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Sonja Vitas
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The 9 Best Masterclass Alternatives & Competitors For Taking Online Courses

The 9 Best Masterclass Alternatives & Competitors For Taking Online Courses

Masterclass is great, but it isn’t the only option out there if you want to learn online! Truth is, with all the recent improvements in online learning, there are more options than ever. This means you have plenty to choose from!

Learning new skills is an important part of life. It doesn’t matter what the skill is – from academics to art, every skill is important. You may want to learn a new skill for a job, or just learn one for fun.

Either way, you can explore dozens of online learning platforms that offer what you’re looking for. Masterclass might be the first platform you think of for learning skills, but you shouldn’t stop there. That site isn’t for everyone, and it is limited in many ways.

So, if you want to learn about some amazing Masterclass alternatives that are 100% worth checking out, you’re in the right place. Here, we will be going through nine of the best options that you should consider. We guarantee that you will love at least one of these.

Understanding What A Masterclass Is

A masterclass is simply an in-depth class that is taught by professionals in their field. The term has changed over the years to be a more loose definition. Now, “masterclass” can be used to describe any kind of course or lesson that is professionally taught.

While it used to only refer to in-depth and niche classes reserved for serious learners, it can now also cover the basics. For example, you may get a masterclass in making choux pastry, and you could also get one covering the fundamentals of watercolors.

Masterclass Itself

Masterclass itself is one of the most popular online learning platforms in the world. It’s innovative, easy to use, and has hundreds of in-depth and incredible courses to choose from.

A Masterclass course can be given by celebrities and other professionals, which only draws more people in. Below are a few examples of some Masterclass classes:

  • Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking II
  • Dan Brown Teaches Writing Thrillers
  • Bobbie Brown Teaches Makeup and Beauty
  • Jessie Kribbs Teaches Wilderness Survival

Masterclass videos (see also ‘Can You Watch MasterClass Videos On Amazon Prime?‘) are beautifully shot and put together in a professional and impressive manner that everyone loves. New content is put out all the time, and the interface is among the best.

Masterclass Drawbacks

There are some drawbacks to note, however. This site doesn’t typically go in-depth in its videos. As such, people might not feel like they are getting their money’s worth only to be told the basics.

Not only that but considering how popular the site is, it doesn’t have as many courses and videos as you might expect. Categories are not as comprehensive as other online education platforms (like the ones we’ve listed below).

Because of this, Masterclass isn’t actually a suitable option for everyone if you want in-depth lessons on topics. Sure, what they do have is beautifully done, but many people would prefer to get rich information and learn everything they can on a topic.

If you’re one of those people, then stick around! We’re going to go through nine of the best Masterclass alternatives that you can definitely get your money’s worth.

Masterclass Alternatives – 9 Best Options

1. Nas Academy

Nas Academy is one of the first Masterclass alternatives we will mention. It offers a wide range of creative courses such as scriptwriting, storytelling, publishing, and much more. Learners pay for courses separately, with prices ranging from just $29 all the way up to $699 for in-depth lessons.

This is a great platform for those who want to participate in live classes to learn creative skills and not be tied to a monthly subscription.

  • Free Trial: no subscription
  • Free Version: no subscription
  • Monthly Price: learners pay per course they take (typically between $29 and $699 depending on the course)
  • Course Types: creative courses related to media such as editing, photography, scriptwriting, publishing, storytelling, entrepreneurship, branding, and more
  • Number of Courses: live classes and courses are taught
  • Offers Certification for Completion: yes (not accredited)

2. Skillshare

The second Masterclass alternative is possibly the most well-known learning platform here, Skillshare offers over 30,000 incredible, high-quality courses. The monthly fee is just $32, or you can pay $168 for a whole year.

Here, there are courses on every topic imaginable, including video editing, web design, photoshop, and so much more. However, there are no recognized certificates of completion.

  • Free Trial: 30-day free trial
  • Free Version: yes
  • Monthly Price: $32 or an annual subscription of $168 per year (comes to $14 per month)
  • Course Types: varies, but includes web design, video editing, filmmaking, photoshop, writing, time management, voice-over, music composition, and much more
  • Number of Courses: over 30,000
  • Offers Certification for Completion: no

3. Coursera

Coursera is a well-known online learning platform that focuses on academic topics such as data analytics, and business. This site offers over 3,000 courses and certificates of completion.

While they are on the more expensive end of the spectrum out of all these Masterclass alternatives, this platform is undeniably excellent for those who want to further their academic knowledge for work.

  • Free Trial: 7-day free trial
  • Free Version: yes
  • Monthly Price: $59 per month or $399 per year (comes to $33 per month).
  • Course Types: varies, but focuses on the academic with courses like social science degrees, data analytics, computer science, and business.
  • Number of Courses: over 3,000 courses
  • Offers Certification for Completion: yes

4. Rouxbe

Rouxbe is the ultimate learning platform for cooking. Here, there are 78 incredible and detailed classes that cover a wide range of cooking and baking for anyone with an interest. With a reasonable price of just $9.99, this is a subscription that anyone can afford.

  • Free Trial: 14-day free trial
  • Free Version: no
  • Monthly Price: $9.99 or $99.99 per year (works out to $8.30 per month)
  • Course Types: food-related courses such as various culinary techniques
  • Number of Courses: 78
  • Offers Certification for Completion: accredited certificates

5. LinkedIn Learning

5. LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn is already a popular site seen as the equivalent of Meta (Facebook) for work purposes. However, LinkedIn Learning has more to offer at a reasonable price.

There are over 17,000 LinkedIn Learning courses to take, though each is paid for separately. Nonetheless, you can make use of the one-month free LinkedIn Learning trial and learn about economics, technology, and much more.

  • Free Trial: one-month free trial
  • Free Version: no
  • Monthly Price: $29.999 per month or $239.88 (works out to around $20 per month). Courses can also be bought separately for between $20 to $50.
  • Course Types: varies, but includes courses on economics, software, data analytics, technology, and creativity
  • Number of Courses: over 17,000
  • Offers Certification for Completion: yes

6. Shaw Academy

With over 100 courses to enjoy, Shaw Academy offers a number of in-demand courses like finance and digital marketing. At the end of the course, you will receive a certificate of completion to further you on your journey.

  • Free Trial: 4-week free trial
  • Free Version: free registry, must submit credit card information to access courses
  • Monthly Price: $49.99 per month
  • Course Types: in-demand topics such as graphic design, finance, digital marketing, photography, coding, creative writing, and much more.
  • Number of Courses: over 100
  • Offers Certification for Completion: yes

7. Mindvalley

Mindvalley is the place to go if you want to better yourself in every way. This online education platform seeks to help you improve your mind, body, soul, and relationships. There are over 70 classes available, which are all taught by professionals in the field.

Certificates of completion are offered once you get to the end of the course, but you aren’t going to want to leave! You can enjoy the free version and all the free classes, and become the new and improved you.

  • Free Trial: yes
  • Free Version: yes
  • Monthly Price: no monthly price option, annual price is $499 (comes to $41.66 per month)
  • Course Types: self-development such as mind, body, soul, career, entrepreneurship, and relationships
  • Number of Courses: over 70
  • Offers Certification for Completion: yes

8. CreativeLive

CreativeLive offers over 2,000 courses aimed at both creative and academic learners. Courses are reasonably priced and easily available, and students can get up to 6 months of free trial to test it out and learn new creative skills.

This option is probably the most similar to Masterclass, as videos are put together beautifully and professionally. Unlike Masterclass, however, CreativeLive offers more in-depth classes and ups the instruction – which is why many people prefer it.

  • Free Trial: up to 6 months
  • Free Version: some courses are available for free via CreativeLive On-Air
  • Monthly Price: no monthly price, annual subscription is $149 (works out as less than $13 monthly). Individual courses are priced between $29 and $199.
  • Course Types: creative and academic courses such as videography, self-improvement, photography, posing, weddings, finances, crafts, and much more
  • Number of Courses: over 2,000
  • Offers Certification for Completion: no

9. The Great Courses (Rebranded To Wondrium)

Previously known as The Great Courses, Wondrium is full of various courses to suit everyone’s needs. There are over 800 courses to choose from, which offer certificates of completion at a very reasonable price.

This online education platform has been around since VHS tapes, so you know it’s a trustworthy one! Users can enjoy learning via the app and make use of both video and audio formats produced by The Teaching Company.

  • Free Trial: yes
  • Free Version: there are three ways to access courses for free: stream the audio on Hoopla, stream them on Kanopy, or borrow courses
  • Monthly Price: $19.99 or $30 paid every quarter. Learners can also purchase courses separately without a subscription.
  • Course Types: varies, but includes courses such as history, finance, economics, literature, personal growth, how to draw, photography, Norse mythology, and much more.
  • Number of Courses: over 800
  • Offers Certification for Completion: yes

Masterclass Alternatives – What to Look Out For

When looking for the best MasterClass alternatives, there are a couple of things that you should ideally be looking out for. While all the options we mentioned above are great options for you, some features might be incredibly important to you, while others are not.

Below are four things that you should take into consideration before making up your mind and picking an option among these best Masterclass alternatives. They should make you think hard about which platform would suit you and your personal needs best!

Content Quality

Content Quality

This goes without saying, but content quality is undeniably important. No matter what other features you find important, you want your courses to be the best of the best – and some platforms fail at this!

The online courses mentioned above are all excellent quality overall, but you should always look at the reviews and opinions of people who have taken specific courses before signing up.

A platform might have excellent reviews overall, but you might find that some of its courses have not been well-received by learners for whatever reason. This could impact your decision on whether you take the course or not, as it should.

You are paying money for this course, anyway! This point is especially important if you are paying for every course you take rather than paying a subscription to access all courses on the platform.

Platforms like Wondrium (The Great Courses), CreativeLive, and Nas Academy fall into this category. As such, check out the reviews on the course you wish to take before spending any money!

Determining Course Quality

There are a few things you can do to determine the course quality before you pay any money for it. These things are as follows:

  • Check learner reviews – as mentioned above, find reviews on the online courses you wish to take and see what previous students have to say about them. You can usually find this kind of information on sites like TrustPilot or Glassdoor.
  • Use a free trial – some platforms will offer free trials for some courses, maybe even the ones you want to take! A free course or a free trial should give you a good idea of what you can expect from similar courses, especially if they are created and handled by the same teacher or group of people.
  • Find out how courses are quality checked – every course should be quality checked, but platforms will use different methods to do this. Some of the best online courses have been quality-checked with beta users and testers. This will be a surefire way to find a high-quality course that you can trust.
  • Who teaches the courses? – your chosen course should be taught by a professional in the field. If the platform doesn’t disclose this, then you might have doubts about the course quality. However, this may not always be a big deal in some topics. When it comes to academics, then you will want to know that you are receiving the proper information and methodology to take your skills elsewhere.
  • What format is teaching done in? – again, this point can be either very important or not important at all. If you are taking music or art courses, then it should be in a video format. The course format needs to match the topic, and if it doesn’t, it’s a sign of a poorly-curated course.

Interface

Using an online learning platform needs to be easy and straightforward. If you struggle to use the interface or navigate the website, then it’s already more difficult than it should be.

An interface has to be clear and concise, and intuitive to any user, no matter their skill level. Spending hours trying to figure out a complicated website will put anyone off, and it will immediately be worth less money.

Determining Interface Ease Of Use

An interface should be:

  • Intuitive – it should be easy to navigate, and each button and click should naturally take you to where you need to be. You shouldn’t have to think too hard to get where you want to get.
  • Straightforward – phrasing should be easy to understand with no jargon.
  • Suitable for anyone – a suitable interface needs to be accessible and suitable for anyone to use.

Languages Available For The Course

The third thing to look out for is the language available for the course you wish to take. Although this is unlikely to be an issue for you personally, especially if you are an English speaker, it can be very problematic for others.

Some online learning platforms only offer online courses and online classes available in English. This makes it very difficult for non-English speakers or even individuals with another first language, to access online courses and better themselves.

A clear sign of a professional and good online learning platform is language availability. This suggests that their courses are widespread, popular, and readily available in many parts of the world, and to many people.

Some learning platforms succeed at this spectacularly well, while others have severely lacked. Language availability should be easy to find on any course, and available languages should be listed beside the course, especially if the online courses are pre-recorded.

There should be voice-over options as well as subtitles in these languages to make the course accessible.

Determining Language Availability

Determining language availability is usually a very easy thing to do. All you need to do is check for supported languages on the online learning platform website, or the particular course you wish to take.

All language options should be listed in a place that is easy to find. If you cannot find any information about language availability, you may wish to get in touch with the platform to find out more.

However, if you need to do this, there is a good chance that they do not support any other languages.

Certification

Finally, certification is something you should look out for when determining which Masterclass alternatives you would like to use. It’s worth noting that this may not be an important feature to you, but it can make or break a decision for many people.

This is because certificates are a way to prove that you have completed the course, and therefore learned the skills outlined in the course. In work settings, certificates of completion are a must, as employers need proof of skills and training.

However, if you are taking online courses to only better yourself and your personal skills, then certification might not be important. This is especially likely in many of the creative courses, such as painting or creative writing.

Even then, you may get a certificate of completion for a course, but it may not be accredited. This could be an issue as many workplaces require accredited certificates to ensure that you have been trained in accredited skills.

This particular point can make picking an online learning platform difficult. In some cases, only some courses or teachers will choose to offer certificates of completion. Offering these certificates is not ensured by the platform, and may be personally up to teachers.

If certificates of completion are important to you, then you will need to ensure that the course you want to take offers them before paying for it.

Determining Certification

Learning whether an online learning platform or particular online classes offer a certificate of completion is usually an easy task. If it is not clearly stated on the website or course information, you should be able to get in touch with the professor to find out more.

However, it’s worth noting that they are typically very open about this. As such, you shouldn’t expect to get the answer you’re looking for if there is no mention of a certificate of completion.

Teachers and platforms are aware that these certificates draw people in, so they are expected to be open about it!

Final Thoughts

If the idea of using the internet to further your learning is something that appeals to you, then the nine Masterclass alternatives listed in this article are for you.

No matter what you are interested in or your price range, the platforms listed here as the best Masterclass alternatives will have something for everybody to love. From platforms specializing in creative learning to ones for academics, there are options for everyone.

So, if you would like to further your learning, consider signing up for one of the platforms above! There’s plenty to find out and learn in online classes, and you can achieve everything you have been hoping to. Good luck!

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