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MasterClass and Skillshare are two of the finest e-learning platforms. For someone who’s looking to learn a new skill or get inspiration online, the choice might be slightly confusing.
These two platforms have two very different types of audiences, to begin with: MasterClass is great for those who already have some knowledge about a topic, or for people looking for inspiration. Skillshare, on the other hand, is fantastic for learning new skills from scratch.
In this article, we’ll compare MasterClass vs SkillShare and see which platform comes out on top.
MasterClass vs Skillshare: Our Verdict
MasterClass comes out on top, but only by a fraction. We believe that you’re getting a much superior course quality with MasterClass, and the instructors are some of the world’s best. Although these two platforms have different audiences – MasterClass is for advanced learners, while Skillshare is for beginners – we like both platforms, but MasterClass takes the crown – only just.
Before we compare SkillShare vs MasterClass. We need to know the story behind each of these two platforms.
What is MasterClass?
MasterClass was founded in 2014 as an e-learning platform where some of the world’s most famous personalities shared their knowledge on a topic through a set of pre-recorded videos.
But initially, the platform was very small and somewhat elitist. There were just two instructors at the start!
However, it was in the year 2017 that MasterClass really started to take off. One of the first famous appearances was Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman giving acting tutorials, which were, as you might already know, soon removed due to well-known reasons.
But nonetheless, the course library was expanding rapidly, and it still is today. By the end of 2018, there were more than 1000 lessons on different subjects, ranging from politics, sports, writing, economics, and many others.
It’s fair to say that MasterClass is primarily geared towards more creative people, although you might not find many courses where you can learn programming, for example.
If you want to know more about MasterClass, read our MasterClass review.
What is Skillshare?
Skillshare was founded in 2010 as a small-time learning platform with only a bunch of courses available initially. In the years of 2011 and 2012, the platform received multiple sources of funding that allowed it to grow massively.
It became this platform where everyone can create their own course and teach people something new. Skillshare is an open-source platform, or to be more precise, an online marketplace where teachers can create their courses and students can choose from their favorite topics.
As of today, there are around 30.000 courses altogether, and the topics are ranging from science to IT, programming, writing, music, illustration, and other skills that can enhance and propel your career.
It’s a well-rounded marketplace where you can find almost everything you like. There are also many free courses, making Skillshare friendlier for your pocket. But is it better than MasterClass? Let’s find out. 🙂
Also, read our Skillshare review for more information.
Courses on Offer
The courses on offer with MasterClass will range massively; the focus on MasterClass is on the instructors where you can basically select your preferred instructor and learn from them.
As of July 2020, there are more than 85 different world-renowned instructors giving classes on MasterClass. And that means a good amount of topics to choose from. Most of the topics are of a creative nature.
MasterClass doesn’t have an extensive library of courses like Skillshare, but what they do have is world-class. You’ll be learning from people like Gordon Ramsay, Helen Mirren, Hans Zimmer, and many other renowned names. It’s for those who are looking to learn even more and to get additional inspiration for their work.
These are some of the most popular courses on MasterClass:
- Malcolm Gladwell teaches Writing
- Steph Curry teaches Shooting, Ball-Handling, and Scoring
- Serena Williams teaches Tennis
- Deadmau5 teaches Electronic Music Production
- Gordon Ramsay teaches Cooking
- Timbaland teaches Producing and Beatmaking
- Daniel Negreanu teaches Poker
- Paul Krugman teaches Economics and Society
- Tony Hawk teaches Skateboarding
- Tom Morello teaches Electric Guitar
- Chris Voss teaches The Art of Negotiation
Skillshare offers you a wide array of courses that will allow you to learn new skills from scratch. However, there’s plenty to love here even if you’re an intermediate learner on a topic.
There are three main categories of courses on Skillshare:
And many of these courses will teach you new skills and you’ll be able to learn things from scratch. That’s where it differs from MasterClass, where most of the courses are for intermediate or advanced learners, or for those looking for inspiration.
Popular Courses on Skillshare
- Still Life Photography by Sean Dalton
- iPhone Photography by Amelie Satzger
- Learn Premiere Pro by Hallease Narvaez
- The Creative Toolkit by Esteban Gast
- Illustrated Journaling by Dylan Mierzwinski
- Daily Art Practice for Self-Care by Jessica Swift
- Writing for Inner Calm by Dani Shapiro
Winner: Skillshare wins this one. That’s mainly due to the width of the courses on offer, as you’ll be able to learn practical skills from scratch that will allow you to enhance your career directly.
MasterClass’s platform is very easy to navigate, and you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for with ease. You can either search by a keyword that you can type in the search bar, or you can choose from topics, or even from the teachers.
For example, if you’re just excited by the prospect of Helen Mirren giving you acting classes, then you can simply type in “Helen Mirren” in the search bar and there you are, watching her acting tutorial.
MasterClass acts as a sort of “Netflix of learning” where you can binge-watch tutorial videos and training classes from some of the world’s most famous people. Using the platform is as pleasant as watching the classes.
With Skillshare, everything is made with beginners in mind. You won’t have to think too much before you find what you’re looking for on Skillshare. There will always be recommendations made by Skillshare based on the previous courses you’ve taken.
The platform is intuitive and easy to use, and finding what you’re looking for is seamless. You can either search for courses from the search bar, or you can use the navigation buttons to select your favorite course.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an advanced computer geek, Skillshare will give you an easy way to find what you’re after.
Winner: When looking at SkillShare vs MasterClass here, it’s a tie. It’s too close to call here because both platforms are intuitive and offer beginners an easy way to find what they seek.
One of the biggest appeals of MasterClass is that you’ll be taught by some of the world’s most well-known personalities from different fields.
If you’re looking to learn how to cook, you can watch a Gordon Ramsay tutorial. Or if you want to learn more about the film and directing, Martin Scorsese has you covered (an amazing course, by the way).
So it will be hard for Skillshare to top MasterClass in this category. The fact is that you’re learning from the world’s best on MasterClass, and it will be relatively hard to find better teachers than you find here.
Skillshare does have some amazing instructors, let’s be honest. But it’s just not as good as MasterClass.
That’s partly because anyone can become a teacher on Skillshare, and partly because the instructors are just not as qualified as those on MasterClass.
And because this is a marketplace, anyone can sell their course and give instructions to other people. Yes, there are some pretty strict requirements, and vetting is done on new teachers. However, you simply can’t beat MasterClass’s offering here.
Winner: The convincing winner in this category is MasterClass. The instructors are perhaps the main reason why so many people sign up for MasterClass.
As you can expect, the instructors sometimes dictate the course quality, and that’s definitely the case where with MasterClass. But it’s not just about the instructors, either. Most of the courses are based on videos, but you’re also getting some valuable resources with most courses.
This includes notes, assignments, and even quizzes that you’re prompted to do from time to time. This makes the value of MasterClass’s courses very high.
Besides, isn’t it just fascinating to learn from the best around? You can get insider secrets, little details that can make a great deal of difference in what you learn and how you go about things. It’s just invaluable advice, sometimes.
In comparison, finding quality courses on Skillshare can be a chore, but when you do find a quality course, the platform certainly doesn’t disappoint. You’re getting very comprehensive courses with many additional assignments, which can make courses even challenging at times.
And that’s good because that’s an indicator that you’re learning. However, as we’ve already mentioned, it does take some time for you to find a great course. The courses are hit-and-miss here.
Winner: MasterClass takes this category again. You’re learning from some of the world’s best, and the courses here can be an inspiration for everybody.
MasterClass is designed to help students take on the material whenever they want, and wherever they might be.
With this platform, you’ll get the following features:
- Video lessons on demand by your favorite instructors (you can play them, skip, or pause them as you see fit)
- Class workbooks for each course – most workbooks are between 50 and 80 pages long, and they contain all the elements that you’ll find inside the video lessons plus exclusive materials, depending on the type, of course, you’re taking
- Interactive assignments are given inside each course (depending on the instructor and the type of course – most are also present inside the workbook)
- Community and the activities inside the community
Skillshare has many similar features compared to MasterClass, but there’s even more if you’re someone who wants to create your own courses.
Anyone can become a teacher on Skillshare, although you’d have to go through the Skillshare Teacher Academy, where you’ll learn all the essentials of what makes a good Skillshare course.
Skillshare also integrates more social interaction with its courses, as you will be able to always access the community on Skillshare. This includes group classes, networking, and referrals for other learners.
- On-demand video lessons
- Downloadable class workbooks and additional lessons
- Feedback from teachers
- Community building including networking, group classes, and referrals
- Become a Teacher program that anyone can take, allowing you to create your own course
Winner: Both platforms have similar features, but Skillshare wins out in this instance. The fact that you can create your own courses makes for a more open platform with a greater focus on the social aspect.
Flexibility and Time Commitment
As most classes are video-based, you can complete them at your own pace. You’re never forced into doing anything, really, and you can do the courses as you please.
Plus, there are apps available for Android and iOS devices, so you can watch these classes anywhere and at any time.
It’s a very similar story to Skillshare. Although some courses do have some assignments that need to be done by a certain point in time, the vast majority of the courses allow you to complete them as you like.
Winner: Tie. Both platforms offer you the flexibility that an e-learning platform should.
How Much Does MasterClass Cost?
Sometimes, it can be challenging to “measure” the generosity of a platform and its pricing, and if it’s really worth the asking price.
But with MasterClass, you only get one pricing plan, and that is $180 for a year’s access to all content on the site. This means you can watch all the courses, and complete them as you wish.
It’s sort of like Netflix but for learning. If you’re like me, then you’ll definitely enjoy binge-watching stunning and helpful videos by people like Gordon Ramsay.
How Much Does Skillshare Cost?
Skillshare’s pricing is slightly more affordable. For a one-time fee of $90, you can get a yearly subscription to the content and get access to all courses.
It’s cheaper, but there’s a question of whether you’re finding what you’re looking for on this platform.
Winner: Skillshare is cheaper, but that doesn’t strictly mean that MasterClass is not worth the money because it still is – although Skillshare is for those who want a more affordable option. Therefore, this category is a tie.
Alternatives to MasterClass
- LinkedIn Learning (read our comparison between MasterClass and LI Learning here)
- Khan Academy
- The Great Courses
Alternatives to Skillshare
- LinkedIn Learning (read our full LinkedIn Learning vs Skillshare review here)
- Khan Academy
The final scores are the following for SkillShare vs MasterClass:
As you can see, these two platforms are very close together, but we liked MasterClass a little bit more than Skillshare. The appeal to watch and listen to real experts is too strong, although Skillshare is a very good platform, too.
Want to know more? Check out these resources: