Want to learn something new or gain more knowledge in your field of expertise? Online classes are the easiest and most inexpensive way to improve your skills. Various e-learning platforms offer everything from quick lessons to academy-level courses. However, if you’re not really interested in earning a formal qualification, two of the main popular platforms are Skillshare and Udemy.
Let’s see how these two e-learning platforms compare so you can decide which one is best for you.
Skillshare vs. Udemy: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Best for…||Creators, personal development||Students, professionals|
|Pricing Model||Subscription||Pay-per-course or subscription|
|Course Types||Video courses, learning paths||Video courses|
|Course Duration||30 minutes to a few hours||30 minutes to a few hours|
|Certification||Yes, for some courses||Yes, for paid courses|
|Price||From $13.75/month||From $0/course|
Skillshare vs. Udemy: What’s the Difference?
Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong launched Skillshare in 2010. In just over a decade, this e-learning platform became one of the most popular in the world. Skillshare’s purpose, as its name suggests, is to enable folks to share their abilities with others. The platform allows anyone to create and teach lessons. Students can sign up and learn or improve their skills at a low cost.
However, Skillshare’s founders weren’t the only ones with the idea. Eren Bali, Gagan Biyani, and Oktay Caglar founded Udemy in the same year. This e-learning platform also allows individuals to become teachers, while students from all walks of life can learn something new or expand their knowledge for free or at an affordable cost.
While the two platforms could seem similar at first glance, their differences could make you prefer one over the other. This in-depth comparison can help you find out everything you need to know about Skillshare and Udemy.
The best thing about e-learning platforms is that you can access them from anywhere, and Skillshare and Udemy are no different. Both platforms offer global coverage and courses in a variety of languages. You can access courses from your web browser or install the Skillshare or Udemy app on your Android or iOS device. However, even if both Skillshare and Udemy are global platforms, the latter is actually more popular.
According to Udemy, the platform currently has around 64 million learners and over 75,000 instructors. Skillshare doesn’t make its own statistics public, but according to a Harvard study, the platform had around 12 million learners and 8,000 instructors in 2022.
The size of a platform can give you a rough idea about the variety of courses you can find, but there’s a catch. Skillshare might be a lot smaller than Udemy, but most of its courses are designed for creators. Currently, you can choose from around 30,000 classes, most of which address content creators, illustrators, designers, photographers, and filmmakers. New or aspiring business owners can also join marketing, freelance, and entrepreneurship classes, and a few courses are developed for lifestyle and productivity.
Udemy’s courses cover a broader range of topics, from business and development to content creation, software, IT, teaching, and academics. With this in mind, it’s unsurprising that Udemy currently offers around 210,000 courses in 75 languages.
Both Skillshare and Udemy offer team plans that allow businesses to enroll teams of employees in a course. Purchasing a team membership is straightforward on Skillshare. On Udemy, businesses must fill in a form to receive an offer.
While Udemy has the upper hand in terms of size and number of courses, Skillshare claims a victory with its teaching models. In fact, Skillshare students can join a classic online course, teacher-led live sessions, or opt for one-on-one sessions with a teacher to improve in an area of interest.
The teacher-led live sessions are digital events that allow you to interact with the teacher and other fellow students in real time. As you can imagine, the one-on-one sessions allow you to receive a custom class from your instructor. These sessions also allow you to chat with your instructor and receive quick feedback.
Skillshare also offers Learning Paths, which are a series of sequential classes. These classes should help you deepen your skills in a certain area of expertise. Like most courses on the platform, the Learning Paths are almost exclusively developed for creators.
Udemy only offers classic online courses consisting of a number of pre-recorded lessons. On both platforms, the students have access to assignments that their teachers will rate. Udemy also allows students to view other students’ assignments and offer feedback, which can improve the sense of community and help learners gain more insight from one another.
Since anyone can become an instructor on both Skillshare and Udemy, neither platform offers formal qualifications upon course completion. Skillshare doesn’t even offer certificates of completion for most of its courses. The platform introduced this option for new courses, though, so things could change in the future.
You can receive a certificate of completion for most paid courses on Udemy. This certificate can be shared with your family, friends, school, and even your employer. However, it is not an accredited certificate, which means you can’t use it as proof of education in the same way you’d use a formal diploma or degree.
If you’re an expert in your field, you can use both Skillshare and Udemy to earn as an instructor. Both platforms allow individuals to create and upload their own courses, but the process is different.
Skillshare requires aspiring teachers to complete a short questionnaire about the course they plan to teach and their expertise. The Skillshare team reviews your answers and decides whether they will accept you as an instructor. If the outcome is positive, you are provided with access to a teacher’s platform where you can create and upload your courses.
Udemy requires aspiring teachers to fill in a variety of modules and upload a test video before submitting their course ideas for review. If your idea gets approved, you can then access the teacher’s platform to prepare and share your course.
Another difference between Skillshare and Udemy is the price model. Skillshare is a subscription-based platform that grants all students access to all courses. You can choose between a monthly roll or an annual subscription, which you can cancel at any time.
The monthly subscription currently costs $29 per month. If you want to save on costs, the annual subscription sets you back $165, which works out at $13.75 per month. The subscription includes access to all pre-recorded courses. However, you must pay separately for teacher-led and one-on-one sessions.
Udemy has used a pay-per-course model for a long time, with prices starting around $13.99 per course. However, you can also join a variety of free classes (you won’t receive a certificate upon completion). Recently, the platform also introduced a subscription model that costs around $16.58 per month (billed annually) or $29.99 per month if you don’t want to commit to an annual plan.
Both platforms offer a 7-day free trial, but the main difference is that Udemy subscribers can’t access all courses. According to the platform, a subscription plan only includes around 10,500 courses, which could be limiting.
Skillshare vs. Udemy: 5 Must-Know Facts
- Skillshare and Udemy are two global e-learning platforms designed to help people improve their skills or share their expertise.
- Both platforms were launched in 2010 and are headquartered in the USA.
- Primarily, Skillshare is an online learning space for creatives. Most course categories are related to visual arts, design, or writing.
- Udemy covers a broader range of categories, including business development, marketing, academics, and more.
- Skillshare is a subscription-based platform that offers users access to all online courses. Users don’t need a subscription to join Udemy. You can choose to join free classes, pay for each individual course, or subscribe to a monthly or annual membership.
Skillshare vs. Udemy: Which One is Better?
If you want to join an e-learning platform that offers a wide range of courses in different subjects, Udemy is your best option. Udemy is also the best option for businesses looking to offer lessons to five or more employees.
However, if you’re a creator looking to improve your skills, Skillshare could be the better option. Most courses on this platform cover various aspects of the visual arts, design, and writing. You can join teacher-led live sessions where you can interact with a community or buy one-on-one sessions if you need a class tailored to your needs. Overall, Skillshare is the better choice if you want a more personalized learning experience.