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Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning are two of the best online learning platforms. They offer:

  • Self-paced learning so that you can study wherever and whenever
  • Course recommendations for your topic
  • Content to help you work more efficiently
  • Hands-on learning for improved skill uptake
  • Team or corporate training packages for mass training

Meanwhile, the differences between the two platforms include:

  • Target market
  • Instructors
  • Subscription options
  • Accreditation and certifications

1: Target Market

Skillshare is popular among creatives who want a hands-on approach to learning. Their courses usually fall into one of three categories:

  • Creating — creative writing, web development, and photography
  • Building — marketing, freelancing, and entrepreneurship
  • Thriving — lifestyle and productivity courses

One thing we try to develop in our team is a more creative mindset…Skillshare…has made our team more engaged and collaborative

Paul Johnston, Global Design Manager at Dentons

Skillshare is a great option if you want to get into creative topics, such as photography, storytelling, and animation. With over 35,000 lessons, you’re spoilt for choice.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn Learning is career-oriented and focuses on topics that will be useful in a corporate setting.

Example: Employee Development with LinkedIn Learning | LinkedIn Talent Solutions

As such, LinkedIn Learning is popular among employers and employees:

When people hear that we have LinkedIn Learning, it certainly helps a candidate to make the decision to join our organization over others

Jodi Atkinson, Global Learning Director at Deltek

LinkedIn Learning also offers courses to prepare you for professional certification exams. There are even some learning paths that can earn you college credits from partner universities:

  • American University of Beirut (Lebanon)
  • ESPM (Brazil)
  • International University of Applied Sciences (Germany)
  • University of Huddersfield (United Kingdom)
  • University of Northumbria (United Kingdom)
  • University of South Australia (Australia)
  • XU Exponential University (Germany)

2: Instructors

Do you prefer learning from people you admire or industry experts and professionals?

Anyone can create a course on Skillshare, so you’re more likely to find teachers you know than on LinkedIn Learning.

For example, Skillshare’s writing courses are taught by an array of mainstream writers, including:

On the other hand, LinkedIn Learning has a rigorous vetting process; you’re likely to find higher-quality content that matches corporate standards on LinkedIn Learning than on Skillshare.

For example, Writing with Impact by Tom Geller takes a more journalistic approach than the creative focus of Roxane Gay’s course.

linkedin learning is hands-on learning

3: Accreditation and Certification

Skillshare doesn’t offer certificates.

Source: Skillshare

Some course instructors claim to offer certificates, but our research tells a concerning story.

In the discussion tab for Certification in Editing and Proofreading we found some learners asking for their completion certificates from the instructors, only to be sent a dead-end link:

Source: Skillshare

However, LinkedIn Learning allows you to earn publishable and printable certificates.

LinkedIn Learning has over 50 college-level learning paths that you can exchange for credit in partner universities. These accredited learning paths include:

4: Subscriptions

Source: Skillshare

Skillshare’s subscription packages are region-dependent—you have to create an account to know your subscription options.

Luckily, Skillshare offers a region-dependent free trial period which gives you:

  • Unlimited access to all classes
  • Access to the Skillshare community for feedback and advice
  • Skillshare app to download courses for offline learning (annual plan only)
  • Ad-free content

LinkedIn Learning, on the other hand, has universal subscription packages—a one-month free trial, monthly payments, and an annual plan.

Each package gives you:

  • Unlimited access to all classes
  • Accredited and non-accredited learning paths
  • Interactive learning
  • Publishable and shareable certificates
  • Full access to premium LinkedIn features

Note: LinkedIn also has a single course subscription. You get lifetime access to a single course even when your subscription is inactive. Additionally, if you don’t like the class, you can ask for a refund within 30 days of your purchase.

Verdict: Skillshare Versus LinkedIn Learning

Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning are both excellent e-Learning platforms. Therefore, choosing between them comes down to taste and preference.

The table below recaps everything we’ve discussed about both e-Learning platforms.

FeatureSkillshareLinkedIn Learning
Focus areaCreative, build, and design industriesBusiness, creativity, and technology
InstructorsNot vetted; anyone can teachVetted; only industry experts and professionals
SubscriptionRegion-dependentUniversal: One month trial followed by monthly or annual payment plan
CertificatesNoMany certificate courses
Accredited certificatesNoSome
Free coursesYesYes, some with certificates

edX: The Best Alternative to Skillshare or LinkedIn Learning

Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning come with some drawbacks that might make both seem unattractive.

For instance, Skillshare lacks an academic approach while LinkedIn Learning lacks instructor-led classes and certificates that are widely accepted.

Fortunately, there is edX, a renowned academic e-Learning platform that offers college level courses and bachelor and master’s degrees from 160 member universities, including Harvard, MIT, and Columbia.

In addition, the courses have a formal academic structure. For example, English for Journalists, Part 1 comes with:

  • Instructor-led classes
  • Graded assignments and grading policy
  • Pass mark (50% in all graded assignments)
  • Course breakdown (syllabus)
  • Discussion area
  • Accredited certificate

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better, LinkedIn Learning, Skillshare or edX?

That depends entirely upon your preferences and goals. The table below summarizes their differences and features.

FeatureLinkedIn LearningSkillshareedX
SubscriptionYesYes (region-dependent)Yes (course-dependent)
Free coursesYesYesAudit for free, pay for certificate courses
Free certificate coursesYesNoNo
Paid certificate coursesYesNoYes
College-level coursesYesYesYes
College-level certificatesSomeNoYes
Hands-on learningYesYesYes
Graded assignmentsNoNoYes
Self-paced learningYesYesYes

Are there free certificate courses on LinkedIn Learning?

Yes. There are many free certificate courses on LinkedIn Learning.

Is anything better than Skillshare?

It depends on your goals. If you’re aiming for a certificate, for instance, then LinkedIn Learning and edX are better options.

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Katrina McKinnon

I'm Katrina McKinnon, the author behind Small Revolution. With two decades of hands-on experience in online work, running eCommerce stores, web agency and job boards, I'm now on a mission to empower you to work from home and achieve work-life balance. My passion lies in crafting insightful, education content. I have taught thousands of students and employees how to write, do SEO, manage eCommerce stores and work as Virtual Assistants. Join our most popular course: SEO Article Masterclass