Whenever we want to acquire a new ability, upgrade our skill set, or simply learn a new trick to enhance our lifestyles, we begin a search for the most effective way to do so.
If we had written this article a decade ago, you’d be probably reading about some fancy learning centers or prestigious colleges right now. However, today we live in an era when almost everything is digitalized, including courses and lectures. So, instead of reading about some traditional educational facilities, here you’ll get acquainted with two of the top e-learning platforms on the market.
Our story begins with the necessity we had a while ago to upgrade our team of content writers with some competitive writing skills. We discovered that Skillshare and Udemy are fit for the job, as both are incredibly abundant learning resources that cater to not only individuals but entire teams as well.
Learning online with these platforms is great since every class is available for you to follow whenever you like. Both Skillshare and Udemy are top-of-the-line, and that’s why we chose them both to write an in-depth analysis of their services and see which is a better option.
Why Choose Skillshare or Udemy?
Skillshare and Udemy are two of the most popular course providers aimed primarily at students and professional adults. They offer thousands of courses, covering topics about pretty much anything you can imagine, from eCommerce and web development to cooking and gardening.
There’s a good chunk of free courses offered by Skillshare and Udemy, however, most courses are paid, especially the premium ones. Their cost varies, but more on that later.
Udemy offers over 130,000 online courses and has served over 35 million learners that have watched over 110 million minutes of educational video so far.
On the other hand, Skillshare is more humble, with about 25,000 online classes that have attracted over 8 million people.
Another significant aspect of these services is that they offer great career opportunities as well. If you’re a trainer or an expert in your field with a knack for teaching, you can boost your income creating courses for Skillshare and Udemy.
In this article, you’ll learn that Udemy works best when you know which course you want to pursue and when, while Skillshare is more suitable for permanent use when you want to try more of the offered variety.
Let’s Compare Skillshare and Udemy
We tested every aspect of Skillshare and Udemy in order to get a better understanding of what they’re all about. Now we’ll display our findings below to provide you with a clear picture of what you might expect if you sign up to use one of them.
Considering they both offer an appreciable amount of courses (collections that are impossible to be entirely inspected), we relied on real users’ reviews to see what they have to say about their own experiences.
There will be a total of 8 categories in which Skillshare and Udemy will compete against each other. After declaring a winner in each of the categories, we’ll conclude the article by announcing the overall winner, so hopefully, we’ll make it easier for you to make up your mind about which one to go for.
These are the categories in which Skillshare and Udemy will face each other:
- User Experience
- Courses Selection
- Courses Quality
- Options for Teams
- Customer Support
- Value for Money
Let’s jump right into it!
1. User Experience
Unless you’re enrolling in a “Mastering Basic Computer Skills” course, digital educational platforms should make learning easy and accessible for everyone with basic computer knowledge. You’re not there to learn how to use their software, but the actual subjects you’re interested in. So, are Skillshare and Udemy accommodating in that regard? Let’s find out.
Skillshare is considered to be a pretty easy-to-use service. Whether you’re using your laptop, desktop computer, or your smartphone to take your online courses, Skillshare is straightforward and has an intuitive design.
The registration process is quite simple, and you can sign up quickly with a Google or Facebook account.
When it comes to the course interface, it’s worth noting that it’s very concise and you have the ability to add notes and turn on captions while watching videos.
Another useful thing about Skillshare are the course collections, where you can sort your chosen courses by topic.
Udemy is easy to navigate as well. You can access the platform on a device of your choice and sign up in a few simple steps.
Just like Skillshare, Udemy also features course collections and options for notes and captions.
What’s more, with Udemy you can manage the video quality and caption settings yourself, and you can even track your course progress by ticking individual lessons.
Both platforms offer a fantastic user experience, as they are straightforward and fun to use, however, Udemy offers a bit more options to improve functionality. Therefore, we’re awarding it with its first point.
2. Courses Selection
The thing with any skill is that you can find a tremendous amount of topics covering the same material and you’re often left wondering which one is the best for you. Skillshare and Udemy offer ways with which you can narrow down your search, so let’s take a look into their methods.
The platform organizes its 25,000+ courses around 16 major categories. Most of them cover creative aspects such as animation, creative writing, film and video, music, etc. but there are also courses on business, marketing, lifestyle, and productivity.
If you’re looking for anything specific, you can use the search option and you’ll be presented with every course related to your keywords. You can then filter the results by class level (beginner, intermediate, and advanced), time of creation, and class length.
Courses at Skillshare are sometimes marked as “Original”, meaning they were created by Skillshare’s in-house production team, and “Staff Pick” – the most exceptional content selected by Skillshare’s curation team.
Worth mentioning is that Skillshare offers about 2000 free classes that you can take even if you cancel your subscription.
Udemy categorizes its 130,000+ courses under 13 main topics that branch out to 118 subcategories. Among them are IT & software, cryptocurrency & blockchain, parenting & relationships, affiliate marketing, and many more.
You can simply choose a topic and see the most popular and trending courses in it. The filtering options for searching around Udemy are far more optimized than Skillshare and include related topics, difficulty level, language, ratings, video duration, etc.
The Udemy Free Resource Center provides over 8000 free courses, giving you no excuse not to start working on upgrading your skills.
Since Udemy offers substantially more than Skillshare and has a more advanced search feature, it wins its second point here.
3. Courses Quality
Quality is obviously a key factor when deciding which service to choose from. But what happens when two products seem to be of similar quality? We dig deeper to find out the most intricate details.
Courses at Skillshare can have a 10-minute minimum length. There are many short classes on the platform and it seems like Skillshare prefers its teaching methods to be concise and straight to the point.
Regarding quality, the service inspects all of the published classes in order to ensure they all meet Skillshare’s firm criteria described in their Class Quality Guidelines. According to these guidelines, classes need to be filmed with excellent audio and video quality and be actionable, well-organized, demystifying, and compelling.
Skillshare’s curation team is pretty strict and this might be the reason the platform has fewer courses than Udemy.
What’s great about Skillshare is that respectable companies publish their courses there and they take great care in ensuring top-tier quality.
Similarly, Udemy has formal requirements about how courses published on the platform should look like, although they are not as firm as Skillshare. In their Course Quality Checklist, you can take a look at what makes a great course at Udemy.
According to the Course Quality Checklist, courses at Udemy need to be at least 30 minutes long, comprise a minimum of 5 separate lectures, and have impeccable video and audio quality.
It is also recommended by Udemy that courses have a clear goal and provide the needed links, downloads, and resources for each practice activity.
Quality education is a priority for both Udemy and Skillshare. Upon thorough research, we discovered that Skillshare pays a bit more attention to the quality of its courses than Udemy does. That grants Skillshare its first point.
Anyone can sell their courses on Udemy and Skillshare and make good money. Everyone willing to put in the effort and create a high-quality actionable course, and anyone who obeys these services’ quality guidelines can build a successful teaching career with Skillshare and Udemy.
Teachers at Skillshare are encouraged to create beautiful courses with a Teacher Handbook, where they can find resources about how to plan, produce, and promote their courses.
Even though most of the instructors who create with Skillshare aren’t usually PhDs, they are masters in their craft.
As we mentioned in the previous section, Skillshare publishes their own courses branded as “Originals”, and even provides state-of-the-art classes created by industry-leading companies.
Likewise, instructors at Udemy can easily register to create new courses through the Teach on Udemy section.
They get an opportunity to join a community of thousands of instructors at Udemy, where they can share experiences and learn new tricks on how to improve their courses.
Considering there’s a vast number of instructors on the platform, there’s the question of how to determine which class to take and if it’s worth the money. This can be a bit of a drawback since each Udemy course has a price tag. What if you pay and it turns out the course doesn’t deliver the promised goal? You can ask for a refund within 30 days of purchase, however, you can’t do this too many times, otherwise, you’d be banned from the platform.
There are some amazing and highly-qualified instructors on both eLearning services. But we have to consider the fact that Skillshare features respectable professionals as instructors, so it wins yet another point.
5. Options for Teams
Companies are often in need of upskilling their employees in order to grow their businesses, and finding a reliable solution can quickly turn into a headache. Luckily, Udemy and Skillshare offer a practical solution to assist companies in this regard.
Skillshare is great to maximize the engagement, development, and creativity of any company’s entire workforce. They offer tools that help build a culture that can drive any business forward.
With the two plans oriented for teams, “Starter” and “Enterprise”, Skillshare caters to entire teams and grants them access to the entire library of 22,000 + courses.
With possibilities to curate custom learning paths, teacher and peer feedback, digital workshops, and insight into team engagement, Skillshare truly excels while helping you scale your business.
The “Starter” plan is great for teams from 5 to 49 members and the “Enterprise” team is optimized for teams consisting of 20+ members.
The Udemy for Business feature is another amazing option that helps armor remote teams with valuable knowledge. World-class companies, such as Adidas, Booking, and SurveyMonkey put their trust in Udemy and regularly rely on this feature to upskill their teams.
Unlike Skillshare, Udemy offers only about 4% of their entire catalog of courses (about 5000 courses), although they claim this number includes the necessary variety of topics needed for every team to successfully move their skills forward.
Udemy for Business includes two plans for teams – “Team”, optimized for a group of 5 to 20 users that features individual user engagement, and “Enterprise”, perfect for teams of 21+ users, packed with international courses, advanced group management, and integration capabilities.
Skillshare offers more for less. They provide more courses for teams than Udemy and for more affordable prices, helping them take the lead in this category.
It’d be amazing to take a quick online course and acquire accreditation that you can attach to your CV in order to land your dream job. Is it possible, though? Let’s check out how Skillshare and Udemy approach this situation.
We’ll be direct and reveal that Skillshare doesn’t provide its users with any kind of certification. If you want to prove to someone that you’ve completed a certain course and gained something new from it, you can post a class project that you’ve completed using your newly gained skills.
All in all, Skillshare is definitely not a substitute for an accredited certifications provider.
It’s a similar story with Udemy, although a bit different and a little bit more promising. With every completed course on Udemy, you’ll receive a certification of completion for that course.
This is practically useless since Udemy isn’t an accredited educational institution, however, some companies might find it valuable and give you credits for showing interest to upskill.
Rather than declaring a draw in this category since both services aren’t suitable options for obtaining accredited certifications, to make things more interesting, we’ll give the point to Udemy, for making the effort and offering certifications of completion for their paid courses.
7. Customer Support
Reliable help is always a godsend no matter what you’re dealing with. Customer support is an important aspect when evaluating a product or service.
When it comes to customer support, let us start by saying that there’s a lot of room for improvement at Skillshare.
You can reach their support only by sending a request about the issue you need assistance with. Don’t expect the response to arrive promptly, especially if you’re on your free trial.
On the other hand, Skillshare’s help center is full of resourceful articles about how to use the service and their classes, FAQs about payments and billing, and solutions for teachers.
It’s a similar story with Udemy. Their knowledge base is abundant with helpful articles, however, it is quite difficult to reach their “contact us” section. When you do, you can submit a request about your query.
The response time is rarely fast, but eventually, your issue will be dealt with by Udemy’s friendly staff.
We feel it’s safe to say there’s no winner in this category. Both services could put an effort into improving their customer support.
7. Value for Money
We’re slowly coming to the end of today’s comparison. Let’s take a look at how much Skillshare and Udemy cost and which offers a better value for your money.
Skillshare implements a monthly pricing model. You opt for a monthly or an annual billing which allows you to take every course offered by Skillshare.
After you use your 7 free days of unlimited classes, you need to go “Premium” and pay a monthly price of $15 (it’s $8.25/month if you sign up for the entire year, or one $99 lump sum).
Regarding the Skillshare for Teams feature, you can get the “Starter” plan for $99/year per user (minimum 3 users), and you need to contact their team to get a quote on the “Enterprise” plan.
You don’t pay monthly with Udemy. Instead, every course has an individual price, varying from $9.99 to $199.99. When you purchase a course, it’s yours forever. This might be a better option if you’re interested in taking only one or a couple of courses.
The plans on Udemy for Business are “Team” and “Enterprise”. The former costs $360/year per user (minimum 5 users) and the latter has a custom price depending on your needs. Note that Udemy for Business grants access to only 5000 of Udemy’s premium courses.
Whether you sign up for a regular or a business account, Udemy offers a free 14-day trial.
Udemy might be better for purchasing individual courses that are cheap or on sale, but Skillshare is a more affordable option considering you’d get access to its entire library of high-quality courses. Another victory for Skillshare.
Let’s summarize who took the victory in the discussed 8 categories:
- Skillshare won in the Courses Quality, Instructors, Options for Teams, and Value for Money categories;
- Udemy took the lead in the User Experience, Courses Selection, and Accreditations categories;
- There was no winner in the Customer Support category.
So, with 4:3 Skillshare becomes the champion in today’s battle.
Skillshare is a great option as an online eLearning platform for everyone that values quality service for affordable prices and plans to work on upgrading their skills and learn new things in the long term.
Udemy is also amazing when it comes to simple navigation and course variety. Anyone looking for an alternative to upskill for the time being can consider Udemy as a valuable solution.
Whichever you decide to go for, rest assured you’re on the right path to unlocking your creative side and becoming a key figure in your niche.