Lynda vs Skillshare Review
Starting and growing an online business requires an entrepreneur to be committed to lifelong learning. Keeping your skillset up-to-date is vital in the fast-changing world of the internet, but deciding how to do that can be tricky.
When I started my online business, I remember not knowing where to turn. There are so many options when it comes to continued learning online. It can be overwhelming to sort through the various learning platforms.
If you’re comparing popular platforms like Lynda vs. Skillshare, or others, you’ve come to the right place. I took a deep dive into the world of internet learning to help you determine what option is best for you and your specific learning goals.
Here is my Lynda vs Skillshare review.
Things to Consider When Starting an Online Class
Staying on the cutting edge of your skillset, whether it be data analysis or photography, is vital if you want your online business to grow. And there are a plethora of online learning platforms that can help you do just that.
Lynda and Skillshare are two of the most popular, but before we get into what they offer, it’s crucial to determine what you’re hoping to gain from your online learning experience. Some things to ask yourself include:
- Which topic(s) are you interested in?
- How will those topics help your brand, business, or audience?
- How much time can you commit to the class?
- How much money are you willing to invest in the class?
First, you’ll need to figure out what topic you want to learn about. If you’re a photographer, maybe you want to deepen your knowledge on lighting or compositions, specifically. Or, perhaps you’re a beginner web designer who wants to learn a new coding language. In any case, what topic you choose will help you pick the optimal learning platform.
From there, it’s essential to consider how that topic will benefit your online business. Essentially, what will the return on your investment be? Does learning this new skill directly impact your bottom line? Can you charge more for your services because you have this new skill or certification?
Or, is this something that’s needed to keep you competitive? Maybe you won’t be able to raise your rates, but not learning this new skill could cause your business to stall.
Understanding how this class will affect your bottom line will help you determine how much you should invest in it. Both time and money are investments, and you mustn’t put too much time or sink too much money into something that doesn’t have a good return.
Let’s Look at Skillshare
Skillshare offers nearly 30,000 online classes on various topics, all ad-free. Courses include topics like “Start Your Creative Career” and “Holistic Interior Design,” to name a few.
Most of the classes are geared towards creative endeavors and range from ten minutes to a few hours in length. They promise to inspire their users and will help you find new ways to express your passions.
Lynda, which is currently being rebranded as LinkedIn Learning, offers courses that are a little more standardized. While anyone can create a class for Skillshare, Lynda focuses on vetted professionals who teach in a structured format. Because of this, Lynda can offer professional certifications where Skillshare does not.
If you would refer to yourself as a creative entrepreneur, someone always looking to be inspired and try new things, Skillshare was created with you in mind. But if you want a traditional course, that’s structured the way a college class might be, the platform might seem too broad.
- Huge Variety of Classes to Choose From
- Ad-Free Content
- Made for Creatives
- Anyone Can Be An instructor (No Vetting Process)
- Does Not Offer Formal Certifications
- Video Quality Varies
Features and Benefits
Now that I’ve given a general overview of Skillshare’s online learning platform, I want to take a moment to dig in on its features. There are several benefits to using Skillshare if you’re a creative entrepreneur, including its accessibility, the variety of topics covered, as well as the flexibility of the platform.
Plus, Skillshare offers a few added perks that online business owners will benefit from.
One of the great things about Skillshare is it’s accessibility. For one thing, it’s extremely affordable. There’s a 30-day free trial and various scholarships available for students and small businesses based on need.
You can also access Skillshare anywhere and at any time. They offer downloadable content for premium members so that you can access classes offline on any device.
Other learning platforms don’t always offer downloadable content and may be less accessible to those on a budget.
Variety of Subjects
You can find a course for anything and everything creative on Skillshare. If you need to make a presentation pop or edit a short video, you can find a quick course on Skillshare that will tell you exactly how to do that.
This variety does come at a small cost, though. Anyone can become a Skillshare instructor, which allows for a huge number of courses, but at varying qualities.
It may take some digging to find a course that’s exactly what you want, but with unlimited access to the platform, you can continue trying courses until you find it.
Unlike more structured online learning options, Skillshare offers flexibility because the courses vary in length. If you want an hour lecture on increasing productivity, they have it. At the same time, if you need an in-depth, ten-hour class on basic photoshop skills, they have that too.
I know there have been times in starting my business, where I just needed a quick tutorial on a specific task. At other times, I want to dig deep and learn about the in’s and out’s of a technical skill. That Skillshare offers both options under one subscription is a huge plus in my book.
Skillshare also recently launched audio-only classes. So if some of your business endeavors include a few mind-numbing tasks, like waiting in line at the post office or packing products, you can make that time count by listening to a class instead of viewing it.
Creative entrepreneurs know the value of their time. Sometimes structured classes include a lot of extra information or require too much time. It’s nice to be able to find exactly what you need on Skillshare’s learning platform.
Many entrepreneurs butt heads with traditional academics. A typical college professor-type might know a lot about theory and less about the real-world application. Platforms like Skillshare attract creative personalities who tend to be more about doing and less about the theory behind it.
As an online business owner, I know I want to learn from those who have done it themselves; whether or not they can provide a grade or certification is of little consequence. I’m less worried about padding my resume and more concerned with gaining applicable knowledge.
Most of the instructors on Skillshare reflect the same values. They’re teaching a course on something they’re personally successful in, making me want to learn from them.
Beyond what I covered above, Skillshare is also ad-free, which is always a plus.
And, they offer discounts to their users for other creative-based services. Most of these are services you’re likely already using or interested in for your online business.
Squarespace, Adobe Products, and Canva all offer percentage discounts with a Skillshare membership.
Plus, Skillshare offers a supportive community of other creatives. You can comment on courses, ask for feedback on your work, and, of course, ask the instructor’s questions as needed.
This can help you build a network full of other creative entrepreneurs like you. Personally, I consider an active network to be crucial in owning a successful online business.
Everything about Skillshare seems pretty positive if you’re a creative or online entrepreneur. I wanted to learn what users thought too, and after scouring the internet, I found several reviews.
Though there are always going to be those that complain, overall reviews seem to say Skillshare is exactly what it claims: an inspiring online learning platform that offers a huge variety of classes.
This is just a sample of a few of the reviews I came across from TrustPilot.com :
Alternative Online Learning Platforms
Of course, Skillshare and Lynda aren’t the only learning platforms out there. I wanted to know how they compare to other popular options. What does Skillshare vs. Brilliant look like? How does it stand when compared to Udacity?
I know I already touched on the differences between Lynda and Skillshare, but I thought it best to sum things up here. Unlike Skillshare, Lynda, or Linkedin Learning, provides a more structured approach.
Their instructors are vetted. Often they’re true professors of their trade. And, they offer legitimate certifications, which might be helpful if you’re trying to pad your resume or learn a very specific skill.
The classes tend to be longer, and there are fewer of them. They’re also grouped into traditional learning paths.
These paths are more geared towards traditional business professionals than they are to creatives. So if you want to become a project manager for a large corporation or want to know the basics of bookkeeping, Lynda has those options.
To put it succinctly, Lynda offers:
- Fewer Classes with a More Traditional Structure
- Professional Certifications
- Topics Outside the Creative Realm
If you need professional certification or want to learn something outside the typical creative space, Lynda (now Linkedin Learning) is one to consider.
If you’re struggling to learn something technical and need a new way to think about it, Brilliant might be a good option. It teaches what many find to be dry subjects, specifically mathematics and computer sciences, in a non-traditional and interactive way.
Skillshare focuses on all sorts of creative endeavors, but if you want to learn how to write a mathematical proof or code in Python, Brilliant is probably the better choice.
It does not give the flexibility or variety of classes that a Skillshare membership does but instead zooms in on science, math, and computer programming.
To sum it up, Brilliant is great if you want:
- Classes on Maths or Computer Sciences
- Interactive, Game-like Learning
- Classes created by Ph.D.’s in Their Field
So, if you’re interested in learning math or science in a way that’s engaging and fun, Brilliant is an ideal learning platform.
Udacity is a popular online learning platform for those in the tech field, specifically. It focuses on things like computer programming, data science, and business analytics.
Unlike Skillshare, the goal of learning from Udacity is usually to gain professional employment. These courses aren’t focusing on inspiring the user or learning in a new way.
Instead, they’re about giving users the tech skills employers are currently seeking, and the format is very formal. The classes require a weekly commitment for several months at a time.
In essence, Udacity is all about:
- Formal Tech Curriculum
- Gaining Skills Employers Seek
- Focusing on Data Science, Computer Programming, and the Latest in IT
For a formal IT curriculum that employers will respect and might even seek out, Udacity may be a wonderful choice.
When I started my online business, I found the world of online learning to be incredible but also overwhelming. Each popular platform has its own advantages and deciding which one will work best for you comes down to too many variables to count.
Fortunately, when you know what to look for, it becomes simpler. Determining what topics interest you and will benefit your brand is step one. From there, it’s all about figuring out how much time and money you can invest in your continuing education.
As a creative entrepreneur, I like that Skillshare offers the most variety and flexibility. It allows access to all sorts of topics and isn’t focused on building a resume to impress a corporate hiring manager.
If you want to continue your education while being inspired, I highly recommend you check it out here. Then get started on your next creative project!