In my search for online resources to improve my graphic design skills, I was frequently told about Udemy and Skillshare. It was not clear to me which one was the best or what exactly they offered.
Each provider offers courses on many topics other than graphic design (which is what I actually wanted to learn). How would you describe their platforms? What would be the best option for you?
To answer these questions, I have created a detailed comparison of Udemy and Skillshare. I’ll let you know about the prices, the quality of the courses, and the instructors.
Table of Contents
- Udemy vs Skillshare: Popularity
- Udemy vs Skillshare: User Interface & Ease of Use
- Udemy vs Skillshare: Courses
- Skillshare vs. Udemy: Course Formats
- Udemy vs Skillshare: Free Courses
- Udemy vs Skillshare: Available Languages
- Udemy vs Skillshare: Certificates
- Udemy vs Skillshare: Teachers & Community
- Skillshare vs. Udemy: Mobile App Learning Experience
- Udemy vs Skillshare: Customer Support
- Udemy vs Skillshare: Business Plans
- Udemy vs Skillshare: Pricing
- Udemy vs Skillshare: Time Commitment
- Udemy vs Skillshare: Pros and Cons
- Udemy vs Skillshare: Suitability
- Final Verdict: Udemy vs Skillshare
- Udemy vs Skillshare: Best Alternatives
There is a clear winner in terms of popularity: Udemy
With more than 44 million students enrolled in one of its courses, over 155,000 courses that can be created, and support for 75 languages, Udemy, founded in 2010 by a Turkish chess fan, has grown impressively.
Compared to Udemy, Skillshare’s numbers seem rather modest. It’s worth noting that this New York-based learning community has grown quite a bit since its founding in 2010: it has more than 35,000 courses and over 8 million students – which is pretty good considering it’s aimed at a smaller niche (creatives and entrepreneurs).
Still, this is not a popularity contest; we are objectively looking for the best e-learning platform. Let us take a look at the most important features to find out which platform is better: Skillshare or Udemy?
Let us find out which programme offers the most user-friendly interface and workflow. We all want easy to understand and intuitive user interfaces, so let us see which one offers this. Let us take a look.
All you need is a name, email address and password to create an account with Udemy. Then you just need to confirm the email you receive from Udemy.
Skillshare’s concept is similar. An email account and a password are all you need to create an account. You can also use your Gmail or Facebook account to create an account.
Backend and design
When you sign up for Udemy, you will find that the user interface is well designed and intuitive. Organizing courses based on the same topics (e.g. programming, design, etc.) is easy with the “Collections” feature.
The course interface itself is also very intelligently designed. In addition to the usual video player options (playback speed, video quality, subtitle management, etc.), you can add a note to a specific moment of a video.
The organization of course lessons in the right sidebar (image above) is also very handy. It makes it easier to access individual lessons and chapters. Track your progress by checking or unchecking each lesson.
View Udemy courses on your laptop or desktop computer, or download the iOS or Android app to view them on the go.
Not only can you create course lists, but you can also add notes to your courses. The design is good, but it does not look as modern as Udemy’s (which is not a bad thing).
Skillshare’s video player is not as advanced as Udemy’s. It lacks certain options, such as the ability to adjust video quality or manage subtitles. The course sidebars with lessons are also simpler than Udemy’s.
With Skillshare, you can use a web browser on a desktop or laptop, or download an app for iOS (iPhone and iPad) or Android devices. You can not view courses offline with the free version.
Udemy looks a little fancier and is a little easier to use than Coursera, but both are very easy to use.
Before you decide between Udemy and Skillshare, you should ask yourself a few questions: Which platform offers more choice? Can you easily choose between the two?
Filtering the huge variety of offerings on these platforms is a big problem. There are thousands of online courses, so you could spend days trying to choose one online course. They all do their best to make your life easier.
Skillshare offers a few categories to browse its library, so you can refine your search by topic (there are currently 16 categories). You can also filter your search by the type of course: free or paid, by the date the course was created, and by the length of the course. There is also a “Recommended Courses” section, a selection of internal Skillshare courses.
Each Skillshare course includes information about the course structure, resources, and a presentation video about the course and instructor. Course level can also be determined based on participant feedback (e.g., beginner, intermediate, advanced).
Last but not least, you can read what other course participants think about a particular course in the “Ratings” section – this is a bit basic as it has no aggregate value.
A similar approach is offered by Udemy. There are 13 main categories and dozens of subcategories for all of its courses. Udemy’s filters give you more flexibility, as you can sort by level, participant ratings, language, duration, available resources, and more.
You can also read reviews from other users, watch a video about the course and the instructor, and see a summary of available resources (such as assignments and quizzes).
There are 8,000 free courses available on Udemy, compared to 2,500 free courses on Skillshare and over 25,000 premium courses on Skillshare.
It is difficult to judge the quality of the courses because anyone can publish a course on both platforms.
Both Udemy and Skillshare have formal requirements that course instructors must meet, such as HD videos, minimum lengths, and learning objectives.
Some of the courses on Skillshare are produced by large companies (e.g. Moz, Adobe, and Mailchimp), so they may offer a little more.
Almost all Skillshare courses consist of pre-recorded videos designed to teach a specific skill. Using a computer or mobile device, you can work through the material at your own pace.
At the end of each course, you’ll be required to complete a project to put what you have learned into practice. To get feedback from the instructor and other learners, you can share your work on the platform.
Skillshare recently launched a new program called Chroma Courses. These multi-week, instructor-led, cohort-based courses offer live interaction and personalized feedback. New courses are announced each month. Each course costs $499, and registration is required as enrollment is limited. You do not need to have a premium membership to sign up.
You can access recorded videos of Udemy courses from any device, and Udemy courses vary in length.
Depending on the course, you may see quizzes to test your understanding, programming exercises to practice your skills, or supplemental resources to enhance your learning. Paid courses may have a discussion forum or direct messaging platform to contact the course instructor.
On Skillshare and Udemy’s recorded lectures, you can share asynchronously with others. Skillshare’s Chroma courses may be better for you if you want a more intensive and interactive learning experience without a subscription.
Free courses seem to be one of the most frequently asked questions I get. What is the best platform for free courses?
Nearly 600 free courses are available on Udemy. Udemy offers a streamlined experience with limited features. There is no certificate of completion for this course and additional features like direct messaging and Q&A are not available. In other words, even though Udemy offers free courses, you may not get the full learning experience.
Skillshare recently stopped offering free courses. The only way to test the platform and its courses is to sign up for a premium subscription, which gives you a free trial period.
During the free trial, you’ll have access to all 35,000+ creative courses on the platform. If you sign up for the premium subscription, you will have full access to the platform and there will be no charge if you cancel before the trial period ends. Skillshare’s current free trial offer runs for one month, so you have plenty of time to find out if the offer is something for you.
Although Skillshare encourages teachers to teach in any language, the majority of the community speaks English. There are a few language courses (e.g., for Spanish, German, or French), but I did not find any topics in languages other than English.
Udemy, on the other hand, offers courses in a variety of languages as well as subtitles in Spanish, German, and French. Udemy has a filter for searching courses in multiple languages.
There is no academic accreditation for Udemy or Skillshare.
All courses completed on Udemy are awarded a certificate of completion.
The skills you have acquired through the platform are not evaluated in the same way as an academic degree, so their value is questionable.
No certificates are offered on Skillshare. All the projects you complete and all the skills you acquire in the process are your only proof that you have taken courses on the platform.
Therefore, neither Udemy nor Skillshare are a good source if you want to expand your CV or your resume.
If you are looking primarily for certifications and credentials, there are probably better options.
Both platforms are best for those who want to acquire skills and achieve real-world results.
Both are great options if you are an entrepreneur looking to learn new skills to improve your business, or if you are just interested in learning a new hobby like computer programming.
Learning practical new skills and information on Skillshare or Udemy costs a fraction of what you would pay at a traditional university or other educational institution.
If you are looking to get an accredited certificate, you might want to consider Coursera or EdX.
Skillshare and Udemy teachers are just like you.
Anyone can sign up and create their own courses. On each platform, experts in the field share their experience to teach others.
Although most Udemy and Skillshare teachers do not have university professor qualifications, they do have real-world experience with the subjects they teach.
Platforms that allow anyone to become an instructor have the disadvantage that the quality of the courses can vary widely.
Fortunately, Skillshare has a subscription model that mitigates this problem. You can leave a course if you do not find it valuable or do not like it.
On the other hand, if you buy a course from Udemy that you are not satisfied with, you’ll have to pay for it separately.
If you are unhappy with a course, Udemy offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. It is possible that your account will be suspended or terminated if you keep requesting refunds.
I recommend that before you buy a course from Skillshare or Udemy, you look at the ratings and reviews and check how many students have already taken the course.
This extra step should save you from wasting your time or money on inferior courses.
Many people today are very busy and do not always have access to a computer. One of the most valuable features of an online learning platform is that it can be accessed via the web, tablet and phone.
Skillshare offers a mobile app for iOS and Android that provides a mobile experience. Course content can be downloaded and viewed offline or with an internet connection.
The app also automatically syncs any progress they make in your course as they use it. While the app offers a great way for students to engage with your content, it does not offer much for creators to create new content or communicate with students. Skillshare also does not allow you to create your own white label app.
As a companion app to the web experience, it’s less of a robust native app.
There’s also a Udemy mobile app for iOS and Android. Just like Skillshare, students can access course content online or download it for offline use. The Udemy app also offers benefits like the ability to stream courses to Chromecasts or Apple TVs.
For instructors who want to create content or interact with students through the app, there are not many features. You can only access your inbox and view course grades.
Udemy’s app, like Skillshare, works as a secondary experience to web courses.
One thing that frustrates us all is poor customer service and slow support.
If you have questions about Udemy, you can email support at [email protected] or harass them on social media.
Skillshare’s knowledge base, on the other hand, is a bit less comprehensive, and sometimes I found the support pages lacking in detail. You can reach the support team via email at [email protected], and I have always had a good experience with them. Support seems to be slower for free accounts, but hey, it’s free.
For fast-changing industries like marketing or development, eLearning is a great way to let your team or company learn new skills and capabilities.
With Skillshare’s 3 Team Plans, companies can provide premium accounts for their employees to continue learning.
Over 35,000 Skillshare courses are available to you, which is not bad. Your company can also manage the Skillshare accounts. It costs $139 per user per year (minimum 2 users). Enterprise and Revive plans are priced based on team or company needs and features.
For enterprise, Udemy offers the same plan, but you need at least 5 users and it costs $360 per year per user (minimum $1,800). You have access to 130,000 courses, but I can not say anything about the quality of the courses because I have not tested this service on behalf of companies.
There are many courses on Udemy, but it is much more expensive than Skillshare. Another point for everyone.
The main difference between Udemy and Skillshare is the way they are structured financially.
With Udemy, you have to pay for each course you take. Once you purchase a course, you have lifetime access to it. Courses on Udemy cost between $10 and $150.
However, courses are often on sale. If you are willing to take a course for a week or two, you can probably get a great discount on the course you want to buy.
Skillshare is a little different. The cost to access any course on the platform is a flat subscription fee. If you pay for an entire year at once, you can get a subscription for $8.25 per month or $15 per month.
For those who are constantly learning new things, Skillshare is a valuable resource.
Your subscription already covers the cost of the course, so you do not have to decide whether or not to spend money on it.
Regardless of how many courses you take, you never have to worry about the price.
You can watch a course on Skillshare to see if you like it. If you do, keep watching. If not, choose another course.
With a Skillshare subscription, you also get discounts on other services, such as Squarespace, Shutterstock, and Adobe Premiere Pro.
Are you only interested in taking one or two courses?
In that case, Udemy is probably cheaper for you, especially if you only buy the courses during clearance sales. However, Skillshare gives you more value for your money if you are constantly learning and want to take more courses.
Udemy is a good option if you prefer to buy one course at a time. Access to Skillshare’s entire library of courses (over 35,000) makes the premium subscription an excellent bargain. Since both platforms offer different payment options, they each get a point.
Skillshare and Udemy both require little time investment.
With Udemy, once you purchase a course, you have lifetime access to the material, so you can work through it at your own pace.
With Skillshare, there’s more pressure because you have to pay a monthly subscription to access the material. However, the courses are short and you will not need more than a month to complete them.
For a Skillshare course, you can spend as little as 10 minutes. Udemy requires 30 minutes.
Most courses on both platforms do not take more than a few hours to complete. You are not required to spend weeks or months on a particular topic.
The lessons are not inferior because they are short.
The best information usually comes from the courses on both platforms.
They give you the essential information you need to know and leave out all the superfluous stuff or academic jargon you may not need to know.
Both platforms are designed to efficiently teach you a new skill.
Thousands of courses to choose from
There are thousands of courses on Udemy. There are almost always multiple courses on popular topics from different experts, so you can choose the course that appeals to you the most.
The Udemy course material is yours forever once you have purchased it. The instructor is free to update or improve the course over time if their course is purchased on Udemy (assuming the company does not close in the future).
Mobile learning is possible
Udemy’s mobile app lets you learn while sitting in an airport or waiting room. You can work through a course module while waiting for the bus or otherwise have 10 to 15 minutes to spare.
Adding up the costs
There are thousands of courses available on Udemy. If you are interested in popular topics, you will most likely find several courses from different experts, so you can choose the one that appeals to you the most.
Udemy does offer completion certificates for its courses, but your future employer may not consider them valuable. Especially if you have to compete against other applicants with university degrees. You should use Udemy to learn specific skills for yourself, not to add to your resume.
The quality of courses varies
The quality of Udemy courses can vary greatly, as anyone can sign up and create a course. Before you buy a course, make sure it is reputable and has many good reviews.
Content of high quality
You can expect higher quality and more polished video from Skillshare courses. This means that the course will look better than most videos on YouTube or other platforms like Udemy.
Platform that is well designed
Skillshare is simple to use and easy to navigate. This is in contrast to some other e-learning sites.
There is one flat fee
With a monthly subscription, you can take as many online courses as you want. So if you are a self-development junkie, you’ll get your money’s worth in terms of learning new skills and knowledge. You might want to trade in your Netflix subscription for Skillshare if learning is more important to you than entertainment.
Offline access to courses
You should have offline access to courses if you do not always have access to wifi or a cell phone signal. Few online course platforms allow you to download course materials and access them offline.
Courses with shorter durations
On Skillshare, courses must be at least 10 minutes. Some courses will leave you wondering, “Is that it?” and wishing more information was given. The instructor may simply play a large number of short videos that do not provide much depth.
Focus on creative content
Courses on Skillshare tend to be more creative. Examples include Photoshop, photography, and painting. A smaller selection of courses in the non-creative category can be found on Udemy.
There are no certificates
Udemy’s certificates may not be accredited, but at least they offer them. Skillshare does not allow you to get a certificate when you complete a course.
Now that you know Udemy and Skillshare, do you know how to choose between them? The criteria or requirements are not fixed.
If you follow these recommendations for Udemy and Skillshare, you will find that they are helpful because I am sharing them from my experience.
Who is suitable for Udemy?
- Those interested in topics like web development, IT, blockchain, etc.
- Students seeking online courses that are in demand.
- Budget conscious visual learners who prefer self-paced learning.
Who is suitable for Skillshare?
- Anyone interested in learning creative skills such as design, photography, illustration, etc.
- Those who want to improve their skills, whether they are students, hobbyists, or creatives.
- People who want to get advice from industry experts in a specific creative niche.
- Educators interested in selling courses around the world.
Udemy is particularly suited for in-demand courses in business, technology, and marketing, while Skillshare is best for courses focused on creative niches.
Since Udemy offers certificates upon completion, I would recommend taking a course on Udemy if you are looking for a reputable course that could potentially boost your resume. On the other hand, Skillshare courses are a great way to learn a skill in a structured way.
Okay, after this long and detailed comparison you will surely know which platform is best for you.
The two e-learning communities were a good match, as both have their strengths. However, Skillshare and Udemy are aimed at different profiles.
Individual courses on Udemy cost between $19.99 and $199.99, while Skillshare’s premium plan costs $167.88 per year and gives you access to the entire course library (over 35,000). With both platforms, you’ll find a wide range of topics to choose from.
Skillshare is for you if:
- If you don’t want to take more than one or two courses
- looking for the largest variety of courses
- Courses in other languages than English are needed
- Don’t want to pay a recurring fee
Skillshare is for you if:
- Need several courses on the same subject
- Paying a subscription is not a problem
- Looking for the best value for your money
- Interested in top instructors
In some cases, Udemy and Skillshare are not a good fit. For example, you may need accredited certificates, help writing your CV, or career counselling.
Here are a few alternatives you might want to consider:
Udemy and Skillshare do not offer accredited degrees, while Coursera partners with universities such as Duke, Michigan, and Johns Hopkins. As a result, their courses are among the best on the market (with permission from edX).
You can take most Coursera courses for free, but to get a certificate you need to purchase a paid version. Coursera’s different course types include individual courses (from $29 to $100), specializations (from $39 to $89 per month), and annual subscriptions (from $399).
edX offers courses from top universities such as Harvard, the University of Texas, MIT and Berkeley. Accredited certificates are also available for industries such as business, computer science, engineering, and humanities.
Many of the courses on edX are free, but if you want to earn a certificate, you’ll have to pay for it ($50 to $300, depending on the course).
Unlike Udemy and Skillshare, Udacity creates all of its own courses by partnering with leading companies (e.g., Google, Mercedes, or Nvidia). They also cover a limited number of topics (mainly business and technology), but the subjects are almost science fiction (from artificial intelligence to autonomous driving).
There are also about 200 free courses. The company offers nanodegrees, bundles of 4 to 10 courses that let you delve into a topic.
Many companies take the company’s certificates seriously, even if they are not accredited. The company also offers career counselling.
Nanodegrees cost between $700 and $2,000, depending on the length of the courses.