There are lots of puzzling questions to answer when choosing the ideal learning platform for your personal or professional career.
“Are they truly effective? How do they work? Which is better for me? Will I get my money’s worth?” These are but a few of the many questions! We have taken it upon ourselves to review and analyze each online learning platform.
From our research and trial of both platforms, Skillshare offers courses on just about any skill, while MasterClass is more for lifelong learners who want to learn not-so-traditional skills like cooking and singing.
This review will center around MasterClass vs. Skillshare. We’ll look at each platform critically and observe its specific features, qualities, and value for money.
We’ll also examine what you can gain from each platform and why you should consider using them. Then we’ll compare and contrast the two media based on their characteristics.
You’ll be able to choose the best online learning platform for yourself. Let’s begin the review! But first, we’ll quickly describe each platform.
An Overall Comparison of Skillshare and MasterClass
|Price per month||$15- $23||$15|
|Price per year||$180-$276||$99 per annum|
|Guarantee||30-day satisfaction guarantee.||No guarantees.|
|Trials||There are neither free classes nor trials.||Free courses and a free trial of premium membership.|
|Instructors||Renowned experts, A-list celebrities.||Professionals.|
|Learning resources||There are additional resources.||They offer few other resources.|
|Content||Limited amount of courses.||A large variety of methods.|
|Quality of videos||Impressive video quality.||Video quality varies from course to course.|
Brief Description of Both Platforms
This online platform has been long in the game since it was established in 2014 by Aaron Rasmussen and David Roggier.
Since then, they have made a name for themselves and are now one of the front-runners in online learning. This is to say that the platform is legit, and you need not fear being scammed.
MasterClass is an online streaming platform with video classes, enabling people to learn from celebrities and industry experts worldwide.
Its headquarters are in San Francisco, California, and The United States. There they recruit well-known and recognized professionals to teach the skills they are admired for. They have 43 investors, including the prestigious Vershina Capital and Empede Capital.
How does MasterClass Work?
MasterClass courses operate on a subscription-based model. To access its courses, you must sign up for a subscription, which costs $180 annually. Once you’ve signed up, you can start browsing MasterClass’s library of courses. Each course is divided into a series of video lessons taught by an expert.
Advantages and Disadvantages of MasterClass
One advantage of MasterClass is the high production value of its courses. MasterClass has invested heavily in producing high-quality video content, which makes its courses feel more like Hollywood productions than traditional online courses.
Another advantage of MasterClass is the quality of its celebrity instructors. MasterClass courses have attracted some of the most successful and renowned experts in their respective fields, such as Gordon Ramsay, Shonda Rhimes, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
On the downside, MasterClass pricing is more expensive than other platforms. At $180 per year, it’s one of the most costly online learning platforms, which may put it out of reach for some users.
Additionally, MasterClass’s courses are not as diverse as Skillshare’s courses. While MasterClass courses are high quality, they focus on a limited range of topics.
Examples of MasterClass Classes
MasterClass offers courses in various fields, such as “The Art of Writing,” “Cooking Techniques: Restaurant-Quality Food at Home,” and “Fashion Design.” Experts teach each course in the field, such as James Patterson, Wolfgang Puck, and Anna Wintour.
Skillshare is one of the best Masterclass alternatives and another long-standing and legit virtual learning platform. It was founded in November 2010 by Malcolm Ong and Micheal Karnjanaprakorn. But unlike MasterClass, Skillshare is headquartered in New York.
On Skillshare, different skills are taught and shared by professionals who are enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge.
The platform offers thousands of courses, and you can learn about anything. From a simple craft like knitting to a technical course like Web development, Skillshare gives you a chance to know them all.
How does Skillshare work?
To use Skillshare, you must create an account by signing up with your email address or Facebook account. Once you’ve created an account, you can browse Skillshare’s class library. Skillshare offers both free and premium classes. The free courses give you a taste of what Skillshare offers, but to access the entire library of courses, you need to sign up for a Premium Membership.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Skillshare
One advantage of Skillshare courses is their affordable pricing. A monthly subscription costs $19, and an annual subscription costs $99, making it one of the most affordable online learning platforms.
Another advantage of Skillshare is its extensive library of classes, with over 28,000 courses. Skillshare also has a thriving community of users who can interact with each other and share their projects.
On the downside, Skillshare courses are less polished than MasterClass’s courses. Skillshare does not have the same level of production value as the popular MasterClass courses and some of its courses may feel amateurish.
Additionally, while Skillshare has a large library of courses, the quality of the courses can vary widely.
Examples of Skillshare classes
Skillshare offers a wide range of classes in various fields. Some examples of popular Skillshare classes include “Digital Illustration: Learn to Use Procreate,” “Creative Writing for All: A 10-Day Journaling Challenge,” and “Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design.”
Key Features of Each Platform for Learners
All online platforms are alike in many ways, but each has some key features that are particular to them and endear to people. The same applies to MasterClass and Skillshare.
Most of the best online courses offer their members the chance to learn new professional skills like website design or Data science. Still, MasterClass caters to a different set of people – lifelong learners!
The learning platform attracts people with its list of celebrities and hooks them with its cinematic video lessons and classes taught where you feel like you’re having fun even while learning. Unsurprisingly, it is one of the most popular online learning platforms.
Here, you’ll get the chance to learn from your favorite celebrities and find out the principles they follow in their crafts and lives. You might even be lucky to get one or two of their secrets to success.
However, a large amount of these star-studded courses will only serve to inspire you. You will need to find courses with more in-depth knowledge of the skills.
So, if you’re only looking for a platform where you can learn unconventional or creative skills like gardening or cooking occasionally, then this is the platform for you.
Here are some examples of the courses offered on MasterClass:
- Serena Williams teaches tennis;
- Daniel Negreanu teaches poker;
- Ron Finley teaches gardening;
- Margaret Artwood teaches creative writing;
- Chris Voss teaches the art of negotiations;
- Dan Brown teaches how to write thrillers
Moreover, MasterClass allows you to stream lecture videos whenever and wherever you desire. This can be done on your smart mobile phone, tablet, or personal computer.
The video lessons are available on Apple TV and Fire TV streaming players. You can download and watch your favorite videos later or show a friend.
And what’s more, you can listen to the lectures in an audio-only mode, although this doesn’t apply to all the classes.
The best feature of Skillshare is its variety of classes. They offer thousands of courses on different topics, even the most unlikely ones.
You can learn virtually everything on this platform. This feature endears the platform to people because you can be sure of finding a course on the topic or skill you desire to learn.
All you need to do is type in a topic of interest or a related keyword in the search bar, and a suitable course will pop up.
In addition to this, the classes offered on Skillshare are concise, so you get to learn what you need in a short while without wasting valuable time on details you do not need.
The brevity of the courses makes it easy to navigate through the many courses on the platform.
Skillshare offers courses on practical skills with projects you can work on in most cases. Some instructors conduct workshops encouraging more active participation and community involvement.
Furthermore, Skillshare is an excellent option for learning a skill you can immediately use to make money, like photo editing, coding, or Web development.
They even offer financial courses like Digital Marketing, Business Analytics, and Entrepreneurship. It functions like a traditional learning institution; you learn these skills for way less than you would have otherwise spent in formal education.
Some of the most popular courses offered on Skillshare include:
- Copywriting for beginners: how to write Web copy that sells without being cheesy;
- Getting Started with Email Marketing;
- Creative non-fiction: write truth with style;
- The writer’s toolkit: 6 steps to successful writing habit;
- Hand lettering essentials for beginners;
- Intro to UX: fundamentals of usability;
There’s also the fantastic feature of Skillshare for teams. Here you can register your team or employees for training under Skillshare at affordable prices.
Employees can learn complex skills, soft skills, or even courses on work-life balance. Skillshare has well-trained and expert tutors ready to instill their expertise in your team.
They coach your staff to excellence and professionalism, as testified by Paul Johnston, a global design manager at Dentons. “We try to develop a more creative mindset in our team. We tried everything — from face-to-face training to using LinkedIn Learning. But it wasn’t until our team leveraged Skillshare that we saw results quickly. It has transformed what we can offer and has made our team more engaged and collaborative.” He says.
Which Service Has Better Supplemental Materials?
Both Skillshare and MasterClass offer supplemental materials to help users learn and master the skills taught in their courses.
Skillshare offers a range of resources, such as project workbooks, class notes, and online community forums. These resources can be helpful for users who want to deepen their understanding of a subject and connect with other learners.
MasterClass also offers supplemental materials, such as course workbooks and assignments, but these materials are not as extensive as Skillshare’s. MasterClass’s courses are more focused on video lessons, and there is less emphasis on written materials.
How to Watch Skillshare and MasterClass (Apps and Access)
Both Skillshare and MasterClass pricing is accessible on desktop and mobile devices. Skillshare has an app for iOS and Android devices, making it easy to access its courses on the go. In addition, Skillshare’s courses can be streamed directly from its website.
MasterClass also has an app for iOS and Android devices, making it easy to access its courses on the go. However, unlike Skillshare, MasterClass’s courses cannot be streamed directly from its website. Instead, users need to use the masterclass app to access the courses.
Pricing of the Courses
These platforms offer their services at different costs. While Skillshare offers free courses once you’ve opened an account with them, for MasterClass, you can only learn courses if you subscribe to a membership plan.
Below, we’ll look at the pricing plan of each platform.
- The Individual Membership Plan - $15 per month.
- The Duo Membership Plan - $20 per month.
- The Family Membership Plan - $23 per month.
The online learning space comes in three different plans. All of which have a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. All the plans are billed annually, giving you access to classes and sessions, bonus class guides, and content. The plans include the following:
The individual membership plan is for just an account and allows use on only one device at a time. Moreover, you cannot download videos for offline viewing on this plan. This plan costs $15 monthly and amounts to $180 a year.
The duo membership plan allows use on two devices simultaneously, but only one account can be created. It costs $20 monthly (which equals $240 per year), and classes are available for download and offline viewing.
This membership plan costs only $23 monthly and adds up to $276 annually. As far as value for money is concerned, this is the best plan as you save more. It allows one account to be utilized on six devices simultaneously, and you can download classes for offline viewing. The good thing is that every plan can be used on a smartphone, tablet, TV, or computer.
- Starter Plan - $159 per year.
- Enterprise plan - Custom pricing.
- Revive plan - Custom pricing.
- Starter Plan:
The Skillshare premium membership is $15 per month and $99 per annum. Meanwhile, Skillshare for teams is in three different plans, and they are:
The starter plan accommodates a team of 2 to 19 people and is charged $159 per user annually.
This plan gives your team unlimited access to over 35000 classes, a personalized experience for each user, and easy-to-use admin capabilities. Plus, the lessons can be viewed on mobile or downloaded offline.
- Enterprise plan:
This plan caters to teams with over 20 members, and it comes with every offer on the starter plan, custom-curated class lists, and a dedicated customer success manager.
- Revive plan:
The revived plan is open to teams with 50+ employees. In addition to the privileges and offers enjoyed on Skillshare for groups, it comes with perks and benefits for registered employees.
Note that both the Enterprise and Revive plans of Skillshare for teams require Custom pricing. You have to contact the sales team to do this.
We can say Skillshare is a better platform than MasterClass when it comes to cost since their services are offered at a lower price, but the fee sometimes translates to value for money.
Quality and Value for Money
The quality of the courses on Skillshare varies, and some might need improvement. This is because most of the systems are uploaded by independent instructors.
However, Skillshare’s courses that are produced in-house have high production qualities. These courses tend to have famous instructors.
One thing that sets Skillshare apart from other platforms is that the classes are split into precise and shorter chunks. So you can complete them at your own pace and take breaks.
Another outstanding quality of Skillshare is the ability to annotate videos. This means you can make notes on the videos citing specific points or marking where you left off, so you can pick them up later. It makes navigating through the videos and finding what you want easier.
Some courses on Skillshare offer projects to work on and upload while learning. The idea is to get feedback from your peers taking the same course as you.
Other courses offer downloadable study materials, which you can look over later.
Overall, the interaction of students with the instructors and the online learning community is better on Skillshare than on MasterClass.
The quality of the videos on MasterClass is spectacular. This is one aspect that MasterClass beats Skillshare.
Every video lesson is carefully curated and made to be very appealing and engaging, to the extent that anyone could mistake one of the courses for being a glamorous movie.
After all, it features celebrities and famous faces like Alicia Keys, Steve Martin, and Saint Vincent.
MasterClass offers over 150 classes across 11 different categories. These classes are pre-recorded by instructors who are all experts in their fields.
Currently, over 100 instructors are on MasterClass, each for a different course. Some of the categories of classes that you can learn on MasterClass are:
Most of the classes range between 2 hours to 5 hours, with individual lessons that take 2-5 minutes, but it is possible to find a course that lasts as long as 20 hours.
The classes are offered as pre-recorded video lessons by the instructor. Meanwhile, users can access a class workbook and interact with assignments. Students may get to submit work to instructors for feedback, but this is rare.
Aside from the classes, Masterclass offers interactive sessions. These sessions are newly introduced, and it is conducive.
In a session, you learn alongside professionals by working on a series of activities and projects based on a structured curriculum in 30 days.
During these 30 days, you’ll be allowed to participate actively in the session with a community of your peers and get feedback from the trained teaching assistants. What’s more, the session is not limited to any skill level.
MasterClass and Skillshare have much to offer, and you get excellent quality and value in exchange for the money paid.
However, MasterClass offers better-quality videos, more engaging classes, and additional learning resources. Skillshare offers various styles, video annotations, and interaction between students, peers, and teachers.
Teachers & Community
The quality of teachers and the sense of community are important factors to consider when choosing an online learning platform. In this section, we will compare Skillshare and MasterClass in terms of the quality of their teachers and the strength of their communities.
Skillshare has a diverse range of teachers who are experts in their respective fields. The platform allows anyone to become a teacher and create a course, meaning the course quality can vary. However, Skillshare’s review system helps ensure the courses’ quality.
Skillshare also has an active and engaged community of learners. The platform encourages interaction between learners through discussion forums and project-based learning.
Skillshare’s community is a great way to connect with other learners, get feedback on your projects, and share your knowledge.
In addition, Skillshare offers a premium membership that includes access to exclusive content, such as live workshops, and the ability to join Skillshare communities focused on specific topics.
MasterClass has attracted some of the most successful and renowned experts in their respective fields, such as Gordon Ramsay, Shonda Rhimes, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
The platform’s high production value and in-depth instruction make it an excellent option for those looking for Hollywood-quality courses taught by experts.
However, MasterClass’s courses are limited in scope, and the platform only offers a limited range of courses. This means that while the quality of the courses is high, the range of topics is limited.
MasterClass also has an active community of learners, but the platform does not emphasize community interaction as much as Skillshare. MasterClass’s courses focus more on video lessons and less on discussion forums and project-based learning.
Regarding certificates of completion, neither Skillshare nor MasterClass offers verified certificates for their courses. While both platforms offer certificates of completion, these certificates are not accredited or recognized by any official institution.
Skillshare’s certificates of completion are generated once you have completed all the videos in a course and any associated projects or assignments. You can download the certificate or share it on your LinkedIn profile, but it does not carry any official recognition or accreditation.
MasterClass, on the other hand, offers a “MasterClass Achievement Badge” for completing a full masterclass course. These badges are displayed on your MasterClass profile and can be shared on social media or added to your resume.
However, similar to Skillshare’s certificates of completion, MasterClass’s achievement badges do not carry any official recognition or accreditation.
While certificates and badges from online learning platforms can demonstrate your interest and commitment to learning and elevating your skills, they should be used with traditional qualifications and experiences.
Employers are generally more interested in degrees, certifications, and job experience from accredited institutions.
One downside to MasterClass is that there needs to be more interaction between the students and instructors. This is primarily due to the caliber of instructors on the platforms.
It is unrealistic to think that an A-list celebrity like Alicia Keys will have the time to give feedback on the work or assignments of students.
Furthermore, you cannot communicate with other students taking the same course or lesson as you. MasterClass does not offer live classes, but they have begun to improve in this aspect.
MasterClass offers neither a free trial nor free classes. So, you cannot test-run the platform to see if it suits you or have a chance to see if a course is what you’re looking for.
They, however, offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee on every membership plan, and if you’re not satisfied, you can cancel and request a refund.
You cannot learn a technical or professional skill on MasterClass. To acquire a practical skill, you should go for Skillshare.
Avid learners can only enjoy the payment plan of MasterClass. It is not ideal if you seek to learn more than one topic, as you will not get value for your money.
Lastly, MasterClass does not offer a certificate for any course learned on the platform, so apart from the additional resources, there must be proof that you know the full course material used on the forum.
Like MasterClass, Skillshare offers no certificate, and though you can acquire a new life skill here, you only have the knowledge you gained and the projects you worked on to show for it.
Skillshare doesn’t have the caliber of instructors that MasterClass has. This is because, unlike MasterClass instructors, anyone can teach on Skillshare, which means there are likely courses that could be of a better standard.
Your experience on Skillshare, especially if you’re learning a free course, gets interrupted by annoying ads.
There is no fixed standard for the quality of videos uploaded on Skillshare, which means that some of the videos could be of better quality.
However, several student reviews have shown that many videos are high quality.
There are no one-on-one classes on Skillshare because the platform focuses on creating a shared learning experience. This is not good for students who prefer to learn solo.
How To Open Skillshare and MasterClass Accounts?
To open an account on Skillshare, visit the website and click on the “Join” button in the top-right corner. You can sign up using your email address or your Facebook account. Skillshare offers a 14-day free trial for its premium membership, after which you need to pay for a subscription to access the full library of courses.
To open an account on MasterClass, visit the website and click the “Join” button in the top-right corner. You can sign up using your email address or your Facebook account. Sadly, you won’t get a free trial on MasterClass, but it compensates users with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is equally useful.
MasterClass vs Skillshare For Teachers
Having reviewed and compared MasterClass and Skillshare for students and what they stand to gain from both platforms, it is only fair to look at the media from the teacher’s perspective.
Are the platforms worth it for teachers? What is it like working as a teacher on each platform? Which is better for teachers, Skillshare or MasterClass? Read on to find out!
Reports show that instructors at MasterClass get a one-time cut of at least $100,000 per course. They are also entitled to 30% of the revenue generated. CEO David Rogier further clarified that contracts vary by individual and every instructor is paid differently based on several factors.
Mike Berliner – An employee at MasterClass testifies that MasterClass maintains a high standard for their employees. He also says that MasterClass is one of the best places to work, employees are paid well, and a comfortable working environment is provided.
It is a sure fact that you would have fun teaching at MasterClass. But remember, instructors on MasterClass are primarily celebrities and big names in the industry. Only some people can teach at MasterClass!
Unlike MasterClass, Skillshare accepts a wide range of teachers. As long as you’re talented and skilled in what you do, you can be taken to be an instructor on Skillshare.
Also, if your class adheres to the Skillshare class guidelines, it can be published on Skillshare at no cost whatsoever. You only need to make a video of your class and upload it on the platform using the Skillshare easy class upload tool.
Top-earning teachers at Skillshare make over $100000 a year. You’ll receive royalties monthly for every student that watches your class.
Another way of earning money on Skillshare is through a referral bonus anytime you refer a student to Skillshare.
Since Skillshare has a membership plan, your class will have a large audience from the start. Teachers on Skillshare can get resources from the platform to aid their teaching. This goes a long way toward making your job easier. You also get the opportunity to grow your brand on Skillshare.
One of the teachers, Tabitha Park, says, “Teaching on Skillshare gives me the financial flexibility to take on only the work I’m most passionate about.”
From the reviews, It is easy to see that teaching at Skillshare is worth it.
Moreover, you must find out if you’re being paid the royalty you deserve or getting cheated.
When it comes to customer support, both Skillshare and MasterClass offer helpful resources and responsive customer service. However, there are some differences in the level of support each platform offers.
Skillshare offers a standard Help Center page with articles on most areas you might need answers for. The Help Center is broken down into sections for Students, Teachers, and Skillshare for Teams, making it easy to navigate. You can also submit a support ticket if you need further help.
While Skillshare’s Help Center is comprehensive, the platform’s customer support can sometimes respond slowly. Some users have reported long wait times for support tickets, which can be frustrating.
MasterClass offers a more detailed Support page, including a chatbot to help answer common questions. The chatbot is more helpful than others on the market and can often answer common queries quickly.
MasterClass also has responsive customer service, as evidenced by its quick and hassle-free refund process. If you need further support, you can submit a request through their website, and their team will respond promptly.
Which Platform is Better for Whom?
If you’re looking for an affordable platform to learn online with a wide range of courses and a strong community of learners, Skillshare is the better option.
If you’re looking for high-quality, in-depth instruction in a specific field taught by renowned experts with Hollywood-quality video content, MasterClass is the better option.
Ultimately, the choice between Skillshare and MasterClass depends on your personal learning goals and preferences.
The better online platform depends entirely on you. As we have shown, MasterClass and Skillshare are great learning workshops catering to different niches.
- Pricing and subscription models: Skillshare is more affordable than MasterClass, with a monthly subscription of $19 and an annual subscription of $99 compared to MasterClass’s $180 per year subscription.
- Types of classes offered: Skillshare offers a broader range of courses than MasterClass, but MasterClass’s courses focus on high-quality, in-depth instruction.
- Quality of instructors: MasterClass has attracted some of the most successful and renowned experts in their respective fields, while Skillshare’s instructors may vary in quality.
- Production value of classes: MasterClass’s courses have a higher production value than Skillshare’s courses, with Hollywood-quality video content.
As a student, choose MasterClass if you would love to learn from celebrities you’ve always admired. On the other hand, select Skillshare if you seek to pick up a life skill. Meanwhile, for teachers, you have little choice; you can only go for MasterClass if you’re a celebrity. Otherwise, choose Skillshare.