Whether you want to pick up a new skill to catch a hiring manager’s eye or tap into your creativity, online platforms are helping democratize higher learning for a fraction of the cost required to enroll in universities.
Like ClassPass for e-learning, a Skillshare membership gives you unlimited access to over 25,000 adult learning courses across thousands of disciplines — which is convenient whether your objective is advancing your career or learning new hobbies. Classes range from beginner to expert and fall into categories like design, illustration, business, technology, photo, film, entrepreneurship, and writing — and you can sign up for multiple without any extra charge.
Classes are comprised of short, digestible lessons and a hands-on project, which you can share with your class to get feedback from peers or collaborate with the community.
Skillshare itself makes ongoing, high-level learning easier with affordable access, quality materials, and lots of variety. But, unexpectedly, the trial process also helped me figure out if, post-grad, I actually wanted to commit to longer writing courses again. In theory, it sounded great. But, I wasn’t certain of it being put into practice until I tried it with the free trial, focused on a subject I was truly interested in.
The downsides to Skillshare to note are that, unlike pay-per-class learning communities like Udemy, you won’t have lifetime access to the courses you take while you’re a member. Once you cancel your membership, you lose access to your class videos and any downloadable material provided by teachers at the end of your current pay period. That means you have to make the most of the time you do plan to pay for the service.
The bottom line
All in all, it’s a good tool for lifelong learners who want variety, expertise, and flexibility, as well as professionals looking for an affordable way to sharpen their career skills or hone their craft — or a blend of the two. For $13.99 or $32 per month, or $139.99 per year (or less if you qualify for a discount), you can take multiple classes across thousands of disciplines. It cuts out the fees and time restrictions of finding and enrolling in a community college course and gives you more variety than most pay-per-class online learning platforms. If that sounds appealing, I recommend trying it free for the first 14 days to see if you can fit it into your lifestyle, too.
Skillshare offers more than 25,000 online classes for a $99-per-year membership fee.