Skillshare Review 2019: Is Skillshare Worth It?
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Do you ever wonder what would have happened if you had followed your dreams right after high school?
If you had decided to major in art in college… instead of engineering?
Or if you had taken that job fixing classic cars… instead of going to work as salesman for a nationwide auto dealership chain?
Or... maybe you’re a stay-at-home parent who always wanted to learn how to make the perfect egg souffle? Or how to sew a dress for your daughter?
We can’t all afford to go back to college... or enroll in enrichment classes.
Nor do we always have the time.
Our quest for learning doesn’t have to come to an end... just because we chose a different path at the start.
It is still possible to learn something new, feed a secret passion… even further your current career with this one-of-a-kind online learning platform.
In this article, I will show that YES, Skillshare is worth it and I'll show a few reasons why we like this educational platform. But first, let's start with a quick definition...
The Basics: What is Skillshare?
Skillshare is a fully online learning community... with thousands of classes offered daily in design, illustration, business, tech, photo and film, entrepreneurship and, writing and more.
Think of it as the "Netflix” for online courses... where you gain immediate access to more than 22,000 classes to improve and inspire you.
Today, Skillshare has more than 4 million students enrolled… and over $5 million dollars in paid teacher salaries (yes, you can earn money as a teacher for Skillshare; but, we’ll touch more on that in a bit).
The company’s mission statement is to make the new economy an open meritocracy, where the skills and expertise needed to succeed are available for anyone willing to learn them.
Skillshare classes are offered in four main categories:
Within these categories are thousands of offerings.
But before we delve deeper into that… let’s talk cost, shall we?
How Much does Skillshare Cost?
Well, there are two versions of Skillshare.
Skillshare Basic and Skillshare Premium.
Skillshare Basic is free.
Skillshare Premium is not.
So what’s the difference, you ask? Besides the obvious, of course.
See, you’re getting smarter already!
Skillshare Basic offers:
- About 2,100 free classes with videos and tutorials
- Access to the community, where you will:
- create projects
- engage in discussions
- learn with other students.
- Free mobile apps
From there, you will choose your subcategories.
Still sounds pretty good, right?
It does sound like a pretty decent deal… for free!
But, as with most things, free services are typically designed to get you hooked.
To give you a taste and leave you wanting for more.
More things that the free version just can’t give you, like:
- Unlimited access to all 26,000+ online classes
- Offline access to download and save classes to your tablet or mobile device
- No advertisements
- Teacher support (a portion of all paid premium memberships go into a pool to pay your teachers)
- Scholarship contribution (helping other students in need)
- Special perks (available with an annual premium membership only)
According to Skillshare, your membership pays for itself when you take advantage of these annual perks… which are curated services and benefits hand-picked for creative types just like you.
So what is one to do?
Well, here’s the good news…
First, Skillshare offers a 30-day free trial that can be cancelled at any time. I’d recommend doing the Basic for a week or so… see what the free class offerings are like before test driving the upgrade.
Second, if you do sign up for Basic (which I did), you’ll most likely get an email within the hour inviting you to try Premium free for 2 months.
So why not give it a go?
And if after trying Premium, you decide there’s just no going back… then there is more good news.
A Premium membership won’t break the bank... or put you in debt like student loans will (or did).
In fact, a Skillshare Premium membership starts at just $15.00 per month.
However, if you opt to pay for an annual membership, the cost drops to just $8.25 per month… or $99.00 per year (billed once annually).
That is less than some gyms charge for 1 month!
So why not think of Skillshare as exercise for your mind…
And what better way is there to work your brain than to learn a new skill?
Ok, now that we’ve gotten the awkward financial yays or nays out of the way... we can take a look at those classes again.
The Course Catalog
As I touched upon earlier, there are four main categories of classes offered by Skillshare (creative, business, technology, lifestyle).
As a Skillshare member, you’ll have access to online classes that you can watch whenever your schedule allows - no matter the time of day.
These course are taught by creators, entrepreneurs, and professionals from around the world.
Each class has short lessons and a hands-on project for you to work on. You can share your project in the class to get feedback and collaborate with Skillshare’s vibrant community.
Once you click on the “classes” tab, you’ll have the option of viewing:
- All classes
- Recommended classes (where you select skills of interest to you to “follow)
- Student projects (trending, most recent or top voted)
You also have the option of searching for the type of class you want, simply by typing it in from either the home page or classes page.
- Class type (all, free, premium)
- Created date (this week, this month)
- Class length (less than 15 minutes, 15-30 mins, 30-60 mins, or greater than 60 minutes)
- Social media (teachers/follow)
Once you’ve found a class, check out the class description under the About tab to make sure it's the right class for you.
Many classes even offer a preview video clip, so you can meet the instructor and get a feel for how the class will run and exactly what it will cover.
Then, simply “save” the class for later... or start watching the videos to begin. That’s it!
You can check out the Your Project section to see what you’ll create, and take a look at other students’ work in the All Projects section.
Visit the Community section to ask questions and get to know other students watching the class.
Two Thumbs Up?
Almost every business, product, customer support line, online order, etc… asks you to provide feedback after purchase nowadays.
Whether a google review, trip advisor, yelp, facebook… businesses of all types hope you will give them a positive review to help them grow.
The good ones will even respond to negative reviews, and learn from them.
Skillshare is no different.
Providing class reviews is a great way to support the teachers you love and help other students find high-quality classes.
To leave a review on a class, simply head to the “Reviews” tab beneath the video player of the class, and on the right-hand side, click “Leave Review.”
The class review form will prompt you to answer a handful of questions about the class, including:
- How well it met your expectations
- What level of experience it’s best suited for
- What you enjoyed most
- What can be improved, if anything
You’ll also have the opportunity to provide more details in an optional written comment.
While Skillshare encourages and welcomes your honesty, they also ask you be constructive and respectful with your feedback in order to help teachers improve their future content.
And if you really enjoy Skillshare... the site offers its Premium members an incentive to refer their friends and family.
Simply invite them to sign up for Skillshare Premium Membership through the Refer a Friend section of your account.
When your friend signs up for a Premium Membership using your referral link, they'll receive two months of Premium Membership for free... and your account will be credited with one free month of Premium as soon as they complete their first full membership payment (after their 2 free months)!
Your free month will be applied towards your upcoming payment.
So, if you are on a monthly plan, your next billing date will be pushed out by one month in the Payments section of your Profile Settings.
If you are subscribed to an annual plan, the free month will discount your next annual charge.
Those Who Can’t Do…
Ever have your buddies tell you that you should post some of your DIY carpentry projects online?
Ever have another mom tell you that your chocolate mousse cake is to die for?
Maybe you can’t make a career out of your hobbies or passions… but you can still make some money on the side.
And from there, who knows?
If you feel particularly confident in certain skills or abilities… or maybe you just have some advice to offer young professionals… why not consider teaching for Skillshare?
There’s no application or approval process, and you don’t need to have teaching experience.
Skillshare teachers are creatives, entrepreneurs, and professionals who are great at what they do... and passionate about sharing their skills with others. Each instructor has a unique background, perspective and teaching style.
Basically, teachers receive compensation for every minute watched by Premium students in their classes… as well as for every student they bring to Skillshare. Here’s how:
- Earn Royalties: Earn royalties based on the number of minutes watched in your classes every month (30 minute minimum viewing by a Premium member is required)
- Earn Premium Referrals: Get $10 for every student you bring to Skillshare that signs up for a Premium Membership, via your unique referral link
Through your referral link, students will be given the opportunity to sign up for Premium Membership with a special promotion - the first two months of Premium Membership for free.
Skillshare teachers can also receive $50 more in their paycheck if they successfully refer a friend to teach.
All new teachers are also eligible for a “signing bonus”, if you will, when they publish their first class through the Teach Challenge and meet all of the program’s requirements. Requirements for the challenge change monthly.
The Skillshare Teachers Handbook will answer any and all questions you may have on getting started… and if being an instructor is right for you!
Refer a Friend to Teach
If teaching is of no interest to you… maybe it could be to a friend?
If you know someone that would make a great teacher… simply provide Skillshare with their info. How it works:
- Submit your friend's name and email here.
- Skillshare will follow up and reach out to your friend to work with them 1:1 to create their first class
- If they publish their class within 30 days, you'll both get $50.
It’s a win/win.
For your Viewing Pleasure
I would be a fraud if I talked up how great Skillshare is… without trying at least a couple of the free classes out.
It was taught by Jean Choi, a Nutritional Therapist living in the SF Bay Area.
I found the class and instructor to be super easy to follow, and definitely content rich.
I know... I’m so complex, right?
But I actually gave this a whirl because:
- I’m Italian
- I took it in high school and wanted to see what I remembered
- I’ve done Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur methods for learning other languages, so wanted to see how this held up
While called “3 Minute Italian”, this free video was actually over 1 hour long… comprised of 17 lessons.
My instructor, Kieran, is a language tutor based in the UK.
I never actually saw his face, but I did notice he offered a full course version with a Premium membership.
Remember that hook I mentioned?
I actually would have preferred to see his face, or at least some images… like with Rosetta Stone, which is based on both visual and verbal learning cues.
Having only words displayed on screen was not ideal for my particular style of learning, but might be just fine for someone else.
Summing Up Skillshare… Is it Worth It?
Remember last Friday night when you and your significant other binged watch a new Netflix series?
Now take that excitement and channel your inner “knowledge seeker”...
With Skillshare, you can binge watch educational videos on almost anything.
And my anything.
Want to impress your kids by solving that Rubik’s cube?
Yearning to learn to knit some itty bitty adorable baby booties for your sister’s new kid?
Dying to impress your girlfriend with your mad chinese dumpling making skills?
Maybe you want to turn your vision for a basement remodel into a workable design using Sketchup Make?
Or perhaps you just need some help creating a better resume?
There is really no limit to what you can learn on Skillshare… well, unless you’re sticking with the free version.
But there is still some really good content available there, as I’ve found.
And if 26,000 plus online courses still don’t have what you’ve got a hankering for… then why not teach it yourself? Or find someone who can?
Hello! You can actually earn money learning and teaching with Skillshare... remember?
Honestly, I’ve only just scratched the surface here with my review.
A lot to be learned.
A lot to be earned.
Sorry, I watched a video on how to rhyme.
No I didn’t… I’m kidding.
But I could have with a Premium membership.
Skillshare is seriously awesome and changing the way we educate ourselves.
So if you’ve got the time, I highly suggest checking it out.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nicole Krause has been writing both personally and professionally for over 20 years. She holds a dual B.A. in English and Film Studies. Her work has appeared in some of the country’s top publications, major news outlets, online publications and blogs. As a happily married (and extremely busy) mother of four… her articles primarily focus on parenting, marriage, family, finance, organization and product reviews.