SkillShare Review: Pros, Cons, and Alternatives (with Video)

skillshare review

If you’re looking for a comprehensive Skillshare review, you’re in the right place. Here, we’ll be discussing pros, cons, and alternatives to Skillshare, so you can decide if it’s a good fit for you.

Name: Skillshare

Website: www.skillshare.com
Price: $8.25/month (when paid as an annual lump sum) and $15.00/month (when paid monthly)

Owners: Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong

Overall Rank: 50 out of 100

If you’re here, it’s likely you’re considering whether Skillshare is worth your time and money as a learning platform.  This Skillshare review will analyze Skillshare in depth to show you the good, the bad, and whether or not, I would recommend them as a learning platform.

Prior to completing this thorough review, I had only analyzed Skillshare from my personal learning experience, and I was very happy with it.  Despite my experience, I wanted to pull together the good, bad, and ugly for this Skillshare review, so I could tell you with all honesty whether Skillshare is a good recommendation or not.

SkillShare Overview

Skillshare is an open market learning platform with a monthly subscription model and a 30-day Free Trial.  They offer classes in many creative skills including Entrepreneurship, Finance, Analytics, Marketing, Creative Design, Web Design, Photography, Videography, and more.

One of the founders, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, is also the founder of Turing Capital, a very notable startup investing firm with a leadership team that includes  Connor Lin (founder of Carbon), Felix Feng(founder of Set Protocol), Jeff Chang (Pinterest), George Lambeth (ex-ConsenSys), and Lane Rettig (Ethereum developer), and others!

Here’s a Playlist on Michael Karnjanaprakorn:

The other Co-Founder, Malcolm Ong also has a very notable background; participating in the startup of Lyft and other very well known brands.  He also served as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at 500 startups and worked with 30+ startups thru the company’s startup accelerator program.

Although I haven’t personally met them, the founders sound like a powerhouse team!  Together, they were able to raise 10 million dollars between 2011 (when they started Skillshare) until 2014!  They have also been going around to conferences discussing education reform.  As said by Karnjanaprakorn, “We want to put learning back into education”.

He says that education has become a “top down” experience rather than a “bottom-up” experience; where the instructor leads and tells the limits of the learning experience.  The goal of Skillshare is to allow the students to enjoy learning and to explore their passions, rather than being given a structured course sequence and learning limitations.  In essence, Skillshare is creating an education movement rather than merely seeing themselves as a platform to sell or buy courses.

They are a very young company (having just started in 2010, and the founders are also young (Karnjanaprakorn is 29 as of this writing!).  They have hundreds (and maybe thousands) of courses on very relevant topics for entrepreneurs and they have very notable teachers such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Barbara Corcoran, Young Guru, Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Mark Ecko, and Jessica Hische.  In comparison to other open source teaching platforms, they have some pretty notable instructors.

Skillshare Review: The Good & the Bad

skillshare reviewThe Good

PRO #1: Many high-quality courses

Many of the Skillshare courses are taught using high-quality videography and video editing skills.  Many of the instructors are very knowledgeable on the topics they teach on.

PRO #2: 30 day Free Trial

A 30-day Free trial is a sufficient time to get a feel for the classes, the teaching variations, and whether or not the classes would be valuable for you as a learner.

PRO #3: Very reasonable monthly cost for Premium Plan at $8.25-$12.00

If you pay for Skillshare on an annual basis, the plan will be approximately $98.99 per year, but if you choose to pay month-to-month, the plan will be $15.00 per month.

The Bad

skillshare reviewCON #1: Harder to browse at a glance

When you go to Skillshare and you type in the search bar, it will populate the courses they have available, but the search results don’t present enough information that you can tell the course quality at a glance.  With other course platforms (like Udemy), you can see how many students have been enrolled, the reviews (1-5 stars), which is bestselling, and more information to help make the purchase decision.  In comparison, with Skillshare, after the search results populate, you have to take the additional step to analyze information to see whether the individual course is worth your time.

 

CON #2: Quality Varies and Teaching Styles Vary

Courses range in length (some as short as 10 minutes and some hours), teaching style, and quality.  Since the platform is an open source education platform, you can choose whose teaching styles you prefer rather than Skillshare creating guidelines for the instructors.  You may find the variety to be a pro or a con.  I think the variation of the courses can be both a pro and a con; depending on the situation.

CON #3: Open Marketplace and Instructors are not Vetted

Skillshare does not vet their instructors, which mean anyone can be an instructor!  I have not personally seen issues with the instructors there, but some reviews online mention instructors babbling and so on rather than providing valuable information–this is something to watch out for.

CON #4: Less Business Classes than Competitors like Udemy

Although I haven’t yet done a review, Udemy is my favorite education platform hands down.  They offer many more classes, however, Skillshare is a much newer company, and the course offering is growing by the day!  Skillshare has several business classes on key topics that entrepreneurs should know and learn.

CON #5: You don’t own the courses

This is the major con for me, but this compares to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other companies who use the subscription business model.  Once your subscription is over, you lose access to all of the courses.  The subscription model can work better or worse for you.  You can have access to watch thousands of courses while only having to pay one small price, or you may like a model like Udemy where you pay for each course and you have lifetime access.  It’s a preference.  I like both.

CON #6: Many Customers Complain that they Can’t get the Billing to Stop (and I experienced that myself)

Who is Skillshare For?

skillshare reviewSkillshare is perfect for entrepreneurs who want to improve their skills: whether creative skills, business skills, marketing skills, or otherwise.  They also have quite a selection on Internet Marketing and design, and web development, and other things.

Skillshare is not perfect for entrepreneurs who have no tolerance for the growing pains of a newer company.  I’ll talk more about this later…

Skillshare Tools & Training

In addition to training courses, Skillshare offers a community element.  You can communicate with the instructors in the comments, you can also upload the project you completed based on following the course prompts.  The project uploads can be nice if you appreciate that additional validation and recognition that you learned the skill the “right way”.

Skillshare Support

Skillshare has more than one support element: teacher support, community support, and customer support.  The teacher support can fluctuate from class to class, however, the teachers are simply supposed to facilitate the learning experience rather than “lead” it.

The community support and collaboration is what the founders seem to place an emphasis on, and according to the founder, 30% of students complete the class project.  30% of project completion is pretty impressive since the platform is self-paced and entirely by choice.

To contact Skillshare with a complaint or concern (such as billing), you would have to contact customer support.  The “Contact Us” page is not viewable from the landing page or from the logged on course menu.  Instead, you have to go to “Help Center” where there is a question and answer section, then the “Contact” is there.

Their only support option is email support.  They do not offer live chat or phone support.  This may change as the company grows, however, many companies nowadays are putting more emphasis on product quality than customer service.  I dislike that about Skillshare, but that is what they have for now.

Skillshare Price

With Skillshare, you get 30 days free, then 98.99 will be charged to your account if you’ve signed up for the annual plan, and $15 per month will be drafted from your account if you’ve signed up for the monthly plan.  The key is to remember what you signed up for.  12 months is a long time to remember the $98.99.  If you don’t want them to continue to draft the payments, you have to contact them and make sure you get something to confirm your plan was canceled.

Does The BBB Have A Skillshare Review?

skillshare reviewSkillshare Inc. is the name registered with the BBB.  The company is not accredited by the BBB and they have an F Rating.  There are 2 reviews and 13 BBB complaints.  The main issue seems to be with the auto payment.

One customer signed up for the annual autopayment and did not cancel before the payment was drafted (or could not reach a Skillshare representative).  They complained about having difficulty contacting anyone from Skillshare customer service to get help with canceling their membership.

Another person signed up for the annual membership, thought they canceled, and the following year, the $100 was drafted again.  They were told by Skillshare that they would not give a refund, so they were upset.

Other complaints all sounded similar: customers signed up for the trial, tried to contact support, were unable to reach anyone, were charged, and had a hard time getting refunds.  If you’re considering Skillshare, keep this in mind that they may have customer support issues.  You have to give your card information before you can begin the trial, but if I were you, I’d try my best to contact support at the beginning of the trial to see if the customer support has improved.

Out of 13 complaints over the last 3 years, 11 of the complaints were billing/collections issues, one was a problem with the product or service, and one was a delivery issue.

If you adamantly would not want to deal with billing issues like this, I’d recommend sticking with a reputable company like Udemy.

My Final Opinion of Skillshare

I’ve had a good experience with Skillshare, however, I can’t overlook the BBB complaints of people who have not.  I know there are many students who enjoy Skillshare because you can see thousands of people enrolled in many of the courses, so 13 complaints in comparison with the current enrollment is a small percentage.

Be careful of the customer support.  You may have to be persistent with them because it seems that maybe they may not have the best support situation.  Hopefully, they cleared that up because most of the complaints were prior to 2018, but there is one complaint (without description details) in February 2018.

I still think Skillshare is a valuable place to get inexpensive and high-quality education.  In my opinion, their 30-day free trial is still one of the best deals online for free online business classes.  Many of the courses are university-equivalent courses (in my opinion), so $100 to access thousands of courses for one year in comparison to $1000 to access one University course for 8-16 weeks is a MEGA DEAL!

SkillShare Alternatives

  • Wealthy Affiliate

(Top Recommendation) Wealthy Affiliate offers training on Internet Marketing, social media marketing, content marketing PPC, and more topics. The membership includes tools like hosting, two free websites, training on how to add more revenue streams thru affiliate marketing. They also have a solid reputation and a highly engaged community of 1.4 million members! The greatest benefit is you can CREATE A LIFETIME FREE ACCOUNT HERE and decide if premium membership is good for you at any point.

  • Udemy

skillshare review | skillshare alternatives

Udemy is an open marketplace with thousands of courses on similar topics as Skillshare and more. Many of the instructors have loads of experience on the topics they teach. Topics span from Coding to Mindset and many things in between. BROWSE THE COURSE INVENTORY AT UDEMY NOW.

Skillshare Review Playlist

Hopefully this Skillshare review playlist can help you evaluate Skillshare from other vantage points:

Skillshare at a Glance…

Name: Skillshare

Website: www.skillshare.com

Price: $8.25/month (when paid as an annual lump sum) and $15.00/month

Owners: Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong

Overall Rank: 50 out of 100

VERDICT: WOULD NOT RECOMMEND


5/2018 UPDATE:

I was hoping the BBB reviews were tainted, but they’re right.  I’ve been trying to cancel my Skillshare account for two months, and they have not stopped billing me.  When I send a message to their support team, I get an automated reply saying my message has been received.  No one has contacted me, and no one canceled the transactions from going thru on my account.  I have to go thru the fraud department of my bank to report unauthorized charges because their customer support is nonresponsive.

Unfortunately, even though Skillshare has good courses and a good mission, the billing issue causes a lot of havoc, so I can’t recommend their service.  They’ve been in business long enough to regulate the billing better than this.  The BBB reviews were over the course of years, and my experience is 2018, they should have fixed this.  You’d get a lot better experience, more course selection, and better customer service at either Wealthy Affiliate (my #1 recommendation) or Udemy.

If you are still interested in trying out the 30-day FREE trial of Skillshare (even after hearing my bad experience and the bad experiences of others), you can create your FREE account HERE.  If you want to hone your professional skills, check out Wealthy Affiliate or Udemy.  You’ll be likely to have a better experience there.

Now, it’s your turn…

Hopefully, my Skillshare review helped you make your decision on whether Skillshare is worth your time.  Let’s see if others can chime in and share their thoughts…

Have you tried Skillshare?  What are your thoughts?  Do you think it’s a good learning option?  What do you think about their mission to reform education?  Leave your comments below.

SkillShare

5.9

Reliability

4.6/10

Pricing

9.0/10

User Friendly

9.0/10

Support

0.0/10

Features

7.0/10

Pros

  • Quality courses
  • Celebrity instructors
  • Great affiliate program -- They pay for free trial signups and paid memberships

Cons

  • Several customers complain that they won't stop billing and THIS HAPPENED TO ME TOO!
  • Could display student feedback for individual courses better
  • The affiliate program may distort the reviews, so people are being dishonest to get paid
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24 thoughts on “SkillShare Review: Pros, Cons, and Alternatives (with Video)”

  1. For the monthly/yearly amount which is very reasonable, in fact, it is a steal if it delivers, what I don’t like is the way they try and reel you in with their payment method.

    I have to trust a site 100% before I will give them my card details.

    They say that the 1st month is FREE and if it is why do they insist on taking your card details?

    Other than that I enjoyed the review.

    1. Hello Mick!

      Many people don’t like giving their credit card information before a trial period, and I completely understand why.  I understand the trust factor.  Thanks for your feedback!

  2. Really great review. Very honest. I’ve purchased several classes from Udemy and really like them.

    I was interested in Skillshare, but problems with billing is definitely a turn off. I can’t afford to have money taken out of my account when I don’t plan for it. So if I decide to try it, I will take your good advice and make sure I can reach customer service prior.

    Thanks very much for the review!

    1. Tiffany Domena

      You’re welcome Tam! I try to make my reviews thorough and helpful. Im glad it helped you make a good decision.

  3. Skillshare platform is in a beta stage and does not payout earnings to members yet. The system of devolving profits amongst all members is a little bit bizarre. Looks promising but not reliable. I never had a good experience on the platform.

    However, I would say that if people are looking for an established and proven platform where they can earn, they should come to  Wealthy Affiliate platform.  Wealthy affiliate amongst many flavours which  will equip you to become a giant in the online business world generally. 

    1. Tiffany Domena

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Tracy! It sounds like you’re talking most about the instructor opportunity, and I agree with you on that. It would be difficult to calculate your earnings because of the way it’s distributed, and it’s not solely based on your sales or the quality of your course, so that’s also a con because it leaves alot out of your control.

      Thanks for sharing your views on this.

  4. Thank you for such an insightful review of Skillshare. I was actually taken into signing up until I got to the pros and cons. When I do any review research, I look at the pros and cons before making an informed buying decision. You have done very well here with the review and thanks to you I now know how to approach things in this program.

    I may give the 30 days free trial a chance just to test the waters. 

    1. Tiffany Domena

      Try it at your own risk. Just make sure to be persistent with the customer support, and potentially be ready to report them to your bank if they are nonresponsive (like they were with me and many others). They do have quality classes. At least the ones I took were high quality.

  5. Wow! Thanks for this intriguing and exasperating piece. Its so insightful and knowledge based. Sheer masterpiece!

    Though I’m yet to fully digest the information on Skillshare review by you. I am an ardent follower of Michael Karnjanaprakorn through the Turin capital. That is such a great program. But, noticing the cons of this skill share through your review has enlightened me and also sharpen my mind to not follow things straight forwardly just because of my likeness or attachment to its founder. 

    thanks so much for this written piece.

    1. Tiffany Domena

      Wow! That’s pretty cool that you like the founder’s other companies. Maybe, he’ll take another look at the billing complaints of the customers and sharpen up the billing department. The mission at Skillshare is exciting. I was truly hoping to have a good experience there, but being charged several times when I didn’t want to be, definitely doesn’t count as a good experience.

  6. I absolutely love what I read in this insightful article because it is full of great information. This is fascinating and interesting to me. After been a victim to many scams about making money online, I promised to always check and do maximum review before investing my hard earned money. The continuous billing aspect of this skillshare is very annoying. 

    I enjoy wealthy affiliate program, it provides every training needed in affiliates marketing. Thanks for the awesome review. Regards 

    1. Tiffany Domena

      That’s great that you do your due diligence before buying into things online because it can be a shark tank out there, unfortunately. Thanks for sharing your experience with Wealthy Affiliate. They actually teach quite a bit more technical skills than affiliate marketing. There are other monetization strategies they teach, as well as great website hacks, and the leading traffic generation techniques as well. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  7. Wow, thank you so much for such an in depth review of Skillshare. It actually sounds like a complete shambles and I think it becomes irrelevant that the courses seem good if the billing department and customer service department is inadequate. I love Udemy though, and I’ve had a great experience with Wealthy Affiliate too!

    1. Tiffany Domena

      Yes. It’s unfortunate. You would think they would balance the quality of the courses with good customer support, but there’s many complaints that show this is a longstanding issue. Thanks for sharing your experience with Udemy and Wealthy Affiliate! Glad you’re having a great time with them too!

  8. Thank you so much for the great review about Skillshare. I was actually looking for websites online to upgrade my learning or learn something new for a very cheaper amount but you have just helped me out. 

    I like the emphasis you placed on the cons that I have to be aware of, though they are not totally cons, once I can follow the guidance you gave. Thank you 

  9. So this is my second interaction with Tiffany and i see she’s doing an awesome job worthy of emulation. Her review on skillshare was so on point,  The description and comparison of all its Pro’s against all its Con’s while juxtposing it against other skillshare competition was really great. I would want to know where she got the stats on reliability,  user friendliness, support and features. By the way i must say that the BBB complaints though in small percentage need to be looked into by the company.  Thanks 

    1. Tiffany Domena

      Hi Idara! This is Tiffany. I’m the one who also responds to the comments as well (for now at least). The stats on reliability, user-friendliness, support, and features are my own when comparing it against the competitors. You’re more than welcome to leave your opinion about Skillshare–whether you agree with my review or not. I respect other views.

  10. This is really great review and very honest too. I purchased some classes from Udemy and really like them.
    I was interested in Skillshare but the problem with billing is definitely a total turn off. I can’t afford to have money taken out of my account when I don’t plan for it but I will take your good advice and make sure I can reach customer service. I hope to be able to contact you for more information and thanks for the review.

    1. Tiffany Domena

      I agree. Udemy is great. It’s unfortunate how the customer support is handling the billing at Skillshare. Glad the review was helpful for you.

  11. Hi Tiffany,

    I’ve gotta tell you that I am very impressed with Skillshare’s offerings.  Not only do they provide information about all aspects of starting a business, they also cover cooking, photography, health & wellness, languages, and a plethora of other subjects.  To me, Skillshare seems to offer education in just about every subject under the sun.

    But, I am a bit leery about joining their educational platform because of the difficulty many people, including you, have had with canceling their membership.  It’s like once they get you hooked, there is no turning back – ever!

    I have a question.

    When you tried to cancel your Skillshare premium membership, did you login to your Skillshare account to do it?  I think that in Account Settings, in the payment section, there is an option to cancel your membership.

    I think Udemy may be the better option.  But, I have seen some negative reports on them, too.

    Such as course pricing is different – depending on whether you use your normal browser or an incognito browser.  Some say using the incognito browser gives them lower prices for some of the courses.  Have you experienced this?

    Great details!  Give me more!

    Jim

    1. Tiffany Domena

      I agree. Skillshare has alot of great courses which is why I was excited to try their courses out. They even have a good affiliate program, so I thought that if the course treats the customer well, I could refer others and it would be a good income opportunity. 

      Unfortunately, they really disappointed me with their billing practices. I saw other customers with the issue, but I was hoping they’d fixed it. 

      When I tried Skillshare, there wasn’t the option to cancel yourself, so if they’ve added that, that’s definitely a step in the right direction, and that would be great. I may have to check that out, and update my review here if that’s the case.

      In contrast, with Udemy, it’s not a monthly subscription, so you wouldn’t have to worry about being billed when you don’t want to be. Also, anytime I’ve contacted Udemy (about billing issues or otherwise), they’ve always been very responsive, so you can tell they take customer support seriously.

      With Skillshare, I got no response (even to this day)! Even with several attempts at contacting them, so I’d still say that’s a strong con in comparison to the other alternatives I’ve presented here. 

      I have noticed Udemy’s pricing is different for me when I’m logged off or when I’m on a computer that doesn’t have my browser cookies there. They try to reward loyalty and give discounts if you show interest in a topic from what I’ve noticed.

      I personally don’t mind that. Haha.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on this! Stop by again soon!

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