re job searching while employed, doing this will still help you stand out from the other 20, 30, or even 100 people who applied for the same job as you.
Let’s assume you’re happily employed right now and not job searching.
You can still use SkillShare to learn or advance in a topic that will help you ask your boss for a raise, become next in line for that big promotion, or leap to a new higher-paying job at another company in the future.
You can build out your resume and position yourself to make more money in the next year.
And if you’re totally happy with your career, the final option is to use this trial to learn a skill you’ve always wanted to learn. Something that doesn’t relate to your work at all.
Examples: Illustration, Creative Writing, Photography, Videography, etc.
If there’s anything you’ve thought about learning, chances are it can be found in SkillShare’s 26,000+ courses.
Skillshare is worth it for the majority of people. It provides the chance to learn a wide variety of topics online from expert teachers. You’ll learn via high-quality videos that you can watch at your own pace, and most of the courses taught by Skillshare teachers are excellent quality.
When you combine that with the fact they offer a free trial, we’re confident in saying it would be worth it for anyone interested in learning new skills online.
Biron Clark is a former Executive Recruiter who has worked with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.