The average cost of one college course in the United States is around $640 (source). But, there are other options, and they are increasingly more accessible through digital means. Skillshare and Brilliant are two great examples of websites you should consider taking courses on.
But which one is better for you? Let’s take a look 👇
Skillshare vs. Brilliant.org: Quick Summary and Comparison
Brilliant specializes in courses in science, technology, and mathematics. While on Skillshare, you will run into courses in many areas. So, this fundamental difference may serve as a good intro when you scan both sites.
|Trustpilot rating||4.6 / 5 (source)||1.6 / 5 (source)|
|Types of courses||STEM||General (Multi-disciplinary)|
|Annual Plan: Cost per month||$13.49 (source)||$13.99 (source)|
|Free trial/Audit Option||7-day free trial + limited free access (source)||Free trial for 30 days and not audit option|
|Certificates||No||Yes (not accredited)|
|Refund||Generally, no (Must submit request) (source)||Yes (30-day refund policy. See details below)|
Skillshare has plenty of course options, from guitar lessons to business analytics. Before selecting a course, you will need to weigh the pros and cons of Skillshare’s premium plan. Let’s dive in!
Skillshare Premium Plan Features
Here are a few of the key Skillshare Premium features (source):
- Access to an extensive course catalog and lessons from industry experts
- Hands-on learning: Class projects help strengthen your skills
- Feedback from teachers and fellow students
- A network of creators and students
- Learning paths gives students the chance to monitor their journey and consider the road moving forward
The cost for a yearly subscription is $168 and $13.99 for a monthly plan (source).
Skillshare Pros and Cons
Like most online platforms, you will find some benefits and disadvantages to Skillshare. Let’s take a look at them.
Various Topics Available – a range of both professional and personal courses are available. Some examples include, business analytics, marketing, productivity, and illustration.
Trials and deals – Skillshare sometimes offers deals that can take a percentage off your initial trial period or give you a certain number of days frees (This may be subject to change).
Skillshare Certificate – Skillshare gives you a certificate for completed lessons and courses that you complete, allowing you to share with your wider network and potential employers.
Practical Skills – After entering the job market, you start to see that practical skills make a big difference. When flicking between Skillshare’s pages, it is clear that they are focused on practical skills.
- They focus on people who actually do these jobs, not university professors who might be detached from a profession’s daily reality.
- They find famous educators from YouTube, such as Thomas Frank, who have demonstrated their expertise time and time again.
- After your job begins and people lose sight of your certificates, you will need to demonstrate competence. This is where Skillshare can help you out!
Interface – The interface for Skillshare courses is clearer and easier to use. It mimics many environments most people have already seen, with a Youtube-style video in front of you and the course materials directly below. There’s also a nice playlist feature on the side that allows you to easily navigate in between lessons.
Pricing – Skillshare costs $13.99 a month and $168 for a year (source).
Let’s take a look at the cons of Skillshare.
No free courses or auditing option – one of the best features out there to get on a course site is the opportunity to audit the course. Auditing a course is when you take a course without receiving any grades or taking assessments. This term comes from the university setting where you can audit courses.
Brilliant.org focuses on the areas of math and science. When entering onto the site, you’ll find courses related to math, data analysis, computer science, programming, and more. So, this site is for those looking to enter this specific area.
Brilliant Premium Plan
The premium plan allows users to access all courses and bonus puzzles. Process on courses syncs across devices, so you can learn wherever you are.
|Computer science courses|
|Foundational math courses|
|Advanced math courses|
Brilliant.org offers both free and paid subscription plans for its courses. The free plan gives learners access to a limited selection of courses and daily practice problems. You can also get access to a 7-day free trial to try the platform out.
Brilliant has both free and paid memberships. With the paid membership, users access all of the guided courses on the site.
Brilliant offers three payment plans (source):
- $24.00/month – 3-month plan
- $13.49/month – Annual plan
- $299.88/month – Groups of 3+
Brilliant Pros and Cons
Here are some potential pros and cons of using Brilliant.
Interactive: Courses are interactive, with a focus on problem-solving and practical application.
Great STEM courses: The platform offers a wide range of courses in mathematics, science, computer science, and engineering, making it a great resource for learners in these fields.
Accessible across devices: Brilliant can be accessed on multiple devices, including smartphones and tablets, making it convenient for learners who are always on-the-go.
Community: Brilliant has a community of learners who can provide support and encouragement, making it easier for learners to stay motivated and on track.
Limited to STEM: Although Brilliant offers a wide range of courses, it may not cover all topics in-depth, and may not be suitable for learners seeking advanced or specialized knowledge.
Learning approach: The interactive and problem-based approach may not be help certain learners who prefer a more traditional, lecture-based style.
Limited free plan: Learners only can get access to some additional questions.
Skillshare vs. Brilliant Alternatives
If you aren’t completely convinced by Skillshare and Brilliant.org, here are a few other online course platforms that you can browse.
Udacity is an learning platform with courses and nanodegrees in many disciplines, including artificial intelligence, digital marketing, programming, data science, and more. Stanford University professors launched the platform in 2011, and it has expanded to courses and programs with industry partners, such as Google and Amazon.
Udacity’s courses have video lessons, hands-on projects, and access to personalized feedback from coaches and mentors. The nanodegrees are an extensive learning experience that includes applied projects and career services.
MasterClass is an online learning platform that provides video-based courses taught by experts in various fields. The program was founded in 2014 and has since grown to offer courses in areas such as writing, film, music, sports, and more. The brand is well-known with the term, Masterclass being thrown around in popular culture. Their notoriety has increased further with plenty of celebrity instructors, such as Neil deGrasse Tyson and Serena Williams, teaching courses.
Each course features high-quality video lessons, exercises, and downloadable materials to help students learn new skills.
MasterClass also has a mobile app for learning while traveling, as well as an annual subscription with access to all courses (source).
Edx has attracted universities and top companies to their platform since they launched their first online courses (MOOCs) in 2012.
Edx has certificates for courses, professional certificates, and even online degree programs. When it comes to pricing, users pay a cost of $50 – $300 for the verified track, which means they get a certificate at the end. Similar to Coursera, you can also audit courses. Of course, auditing on Edx comes with drawbacks: No graded assignments or certificate upon finishing a course (source).
Codeacademy provides interactive coding courses and exercises in various programming languages. The platform was founded in 2011 and become a key way of helping new learners to start coding. Codecademy’s courses are designed to be engaging, with a focus on practical application.
Students can learn at their pace, using a vast library of content. They also can track their progress and earn badges for completed courses. Codecademy also has a paid subscription, which includes personalized learning plans, access to applied projects, and a community of students and mentors.
LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com)
LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com in 2015, which was then integrated into LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn Learning courses range from software development to photography, design, marketing, and more. Courses are of various lengths, from minutes to hours.
Users can also learn at their pace, with access to course materials and exercise files that could be downloaded and saved for later use. The platform also offers certificates of completion for each course, which can then be shared on LinkedIn to showcase new skills to potential employers. Learners can get started with a one-month free trial (source).