When it comes to affordable online learning, Udemy and Skillshare are the two most popular online learning platforms nowadays.

If you’re thinking about taking some online courses from one of these two platforms, then you’re probably wondering which one would be better for you. To help you make that decision, we’ll be giving you a comparison of each platform, as well as covering their pros and cons.

Udemy and Skillshare both have thousands of online courses for students. However, the primary difference between these two different platforms has to do with the way they structure their costs.

Udemy requires students to pay for every individual course they wish to take. Skillshare, on the other hand, asks that their students pay a monthly or yearly subscription, and then the students get access to every course offered on the program.

What Udemy and Skillshare Offer

Udemy and Skillshare are both well-known online course platforms that offer affordable classes for individuals seeking to develop or learn new skills. Both platforms connect educators with students so that the students can learn or refine their knowledge.

So, if you’re interested in learning about a new subject, you’ll most likely find classes on each one of these platforms that are taught by experts. Both Udemy and Skillshare offer thousands of courses on a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Business
  • Music
  • Cooking
  • Photography
  • IT
  • Writing

And that’s just a shortlist of some of the subjects you can find on these course platforms. There is a bevy of other topics offered on both platforms as well.

Since college and university classes are becoming increasingly more pricy, online course websites like Skillshare and Udemy have taken off, providing more affordable alternatives to regular education.

With Udemy and Skillshare now available, people no longer need to pay thousands of dollars and spend many years trying to learn about a concept. Instead, many are now using online course platforms, including Udemy and Skillshare, to learn new skills much more rapidly and at a cheaper cost.

Online Learning Platforms: A Review of Udemy vs. Skillshare

Udemy and Skillshare work well for many people, including those that need to refine or learn a specific skill for their industry and do not need a new degree on their resume.

Also, since both online course platforms let students go through the classes and work at their own pace, the learning format is a very successful one for working adults.

Both Udemy and Skillshare offer opportunities that empower people to learn. For instance, as a student at either one of these platforms, you’ll be able to make your own decisions about your learning. You can follow your passions and work on career development skills that could help you land a better job or that promotion you’ve been dying to receive.

Cost Structure

One major difference between Skillshare and Udemy has to do with their cost structures. With Udemy, when you want to sign-up for a class, you’ll need to pay for every individual class you wish to take. Once you purchase a class on Udemy, you can access it for the rest of your life. Most courses on Udemy cost about $10, but some cost as much as $150.

However, Udemy frequently offers sales, and that includes a vast majority of their courses. So, sometimes waiting a week or two for the next Udemy sale will get you a large discount on a course you’d like to take.

On the other hand, Skillshare works differently. With Skillshare, you pay a flat monthly subscription, and then you’ll be able to access all courses on their platform. A Skillshare subscription costs $15 monthly.

Or, you can pay $8.25 per month if you purchase an entire year of Skillshare upfront. Purchasing Skillshare upfront annually will also allow you to get discounts to other places like Shutterstock, Squarespace, and Adobe Premiere Pro. If you’re the type of person that always enjoys learning something new, then Skillshare gives you an affordable opportunity to do just that.

Skillshare makes things simple for students because you won’t need to stop and think about whether or not you have the money to purchase the particular course you want to take if you are already a monthly subscriber. Instead, you’ll be allowed to login to Skillshare, and then you can dive into as many classes as you’d like whenever you have time to review them without having to pay a fee per course.

However, if you aren’t the type of person that always wants to learn and you are just looking for new skills that can help you get that new promotion, then you probably just need to take one or two courses. If that’s the case, then Udemy will probably be the less expensive option for you, especially if you purchase Udemy courses when they are on sale.

Topics Taught

Udemy offers thirty thousand courses and eighteen thousand educators. The courses you’ll find on Udemy cover a bevy of topics, including:

  • Health and fitness
  • Test prep
  • Marketing
  • Office productivity, etc.

On the other hand, Skillshare also offers a similar list of classes and offers about twenty-three thousand courses. The courses at Skillshare also cover a wide range of topics like:

  • Business
  • Technology
  • Lifestyle, etc.

If you are interested in learning a new skill or a subject you are curious about, then you are likely to find what you want on either platform. Skillshare tends to cover more creative topics, while Udemy has more technical and academic options, but there are still a bevy of subject matters covered on both websites.

However, the significant difference between the courses you’ll find on Udemy and Skillshare has to do with the length of the class. Classes on Skillshare can be as short as ten minutes long. However, on Udemy, thirty minutes is the minimum length for any course.

On both online course platforms, you’ll find classes that are also many hours long. However, generally speaking, Udemy’s classes are more in-depth and more extended. On the other hand, Skillshare’s classes are often shorter and get to the point more rapidly.

Most Popular Courses

So, what are the most popular courses on both Udemy and Skillshare? We’ll break that down in more detail below.

Udemy’s Most Popular

The most popular courses on Udemy are:

Skillshare’s Most Popular

The most popular courses on Skillshare are:

Quality of Instructors

So, what are the instructors like at both Udemy and Skillshare? Honestly, anybody can sign-up to be an instructor and teach a class on either platform. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t find educated instructors there.

Both Skillshare and Udemy offer their share of experts that want to share their experiences on these platforms and share their knowledge by teaching others.

One thing you’ll notice about the teachers on both of these platforms is that the teachers don’t typically have the college professor’s credentials, like a Ph.D. However, many of them offer knowledgeable real-life experience and are well-versed in the subjects that they teach.

On the other hand, there is a downside to the way these platforms work when it comes to teachers. Since anybody can become an instructor on either Udemy or Skillshare, the quality of the course offerings fluctuates drastically from teacher to teacher. However, on Skillshare, this issue is less profound because of its subscription standard. If you aren’t interested in a course on Skillshare or you aren’t learning anything from it, you can easily move onto another course.

Online Learning Platforms: A Review of Udemy vs. Skillshare

However, this issue isn’t as clear cut when you experience the same problem on Udemy. If you purchase a course on Udemy and you don’t like it, what can you do? Thankfully, Udemy does have a solution for this issue. Udemy provides 30-day refunds on all of their classes just in case you aren’t satisfied with the course you purchased.

Both Udemy and Skillshare offer course ratings and reviews from students that have previously taken the same course. Your best bet for finding a quality course on both of these platforms is by taking a look at these course ratings.

By making sure previous students enjoyed the course in the past, you can avoid spending time and money on something that won’t benefit you in the future.

Accreditation and Certificates

If you’re looking for something that’s academically accredited, then know that neither Udemy or Skillshare should be considered.

Neither one of these platforms works as an academically accredited institution. However, if you complete a course on Udemy, you will get a course completion certificate. Unfortunately, companies won’t look at the classes you’ve taken on Udemy the same way they would look at a university degree. So, the value of Udemy’s certificates varies from employer to employer.

If you take courses on Skillshare, then you won’t even get a certificate of completion. Skillshare encourages you to use the projects you completed while you took the class and the skills you learned as proof. However, that doesn’t always bode well when employers are expecting you to demonstrate your knowledge of these skills upfront.

Unfortunately, if you are looking for skills or certificates to add to your resume or CV, then neither Udemy or Skillshare is excellent for that. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t mention the skills you learned or the classes you took on your resume or CV.

All that it means is that employers may not take it seriously. If you are looking for classes that offer certifications and credentials that employers will consider, then you’re likely stuck going to a traditional online university.

However, that’s not to say that Udemy and Skillshare don’t have their benefits. Both of these online course platforms work well for people that want to gain new knowledge and encourage their professional development. For example, if you are an entrepreneur and you want to learn something new to help your business improve, then Udemy and Skillshare would be great for you. Also, if you want to learn how to do some graphic design as a new hobby, then these online platforms can also provide you with that.

If you take classes on either Skillshare or Udemy, you’ll be able to learn new skills at an affordable price and much more quickly than you could if you received a traditional university education. So, there are still plenty of benefits you’ll get when taking classes on Skillshare or Udemy.

Course Length

One of the reasons why both Udemy and Skillshare are so popular is because they require only a minimal time commitment. When you purchase a class on Udemy, you’ll be able to access the class for the rest of your life. So that gives you plenty of time to access your class, and you can complete your lessons whenever you’d like.

Skillshare requires you to pay your monthly subscription to access all of their material. That means you get a little more pressure with time when you use Skillshare. However, most of Skillshare’s courses are short, and it’s doubtful that you’d need more than a month to complete one of them. That’s because, as we mentioned earlier, many of their courses are only ten minutes long.

Online Learning Platforms: A Review of Udemy vs. Skillshare

The most extended courses you’ll find on either platform are usually only a few hours long at maximum. So, no matter which platform you choose, Udemy or Skillshare, you won’t have to make a massive time commitment to learn something about a new subject.

You might think that these online courses sound too short to teach you anything. However, you’d be surprised. Just because the lessons in these courses aren’t time-consuming doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot of quality. The courses on both of these platforms usually provide the best information in the shortest amount of space possible. That means you’ll learn a bevy of new knowledge much faster than you would if you took a traditional university course.

On both platforms, you’ll discover that the courses provide you with the essentials and cut out the fluff and academic theory that doesn’t apply to real life. So, you’ll learn the real-life skills you’ll need to succeed in your job or a new hobby. Since both platforms are geared to teach people how to learn something new as efficiently as possible, you’ll get a lot of the best information delivered to you in the shortest time possible.

Benefits for Students

So, as a student, what are some of the benefits you’ll get from Skillshare and Udemy? We’ll cover that in more detail below. First, we’ll start with Skillshare.

What Skillshare Offers Students

Skillshare’s top priority is to keep their educational environment tight and straightforward. The way the platform is designed creates a feeling of community. That feeling is shared between educators making their videos, and the students that interact with their content.

Students on Skillshare are required to finish easy assignments and check their understanding to complete their courses. Teachers can also add tasks under their videos that they then expect their students to complete. Most of the projects you’ll find on Skillshare are long-term and designed for students to complete them as they progress in the course.

When a learner completes his or her final project, he or she can then post the project and share it with other students. The other students then rate those projects and give them feedback. On top of the final project, there is also a “class project.” Class projects offer the students the opportunity to work together and create a crowd-sourced activity as they combine their knowledge.

Skillshare has a separate page for these final projects and class projects that give students even more feedback from their peers. Also, since Skillshare charges only fifteen dollars a month to provide access to all of its classes, you can still easily use it and obtain knowledge even if you are low on cash. Skillshare also offers a two-month free trial for its premium features.

What Udemy Offers Students

Udemy offers students a large pool of educators that want to teach them. That leaves Udemy students with a bevy of options that cover all parts of the learning process. So, students taking courses on Udemy benefit from Udemy offering a variety of different ways to learn the content. Students also get feedback on what they’ve learned as they complete their courses.

During an Udemy course, students may encounter quizzes or manual assignments that they must finish and turn in to their instructors. After that, the instructor provides the student with feedback on that assignment. That way, the student learns how he or she can improve. However, Udemy’s feedback isn’t quite as interactive as Skillshare. Udemy doesn’t offer the opportunity for other students to provide feedback on their projects to each other.

Some learners feel overwhelmed by Udemy because there are so many learners and educators on the website. That makes it challenging to figure out the right fit for a student when it comes to how the content is presented.

Also, while it’s free to create an Udemy account, you do need to pay for the individual classes on Udemy. While the individual classes usually fall in the $10-$20 price range, there is some that cost as much as $150.

Benefits for Teachers

Teachers also get varying benefits depending on whether they teach for Skillshare or Udemy. We’ll cover that information more in-depth below.

What Skillshare Offers Teachers

For teachers that want to earn an extra income from their knowledge, they typically want to know how much money they can make on Skillshare. Since Skillshare works on a community-based concept, teachers are paid based on how many Premium students enroll in their classes using the teacher’s referral link after you’ve signed up your first twenty-five students.

While this might sound like a complicated and challenging process, if you are very passionate about what you can teach and you know how to develop excellent online courses, then you’ll more than likely attract a lot of learners into your classes. Also, Skillshare has a vast membership pool, so it isn’t tricky for teachers to start earning a side income from their classes as long as they put time and effort into their content and marketing strategies.

Revenue Potential for Skillshare Teachers

Skillshare’s revenue potential is different from Udemy’s. On Skillshare, most instructors earn their passive income via the revenue they earn based on how much time students spend watching videos and being present in the online course. Of course, that happens only after your first twenty-five students sign up for your course, as we discussed above.

Skillshare teachers can earn extra money also using the platform’s referral system. Once you become a Skillshare teacher, you can earn extra money by obtaining Skillshare student referrals. That means the teachers use a link that they then promote to get students to sign-up for Skillshare. As soon as a student signs up for a free trial using the teacher’s referral link, the teacher earns $10 after the teacher’s first 25 sign-ups pass.

To help you better understand how Skillshare earnings work, we’ll use an instructor’s recent earnings breakdown as an example. Let’s say the instructor has earned a total of $743, with $213 of that being royalties, and another $530 being premium referrals. So, a majority of this instructor’s earnings comes through referrals and by offering the free trial link. That’s the case for many Skillshare instructors.

Online Learning Platforms: A Review of Udemy vs. Skillshare

However, what about the royalties? Royalties are the revenue that teachers earn from the minutes of time students spend in their classes.  If you’re wondering how much revenue you can earn each minute on Skillshare, let’s use another example from the same instructor.  So, our instructor earned $743 and had 224 students visit his classes, and 4,732 minutes of footage were watched by students.

First, we need to subtract the referral income of $530 from the equation. So that means we have $213 left. We divide that by the number of minutes watched, or 4,732, and we get .0045, or about five cents a minute if we want to round up.  So, that means Skillshare is a decent source of revenue mainly if you’re willing to put the work into seeking out referrals.

What Udemy Offers Teachers

Teachers on Udemy have a large pool of students to attract. So Udemy has become well-known for having meaningful classes that engage their students well. Also, Udemy teachers’ earnings are a bit more clear cut when compared to Skillshare. On Udemy, teachers make 50% of their listed price for their classes. However, that rate can go up to 97% if the students sign up for a class based on the teacher’s referral, and down to 25% if a student signs up through an affiliate.

Udemy also makes it easier to design courses the way you want to make them. For example, Udemy will allow you to use PowerPoints, PDFs, and videos for your courses. That helps teachers that want to market their skills better without having to create their sites for advertising.

Revenue Potential for Udemy Teachers

To understand the revenue potential for Udemy teachers, we need to use a bit of a different strategy compared to Skillshare. Udemy is much more forward about publishing lists of their highest-earning instructors, so at least we can thank them for their honesty.

To simplify the breakdown of the Udemy instructors, we’ve labeled each of the top earning instructor’s high-earning and low-earning potentials based on their usual enrollments. Keep in mind that most of these successful instructors offer more than one course on Udemy.

Complete Python Bootcamp: Go from zero to hero in Python 3Jose Portilla470,750$4.7m$942,000
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate 2018Ryan Kroonenburg371,678$3.5m$744,000
The Web Developer BootcampColt Steele371,455$3.7m$743,000
Machine Learning A-Z™: Hands-On Python & R In Data ScienceKirill Eremenko356,226$3.6m$713,000
Java Programming Masterclass for Software DevelopersTim Buchalka284,024$2.8m$568,000
Complete C# Unity Developer 2D: Learn to Code Making GamesBen Tristem278,031$2.7m$556,000
The Complete Ethical Hacking Course: Beginner to Advanced!Ermin Kreponic253,234$2.5m$506,000
The Ultimate Drawing Course – Beginner to AdvancedJaysen Batchelor252,913$2.1m$506,000
Angular 7 (formerly Angular 2) – The Complete GuideMaximilian Schwarz-müller224,299$2.2m$449,000
The Complete Digital Marketing Course – 12 Courses in 1Rob Percival220,370$2.2m$441,000

Considering the numbers we see in the low-earning scenarios for these popular instructors, we can say that those are some pretty impressive numbers. For example, one individual on Quora that’s an Udemy expert mentioned the most popular Java instructor on Udemy makes $44,000 monthly. So, there is a massive amount of revenue earning potential available on Udemy for top-quality instructors. However, there is also a substantial pool of competition available on Udemy, too.

Skillshare and Udemy: Pros and Cons

To help you decide on whether Udemy or Skillshare is better for you, we’ll cover the pros and cons of each platform to help you make your final decision. We’ll start with Udemy.

Udemy Pros

There are several pros to using Udemy, which we’ve listed below.

  • Udemy has a massive choice of courses and offers thousands of different classes on multiple subjects. Depending on the topic you need to learn, you’ll probably find several courses on the same subject from different experts, giving you the freedom of choice.
  • Udemy gives you lifetime access to a class after you’ve purchased the course. If the instructor updates or improves the class later, you’ll get access to that additional information.
  • Udemy’s mobile app makes it easy for you to learn even if you are sitting in a waiting room. Since Udemy’s courses feature short modules, you’ll be able to sit down and work on one quickly if you have ten or fifteen minutes to kill.

Udemy Cons

  • Udemy charges on a per-class basis, making things pricier for people that want to learn several different subjects.
  • Udemy offers completion certificates for their classes, but they aren’t accredited. So, you won’t be able to compete with people that have degrees from accredited colleges.
  • The course quality of Udemy can vary drastically from course to course. Before you pay for a course on Udemy, make sure to do your research and read the reviews from previous students.

Skillshare Pros

  • Skillshare offers excellent video quality content, and their classes tend to be well polished. Their videos typically look better than what you’ll find on YouTube or Udemy.
  • Skillshare’s platform is also well-designed, making it easy to find the classes you want to take.
  • You only pay one flat monthly fee on Skillshare, and you can take as many online courses as you’d like. That means Skillshare is a great place for people that continuously love to learn.
  • Skillshare offers offline course access. So, if you aren’t often near a Wi-Fi signal, then Skillshare will allow you to download your course material so that you can use it offline.

Skillshare Cons

  • Skillshare offers shorter courses, and some of their courses are only ten minutes long. You may wish that more information was included with some of the classes.
  • Skillshare also offers more creative topic course content. If you want something that’s non-creative, you may be better off with Udemy.
  • There are no certificates on Skillshare. Udemy certificates aren’t accredited, but at least they offer you something. Skillshare doesn’t give you any proof that you’ve completed your class.

Final Thoughts

Deciding between Skillshare and Udemy will come down to your learning strategies. Udemy is the veteran of the two, and it also has a massive community. Skillshare, on the other hand, has a more tight-knit community and is far more interactive. Skillshare also includes classes for self-improvement and non-academic skills, while Udemy tends to offer more technical and academic course offerings.

If you are a lifelong learner that finds education enjoyable, Skillshare may be the better option for you if you simply want to learn something new every day. However, if you are trying to focus on career development skills to get your next job promotion, and you only need to take one or two classes, then Udemy might be the better bet.

Both platforms have their advantages and disadvantages. However, if you take some time to consider your real learning needs, you should easily be able to decide which platform will be better for you. Either way, you’ll boost your life skills, knowledge, and education, and there is no downside to accomplishing that.

Get started with Udemy 

Get started with Skillshare

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