What Is Skillshare?

Skillshare is a great resource online you can use to pick up new skills from video masterclasses. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

You can learn a lot on the internet. But, have you ever thought that those Medium articles and YouTube videos aren’t enough. Particularly when it comes to practical skills, those resources don’t always cut it.

If you feel like you need a little more comprehensive casual online education, it’s time to check out Skillshare. Here, we’ll take a look at exactly what Skillshare is and how you can use it.

What Is Skillshare?

Think of Skillshare as being somewhere between YouTube videos and MasterClass. The teachers aren’t typically the world-renowned household names that grace the virtual halls of MasterClass, but they’re typically more knowledgeable, more professional, and more organized than the run-of-the-mill YouTube presentation.

Skillshare costs $15 per month when billed annually, or $32 per month when billed monthly. However, you can also get limited subscriptions or special rates for groups of users learning together.

There are also some select Skillshare classes that you can take for free, and new members get one free month to explore the platform themselves.

Related: How to Use Your Learning Style to Maximize Productivity

For the most part, Skillshare lives on the desktop. However, there is an optional, free mobile app that you can use to learn on the go. Though, friendly reminder, watching offline is only available for subscribers.

Download: Skillshare for iOS (Free, requires subscription)

Download: Skillshare for Android (Free, requires subscription)

How to Explore Skillshare Before Signing Up

You can start exploring the offerings on Skillshare before you sign up by clicking the Browse button in the upper-left corner of the home page.

Topics range from fine art and music to business analytics and marketing. You can also browse live classes and workshops, or look at projects submitted by the students that have gone before you.

Browsing topics on Skillshare.

If you already know what course you’re interested in, you can directly search for skills or even specific classes and teachers. These searches are sorted by staff picks and Skillshare original content.

You can also use filters on the left of the page to sort by the difficulty of the class, the length of sessions, and other metrics.

Thumbnail images for Skillshare classes from a search.

From just the thumbnail for each class, you can see how many people have taken it, as well as how long the course will take to watch. It’s worth bearing in mind that if you follow along at home, the courses may take longer to actually complete.

If a course on offer catches your eye, click Sign Up in the upper-right corner to create an account with your email address, or a Facebook, Google, or Apple account to start taking classes.

Creating a Skillshare Account and Customizing Your Experience

When you create a Skillshare account, you begin by selecting topics that you are interested in. Even if you already know what class you want to take, tapping some tiles can help Skillshare generate a list of courses that you might want to take next.

A tileboard of topics covered in Skillshare lessons.

When you navigate back to the Skillshare homepage while you’re logged in, you can find a curated list of suggested courses. The newer you are to Skillshare, the less these courses might interest you because they will be based primarily on the topics that you selected when you made your account.

But, the more you use the platform, the more it gets to know your interests and preferences. As a result, it will start to suggest more interesting classes for you to try out.

Thumbnail images for recommended Skillshare courses.

What It’s Like Learning on Skillshare

All Skillshare classes are sequences of videos, though some include additional content like links to other online resources.

The platform also gives users additional resources like access to instructor notes, discussion boards, a transcript of the audio, and even a space to take your own notes within Skillshare.

A Skillshare video surrounded by buttons for other tools and features.

The first video in a class is typically a lot like the first class in a college course–a short, introductory video that introduces the class and the instructor but doesn’t get into the heavy content yet.

These introductions can be a good way to see if the class is right for you. Live classes and workshops come with a little more commitment, but for the most part, there aren’t any hard feelings if you don’t finish a class.

Related: Online Studying: Tips and Tricks to Help You Learn Productively

Similarly, don’t go trying to use class completion as any kind of credentials. The platform thinks you watched the video if the video played on your screen. In other words, if you start a video and walk away for two hours, you completed the class as far as Skillshare can tell.

That isn’t to say that the classes are unrewarding for those who put in the effort. Classes can encourage discussion or posting content you created with what you learned.

Each video in a course often ends with tasks to prepare for the next class. It’s like any other online learning platform–you get what you put into it. The difference is in terms of how many tools Skillshare gives you to put in as much effort as you want.

What Happens When You Finish a Skillshare Course?

So, what happens when you finish a Skillshare course? You get a friendly little “congratulations” screen when your last video ends.

End-of-course screen on Skillshare.

You can also see courses that you’ve completed, along with classes that you may have bookmarked for later. Just select My Classes from near the upper right of the panel and then select Watch History to see your completed courses.

Skillshare watch history.

Unfortunately, Skillshare doesn’t offer any form of certification for completing its classes. You won’t get a downloadable certificate, or a badge to upload to LinkedIn like some other sites out there. Skillshare is more for learning the skills, than for a qualification.

Also, remember that the more courses that you complete on the platform, the more accurately Skillshare is able to recommend your next class.

Use Skillshare to Learn From Home

Whether you’re looking to improve your productivity at work, learn a new hobby, or anything in between, Skillshare is a handy and stress-free way to learn more.