Honest Skillshare review — Is It Worth It?

I took the free trial & finished over a dozen courses to write this review

Ilam Padmanabhan
8 min readApr 20, 2024

Here’s a video version of the review (You put a smile on my face when you subscribe!)


If we met on an elevator and we had only 30 seconds, this is what the conversation would be

You: “Hey there, what do you think about Skillshare” (you are here, so I assume this is what you want to talk about in an elevator)

Me: “It is great if you are into online learning. Its got around 30000+ courses covering most topics on earth. I liked most of the courses I tried during my first month free trial.”

You: “That sounds great. What puzzles me is why would anyone pay for it, isn’t it all free on YouTube anyway?”

Me: “True, but you’d have to make an effort trying to find all the right videos. Imagine you want to learn about digital marketing, you would have to sift through dozens of videos to find the 4 or 5 right ones to watch.

You would spend far more time finding the right videos in right order, and have to cope with different teachers and their varying styles. You don’t pay with money, but you pay with a lot of time”.

You: “Understand. How much does Skillshare cost? Is it worth it?”

Me: “ Skillshare offers a 1 month free trial, you try it out and find the answer for yourself. In my opinion, after going through about a dozen courses across creative writing, project management, affiliate marketing (to test diverse topics), I found it incredibly useful.

The app is great to use, has all the cool features you’d expect from a learning platform. It costs $8/month if you pay annual subscription or $29/month if you pay monthly.

But if you ask me, try the first month for free and either cancel or go for annual subscription. 1 month is enough to know if Skillshare is for you”

You: “Sounds great, let me try it for free then”

If this is all you need, then try Skillshare for FREE (30 days). If not keep reading, I’ve used Skillshare for a month (and took a dozen courses) to write this review so you don’t have to.

Try Skillshare for FREE (30 days)

Disclosure: Some of these may be affiliate links. I may earn a coffee or two when you buy a subscription (at no extra cost to you). I live in Denmark, and at the current discounts and the Danish prices, probably only a shot of Espresso.

What is Skillshare

Skillshare is a popular online learning platform with around 30000+ courses across multiple areas like Animation, Creative Writing, Film & Video, Freelance & Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Productivity etc.,

Skillshare classes cover a wide range of diverse and niche areas, including creative writing, graphic design, web development, SEO, Photoshop, and professional product photography, highlighting the platform’s potential for professional development and skill acquisition.

Imagine a Spotify model (but learning courses instead of music): Various teachers offer courses & once you are subscribed, you can take as many as you want. The authors are paid based on how many students take their courses.

What Skillshare Offers

The focus on Skillshare seems to be help the users learn a skill and use that to commercial use immediately. For example, the courses that teach you about video lessons are structured for online learning, offering ease of use and the convenience of downloading for offline viewing on the Skillshare app, making it ideal for learners on the go.

While it appears that Skillshare seems to focus more on creative skills like writing, graphics design & photography etc., there are a wide areas of interest covered. Some that caught my eye are the ones covering technology/software development and career related courses.

I had also read a few reviews before I took the free trial, and was expecting it to be not so useful for me as a professional in the IT industry.

Here is a broad view of what categories are covered on Skillshare platform, including a variety of writing classes that cater to both beginners and advanced learners, enhancing their creative writing skills through hands-on projects.

My Skillshare Experience

Here are my ‘top of the mind’ highlights using Skillshare. A standout feature was how the Skillshare instructor actively engaged with students through the Discussion section, offering personalized feedback and facilitating group learning activities, which significantly enhanced my understanding and application of the course material.

Course Quality

I tried courses on the following categories — job interviews, creative writing, affiliate marketing, AI, productivity etc, — yes, I wanted to test different kind of courses to get a broader understanding.

The courses did give me a feeling of being in a virtual classroom (remember Covid days?). I liked the structured approach to learning and felt the coherence from one chapter to another. This might be slightly boring from people who are used watching random videos on YouTube, but I found it very useful.

I switched between teachers like Ali Abdaal and some lesser known teachers like Vishal and Shubhi. I found a slight difference in the quality, but of course that is to be expected of the platform.

This is no comparison to what you might get on Masterclass courses, but it you also don’t expect the Masterclass teachers get their hands dirty teaching you some basic skills as well.

Skillshare teachers are common people who have achieved reasonable success in their respective areas. The courses tend be at the right level of detail. For example, the affiliate marketing course I took went down to the level of detail that I paused a few times to try what the course teachers were suggesting through the course.

Feeling of Online Learning Platform Community

The other interesting feature is the feeling of you being a part of an online learning community with other Skillshare members. The students can actually start a conversation or ask a question. You can also respond to someone else’s question or share a project that you did after taking the course.

Many of popular courses have a hunderds of comments and active conversations going. It is almost a mini version of social media but focused on the course content. The teachers also tend to either respond of direct you to the right place which comes in handy if you are looking for additional resources.

The Skillshare community does come with its limitations. The contributors are not necessarily experts and might not be as helpful as a professor in a college might. But that is expected on any online learning platform.

Skillshare Platform Experience

The platform is modern and easy to use. You expect that from any platform, and Skillshare does justice. You can start a course on mobile while you travel, come home and continue on the TV and finish it from your laptop or an iPad.

Most Skillshare classes have multiple language options, provide recommendations for additional resources (with options to downlaod as well).

Skillshare Membership Plans

The obvious question for most people is — how much does it cost? The subscription costs $8/month paid or $95 annually or $29/month when you choose to pay monthly.

Skillshare also offers 1 month free trial. I strongly recommend taking a 1 month free trial and move to annual membership if you like what you get in the first month.

Skillshare Alternatives

Skillshare is a popular, but isn’t the only game in town. Let’s look at some of the top alternatives. I’ve excluded Linkedin learning and few other online learning platforms from this comparisons deliberately as I don’t think they are direct competition to Skillshare.

Skillshare Alternatives

Frequently Asked Questions

Is YouTube better than Skillshare?

YouTube is the largest collection of education videos on the internet. It is the platforms biggest strength but also its biggest drawback. While there might be a decent collection of videos on a specific topic, it might be almost impossible to find them in the order that you need.

Skillshare provides structured courses led by instructors, offering a more focused learning experience. Skillshare’s organized curriculum and community-driven approach make it suitable for those seeking structured learning paths.

Is Skillshare worth it?

The right comparison for Skillshare is college education. People are willing to spend years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to gain a skill that might be useful to build a career. Skillshare costs a thousand times less and gives you the convenience of learning at your pace.

Is Skillshare worth it — absolutely, but only if you actually use it.

Is Udemy better than Skillshare?

Both Udemy and Skillshare have their advantages. Udemy boasts a larger course catalog, including more technical and business-oriented topics, while Skillshare has a focus in creative fields like design, photography, and entrepreneurship. The choice between the two depends on your learning goals and preferences.

Is Skillshare hard to cancel?

Nope, it is a click of a button. If you subscribed from your laptop, use the ‘Accounts’ section to cancel your membership. If you purchased via your iPhone, just go to subscriptions and cancel with a single click.

Is Skillshare expensive?

Skillshare is one of the cheapest online learning platforms at the moment. If you want something cheaper, there is always YouTube which is free. But you’ll end up paying with your time and focus on YouTube anyway as you cannot find any structured content for your learning needs.

Also, spending $8 a month for your own education & skill building can pay you many times over in the long run (if you put your new skills to use).

Try Skillshare for FREE (30 days)

Is Skillshare for beginners?

Yes, Skillshare caters to learners of all levels, including beginners. With courses ranging from introductory to advanced levels, beginners can find suitable content to kickstart their learning journey and gradually progress to more advanced topics.

Is Skillshare better than Coursera?

Skillshare and Coursera serve different learning needs. Skillshare focuses on creative and practical skills, offering shorter, project-based courses. In contrast, Coursera partners with universities to provide more academic and certification-oriented courses. The choice depends on your learning goals and preferences.

If you just want to build a skill that you can monetize next month, Skillshare it is. If you want a certificate to show on your CV or the next job interview, Coursera may be the right choice.

Thanks for reading!



Ilam Padmanabhan

Love to read and write about Software Engg, Agility, QA, Future of Humanity, AI, Books, Travel, Politics, Climate Change, Personal Finance, Writing & Life!