While these online learning platforms seem very similar on the surface, there are significant differentiating factors between the four.
Let’s find out the difference between Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare, and LinkedIn Learning.
Table of Contents
- Udemy has long and comprehensive courses
- Coursera offers a school-like experience
- Skillshare is very casual, leans towards hobbyist topics
- LinkedIn Learning is very career-oriented
- Courses availability and type
- Perks you get
- I’ve used LinkedIn Learning for years. In particular, I find their software training courses to be excellent
- Skillshare is excellent at covering graphic design, video production, and other related design topics
- Udemy is quite different from the other two options in that it is a marketplace of courses
Sharon Van Donkelaar
Today’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) economy might seem massive and intimidating, but they all have their own differences that make it worth it to stick to one. Aside from the different pricing plans and subscriptions, each platform offers a unique learning experience.
Udemy has long and comprehensive courses
Udemy courses tend to be very long and comprehensive, featuring passionate and experienced lecturers who craft their video and exercise materials with care.
Coursera offers a school-like experience
Coursera courses are usually linked to academic institutions, so expect a very school-like experience when you are studying the course.
Skillshare is full of classes that might take 1 hour only, with experts offering their unique advice on certain topics – so it’s more of a preference of the teacher than content that is important.
LinkedIn Learning is very career-oriented
It features skills and learning styles that you might encounter in corporate training seminars, so this is ideal if you want to learn from the perspective of moving your career upwards.
Udemy: The Cost is based on a per course basis i.e. you have to pay for a single course and you get it for a lifetime. For eg. You can take french classes course for a lifetime anywhere between $10 to $200 per course depending upon the teachers’ quality and reviews.
Skillshare: It has a monthly plan which is $19 and a yearly plan of $8.25 per month and you can watch any course you like for the fees you pay monthly.
Coursera: Since it is usually by university professors hence the cost is on the upper end here but still less than the traditional education. So the cost here can be anywhere from between $29 to $99 per course, $39 to $79 per month for specialization, and $15000 to $25000 for an accredited master’s degree by a reputed university.
LinkedIn Learning: It does not allow you to buy specific courses i.e. you need to buy the monthly plan at $29.99/month or $19.99/month if you choose the annual plan and you can watch any course available on the platform.
Courses availability and type
Udemy: Almost any topic under the Sun is available here to learn like Arts, language, Business, Marketing, Coding, Accounting, Cooking, etc.
Skillshare: Mostly In-depth Design courses like Film Making, Colour psychology, Graphic Designing are available here and fewer courses related to Business and almost no courses related to cooking or any other activity.
Coursera: It has courses related to Business, Coding, language, etc. and it also provides degree programs like computer science, Health, etc. and it allows the users to take a specific course or specialization or a master’s degree from reputed universities around the globe.
LinkedIn Learning: It covers topics around Business, Earning skills, marketing, and creativity by industry experts.
Udemy: Almost anyone can signup and become an instructor here.
Skillshare: Top reputed people mainly from the Design industry sign up and these are the people who are doing this for many years and making a living out of it.
Coursera: Mostly the courses are masters courses or university courses so they are taught by professors of top universities like Duke, Stanford, Upenn, etc.
LinkedIn Learning: Industry experts around the topic teach here who have been in business for a long time.
Perks you get
Udemy: You get a certificate of completion, but not widely recognized in the industry, Worksheets, and presentation to help you understand the topic better, etc.
Coursera: Certificates and Degrees from universities widely accepted by the industry, worksheets, and tests by professors.
Skillshare: Discounts on tools used by Designers like Adobe photoshop etc.
LinkedIn Learning: Certificate, Access to LinkedIn Premium features.
Udemy: Individual course fees can add up if you are looking to learn in-depth, content Quality is not always the best because anyone can sign up and become a faculty, many times free courses are just redirection to paid courses.
Coursera: Most courses are taught by professors like the regular classroom so you cannot watch it at your pace, More traditional teaching approach is followed, classes are less entertaining.
Skillshare: You will not find most of the courses except Design courses, No widely accepted certificate
LinkedIn Learning: You will not find many courses and the certificate is not widely accepted.
Founder, Steam Press Media
I’ve used LinkedIn Learning for years. In particular, I find their software training courses to be excellent
For example, I completed an “Excel for Marketers” course a few months ago that was excellent. If you are interested in learning to use a business software tool like Excel, LinkedIn Learning is a great choice.
Recently, the course catalog has expanded to include non-technology topics like communication and leadership.
With Skillshare, I took a few courses but ultimately decided it wasn’t a good fit for me at this time. I found that Skillshare is excellent at covering graphic design, video production, and other related design topics.
Some of the Skillshare courses have amazing production value such as the productivity courses taught by Thomas Frank.
Udemy is quite different from the other two options in that it is a marketplace of courses
It seems like nearly anybody can submit a course which is a strength and a weakness. It is sometimes hard to tell which course is worth your time at first glance.
Thankfully, Udemy makes their courses very easy to buy by regularly large discounts so you can buy a full course for $10-$20 each. I have taken several digital marketing courses through Udemy and found them worthwhile.
While on the surface Udemy, Courera, Skillshare and LinkedIn learning seem very similar, there are many and important differentiating factors between them.
The main difference is the intended audience (their aims and budget) and the operating model.
Udemy is a low cost, generalist platform that has a wide variety of courses. They are the Amazon or Walmart of the eLearning world.
Whereas Skillshare is known for specializing in creative pursuits. If you are interested in learning things like animation or photography, Skillshare is typically the platform of choice.
LinkedIn Learning is something else entirely: this platform is mainly for young professionals who are interested in boosting their CV by completing relevant courses and gaining certificates on completion.
Coursera is similar in that it offers professional-level courses that come with certificates, however, these tend to be more expensive but also carry greater weight in interviews as they are taught mainly by academics from prestigious universities.
Senior Editor, Bit Degree
Even though all of these online learning platforms can teach you valuable skills, they’re slightly different.
Udemy and Skillshare are great for soft skills, whereas Coursera and LinkedIn Learning are better for those who want to learn hard skills. Let me distinguish each of them:
- Udemy provides more than 130,000 courses for different skills. Great if you’re interested in short, one-day courses and want to learn at your own pace.
- Skillshare is perfect for artsy people who want to deepen existing knowledge and get inspired. Multiple courses on animation, design, illustration, lifestyle, and so on.
- Coursera is for those who are interested in more traditional learning. Coursera collaborates with 200+ leading universities and companies, provides 3,800 courses, certificates, and even degrees online.
- LinkedIn Learning has more than 16,000 courses and video tutorials for those who want to improve their skills and build expertise in a specific field. LinkedIn Learning is created with the main goal to teach relevant, applicable skills.
Career Expert, ResumeLab
If you’re looking to upskill and thus propel your hirability chances, you may want to tap into the power of online learning platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare, or LinkedIn Learning.
But with so many options to choose from, you might feel overwhelmed. That’s why you need to zero in on one platform that’d fit your learning needs like a plug in a socket.
If you want the ability to choose from a variety of options for nearly every topic imaginable, you can’t go wrong with Udemy. They offer courses that range from IT & software, marketing to personal development.
That said, if you’re looking to turbocharge your current professional or educational experience and build and expand your network, LinkedIn Learning is probably your best bet.
Coursera, on the other hand, gives you access to knowledge of the world’s best universities without having to pay for the costs of higher education.
Lastly, Skillshare is more for creatives that want to learn new skills or enhance existing competencies in things like photography, writing, illustration, etc.