While these two platforms are often thought to be in direct competition with each other, they actually have quite a few differences that really set them apart.
If you’re not sure which one is right for you, we’ll divulge the benefits and setbacks of each right now.
You want the most out of your online learning experience, and both Skillshare and Brilliant have been doing their job to fill those wants. You’ve seen them both sponsored in every productivity and education podcast and YouTube video in recent years, and it’s time to find out why.
It’s time to talk about Skillshare vs Brilliant when it comes to learning creative skills that can help you land a new job, or seek an internal promotion so that you can rise to a different position so that you can ascend in your current career development.
Skillshare and Brilliant’s Courses Compared
Skillshare (see also our comparison of Skillshare and Coursera) is all about keeping your creativity flowing by enhancing your skills in photography, art, and music, while Brilliant—as their name would suggest—is centered around logic, mathematics, and computer science.
They’re two different experiences with some similarities and some striking contrasts, but how do they stack up against one another? Can they really help you break into a new job? Let’s find out.
What is Skillshare?
Skillshare is an online learning platform that hosts user-generated courses from experts in their respective fields. While almost anyone can make a Skillshare course, they have guidelines and expectations for their course creators.
For a low-priced subscription, you can learn hobbyist skills such as piano, guitar, photography, art, and more.
Skillshare’s creativity-based focus attracts people to their 20,000+ (and growing) catalog of in-depth, intuitive courses to either enhance a workplace skill or learn something new entirely.
What is Brilliant?
Brilliant is an online education platform centered around logic, mathematics, and science-based skills. Their main draw is helping you develop quantitative problem-solving skills that can be applied to your entire life, although primarily in career paths and breaking into new fields/jobs.
Their motto is “Learn to think”, which accurately describes the type of courses they host. Developing logic and reasoning skills may be even more beneficial to you than taking a technical course, or at least having these skills present beforehand.
When you enter a new learning experience with solid logic and reasoning skills, you end up grasping different concepts and values from that course that you might otherwise gloss over.
What Courses do They Offer?
Brilliant is about teaching you how to think, not what to think. Because of this, they offer courses that help challenge what you think you know about logic. On top of that, they offer mathematics, physics, and other problem-solving courses that will blow your mind. It’s all about showing you how to approach the core parts of education and intelligence from a new angle.
On the other hand, Skillshare offers you a ton of different courses with a high emphasis on creativity: piano, guitar, art, voice acting, and other artistically-inclined skills that can turn a profit, but take a creative angle to make it into a business (ahem, Brilliant courses could help with that).
The courses they teach aren’t similar, but some of the ways that they go about them are. We’ll get more into their features in a bit to showcase that.
Who Teaches the Courses?
With Skillshare, you’ll find tons of YouTubers, influencers, and other people that you might already be used to seeing. They usually design, develop, and teach their own courses.
Just about anyone can make a course on Skillshare, although Skillshare is known to be picky with who they accept, they don’t exclusively allow academics or anything like that.
With Brilliant, they’re making all of their own courses. While you’re only getting access to a limited number of courses, they’re all carefully crafted by creative professionals and professional developers that know what they’re doing. If they bring in external instructors to teach a Brilliant course, they usually have a hand in how the material is presented, or have the necessary credentials to teach these courses effectively.
You can’t really know which one you want to go with if you don’t know which service is within your budget.
You might be surprised to find that they’re both affordable and within a wildly inexpensive range. Annual plans, as with anything, will definitely save you money here.
Skillshare has two main pricing models that will appear to students. First, you have their monthly plan at $19.99 per month.
Anyone would argue that it’s a small price to pay for unlimited access to 20,000+ creatively-driven courses with mostly in-depth coverage. On occasion, Skillshare’s price will be $19 per month flat or $228 per year at this rate. However, there is a cheaper way to go about this.
If you sign up for the annual plan, it’s $99 once per year. That equates to about $8.25 per month, which is pretty darn affordable. This is one of the best pricing methods for any online course providers, and that includes the likes of LinkedIn Learning, Udemy (see also ‘Which Is Better LinkedIn Learning Or Udemy?‘), and all the top dogs.
There are pricing options available for team-based use, such as if you’re the head of an organization in charge of training, but Skillshare’s strengths aren’t really focused on a team. We do not recommend team pricing.
With Brilliant, you have two pricing options as well. Go monthly, and you’ll pay $24.99 per month or roughly $300 per year. This isn’t a far cry from Skillshare’s $228-240 per year, but it’s still at least 20% higher.
The annual plan is where you save money, though. This ends up being $12.49 per month, or about $150 per year at this price. This requires an all-at-once upfront payment, but you end up paying half of their monthly cost over the same period of time.
If you’re serious about using Brilliant, such as if you’re homeschooling multiple children and want them to have their own profiles and whatnot, then you should go with the group plan. This allows you to basically have one plan per year at $100, but with a minimum purchase of three. Brilliant isn’t really designed for corporate use.
If you’re going to use either service, you should know what features they have. Each feature is a way to interact with the site, app, or your learning experience in some way.
Features describe the utility that these services offer to us. It’s not about having more features, but about having more intuitive features that actually benefit us: quality over quantity.
- Offline Viewing: Download videos and course material to view offline. Always stay in the know and up-to-date on your course material.
- Shared Learning: More than one person can use one account. All you have to do is scroll back in a course; it doesn’t force you to start from one specific point when you return to an in-progress course.
- Free Classes: Skillshare has a library of free classes as well, which you can use after making a free account. Use these are a precursor to deciding if Skillshare is right for you.
- Customer Support: Skillshare has top-notch customer service when it comes to online classes. If you encounter any issues with your subscription, they’ll help clean it up in record time.
- Top-Tier Customer Support: Just like Skillshare, Brilliant has top-notch customer support that knows what they’re talking about and actually helps solve problems properly.
- Interactive Learning: It’s not just viewing videos; you get to interact with a lot of the material to get a hands-on understanding of the skill or topic.
- Intuitive App: Brilliant makes their app interactive just like their site-based service, so you can learn on the go no matter what.
Teaching Methods of Skillshare
Skillshare uses a common online teaching method for online course modules.
A module consists of video content (usually), as well as text-based documents, PDFs, images, and more downloadable content, which all work to teach you one working part of a broad skill. Modules are linear learning methods that bring you from point A through each module to point Z.
With modules, you have to learn the previous one to know the next one. Some modules may include interactive content while others do not.
Depending on what the subject is, if it calls for it, and what the course instructor/creator has included, you may only have video content, making it slightly less interactive. Again, depending on the skill you’re trying to learn, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Teaching Methods of Brilliant
Brilliant is definitely unique in this regard. While they do have video modules and whatnot, they’re heavily reliant on interactive learning.
After all, you can’t just be taught logic and reasoning without actually applying yourself to it properly. Brilliant’s interactive methods work on their app as well as on web-based applications, so you’ll be able to have the same learning experience no matter what.
Skillshare Pros and Cons
- Interactive Course Material: Just like with Brilliant, you can interact with courses to get more hands-on knowledge. This isn’t as widespread as other services, but it’s still enough to get the job done.
- Quality and Quantity: 20,000+ courses and counting, most of which have high attention to detail and quality. With Skillshare, you’re getting a varied learning experience with in-depth mastery of just about everything they offer.
- Cheap as Can be: Skillshare might just be the cheapest deal out there, at just $8.25 per month on their annual plan, you’re getting access to 50,000+K hours of learning material for a price that’s close to the federal minimum wage.
- Excellent App: It’s almost indistinguishable from the website. Their app covers 90+% of everything their web development-based application does, so you can truly learn on the go with little to no issues.
- Caters to Creatives: Is this a bad thing? Not if you’re creative, but if you want to learn a marketable skill online like Office or a programming language, Skillshare likely isn’t the place that will help you the most.
- Not For Teams: Skillshare offers team packages, but because they’re more creatively based, they’re not really good for teams. Some teachers may get used out of this, but at that point, you’re just passing teaching off to Skillshare instead, so this package doesn’t make sense.
Brilliant Pros and Cons
- Quick Explanations: It’s logic and reasoning, not a lecture—you get actionable information and condensed class structures so that you can learn without having to endure all the fluff. Less “Umms” and “Uhhs” from your instructors is always a good thing.
- Carefully Crafted Courses: Brilliant chooses one or two instructors to teach a course, and they’re always people who understand what they’re doing. You get quality courses from knowledgeable people, and nothing less.
- Coding Mastery: Want to learn Python? Brilliant knows how not only teach you how to code in Python, but how to think like a programmer and approach issues from different angles. They also offer other coding languages, but they’re showing you why not just how.
- Limited Courses: You currently only have access to about 60+ courses. That being said, there are changing weekly features and activities, so it’s not like those 60 courses (which they are still adding to) leave you with nothing more to gain once they’re completed.
- Glitchy: On occasion, you have to restart a course and scroll back up to where you were like it’s not saving your place all the time. There are some glitches here and there that can mess with your experience, and while they’re not a dealbreaker, they’re something that seems to keep popping up from time to time.
Brilliant is not certified, and Skillshare is not certified. That being said, you can get certificates from them, but these just serve as certificates of completion.
The possibility of more than a few thousand people knowing a course by name is slim to none, so if you presented these certificates as your only accreditation for a job application or something similar, then you’re probably not going to get the spot.
A lack of accreditation doesn’t mean that these are the best online learning platforms or bad services in the slightest, it just means that there’s no officiality to them. Learning skills offered by both Skillshare and Brilliant still have plenty of benefits, they just won’t all necessarily be applicable right away.
Who has the Better App: Skillshare or Brilliant?
Skillshare wins this round. When you think about the fact that Skillshare has to access so many more creative courses and features without making the interface feel clunky, you have to give credit where credit is due.
That being said, Brilliant didn’t do badly here, either.
With Brilliant, it’s a lot more interactive than Skillshare, and they’re able to port over about 80-90% of that experience effectively into a mobile app. Problem is, unlike Skillshare, Brilliant is only available through iOS for the iPhone and iPad, so you’re pretty limited in that sense.
It’s a tight race. Keep in mind that one winning doesn’t mean that the other did poorly because both design teams here deserve a round of applause for finally making intuitive learning experiences on the go.
Are Free Courses Better Than Problem-Solving Even if They’re Not Certified?
Problem-solving helps you become an out-of-the-box thinker, and that applies to so many different scenarios.
It’s not a linear skill that focuses on one path from start to finish; it will affect the way you think and the way you approach problems for the lifelong learners.
If you classify yourself as someone who follows instructions well and sticks to the rules, you could do with a little creative chaos.
You could use some logic and mathematical skills to help you approach problems from different angles because quiet people seldom make history—if you’re going to become one in a million, you need to think like one in a million.
Brilliant has its own valuation for sure, and while it’s better for the long haul, Skillshare can help you break into a job.
It’s true, neither area are accredited, but they’re both able to help you grow as a person in different ways. It’s hard to put a value on either because it depends on you.
Skills and Career Paths Await You
Skillshare has clear advantages, but where they lack, Brilliant picks up. The two methods are different, but because you can learn so much with the either brilliant platform, it wouldn’t hurt to simultaneously test them for thirty days each at the same time.
Spend half of your education time on Skillshare, and half on Brilliant to see how they stack up against you. With a lot of these course versus course reviews that we do, it comes down to some variables about you that we can’t possibly know.
What are your goals? What skills do you want to learn or completely master?
Skillshare and Brilliant have helped tons of people become far better at their preferred skills than they ever could have imagined, so regardless of which you choose, you’re winning.