Skillshare vs MasterClass:
A Detailed 2023 Comparison

Last updated on: November 27, 2023, Written by:

Bill Tremlon

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Skillshare and MasterClass are like two peas in a pod. Thanks to smart advertising and raving reviews from satisfied customers, both platforms have cemented their places as must-consider resources for those considering online learning.

However, if you had to choose one platform to take your online classes, which one would it be: MasterClass or Skillshare? That’s the purpose of this MasterClass vs SkillShare review.

From course variety and instructor quality to user-friendliness and pricing, this Skillshare vs MasterClass review will critically evaluate these highly acclaimed online learning platforms to help determine the best fit for your needs.

Direct Comparison of MasterClass and Skillshare

💸Price:$180/year or $10/month for individual, $20/month for family$168/year or $14/month billed annually
🎁Free Trial:
📚No. of Lessons:180+ lessons30,000+
📖Content Coverage:Creative and hobbyists skills such as cooking, photography, writing, and moreBusiness, Design, Craft, Photography, Film & Video, Illustration, 3D & Animation, Tech & Design, Writing, Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Sales, and more
⏳Avg. Lesson Duration:10-20 minutes10 minutes
✒️Instructors:Celebrities and other well-known figures in their fieldsTeachers from all walks of life
📈Suits Best For:Open-minded, intellectually curious, and fans of teachers on MasterClassPeople who want access to thousands of courses on a budget
💼Complementary materialWorkbooks, PDF Guides, reading lists, assignmentsProject, assignments, class resources, and transcripts
🔬Features:Celebrity instructors, workshops, mobile app, downloadable materials, and progress tracking.Curated learning path, peer reviews, community forums, project and class resources, mobile app, and offline viewing
💬Available LanguagesEnglish audio with subtitlesEnglish, French, German, Portuguese, or Spanish
🛒Payment options:Single, Duo, or Family annual subscriptionsMonthly or annual subscription
🔄Refund police:30-day money back guarantee14-day money-back guarantee
✅Pros:High-quality courses from world-renowned experts, Hollywood-level production quality, hands-on workshops, lively community, convenient mobile app, and offline accessAffordable, wide variety of courses, mobile app, offline viewing, transcripts, community forums, projects, and peer reviews
❌Cons:No certificates, courses are mainly for creative skillsCourse quality can vary tremendously across the platform

Skillshare vs MasterClass: Main Differences

Course Variety

Instructor Lineup

Production Quality

Community Engagement

Pricing Model

About MasterClass

MasterClass is a leading e-learning platform that separates itself from others with courses from world-renowned experts. However, one of the most unique aspects of MasterClass is it caters to learners of all levels. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an advanced learner, you’ll leave each course with something valuable to take.

MasterClass offers quality over quantity and does it excellently well, with over 180 individual courses. Some courses feature multiple installments that teach different or more advanced techniques. The amount of content available on MasterClass makes it an attractive learning platform, even if you’re after learning something specific.

About Skillshare

Skillshare is an online learning platform that offers over 35,000 classes to its 600,000+ members, facilitated by more than 8,000 instructors. It was founded in 2010 by Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong.

As its name suggests, Skillshare was designed to be a platform where professionals, specialists, and masters in different disciplines could upload their courses to share their skills with others.

Consequently, Skillshare lessons cover an extremely diverse range of topics and interests, making it highly likely for you to find a course based on your interests. This feature makes Skillshare one of the least risky options for those unsure about which online learning platform might be the best fit for them.

Skillshare vs. MasterClass: Courses and Instructors Compared

As mentioned earlier, choosing a clear winner in the Skillshare vs MasterClass battle can be challenging due to the unique nature of each product. This becomes especially evident when comparing their courses and instructors.

Both MasterClass and Skillshare market themselves as online learning platforms with a focus on creative skills. This assertion holds true as they both offer classes in creative fields such as design, photography, writing, and more.

However, the difference lies in the fact that Skillshare offers over 35,000 courses, whereas MasterClass has only around 180 classes.

When it comes to instructors, MasterClass and Skillshare are on opposite ends of the spectrum. MasterClass exclusively features the cream of the crop in their respective fields, which is why its lineup consists of celebrities, prodigies, and masters. On the other hand, Skillshare welcomes everyone, including amateurs, to share their skills on the platform. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that instructor quality varies significantly on Skillshare.

Course Categories

MasterClass Categories

MasterClass offers over 180 classes across the following 11 categories:

  • Arts and entertainment;
  • Business:
  • Community and government;
  • Design and style;
  • Food, home and lifestyle;
  • Music;
  • Science and tech;
  • Sports and gaming;
  • Wellness, and writing. 

MasterClass offers a diverse range of content covering a wide array of life skills. Characterized by high-quality video lessons and high-profile instructors, MasterClass’s content is designed to both inspire and impart practical skills.

With its extensive range of course categories, MasterClass ensures there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in honing a creative skill such as wine tasting, enhancing your professional expertise by learning how to be a better negotiator, or simply looking to gain insights into different fields, you’ll likely find a MasterClass course that appeals to your interests.

While MasterClass covers a broad spectrum of topics and interests, you’ll find that it places a greater focus on more popular creative skills such as cooking, writing, music, and acting. It is for this reason that MasterClass brings out the big guns for these classes by using instructors such as Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Dan Brown, Massimo Botura, Gordon Ramsay, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Hans Zimmer, and Natalie Portman.

MasterClass classes are typically between 2 and 5 hours long and consist of a series of video lessons. Each class is divided into individual videos, with an average duration of 10 minutes per lesson, making it easy for users with limited time to fit them into their schedules.

In addition to videos, many MasterClass classes include downloadable materials such as workbooks, assignments, and reading lists to ensure maximum retention of acquired knowledge, as well as to encourage you to explore the subject further.

MasterClass classes can vary in depth. However, with the lengthiest course on MasterClass being only 7 hours long, it is safe to say that you shouldn’t expect to delve into the intricacies of the subject matter. 

Nevertheless, that’s not the primary purpose of MasterClass. The platform’s unique strength lies in the personal insights and anecdotes shared by instructors who have spent significant time achieving great success in their fields. 

Therefore, MasterClass aims to showcase the thought process behind great minds rather than providing exhaustive coverage of a subject.

Skillshare Categories

Skillshare offers a wide range of lessons in various fields. The classes are grouped into four main categories: Creative, Business, Technology, and Lifestyle. Each of these categories includes 5-10 set subcategories:

  • Creative: Animation, Creative Writing, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Web development, Photography, etc
  • Business: Branding, Freelance & Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Management, Marketing, etc.
  • Technology: 3D & Animation, Data Science, Game Design, Software Development, etc.
  • Lifestyle: Culinary, DIY, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Home Improvement, Languages, etc.
  • Digital Illustration: Learn to Use Procreate
  • iPhone Photography: How to Take Pro Photos On Your iPhone
  • Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design
  • Mastering Productivity: Create a Custom System that Works
  • Character Illustration: Drawing Faces, Figures & Clothing
  • Fundamentals of DSLR Photography
  • Intro to Procreate: Illustrating on the iPad (UPDATED for 2023)
  • Video Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro for Beginners
  • Logo Design with Draplin: Secrets of Shape, Type, and Color
  • Basic Skills / Getting Started with Drawing

Skillshare classes, on average, consist of 20-60 minutes of pre-recorded video content broken down into a series of short, 2- to 8-minute videos. This ensures that the course can be consumed in small chunks, ensuring efficient use of your time.

To enhance that practicality, Skillshare uses a project-learning approach to ensure what you learn sticks. All classes on Skillshare include a project that allows students to practice what they have learned. Moreover, Skillshare also has a community section where students can share their projects for feedback from fellow students and the instructor.

Skillshare also provides additional materials like workbooks or assignments to supplement the lesson videos.

The depth of Skillshare lessons varies depending on the topic and the instructor. Some classes may be more introductory, while others may be more advanced. 

Highest Rated Lessons

MasterClass Top Lessons

  1. Brandon McMillan – Teaches Dog Training In these MasterClass lessons, Emmy-winning host of “Lucky Dog” and expert animal trainer, Brandon McMillan, teaches how to develop trust and forge an unbreakable bond with your dog while gaining control and confidence with every command.

  2. Bill Nye – Teaches Science and Problem-Solving 19-time Emmy award-winning science educator, engineer, comedian, television presenter, author, and inventor, Bill Nye, teaches MasterClass critical thinking and how to use the scientific method to solve problems from everyday challenges to global issues in these MasterClass lessons.

  3. Penn&Teller – Teach the Art of Magic Fans of magic and illusions will love these MasterClass lessons by world-renowned magicians Penn & Teller. They teach both basic and advanced tricks as well as magic psychology.

  4. Chris Voss – Win Workplace Negotiations In these MasterClass lessons, former FBI negotiator, Chris Voss, teaches how to increase your influence, gain trust, and find your voice at work. Learn 12 proven tactics to use every day at work.

  5. Kelly Warstler – Teaches Interior Design Learn the nuances of interior design from Kelly Wearstler, a celebrated designer known for her bold and sophisticated style. In these MasterClass lessons, she teaches her creative process and design philosophy.

Skillshare’s Highest-Rated Courses

  1. Intro to UX: Fundamentals of Usability In these lessons, Marieke McCloskey, Director of UX Research at LinkedIn, teaches the basics of usability testing and how to design digital products for ideal usability.

  2. Creative Personal Writing: Write the Real You This highly-rated course teaches how to bring out the best writer in yourself by learning how to write from memory as well as how to report on yourself. It is designed for writers of all levels.

  3. Video Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro for Beginners Learn how to edit videos with Adobe Premiere Pro, create custom graphics and texts, and apply and adjust video/audio effects with Jordy Vandeput, a Filmmaker, and YouTuber.

  4. Portrait Photography: Shoot and Edit Instagram-Worthy Shots by Jessica Kobeissi In these lessons, you will learn how to shoot and edit Instagram-worthy portraits. Jessica teaches how to create depth in your photography and utilize surrounding light to light your subjects properly.

  5. iPhone Photography: How to Take Pro Photos On Your iPhone Utilize your iPhone camera’s full capabilities by learning how to take stunning photos by utilizing shot composition, optimizing your camera settings, and creating depth.

Instructors Overview

MasterClass Teachers

MasterClass instructors are renowned for being the absolute best in their respective fields, making them invaluable resources for students seeking to excel in various disciplines. The platform’s philosophy revolves around the idea that if you’re going to learn a skill, you may as well learn it from the master.

Whether it’s learning filmmaking from Martin Scorsese, tennis from Serena Williams, or cooking from Gordon Ramsay, MasterClass ensures that students are guided only by the best.

MasterClass instructors are not only highly skilled practitioners but also excel at the art of delivering masterclasses. Many of them have spent years in the limelight, whether through their work in entertainment, sports, or other industries. This experience has given them a unique understanding of how to connect with audiences. 

This is particularly significant, as being a master in a subject doesn’t automatically translate to being an effective teacher. MasterClass carefully selects instructors not only based on their achievements but also on their proven track records of being capable educators.

As a result, MasterClass classes go beyond the mere transmission of information; they become immersive experiences where students can gain insights not only into the subject matter but also into the mindset and approach of a true master.

Skillshare Teachers

MasterClass vs Skillshare: User Experience and Interface

Skillshare and MasterClass share a common goal: to ensure the user experience on their respective platforms is as seamless as possible, guaranteeing a productive learning experience. This is evident in their high scores on the following user experience parameters:

Ease of Finding Lessons Both Skillshare and MasterClass boast user-friendly and intuitive designs, allowing users to easily discover and enroll in classes. In Skillshare, you can search for classes by keyword, category, or teacher, and filter your results by skill level, duration, and more. MasterClass, too, provides a seamless experience, providing a search bar and a filter option that allows you to sort classes by category, instructor, and skill level.

User Interfaces Skillshare’s platform is designed to be interactive, fostering a sense of community through features like discussion boards and project galleries. On the other hand, MasterClass is more lecture-oriented, emphasizing a clean and modern interface for easy navigation to discover lecture videos. 

Mobile Apps Both platforms offer mobile apps for iOS and Android, enabling users to access courses and projects on the go. Skillshare and MasterClass also provide download options for offline viewing, catering to learners who prefer flexibility in their learning environment.

Video Quality The quality of Skillshare’s lesson videos can be hit or miss due to the sheer number of instructors on the platform. However, Skillshare maintains high production standards in its Skillshare Originals program, collaborating with experienced teachers and professionals to ensure top-notch video lessons. In contrast, MasterClass excels in video production, giving every course a movie-like feel.

Preview Content Both MasterClass and Skillshare recognize the importance of allowing users to preview content before making a commitment. Skillshare lets users preview classes to gauge content and teaching style, and MasterClass follows suit, offering a glimpse into courses taught by world-renowned experts.

Key Aspects of Online Educational Platforms

MasterClass Features


Sessions is a relatively new MasterClass feature, and it is designed to provide a more hands-on learning experience on the platform. Unlike in normal classes where you watch videos passively, MasterClass Sessions will have you following along real-world projects so you can learn by doing. You will also love that MasterClass Sessions also come with a community section to allow you to interact and receive feedback from your peers.

Original Series

Like Sessions, Original Series is another relatively new addition to the MasterClass platform, and it consists of short, captivating shows that give us a glimpse into the minds and lives of MasterClass’s celebrity masters. You will also get to see a few of these masters collaborate to solve problems.

Class Guides

MasterClass includes class guides in all its courses to ensure a structured learning experience. These class guides provide a roadmap for students to navigate the material effectively. They often include supplementary material, such as recommended readings, projects, and assignments to add to the quality of the overall learning experience

Skillshare Features

Free Classes

Skillshare offers a range of free classes to students, providing a great way to explore the platform and learn something new without committing to a paid membership. Moreover, this allows those without the ability to pay for a membership to learn potentially life-changing skills, demonstrating Skillshare’s commitment to giving back to society.

Community Building

Skillshare allows you to build communities of like-minded learners, which can be a great way to connect with others and share your work for peer review.

Upload and Sell Your Course

Unlike most online learning platforms, Skillshare is unique in that it allows you to publish your own course on the platform. So, if you are exceptionally skilled in a certain discipline, consider giving it a shot and making some money by sharing your skills with others.

Skillshare vs MasterClass Cost

Pricing Plans

Skillshare and MasterClass offer different pricing models to cater to diverse preferences. MasterClass provides three subscription plans with annual billing, ranging from $120 to $240, offering flexibility for individual, duo, or family use.

So, how much does Skillshare cost? In contrast, Skillshare has two plans: Premium, priced at $168 annually or $32 monthly, offering access to all courses, and Teams, designed for businesses at $159 per user per year, tailored for team collaboration with additional features.

It does appear that MasterClass has the more cost-friendly pricing of the two. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. With MasterClass, $10 per month gets you access to 180 classes, while on Skillshare, $14 per month gets you access to over 35,000 classes.

But one could argue that MasterClass offers more quality class-for-class, and so on.

As such, the difference in the skillshare vs masterclass pricing plans is so negligible that this parameter shouldn’t be the one that ultimately determines your ideal learning platform between the two.

That said, both MasterClass and Skillshare regularly run discounts and promotions, which can help you save between 10% and 40% off annual memberships. In fact, MasterClass is currently offering a Buy One, Gift One Free Offer for a limited time during the 2023 holiday season. You receive an extra year of MasterClass membership that you can gift to someone when you purchase an annual subscription during this period. 

Refund Policy

Free Trial


review by one incredibly happy Skillshare customer

According to this review by one incredibly happy Skillshare customer, “I’ve been a member/student of Skillshare for almost 2 years now. Yhey are absolutely amazing! My subscription will expire again in July so I contact Skillshare to see if they could help me get the best price for a renewal and they provided me with a 50% OFF deal to renew my membership!!! HAHA! Super happy! 😀 If you are going to renew your plan, contact SKillShare support and see if they can help you out with a promotion, coupon or a deal. They will take care of you! I can’t believe the feedback on this platform is not an Excellent 5.0!.”

A Positive review about MasterClass

The same goes for MasterClass, with a user expressing in her review, “Masterclass is worth $500 easily! that being said, it caters heavily to the skill I am currently learning (writing) but if you are also an aspiring writer I cannot recommend it highly enough. You are not just gaining knowledge about writing, but wisdom: you are learning things that would otherwise take you years to figure out on your own.”

As expected, some users had less than stellar experiences on the online platforms, with most of them being about support taking too long to respond to queries. 

Alternatives to Skillshare and MasterClass


MasterClass or Udemy is another common comparison. However, they couldn’t be more different. Udemy has over 155,000 courses on a wide range of topics, including personal development, business, and technology. Udemy also offers lifetime access to courses, allowing learners to revisit the material whenever they need to.


When comparing MasterClass with Coursera or Skillshare vs Coursera, you’ll realize they have extremely different target audiences. While MasterClass focuses on creative skills, Coursera offers accredited courses from top universities and institutions worldwide, with a focus on career advancement.

BBC Maestro

BBC Maestro’s courses are designed to be inspirational and motivational, with a focus on personal growth and self-improvement. BBC Maestro also offers lifetime access to courses, allowing learners to revisit the material whenever they need to.

Skillshare or MasterClass: Final Decision

Author: Bill Tremlon

Blogger | Life-long learner

Bill Tremlon

I’ve spent the last ten years passionately studying various online learning platforms. Udemy, MasterClass, Coursera, and Skillshare are the main ones, but I review lesser-known study tools as well. I test and analyze each course and lesson thoroughly before sharing my research.


Sharpen skills with Skillshare, unleash creativity on MasterClass.

Author: Bill Tremlon

Blogger | Life-long learner

Bill Tremlon