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From graphic design to coding, there are tons of skills that you can now learn from the comfort of your own home. When you want to learn something so that you can pursue a new career, there are a variety of courses and online learning platforms that you might consider. 

Two of the most popular online learning platforms in 2021 are Udemy and Skillshare. While both online learning platforms can help you meet your learning goals and assist with the learning process, the two have some differences that are worth paying attention to. 

Founded in 2010, Udemy has grown rapidly to provide online courses to more than 300 million students. With 150,000 courses in 65 different languages, Udemy offers its classes on a one-off basis, allowing you to take just a single class here or there to help you meet your goals.

Skillshare’s platform is a bit more humble. Also founded in 2010 out of New York, this platform has more than 27,000 courses, which it offers to a smaller niche audience of entrepreneurs, techies, and creatives – about 8 million of them. Though still an impressively sized audience, it is admittedly quite a bit smaller than what you will find on Udemy.

Beyond comparing the basic details, it is important to conduct a more thorough comparison of the many features of Udemy vs. Skillshare to find the right platform for your needs. 

Ready to learn more? In this article, we’ll conduct a thorough comparison of Skillshare vs. Udemy so that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision. 

Udemy vs Skillshare Ease of Use

Take a look at user reviews, and you’ll probably discover pretty quickly that between the two, Udemy is the more popular platform – at least by numbers alone. Udemy has a larger audience than Skillshare simply because it offers a greater variety of courses in more unique and niche topics.

While Udemy is a jack of all trades, Skillshare is more of a specialist.

That said, both platforms have easy-to-use interfaces and workflows that are relatively straightforward. You don’t have to be a tech genius in order to operate them.

We;lll start by explaining the registration process.

With Udemy, you’ll just need to create an account to start, providing only your email address, password, and name. Confirm the email and you’re good to go. Registering for Skillshare is similarly straightforward. Provide a password and email account and you can get going. The slight advantage that Skillshare has over Udemy in this department is that you can choose to link a Facebook or Gmail account rather than creating a separate user ID – an advantage if you aren’t the best at remembering passwords! 

Udemy can be accessed with any internet browser on a desktop or laptop computer. You can also download the Android or iOS app if you’d prefer to take your classes on the move. 

Similarly, Skillshare is available for laptops and desktops by using your browser or via the app for Android or iOS. 

Both platforms give you offline lifetime access to courses with their apps, but may require a paid subscription or pay for individual courses (which is often the case with Udemy) to do so. 

Udemy vs Skillshare Features

Here are some of the top features to pay attention to when you are comparing Udemy vs. Skillshare. 

Quality Instructors

When you take classes on either Skillshare or Udemy, you’ll find that the instructors are down to earth and easy to connect with – they’re people just like you! 

Although neither platform restricts its hiring to people who are technically “experts” – you don’t have to go through an intensive vetting process to teach on either process – in a way, that’s nice. You won’t be learning from a stuffy Ph.D.! Instead, you’ll usually be learning from instructors who have valuable hands-on, real-life experience with the topics they are teaching.

The downside to this is that you may discover, after signing up for a course, that a teacher doesn’t really know what he or she is talking about. This is more problematic with Udemy, where you will be paying for individual courses, than it is for Skillshare, which follows a subscription model. With the latter, you can just close out of the course and find a new one – but with Udemy, you may find yourself out of the money.

That’s why it’s important to read instructor reviews before deciding on a course. This will help you determine whether it’s a good fit for you.

Something else you may want to take note of is the difference between teaching classes on Skillshare vs. Udemy. Both online learning platforms have a goal of providing accessible, affordable education to all students. If you want to teach online classes, you can do so on either online learning platform.

If you teach on Udemy, you’ll benefit from a transparent instructor payout model. You’ll get 50% of the revenue generated for organic course purchases or 97% for those purchased through direct instructor link. If you’re teaching in an in-demand niche, like technology, you can easily earn thousands of dollars per year because Udemy has such a huge reach.

If you decide to teach on Skillshare, you can earn a great deal of money, too, but the potential payout isn’t quite as high as what you might earn on Udemy. Skillshare is a subscription-based site so you won’t get a payout unless a student watches your class for at least 30 minutes. Then, your payment will be calculated via a complicated algorithm. It can be difficult to determine how much income your class might generate as a result.

Classes in a Variety of Categories

Both Skillshare and Udemy offer a variety of courses in many different categories. Skillshare courses encompass topics such as business, creative disciplines, technology, and “lifestyle.”

Udemy has an equally impressive – though far more extensive – variety of classes. It has hundreds of thousands of courses in just about anything you can imagine, including photography, test prep, health and fitness, office productivity, personal development, marketing, and much more.

Community of Students

Skillshare is the clear winner if you are looking for a vibrant community of students to join in your studies.

On Skillshare, you’ll join an active community of fellow learners who share projects with each other, provide feedback, and participate in a strong connection with their teachers. Courses tend to be more hands-on and interactive since most feature projects – because of this, you’ll be joining a community of your peers as you learn.

For students seeking a learning experience that more closely mimics what you might find at a real college campus, Skillshare is the way to go.

Udemy has Facebook groups, instructor conferences, and forums you can join – but the student community isn’t something that’s as widely developed as it is with Skillshare. You can’t get feedback on your work or ask questions about courses – you’ll be going this one alone. Because of this, Udemy is the better option for learners who’d rather go it solo.

Time Commitment

Both Skillshare and Udemy are online learning platforms that require minimal time commitments. This is something worth noting because there are numerous online learning platforms out there that require months of time for you to complete courses (many of which amount to full degrees and can be quite intimidating to undertake).

With both Udemy and Skillshare, you’ll be able to move through courses quickly and easily. The payment methods for the courses are different – with Udemy, you’ll buy individual courses, while with Skillshare, you’ll pay a monthly subscription – but each class is short and won’t take you more than a month to complete at most.

The shortest Skillshare courses take just ten minutes to complete, while on Udemy, the minimum is closer to half an hour – but the maximum for both platforms is still just a few hours at most. You won’t have to spend weeks, months, or years (gasp!) to learn a single topic. 

Completion Certificates

Many online learning platforms offer completion certificates for the work you’ve done. With Udemy, you’ll get a certification of completion for every single class you take. You don’t have to pay extra to access this feature.

The downside to completion certificates on Udemy, though, is that they don’t offer a ton of real-world value. They aren’t measured the same as a university degree and they aren’t accredited. 

Skillshare, unfortunately, does not offer completion certificates. You’ll be able to demonstrate that you’ve completed courses by showcasing the skills you’ve learned through them – but besides that, you won’t have any kind of credentials to add to your resume.

Therefore, if you’re looking to show off all the hard work you’ve done, neither Skillshare or Udemy are great fits. They’re better for people who want to take online courses simply to build their skills or have an enjoyable online learning experience.

Udemy vs Skillshare User Interface

Udemy and Skillshare have user interfaces that are admittedly different – but both can be described as clean and easy to use.

Login to Udemy, and you’ll discover that, despite the vast quantity and variety of courses available on this site, it’s still well-designed and intuitive. It’s easy to find what you’re looking for.

Organizing your classes on Udemy is simple, too, since you can create a collection of courses that are organized by topic. 

Once you log in and decide to take a specific course, you’ll find that progressing through the course material is simple. Most courses consist of videos with typical video player features that allow you to manage things like quality, subtitles, and playback speed. A unique feature of Udemy’s video player is that it also allows you to add notes at certain points throughout the video – you can download and save these for later.

Plus, the lessons are all organized via the sidebar on the right-hand side. That way, you’ll be able to view each lesson and chapter with ease, marking off the lessons as you move through them to keep yourself on track.

Skillshare has a similar feature that will enable you to keep your resources organized. You can add notes to your courses just as you can with Udemy, too. Although the design of the platform isn’t quite as sleek and intuitive as what you will find with Udemy, it’s still an online learning platform that makes it easy for you to navigate through your online courses. 

Again, the video player isn’t quite as modern or advanced – you won’t be able to manage subtitles or video quality. You get what you get! There is, however, a course sidebar just like you’d find with Udemy so you can navigate quickly and easily through your courses.

Udemy vs Skillshare Support

While it’s important to look at things like course content quality and pricing when you’re choosing an online learning platform, something else that needs to be explored is how much support is available. There’s no point in taking an online course if you can’t figure out how to get the help you need, exactly when you need it.

Udemy doesn’t have the easiest interface to navigate when it comes to getting help on specific course questions. However, it does have an organized database where you can find guides and tutorials to help you better navigate the platform. You can find all kinds of information here, from pricing to how to navigate technical glitches.

It can admittedly be a bit tough to get in touch with customer support here, though. You can email support@udemy.com or try to find the answers to your questions on one of Udemy’s social media platforms.

Skillshare makes it a bit easier to get in touch with support. You can simply email help@skillshare.com. Support is a bit slower with free accounts than it is with paid ones, but you’ll still have no trouble getting personalized support. There is a database of general information you can tap into, but this isn’t quite as developed as Udemy’s. 

Udemy vs Skillshare Certifications

Only Udemy offers certificates of completion. You’ll be able to print a completion certificate after finishing your course – but since Udemy is not an accredited institution, the certificates don’t offer a ton of real-world value. 

Most free classes don’t offer these certificates, either.

However, Udemy is still better than Skillshare in this category because Skillshare offers nothing of the sort – there are no certificates at all. 

Udemy vs Skillshare Pricing

Pricing is another important feature to keep in mind. 

Udemy charges for individual courses – you might pay anywhere from $10 to $200 for an individual class. Many of these are paired with regular discounts and sales, so you can often find coupons and codes to help you save money on individual courses.

Skillshare, on the other hand, charges on a subscription-based model. You’ll be able to access the entire library of high-quality courses by paying $19 a month or $99 per year. You can join and complete as many courses as you’d like. 

Udemy does have free courses, too – more than 600 of them, in fact. These offer limited access to all the features, with some restricting your access to things like direct messaging and Q&A abilities. Skillshare has more free courses – more than 2000. These are offered in the form of free tutorials and allow you to participate in projects just as you normally would.

You can also sign up for a free trial of the Premium membership on Skillshare which offers unfettered access to the full library.

So while Udemy is ideal for the learner who just wants to take individual courses here and there, Skillshare is better for someone who is more serious about their online learning.

Udemy vs Skillshare Courses

You’ll find a vast variety of classes on both Skillshare and Udemy. Although Udemy offers more courses, Skillshare’s classes tend to go a little more in-depth. 

Log on to Skillshare and you can narrow down a course search by topic, with sixteen categories to choose from. There are a few filters you can integrate into your search, too, like free versus paid, class duration, and the date the class was created. You can also browse recommended classes.

Before signing up for a class, you’ll be able to view available resources, information about the class structure, and a brief presentation video that has information about the course and its instructor. 

Udemy’s approach is similar. You can view topics, with thirteen categories and dozens of subcategories. There are more advanced filters, too, so you can navigate by level, language, resources, duration, student reviews, and more. 

On Udemy, you can take high-quality courses in categories such as:

  • Programming Languages
  • Web Development
  • User Experience Design
  • Graphic Design and Illustration
  • Communication
  • Business Analytics and Intelligence
  • Real Estate
  • Project Management
  • Personal Transformation
  • Memory and Study Skills
  • Personal Productivity
  • …and much more. 

On Skillshare, classes are categorized by “Create”, “Build,” and “Thrive.” Popular course categories include:

  • Animation
  • Creative Writing
  • Leadership and Management
  • Marketing
  • Lifestyle
  • Productivity

Udemy vs Skillshare Content Quality

Both Udemy and Skillshare offer an excellent content quality for their courses, though this can vary depending on what kinds of classes you are taking and with which instructors.

Both use videos as the primary source of instruction. Skillshare classes tend to be structured into shorter, bite-sized chunks, allowing you to fit class lessons in during your lunch break or after hours.

Udemy courses tend to be a bit heftier but brush the surface of individual topics. Some instructors offer courses up to five hours long!

Skillshare has one advantage over Udemy in this department, and that is that you will be able to complete class projects. These are hands-on and will allow you to create an actual, tangible project that you can take with you into the real world. 

Udemy vs Skillshare Instructors

Udemy is an online learning platform that is open to anyone. You have to meet some requirements to put together a course, but in general, just about anybody can create a class. These aren’t vetted by anyone and don’t go through any quality control. You can take a class from someone who is an expert with years of experience – but you could also take a class from a total dud! 

Similarly, Skillshare is open to anyone who wants to teach a course. There is no formal vetting process and this can be both beneficial and frustrating at times.

Otherwise, the content and instructor quality are similar. Instructors on both platforms must meet certain requirements – such as minimum lengths for their courses and HD videos. Skillshare does have some courses that are taught in partnership with large companies like Adobe and Mailchimp so you may find higher-quality instructors in these courses. 

Udemy vs Skillshare Course Count

Without a doubt, Udemy is the winner when it comes to sheer course count. Udemy has more than six times the courses as Skillshare does. It also has a large selection of free courses.

In addition to user-generated content, both Skillshare and Udemy also feature a handful of courses that are produced by the platforms themselves. 

These are often offered in partnership with companies and industry professionals so you can really learn from the best. 

Udemy vs Skillshare Available Languages

Skillshare encourages instructors to teach in any language that’s comfortable. Though its community is primarily English, there are a few language learning courses in things like German, French, and Spanish. Courses that are taught in other languages, however, are limited.

Udemy offers courses in a wide variety of other languages – dozens, in fact. 

You can even search and filter courses by language so it’s easy to find the one you’re looking for. 

Udemy vs Skillshare for Business

If you’re a business owner looking to help your employees develop their skills, particularly in fast-growing or ever-changing fields like marketing, both Udemy and Skillshare have solutions for you.

With Skillshare, you’ll be able to choose from three different team plans to create premium accounts for our employees. These team plans make it possible for you to access the entire library – more than 35000 courses – plus, as the employer, you’ll have user management controls over the accounts. 

You’ll choose from a Starter, Enterprise, or Revive plan. The Starter plan is $139 per user, per year, while the other two plans are custom-priced. 

With UDemy, you’ll need to have at least five users to qualify for the business plan. It costs $360 per year per user. You’ll be able to access the entire library of courses. 

Udemy vs Skillshare Value for Money

Both Udemy and Skillshare offer excellent value for your money. It truly depends on what kind of user experience you’re looking for and what you want to get out of your courses.

With Udemy, you’ll enjoy regular discounts and sales on courses – a plus if you’re a bargain shopper! 

Skillshare offers a more consistent experience, though, allowing you to enjoy unlimited access to thousands of ad-free courses provided that you sign up for a Premium membership. You can also access discounts for external services like Adobe Creative Cloud and Squarespace. 

Both platforms let you access lessons via the mobile app with various offline features, too. Skillshare also has a 14-day free trial so you can give it a go before you commit to a subscription.

Udemy vs Skillshare Payments and Refunds

You can pay for your Skillshare membership with most accepted forms of payment, including PayPal, credit card, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.

Udemy accepts similar payment methods, including PayPal, credit card, Apple Pay, Google Play, and even cash, in some cases.

Skillshare has limited refund policies. You can get a refund for an annual membership payment if you get in touch with them within seven days after a charge is processed. There are no refunds available after this time and no refunds for monthly memberships, unfortunately. You can pause your membership if you are subscribed to a monthly plan and need to take a break – this can be extended for up to three months.

Udemy offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its courses, no questions asked. Some users write that you do need to be careful about requesting too many refunds, however, since you can have your account flagged for a termination or suspension if you get in the habit of always wanting your money back for classes you have taken. 

Conclusion

Udemy and Skillshare are both excellent online learning platforms for the vast majority of students. However, there are plenty of other alternatives besides these two choices, too. You might consider other online learning platforms like Coursera (which offers accredited degrees), edX (which is a bit pricey but offers courses from leading universities like Harvard), and Udacity (which has unique nanodegrees).

When it comes sto Skillshare vs. Udemy, neither platform comes out on top. It all depends one what your learning goals might be. Choose Udemy if you want the broadest variety of courses – but stick with Skillshare if you want top-notch instructors and would rather take a more detailed sequence of classes in the same niche.

Hopefully, this comparison of Skillshare vs. Udemy has been helpful to you in your search for the right online courses. If you’re still undecided about which one is right for you, take some time to read our detailed individual reviews of the Skillshare platform here and the Udemy platform here, too! 

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Rebekah Pierce

Rebekah Pierce is a writer with a B.A. in English from St. Lawrence University and a Master’s in Special Education from SUNY Plattsburgh. She has worked both as a college admissions counselor as well as a high school English teacher and has also written extensively on topics related to educational technology and the college selection process.

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