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Skillshare vs Udemy: Comparing Price, Quality, Course Options, Etc.

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If you’re looking for a place to learn to code online, two names that might pop up in your search are Udemy and Skillshare. Both are great platforms that have a lot of high-quality courses. But it can be hard to choose between Skillshare or Udemy when you’re ready to make an investment in your learning. 

🌟 To help you narrow down your options, this post will go in depth to help you make an informed decision. But first, a quick breakdown on what each platform is!

Skillshare is an online learning platform that offers thousands of video courses focusing on creative, tech, business, and personal development topics. It allows almost anyone to develop a course and post it. Read my full review here.

Udemy is one of the most popular online learning platforms. It’s a teaching marketplace that allows anyone to develop, record and upload a course (provided they meet certain quality guidelines). It covers tons of topics. Read my full review here.

Both offer a wide variety of tech and programming courses, but is Udemy or Skillshare the best choice for you?

In this post, we’ll rank Udemy vs. Skillshare based on a variety of factors, such as topics taught, instructor quality, which ones gives the most bang for your buck, course format, etc. to help you decide which platform is right for you.

Disclosure: I’m a proud affiliate for some of the resources mentioned in this article. If you buy a product through my links on this page, I may get a small commission for referring you. Thanks!

Table of Contents

Skillshare vs Udemy: Summary of Features

SkillshareUdemy
Topics taught / course selection– 27,000+ courses

– 16 topic categories

– 2,500+ free courses

– Wide variety of topics
– 130,000+ courses

– 13 topic categories

– 10,000+ free courses

– Wide variety of topics
Instructor Quality– Anyone can teach a course; must meet Skillshare quality guidelines

– Also has special courses taught by industry professionals
– Anyone can teach a course; must meet Udemy quality guidelines
Pricing– $99/year or $19/month

– Gives access to entire course library

– Some workshops require an additional one-time signup fee

– Scholarships available

– 7-day money back guarantee

– 14-day free trial
– Depends on the course (ranges from $20 to $50, but some normally cost over $100)

– Has frequent sales!

– Have to purchase courses individually

– No financial assistance

– 30-day money back guarantee

– No free trial
Ease of use / interface– Easy to navigate

– YouTube-style interface with minimal features

– Mobile app
– Easy to navigate

– YouTube-style interface with good features

– Mobile app
Support– Instructor support not always provided

– Less detailed help center

– Offers easy way to get in touch with support team
– Instructor support not always provided

– Detailed help center

– Offers easy way to get in touch with support team
Certifications / credibility– No certifications

– Non-accredited
– Certificates of completion

– Non-accredited
Course format / style– Self-paced

– Some structured learning options available

– Project-based learning with strong community aspect

– Courses last 20-60 minutes, on average
– Self-paced

– No structured learning options

– Teaching style differs from course to course

– Courses are often several hours long

📝 Topics Taught / Course Selection: Udemy vs Skillshare

If you’re looking to learn a specific skill, you might want to choose Skillshare or Udemy specifically for the kinds of courses available on each platform. Let’s look at the overview.

Udemy:

udemy development category courses
  • Over 130,000 courses available under 13 main topic categories
  • All kinds of topics are covered (e.g., programming, marketing, web design, home improvement, health and fitness).
  • Udemy’s Development category has courses on web development, software engineering, data science, game development, machine learning, mobile development, database design, and nearly every programming language you can think of. 
  • Currently has over 10,000 free courses

Skillshare:

skillshare online web development classes
  • Over 27,000 courses available under 3 main topic categories (Create, Build, and Thrive) with 16 subcategories
  • Lots of topics covered (e.g., design, photography, freelancing, productivity, etc.)
  • Its Web Development category has more limited topics when compared to Udemy; covers CSS/HTML, web design, WordPress, and other programming languages, but doesn’t cover more academic type topics.
  • Currently has over 2,500 free courses

🏆 Winner: Udemy. Has a much bigger breadth and depth of topics, plus a ton more free courses to choose from. Also has a wider range of coding courses than Skillshare.

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🧑‍🏫 Instructor Quality: Skillshare vs Udemy

Are instructors usually more qualified on Udemy or Skillshare? Let’s take a look at each platform’s quality standards.

Udemy:

  • Courses are taught by anyone and everyone; there are no prerequisites to becoming a Udemy instructor.
  • This means that instructor quality can vary on Udemy. One course might be taught by an industry professional with decades of experience, while another course may be taught by someone who’s new to the field.
  • Courses do need to meet certain quality standards: having at least 30 minutes of video content, HD quality video with a resolution of at least 720p, at least 5 separate lectures, high audio quality, etc.

Here are some tips for finding good quality courses on Udemy.

Skillshare:

  • Skillshare’s classes are either produced in-house by expert instructors (called Skillshare Originals) or developed by community users, like Udemy.
  • When it comes to community users creating courses, Skillshare’s website says that “There’s no application or approval process, and you don’t need to have teaching experience.” 
  • However, like Udemy, classes need to meet certain quality standards: Varied visual presentation, classes must be based upon a lesson plan or course outline, classes must be at least 10 minutes long, includes a class project, high audio quality, etc.
  • Beyond Skillshare Originals, there are also Staff Picks, which are community-generated courses that have been selected by Skillshare’s curation team as high quality, valuable, and engaging courses.

🏆 Winner: Skillshare. While both platforms have community-generated courses, Skillshare also has professionally developed courses taught by industry experts (Skillshare Originals), which Udemy doesn’t. Skillshare also has a way to highlight the platform’s best courses through Staff Picks, which Udemy doesn’t.

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💰 Pricing: Udemy vs Skillshare

Skillshare and Udemy have different pricing models, so it’s not as simple as one being cheaper than the other. Here’s how they work.

Udemy:

  • Pricing varies depending on the course. Prices range from $20 to $50, but some normally cost over $100
  • As mentioned earlier, there are also many free courses
  • Once you buy a course, you have lifetime access
  • There are no free trials
  • 30-day money back guarantee 
  • No financial assistance options, but Udemy has frequent platform-wide sales where you can snag courses for much cheaper (most courses tend to drop to just $10-$20)

Skillshare:

  • Unlike Udemy, Skillshare is subscription-based
  • You can get access to the whole library for $99 upfront for an entire year (works out to $8.25/month) or $19.00/month billed monthly
  • But once you stop paying, you lose access
  • 14-day free trial
  • 7-day money back guarantee
  • Also offers scholarships/financial assistance: 50% off a Premium Membership with a valid .edu email address; For every annual Premium Membership purchased, Skillshare donates one to those in financial need.
  • Another perk of Skillshare: You can get discounts on creative resources and services. For example, 20% off an annual subscription to Squarespace, 25% off all purchases on Society6, and 15% off Adobe Creative Cloud. (Annual Premium Members only)

🏆 Winner: Depends on your goals. If you’d only like to buy one or a few courses, Udemy may be the cheapest option. However, if you plan on taking a lot of courses to become an expert, it may be more cost-effective to go with Skillshare. Plus, if you’d like to sample a variety of courses, programming languages, tech topics, teachers, etc., you can easily do that with Skillshare, but can’t really do that with Udemy unless you buy a lot of courses.

Additionally, Udemy is a bit more of a commitment. For example, if you find you don’t like a course on Skillshare, you can just move on to another one without having to pay more money. This means you don’t have to do as much upfront research (e.g., reading reviews) before deciding what course to take, whereas you have to do more due diligence with Udemy.

Skillshare also has a free trial so you can try some courses out before committing to buying anything; Udemy doesn’t have this option. Udemy does have a 30-day money back guarantee, though.

Skillshare also has financial assistance options, while Udemy does not.

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💻 Ease of Use: Skillshare vs Udemy

Is Udemy or Skillshare easier to use? If you like a sleek interface and accessibility, this might factor in.

Udemy:

udemy course ease of use demonstration
  • Create a Udemy account by entering your name, email, and setting a password. 
  • You can filter by criteria including: topic, level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, etc.), language (including available closed captions), price, features (quizzes, captions, coding exercises, etc.), star ratings, and video duration.
  • When you see a course you want to take, the checkout process is very easy. All you have to do is add the course into your cart, sign in (or register if you don’t have an account yet), choose a payment method, and start learning.
  • The learning interface is similar to YouTube; video on the left and the playlist of lessons on the right. There are also tabs where you can see questions students have asked and the instructor’s answer (if they’ve left an answer), an area to leave notes in specific moments of the video, and a course announcement section where the instructor may make announcements.
  • You can check or uncheck lessons on the right to keep track of your learning progress.
  • Includes a transcript so you can read along
  • Has an iOS and Android app

Skillshare:

skillshare ease of use demonstration
  • Create a Skillshare account by entering your name, email, and setting a password. You can also sign up faster by using your Gmail, Facebook, or Apple account.
  • Sort by trending, newest, or most popular, and add filters to your search like Premium vs. Free and class length (note: there’s no way to search by highest-rated).
  • Once you click on a course, it’s a similar style to YouTube, with the video on the left and the playlist of lessons on the right.
  • Before taking the course, you can read through student reviews, look at class discussions, and browse through completed student projects. You can also read a description of the course and an author bio.
  • All Skillshare classes have captions and transcripts
  • Has an iOS and Android app

🏆 Winner: Udemy wins by a small margin just because it has more video player options, a bit more of a modern interface, and more features. However, both are very easy to navigate, with simple, intuitive interfaces. Both also have apps for learning on-the-go. Skillshare has fewer video player options (no video quality or caption options like Udemy has).

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🙋 Support: Udemy vs Skillshare

If you have a problem, you want to know it will be taken care of. Let’s see how Skillshare and Udemy’s support stacks up.

Udemy:

  • Instructor support: Support by the instructors is not always provided. For example, there are Udemy courses where the author has abandoned the course but the course is still up for sale. That’s why it’s important to read reviews, look at when the course was last updated, etc. You can directly message instructors on Udemy. You can also submit a thread on the Q&A in their courses.
  • Knowledge base/help center: Udemy Support; articles are super detailed and helpful; covers a lot of FAQs
  • You can also submit a request for help using this form; you can expect to hear back within 1-2 business days.

Skillshare:

  • Instructor support: It’s possible to get direct feedback from your teacher on your project. But since teachers are often managing classes with thousands of students, 1:1 feedback is not always guaranteed. You can only communicate with the instructor through the Discussion section, and it’s not a guarantee they’ll respond.
  • Knowledge base/help center: Skillshare Help Center; articles on here aren’t always very detailed, but the help center covers a lot of FAQs.
  • You can also submit a request for help using this form; Skillshare doesn’t say when to expect a response.

🏆 Winner: Udemy because it has a more detailed help center. Both offer about the same amount of instructor support (i.e., sometimes, but not always).

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📃 Certifications / Credibility: Skillshare vs Udemy

Hoping to add a certificate to your LinkedIn page? Let’s see if it’s an option.

Udemy:

  • Many courses offer certificates of completion, though they are never available for free courses.
  • Udemy is not an accredited institution, and their certifications are more a “certificate of participation” type, not a proof of skill mastery. 

Skillshare:

  • Doesn’t offer certificates of completion at all
  • Skillshare is also not an accredited institution

🏆 Winner: No real winner, since neither platforms are accredited and their certifications may not mean much to employers. If you’re looking for an accredited platform that offers certifications with more credibility, try Coursera or edX.

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🖥️ Course Format / Style: Udemy vs Skillshare

Which platform suits your learning style best, Skillshare or Udemy?

Udemy:

  • Self-paced; pre-recorded video lectures and gives you all course materials upfront
  • Courses are often several hours long
  • No deadlines, no checkpoints/milestones you have to reach
  • Course style depends on the individual instructor. Some may have projects, quizzes, and assignments, while others may not. 
  • No peer or teacher feedback element

Skillshare:

  • Most courses are self-paced
  • On average, classes include 20-60 minutes of pre-recorded video content broken down into a series of short 2-5 minute videos.
  • Project-based: All classes on Skillshare include a fun project that helps students practice and share with the class community. Projects receive peer and teacher feedback.
  • Structured learning options are available too. Skillshare has “Workshops,” which are a way of taking classes on a designated schedule set by the teacher or by the Skillshare team, alongside other students who are participating at the same time. Some workshops, however, require an additional one-time signup fee. 

🏆 Winner: Skillshare because it involves hands-on projects, mix of self-paced and structured learning options, peer feedback/community element, etc.

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💡 Conclusion: Skillshare or Udemy?

So who’s the overall winner—Udemy or Skillshare? It’s time to total up the points: 

  • 3 for Udemy 
  • 2 for Skillshare 
  • 2 tied

However, just because Udemy is the winner by a slim margin doesn’t mean that this platform is the best option for you and your goals. Here’s how to decide which platform is best for you.

Choose Udemy if:

  • You’re looking for a large variety of courses on various topics
  • You only plan on taking one or a few courses
  • You don’t want to pay a monthly subscription
  • You want lifetime access to a course
  • You enjoy completely self-paced learning
  • You’re willing to do some research on instructors before buying a course

Choose Skillshare if:

  • You’re looking for courses on creative, business, and/or productivity topics
  • You plan on taking multiple courses
  • You’re okay paying a monthly or yearly fee
  • You don’t need lifetime access to a course
  • You like working on projects
  • You enjoy the community aspect of learning
  • You’d rather not do as much research on instructors before taking a course

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Alternatives to Udemy and Skillshare

Neither of these platforms sound like they’re a fit for you? Check out my reviews on the following online learning platforms to find the right match for you:


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