Skillshare is the world’s largest online community for creativity. It has 12 million+ registered users and offers 40,000+ classes. So it's undoubtedly a great place for you to develop or learn new, skills.
But are there better Skillshare alternatives to choose from?
Let’s be clear, Skillshare is a great platform. But there are sites like Skillshare – such as Udemy, Creative Live or MasterClass – that may offer features better suited to your specific needs.
So in this article I’ll be setting out 8 of the best Skillshare competitors together with my rationale for selecting them- based on criteria such as range and quality of courses, costs and certification,
I’ll be going into some detail so if you just want the headlines, the next section is for you.
- Best overall Skillshare competitor: Udemy offers 210,000+ courses. So whether you’re looking for professional development or to learn something creative, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Plus frequent sales make Udemy great value for money. And, unlike Skillshare, you can buy courses individually without committing to a subscription.
- Best creative alternative: CreativeLive is most similar to Skillshare. It has over 2,000 classes from top notch instructors including world-class creatives and cultural icons. It also offers exclusive conferences and livestreams. Though it has fewer courses, Creative Live allows you to purchase classes individually and its subscription options are cheaper and more varied than Skillshare.
- Best for globally renowned teachers: MasterClass covers a broader range of subjects than Skillshare. And its courses are taught by globally revered icons in their fields of endeavour. Its subscription options are incredible value, particularly if you share the costs with family or friends.
Why you should consider a Skillshare alternative
Skillshare is best for those who are:
- Passionate creatives looking to engage with a community of like minded learners
- Looking to develop creative skills but not seeking accredited certification
- Happy to commit to a monthly ($32) or annual ($168) subscription
- Freelancers looking to upskill on a budget
- Hobby artists who want to spend more time learning their craft
- Graphic designers, illustrators, and visual artists who can benefit from the Skillshare Perks (eg big Adobe discounts!)
- Interested in a long free trial before committing to a subscription
- Business owners and entrepreneurs in the creative fields looking to grow their business or upskill their teams
It is less suited to those who are:
- Wanting to take courses as they come, rather than purchase a whole subscription (Udemy, CreativeLive, Domestika, Coursera and edX)
- After a one stop shop for all their eLearning needs including both professional, as well as fun and creative topics (Udemy)
- Purely interested in hobby crafts (Craftsy)
- Seeking accredited certification and keen on a more academic style of learning (Coursera and edX)
- Looking for an inspirational, cinematic style learning experience with global icons (MasterClass)
Best Skillshare alternatives
Below is a list of the ten best Skillshare alternatives for accessing high quality online learning consistently and conveniently.
Launched in 2009, Udemy is now the largest Ed Tech company of its kind. It gives everyone the opportunity to create and offer quality controlled online courses on its platform.
It has over 64+ million registered users and offers 210,000+ courses across 12 categories.
Udemy is an all round provider, offering courses in both professional as well as personal development.
You can buy courses singly on Udemy from around $12, or purchase a Personal Plan for c$20 per month which gives you unlimited access to 10,500+ of its most popular courses.
- Comprehensive range of courses
- Passionate instructors with many high profile contributors
- Courses that equip you for the changing nature of work in addition to those that are creative and fun
- Competitive pricing with constant sales, deals and promotions
- 500+ free courses
- Instructors and courses are audited before being allowed on the platform
- Course quality varies due to so many contributors
Why choose Udemy as a Skillshare alternative?
The main reason for choosing Udemy as an alternative to Coursera is that it has 170,000 more courses across a greater range of categories (including creative disciplines).
What’s more, unlike Skillshare, you can purchase courses individually on Udemy without committing to a subscription.
And with frequent sales and promotions it is likely you could take quite a few courses over the course of 12 months for less than you would pay for a Skillshare subscription.
Creative Live was founded in 2009 to provide access to creative education and workshops for a community of passionate and ambitious individuals. Today they have 2000+ classes, more than 700 worldwide instructors, and 10 million+ students.
It is a Skillshare like site with a focus on helping creative professionals succeed in their endeavours. Either by instilling them with the business savvy needed to thrive, or by developing the practical skills relevant to their particular creative industry.
There are a range of services from live-streamed masterclasses to longer and more comprehensive courses, three subscription plans, and you can also purchase courses singly.
- Great variety of courses with over 2000 classes to choose from
- Learn from top notch instructors including world-class creatives, cultural icons like Tim Ferriss, and Pulitzer Prize winners
- Exclusive conferences and livestreams
- Download classes for offline viewing
- Goal setting and learning paths
- Support from the CreativeLive community of like minded individuals
- No certification offered
Why choose CreativeLive as a Skillshare Alternative?
Although it has fewer courses than Skillshare, Creative Live offers the opportunity to take part in live master classes and conferences.
In addition, you can purchase courses individually on Creative Live without committing to a subscription. And, if you do want to subscribe, Creative Live is cheaper and has the option to pay monthly.
So if you’re a creative professional wishing to take your skills to the next level, seeking to turn a hobby into a business, or boost your existing commercial success then CreativeLive is a possible alternative to Skillshare.
Check out our CreativeLive review for further details.
MasterClass was launched in 2015 with a simple idea: Everyone should have access to genius. Its 150+ MasterClasses are available in 11 categories and are taught by globally acclaimed icons in their fields of expertise.
So with MasterClass you can step into Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen, go behind the scenes with James Cameron, write a thriller with Dan Brown, or take to the mat with Simone Biles.
MasterClass is renowned not only for the calibre of its instructors, but for its cinematic production values and the way it uses storytelling to create a connection between the instructor and you, the audience.
In addition to its 150+ on demand MasterClasses, the platform also offers time bound, project led sessions which you take with a community of fellow students.
Like Skillshare, MasterClass is a subscription platform. Individual membership is a similar cost to Skillshare, but you can considerably by joining with friends or family.
- Learn from the best with passionate, revered and accomplished teachers
- Wide range of choice from a large library of classes
- Affordable and with multi user options
- Access to sessions you join with a cohort of fellow students
- High production values and immersive content that’s engaging and fun
- 30 day no quibble refund policy
- No free classes – though you can sample classes for free
- No certificates of completion
Why Choose MasterClass as a Skillshare Alternative?
Above all, MasterClass is famed for its cinematic production values and the immersive, inspirational experience of learning from an iconic celebrity.
If that sounds appealing to you, MasterClass is absolutely worth a visit.
It's broadly the same cost as an individual subscription to Skillshare but you can reduce costs by joining with friends or family. And with a no quibble 30 day money back guarantee (which we’ve put to the test) you have nothing to lose by giving it a go.
Domestika started life as a small online forum for creatives. It is now one of the fastest-growing e-learning platforms out there, with a continuously growing range of exciting classes for anyone wanting to get their creative juices flowing.
There are over 10 categories to choose from and an incredible amount of classes within each of them. Every class is produced in-house with the talented group of tutors in order to give students a dedicated learning experience.
You can buy any Domestika class individually or cut down on costs by bundling courses together to get discounted prices on each.
If you like the platform you can subscribe for only $100 per year or opt for a monthly subscription for just $12 per month.
- An incredible versatile platform with classes for all tastes and interests
- Some of the most professional and experienced tutors in the world
- Four purchase options to give users flexibility
- Loads of downloadable content
- Many classes not taught in English – though every course offers subtitles in a variety of languages
Why Choose Domestika as a Skillshare Alternative?
Domestika is a great platform for creatives. Whether you’re an absolute beginner wanting to learn how to use Photoshop or a casual knitter looking to make more sophisticated designs, there’s a class for you.
The main reason to choose it over Skillshare is its low cost subscription options. Also, if you don’t want to commit to a subscription you can buy courses individually and receive discounts by bundling three classes together.
You need to be aware that many of its classes are not in English, though all are available with high quality subtitles.
Coursera is one of the largest learning platforms in the world. It was started in 2012 by two Stanford professors with a mission to provide universal access to world-class learning.
Today, Cousera has 92 million registered users and is partnered with 250+ leading universities and industry educators to offer over 7,000 courses and degree programs. Much of its content can be accessed completely free.
- Teaching from leading academics, Nobel prize winners, top authors, c-suite executives and leaders in their respective fields
- The chance to earn a certificate accredited by one of the world’s top organisations
- Lots of free content for you to sample risk free
- Well structured and resourced courses
- Huge catalogue of courses
- Prestigious education at affordable prices
- Learn offline
- Confusing pricing structure and free content not always easy to find
Why choose Coursera as a Skillshare alternative?
The main reason for choosing Coursera as an alternative to Skillshare is that it offers fully accredited certification from the prestigious institutions which provide its courses.
Though it has a number of creative courses, it is more strongly focussed on professional and career development. So if you are seeking to learn in order to pursue a promotion or career change, Coursera is definitely worth your consideration.
You can take over 2,000 courses for free and pay for certification later, so you can explore the platform thoroughly without making any financial commitment
Like Coursera, edX is partnered with leading institutions and universities to offer world class open access education online.
The company was founded in 2012 thanks to collaboration between MIT and Harvard
More than 160 other institutions have since come on board with edX and it now has 100 million enrollments and offers 3,500+ courses across 30 subject areas.
Many of its courses can be taken for free without certification.
If you wish to receive an accredited certificate course charges vary from around $50-$300. Programmes up to Master’s level are also available.
- 3,500 courses across a diverse range of subjects
- Teaching from award winning academics from the world's best universities, many of whom hold Nobel Prizes
- Thousands of free classes with the option to pay for a certificate
- Classes are extremely comprehensive and taught with an impressive mix of audio, visual and textual teaching styles
- Certificates are accredited by the partner universities and institutions
- The edX website is a little less easy to navigate compared to its rival, Coursera
Why choose edX as a Skillshare alternative
As with Coursera, If you are interested in accredited certification from prestigious institutions, edX is worth considering.
edX does have some creative courses but, like Coursera, is more geared towards professional and career development. So if you are seeking to learn in order to pursue a promotion or career change it too is worth thinking about.
You can take the majority of courses for free and upgrade to receive certification. This gives you a great opportunity to experience the platform without any financial commitment
Find out more about edX in our edX review.
Launched in 1995, LinkedIn Learning is one of the biggest open online course providers to date.
The platform boasts 27 million+ users. It offers 16,000+ courses in 30+ categories from industry experts to help you grow your professional and creative skill set.
It offers two subscription options. There is a monthly subscription at $39 per month or a yearly subscription at $24 per month (billed annually). You can also purchase courses individually from around $38.
LinkedIn Learning pros
- Learn from highly rated instructors with real-world experience
- Chance to earn and display a LinkedIn Learning certificate
- Broad scope of topics to choose from
- One month free trial giving you plenty of time to decide if the platform is for you.
- Ability to download courses to the mobile app for offline viewing on the go
LinkedIn Learning cons
- Certificates are not accredited
- Big focus on business and technology topics
Why choose LinkedIn Learning as a Skillshare alternative?
LinkedIn offers the opportunity to explore the platform for a full month before parting with any money.
If you want a real taste of what a platform is like before committing yourself to purchase, then LinkedIn is definitely a platform you should try. Don’t forget to cancel your subscription before the end of the free trial if you decide the platform is not right for you.
You can learn more about LinkedIn Learning from our review of the platform.
Craftsy is a fast growing specialist online platform for hobbyists and creatives.
Formerly known as Craftsy/Bluprint, the site was purchased, rebranded and relaunched in 2020.
It offers over 1,500 high quality video classes, with printable resources, for all skill levels in more than 20 hobbies in the categories of:
- Fabric crafts
- Yarn crafts
- Art, and
There are 60+ free classes for you to try and get a good feel for the Platform.
If you like what you find, Craftsy has several pricing plans. You can purchase individual classes for between $4.99-$70. Or you can subscribe to Premium Membership. Monthly subscription is $7.99 pm, annual subscription is $79.99 pa.
- Instructors are excellent teachers as well as recognized experts in their field
- 60+ free classes
- Courses are available in over 20 hobbies with downloadable materials
- Admission to Live Instructor Events for Premium and Gold subscriptions
- Doesn’t remember classes you’ve started so you must navigate back to them
- Does not allow you to sort classes by most popular as the classes are not rated
Why choose Craftsy as a Skillshare Alternative?
If your creativity is mainly focused on hobbies and crafts, then Craftsy may have more to offer you than Skillshare.
Its costs are considerably lower than Skillshare and you don’t need to commit to a subscription.
On top of that, there are over 60 free classes so you can get a real feel for the platform before any purchase is made.
Find out more from our Craftsy review.
Skillshare alternative conclusion
Skillshare is the largest Ed Tech company of its kind. Its course catalogue is vast and varied and 80% of Fortune 100 companies trust it for employee upskilling including Apple, Unicef, PayPal, Accenture, Samsung and Unilever.
It may seem difficult to find a better platform than Skillshare. But that does NOT mean there isn’t one!
In this article I have set out who Skillshare is best suited for, its pros and cons, and the best alternatives based on a range of different needs, interests and preferences. Let me also share with you some Skillshare discount codes too.
The best thing you can ever invest in in your lifetime is yourself. But like all investments to maximize your returns, you need to spend time selecting the option that best meets your needs. I’ve aimed to make this easier for you here.
Good luck and enjoy your learning.
In our view the best alternative to Skillshare is Udemy.
Yes. It's been in business for over a decade, has a global community of 12m+ users and it has robust purchase and refund options
Liz Hurley has 30+ years of high school teaching experience and is one of our senior writers here at Learnopoly.