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For those who want to learn new skills online, there are many fantastic course providers to choose from. Each platform has its unique qualities and properties so that it appeals to a specific demographic.
There is an unprecedented demand for online learning platforms and course providers have had to adapt to provide something unique.
In this article, we’ll compare LinkedIn Learning vs Skillshare and see which one is better and which one is the right fit for your needs.
Can’t Wait? Here’s Our Verdict…
After trying out LinkedIn Learning and Skillshare for a while, we must say that it’s too close to call a clear winner. Each platform excels at its own thing. However, here’s the deal:
If you’re after a more professional approach and certificates for your Linkedin profile, then LinkedIn Learning is the one to go with. But if you want a cheaper platform with more courses and more variety, you should go for Skillshare.
Let’s start the review off with some basic information about each platform.
LinkedIn’s e-learning platform is a fairly new one but at the same time, it’s been around for ages. Well, sort of.
What we know today as LinkedIn Learning was once Lynda, an online learning platform that was launched in 1995. However, in 2015, LinkedIn purchased Lynda and transformed it into LinkedIn Learning.
Today, LinkedIn Learning is a striving platform for professionals and those who want to enhance their careers with new skills. The great thing about it is that it offers courses taught by professionals and experts in business skills and professional skills.
You can find three types of courses on LinkedIn Learning:
And within these categories, there are more than 15.000 courses for you to choose from. It’s an impressive arsenal of courses that LinkedIn keeps adding to constantly.
Skillshare is an all-in-one online course marketplace with more than 25.000 different courses on various subjects and topics. There are three main categories of courses on Skillshare:
- Create – design, animation, creative writing, and other creative skills
- Build – marketing, business analytics, leadership, management, freelancing, and more
- Thrive – lifestyle and productivity
There’s a great variety of courses on Skillshare. You’ll find many personal development courses, but the majority of courses are based on skills you can learn.
It offers some courses that are completely free of charge, but most courses are included in the premium subscription. The great news is that you can easily get your friend a two-month free trial of premium.
What’s even better about Skillshare is that anyone can become a teacher on the platform, allowing you to earn money or build your brand and enhance your reputation.
Let’s compare LinkedIn Learning vs Skillshare in some key categories and decide which platform wins out in each category.
Courses on Offer
A major component of deciding which platform between these two wins out is the courses on offer.
LinkedIn Learning has more than 15.000 courses available on all sorts of business and professional skills. If you’re looking to enhance your career and earn new and valuable skills that will impress your employers, then this platform won’t disappoint.
There are three main categories of courses on LI Learning:
And then, under each category, you can choose from three different sub-categories of courses:
- Subjects – for example, Customer Service or Project Management
- Software – for example, Google Excel, Blender, Adobe Photoshop
- Learning Path – a full range of courses to become a data analyst, for example
We liked the courses on offer with LI Learning as they were professional and useful for anyone looking to enhance their CV or brush up on their skills. Most of the courses are video-based with some other resources often included, such as transcripts and quizzes.
On Skillshare, you’ll find a good mixture of premium and free courses. There are more than 27.000 courses to choose from. We certainly liked the variety of courses on offer at Skillshare.
As you can see in the screenshot above, there are three main categories of courses on offer with Skillshare: create, build, and thrive.
There’s a great deal of choice with Skillshare. It’s great for learning professional skills, but there’s plenty of everyone to improve their own lives, too.
Courses on lifestyle and productivity are a great plus for Skillshare, and there’s just anything you might imagine in this category: from learning more about embroidery to crafting a beer or boosting your productivity, Skillshare provides.
There are also various features to go with the classes, such as:
- Live classes for watching live classes on Zoom
- Skillshare groups where you can connect with other students
- Skillshare workshops where you can collaborate with other students and take a course with them at the same time
Winner: Skillshare is the runaway winner in this category. You have almost twice as many courses on Skillshare than you do on LI Learning, and the width of the courses is also far superior.
Using LinkedIn Learning is pretty straightforward and beginner-friendly. As you enter the platform, you’re greeted by a plethora of featured and recommended courses for you based on the information you provided as you signed up.
At the same time, LinkedIn will automatically access your Linkedin account if you connected it to the learning platform and offer you courses based on your LinkedIn profile. But you can take any course you like, of course.
Finding the courses you love is very easy. You can use the search bar at the top, or you can simply use the navigation bar to find the subject or the learning path you want to master.
All you need to do is select the course and start watching – it’s as simple as that – as long as you have the subscription or the free trial, of course!
Skillshare has a very intuitive platform that’s friendly for beginner users. When you first start using the platform, you’ll get offered featured and recommended courses, but once you pick your courses for the first time, the platform will automatically offer you courses based on your previous picks.
And once you open up a course, you can start watching straight away if you have the subscription. You can scroll down to see more information about the course itself and about the instructor, too.
Finding courses you love is easy, too. You can use the search bar at the top, or you can select your courses via the navigation bar.
I personally liked to see the community engagement on Skillshare as you can see the work of other students, and you can also join groups where you can engage and chat with other users.
Winner: Tie. It’s too close to call in this category, as both platforms are pretty straightforward to use and to the point.
With LinkedIn Learning, you’re getting access to some of the world’s leading professionals in their respective fields. The great thing about this platform is that all of the instructors are vetted, so you know that you’re getting only the best.
People with working experience in their field will be able to offer courses on Linkedin. While some instructors can be pretty boring to listen to, you can be completely sure you’re learning from the best.
Ultimately, it’s dependent on each individual instructor on how interesting the course will be. A more professional and formal approach is to be expected on Linkedin, but after all, that’s what you’re here for – to learn.
The main difference between Skillshare and Linkedin is that on Skillshare, anyone can become a teacher and sell their course.
You can become a teacher if you want. While there is some vetting included on Skillshare, the requirements are not as strict as with Linkedin, where they hand-pick their instructors for the courses.
While this can be detrimental to the quality of courses, we were surprised by the overall quality of instructors, even for those who are not well-known as some other instructors. This approach allows Skillshare to present a very broad library of courses.
There is still some vetting included, unlike on Udemy, for example, where there are plenty of crappy courses for this very reason.
Winner: Ultimately, LinkedIn Learning wins this category. They have certified professionals and experts teach their courses, while Skillshare allows anyone to teach courses.
As we’ve already noted, you’ll only find some of the best instructors on LinkedIn Learning. This will improve the course quality, as the instructors are vetted and only certified experts can provide courses on this platform.
But despite that, some courses can be hit-and-miss. While the content of most courses is on a very high level, you will have to do some digging to find the right course for you.
That’s because of two things:
- There are no reviews on courses, which makes it harder to know which course is actually quality.
- There’s no way of telling who the course is made for. Most courses are for beginners.
Most courses are video-based with some additional resources sprinkled in, such as exercises and quizzes. You’re also getting certifications from each course that you can add to your LinkedIn profile where potential employers can see them.
Anyone can provide courses on Skillshare – you can, too, if you want. And this begs the big question: does this affect the quality of courses on the platform?
For the most part, we would have to say no. Even the less populated courses that we tried on Skillshare were surprisingly good, which most of the users of those courses agreed on.
And that’s fantastic since there are more than double the number of courses on Skillshare as there are on LinkedIn. You can check the detailed course descriptions to see if the course is any good and what users have to say. And each course also tells you if it’s aimed for beginners, intermediate, or advanced learners.
Winner: Again, it’s too close to call, so we give this one a tie. I personally expected Linkedin to come out on top here but after trying many courses on Skillshare, I found that it’s hard to come by a poorly made course on this platform.
Flexibility and Time Commitment
As with the majority of e-learning platforms, you have full flexibility of how and when you want to complete courses. You can simply watch videos and pause them, and continue where you left off last time.
All the courses you use are included in the subscription, so you keep it as long as you have the subscription. On every course page, you also have clear indicators of how long the videos are and how much there is left for you to complete the course.
You can also learn from any device, as there are apps for both Android and iOS devices. This allows you to learn anywhere, anytime.
With Skillshare, it’s a very similar story as with LI Learning. You can learn anywhere you want and anytime you want.
All the courses are included in your subscription but some are also free. And as long as you have the subscription, the Premium courses will be with you anytime you need them.
The courses can take anywhere from just 20 minutes to up to 2 hours or even longer. Workshops tend to be much longer as you work with an instructor. These can take months to complete.
Winner: Tie. Both platforms offer you enough flexibility and you’re not forced to complete any courses. You can do so at your own pace, and anywhere you might be.
LinkedIn Learning offers a month of free trial for everyone who decides to try the platform out for the first time. After that, the platform has two pricing plans:
- $29.99 per month, billed monthly
- $24.99 per month, annual subscription with a one-time payment of $299.88
For that money, you’re getting access to all of the courses on the platform, and all of the certifications offered by course providers.
Skillshare allows you to sign up for free, but you can only view some courses for free. For premium courses (which includes the majority of courses) can only be completed if you opt for a subscription.
This has two pricing plans:
- $8.25 per month or $99 if billed annually
- $15 per month if you pay month-by-month
Again, you get access to all of the courses on the platform for the subscription.
Winner: Skillshare. While you do get a free month of trial with Linkedin, the Skillshare subscription is cheaper and you get access to more for less.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what you’re looking for from the platform. If you’re after a massive library of quality courses from almost every category you might imagine, then Skillshare is better.
For those who want access to certified professionals and experts, and if you want certificates, then Linkedin Learning is better for you.
To summarize, let’s look at the final scores of this comparison:
LinkedIn Learning 1
And on that note, we conclude that both platforms are great at what they do, although Skillshare does have a more impressive range of courses to select from, and it’s cheaper. LinkedIn Learning, on the other hand, has courses taught by vetted experts and you get certificates for completed courses. The choice is all yours though.