Since its launch in 2014, MasterClass advertisements have been all over our screens. Most people are now aware of MasterClass’s enticing ads, and celebrity expert cast, and claim to provide a superior online learning platform than its rivals.
However, paying $180 for an all-access pass raises the question of whether MasterClass is worthwhile.
On the surface, it would seem obvious to learn from the person themselves how to play tennis like Serena Williams, tell a joke like Ricky Gervais, or become a negotiator like Chris Voss. However, a short Google search turns up contradictory comments.
Some criticize the production value as being subpar. Others claim the themes are exaggerated; for example, will you truly develop into the new Steph Curry? We’ll address all the Pros and cons in this masterclass review.
So is Masterclass worth it in 2023 or you should go for some other online learning platform?
What Is MasterClass?
David Rogier, a Stanford undergraduate who founded MasterClass, introduced its website in May of 2014 with just three instructors. Later, twelve more masterclass classes were added in 2017, and by 2018, the number had dramatically increased to 50.
In a series of top-notch video lectures, famous experts and celebrity teachers teach the best masterclass courses. Typically, these courses include a companion workbook that is easily accessed and printed for additional reference.
Each course has between two and four hours of video, broken up into 10 to fifteen-minute single-class lectures. Sessions by MasterClass, a new learning tool, was launched by MasterClass in 2021.
Previously, every class had its own unique web portal called “The Hub” where students could communicate with other learners and MasterClass administrators in order to advance their knowledge or ask questions.
Sessions are a brand-new “hands-on” approach where students study together over the course of 30 days while following a set curriculum. Dedicated and skilled Teaching Assistants are present during every session to assist with queries and offer feedback.
MasterClass will occasionally feature professors on live streaming. Most MasterClass seminars are under five hours in length, and they are often brief and cover subjects generally.
In-depth explanations are often provided along with a general overview of topics in MasterClass lectures. For instance, you can get a rundown of just what space exploration seems like from an insider’s viewpoint in Hadfield’s space exploration lesson.
It gives you just enough information to advance your understanding of the subject, but maybe not enough to assist you in choosing a certain career path.
MasterClass: Is It Really Worth The Money?
Everyone’s initial thought is: Is MasterClass actually worth the money? Yes, we think MasterClass is definitely worth the $180 annual fee for those who are creative and curious—especially those who enjoy studying at their own pace!
MasterClass offers a few classes in gastronomy, science, economics, sports, and wellness in addition to its popular courses for creative types.
There are sure to be at least some MasterClasses among the 150+ provided that will educate you on anything, whether you’re wanting to improve your writing abilities through a Margaret Atwood lesson or your analytical thinking with a Neil deGrasse Tyson online session.
In other terms, MasterClass is best suited for those who appreciate enhancing their knowledge and are keen to learn more. A MasterClass membership is still a dedication and a financial commitment.
On the one hand, you’ll have to set aside at least a couple of hours to complete only one of the numerous excellent courses available on MasterClass. On the other hand, admission to the online learning platform will cost you at least $180 each year.
Yes, MasterClass is likely for you if you have a couple of hours a week to spare and $8 a month to spend and watch masterclass informative lessons on your Smart TV or a traditional computer.
However, MasterClass isn’t for you if you don’t have the extra money for yet another membership or the time or dedication to regularly learn. But you don’t have to believe us. A 30-day money-back assurance is provided by MasterClass.
It’s simple to register, try out a few courses, and decide if MasterClass is suitable for you. To cancel your membership and get a refund from MasterClass, all you need to do is send them a short email informing them of your decision.
What Is The Pricing Of MasterClass?
MasterClass started experimenting with several subscription options in 2021 in addition to their initial flat-rate annual membership of $180. They ultimately chose a new, affordable three-tier MasterClass pricing structure for their yearly subscription:
- Individual: $180 annually; average monthly payment: $15
- Duo: $20 each month on average, or $240 per year
- Family: $276 annually on average; $23 monthly
At a later time, you can always change your subscription level. Choose a sensible plan first, then move forward from there.
The nice aspect is that MasterClass offers unrestricted access to all of its courses regardless of which subscription package you select.
An In-Depth Review Of MasterClass
Let’s break down the MasterClass process and address some frequently asked questions now that the masterclass cost and other formalities have been addressed.
Finding Your Way Around
Over 150 different classes are available through MasterClass, and more are being added monthly. Finding out the course you would like to take initially is, however, fairly simple.
You will be asked to fill out an optional questionnaire when you sign up that will aid in focusing your search. If you want, you can bypass this step and go straight to the Library page, where you can browse more than eleven categories or seek up themes.
Library Of MasterClass Courses
MasterClass will keep suggesting classes that match your interests as you enroll in more. The masterclass videos are not a collection of shaky Zoom recordings.
Real film industry professionals are used by MasterClass to light, shoot, and edit high-quality tutorial videos. Each MasterClass includes a professionally designed workbook that may be downloaded for individual use in addition to high-quality video lessons.
Each workbook is distinct and uses a consistent design that suits the instructor. Finally, MasterClass offers instructive and engaging images that are straightforward and simple to follow if an instructor needs topics that are simpler to express visually.
There aren’t many online learning environments that can compare to MasterClass in regard to quality.
Using The MasterClass App
Users using iOS and Android devices can access MasterClass through their respective MasterClass apps. The MasterClass app offers the option to listen to simply the audio of each class, unlike the online browser version.
This is especially useful for commuters who prefer to study through podcasts. Each video lesson may be projected from the MasterClass app to a smart TV that supports Chromecast or Apple TV.
MasterClass Vs. Other Course Providers
What distinguishes MasterClass from other online learning environments like Skillshare, Udemy, and Coursera, then?
The prices for the multiple online course platforms reflect the quality disparity, which is immediately noticeable. Let’s evaluate each one in isolation to gain a better understanding.
Skillshare Vs. MasterClass
In contrast to MasterClass, Skillshare is designed for novices. For instance, if you want to study programming, Skillshare has thousands of classes you can enroll in and start learning from scratch.
Skillshare offers some features that allow students and instructors to communicate, unlike MasterClass. However, Skillshare still doesn’t feel like they are doing enough to justify charging nearly as much as MasterClass at $168 a year for a subscription.
Udemy Vs. MasterClass
You may learn online for cheap at Udemy. While Udemy offers hundreds of inexpensive online classes from tens of thousands of instructors, MasterClass provides over 150 high-quality courses online from professors of the highest grade.
However, Udemy promotes a significantly more specialized topic style where students may pick up specialized technological know-how from less well-known but still extremely qualified experts.
Since some disciplines offer a plethora of video courses alone, finding the right course might be challenging.
Coursera Vs. MasterClass
Instead of using famous professors, Coursera uses courses from top colleges throughout the world. In contrast to MasterClass, Coursera offers a more conventional learning environment.
However, Coursera is designed for more experienced individuals who want to advance their professional abilities and earn legitimate degrees and certificates in the process.
The fact that MasterClass consistently produces high-quality videos, is simple to use and boasts renowned instructors gives them the edge over Coursera despite having a much greater variety of professional and certified courses.
Why You Should Buy A MasterClass Subscription?
Let us quickly outline the top seven benefits of purchasing a MasterClass subscription.
- Learn from the top teachers in a range of disciplines.
- Discover interesting new topics.
- Cost is unbeatable.
- Courses are divided into brief video courses for easy comprehension.
- Gaining knowledge enhances your well-being.
- Every month, more classes are added.
- MasterClass risk-free trial.
Things To Think About Before Purchasing MasterClass
Judging your degree of expertise in specific subjects accurately should be your first priority before buying MasterClass.
For instance, the Annie Leibovitz class is likely not for you if your goal is to start taking photographs because it calls for a foundational knowledge of the subject. As a result, many students feel that some topics’ entry points are too high.
Your depth of curiosity is the second factor. Do you only have a passion for making movies? Do you prefer to complete your education by taking supplementary classes from actors like Helen Mirren or screenwriters like Aaron Sorkin?
Are you also open to learning something entirely new, such as the culinary arts from Thomas Keller or space exploration from Neil DeGrasse Tyson? MasterClass is best suited for students with a broad range of interests, not those with a narrow focus.
The question of whether e-learning is the ideal method for you to learn is the third and last factor to take into account. Some individuals are better suited to thrive with MasterClass because they are visual learners.
However, some people learn more effectively from textbooks or at a far slower rate. The goal of MasterClass is to impart the most knowledge possible in the shortest period of time possible.
Are you looking to develop current abilities or pick up new ones as a novice? Are you open to experimenting with a variety of learning topics, or are you confined to just one or two? Are you able to study effectively via video classes, or do you require a more conventional method?
How Can I Revoke My MasterClass Membership?
You can contact their support staff by sending an email to email@example.com if you decide to give MasterClass a go and decide it’s not for you.
If you bought from MasterClass within the last 30 days, you will receive a complete refund with no questions asked. The MasterClass support crew has been great every time I’ve been in touch with them.
Is MasterClass Right For Me?
Yes, in our opinion, MasterClass is worthwhile for any learner.
Although the $180 annual price tag may appear exorbitant at first, it may be readily offset by getting the most out of your membership and taking more courses that are pertinent to your particular interests.
MasterClass may not be worthwhile for you if you are not a voracious learner or are searching for more technical-based online courses.
However, MasterClass provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to take one or two courses and determine whether MasterClass is worthwhile for you.
List Of The Top MasterClass Courses
Some courses are unbeatable, while others are a waste of five hours listening to a famous person boast about their career and offer dull advice.
The top programs on the platform are listed below. Before enrolling in a course, you should review this list if you’re thinking about purchasing MasterClass.
Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking
The seven-star Michelin cook and television celebrity Gordon Ramsay offers two courses for MasterClass: one on making meals at home and the other on using restaurant recipes.
Anyone wishing to improve their culinary, knife, or British abilities should start with Ramsay’s first course. The target audience for Ramsay’s best-selling MasterClass is more experienced cooks who are not learning how to cook for the first time.
Even if a few of the dishes Ramsay provides seem a little beyond reach for the typical home cook, the skills he uses are transferable. But don’t let this get you down. We think this class is possibly too advanced if you’re new to cooking.
You’ll gain a lot of knowledge and have something to aim for, but depending on your cooking skill, you may find the recipes challenging.
Ramsay is an inspirational chef, so even if you don’t pick up the fundamental abilities you need, you will undoubtedly be motivated to get into the kitchen and pick up more knowledge.
Neil Gaiman Teaches The Art Of Storytelling
Gaiman’s MasterClass is a fantastic class on the power of narrative and the part one must play to attain it, even if you aren’t a writer but regard yourself as creative.
Gaiman offers helpful recommendations and amusing anecdotes for aspiring authors while speaking in a soothing tone. In addition, he explains how to work inside a genre and get past writer’s block.
Steve Martin Teaches Comedy
One of the most well-known American comedians, Steve, gives his more than 50 years of experience and knowledge on comic performances in drive-in theaters, clubs, stadiums, and big-budget motion pictures.
He deconstructs popular movie scripts and offers advice on finding your voice, morals, swearing, writing, and improving as a performer.
Garry Kasparov Teaches Chess
In our perspective, 30 sessions spread throughout 7 hours, 20 minutes is sufficient to take an ordinary player and equip them with the essentials to win more games of chess. You are expected to be motivated by this MasterClass to study more than simply the game of chess.
Instead of giving you a checklist of moves to make throughout a chess match, Kasparov wants to teach you to spot patterns and key moments in the game so that you’ll be motivated to learn more by yourself.
The first part of Kasparov’s Masterclass spends a lot of attention on endgames and openings while also covering double attacks, skewers, and discovered attacks. The second part is more suited to advanced players who get more from studying past games.
Margaret Attwood Teaches Creative Writing
Atwood teaches her pupils how to write a gripping plot, establish complex characters, structure their novels, hold readers’ attention, and maintain their writing motivation.
Atwood’s MasterClass is, in our opinion, a crucial course worth taking even if you don’t regard yourself as a fiction writer based on her sage counsel.
Take this Margaret Atwood course for 4 hours to get started and be motivated to keep writing before you go into other writing courses like those taught by Dan Brown and Shonda Rhimes.
Paul Krugman Teaches Economics
In this MasterClass on economics, Krugman teaches the students how to begin to think more deeply about how the world functions rather than just providing them with the most basic headline statements.
The length of Krugman’s economics master class is just under four hours, but you’ll want to take numerous notes and go over some of it again. Although it’s enticing, resist the want to rush through and take it slow.
Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting
There is no better location for aspiring filmmakers and/or screenwriters to learn the fundamentals of narrative, language, and character development, as well as what makes a script truly succeed.
Along with lectures, this MasterClass features table reads with several other authors and scene analyses from Sorkin’s earlier works.
Students can download lessons on two screenplays by Sorkin in addition to the required textbook, and continuity as well as a spotting list.
This is a comprehensive MasterClass featuring case studies, small-group activities, writing spaces, and much instruction from Sorkin.
By the completion of the MasterClass, you will acquire the abilities, resources, and frameworks required to start producing a screenplay. You will also be equipped with the knowledge essential to solicit feedback and perhaps even sell a script.
Chris Hadfield Teaches Space Exploration
The MasterClass taught by Chris Hadfield might be the least useful and most intriguing. He instructs you on every aspect of Earth’s orbiting, shuttle and rocket launches, the International Space Station (ISS), deep space travel, and future space travel.
It lasts for eight hours. It’s super interesting if you’re fascinated by space and astronauts. But obviously, unless you’re pursuing a career in space, it’s not at all realistic.
Is MasterClass Effective?
You must first be willing to learn about and experiment with new concepts, subjects, and abilities for MasterClass to be effective for you. You might find it advantageous to have some prior expertise for some and most MasterClass courses.
For instance, the Annie Leibovitz course in photography is not intended for people who have never held a camera. Instead, she focuses intently on the minute details that enhance photography.
In order for MasterClass to be successful for you, you must be willing to invest the time necessary to view the video courses, study the class workbooks, and develop your learning independently.
Don’t get us wrong; the excellent teachings are binge-worthy on a Netflix level. However, TEDx has plenty of films on YouTube that you can view for free if all you would like to do is watch something educational.
If you are prepared to put up the effort and love doing so, MasterClass works great for learning new skills.
You get access to courses taught by some of the biggest personalities in the world through MasterClass.
The website focuses on advanced subjects and abilities, like negotiating and leadership, hobbies such as chess and cooking, and interesting subjects such as space exploration.
Only a select number of platforms can rank up to MasterClass if you need to learn in a primarily “educational” fashion that you may then use in your own way. If so, MasterClass is a priceless investment.
However, you should generally avoid paying for MasterClass if you like to learn skills using a more pragmatic and hands-on way.
Our verdict is that MasterClass is well worth the price in terms of quality if you enjoy learning and have enough self-discipline and motivation.