You want to learn a new technical skill, whether it’s for work, switching fields, or to begin a passion project.
Skillshare is the budget-friendly choice with tons of options, but Lynda comes with a higher monthly cost, and has now been meshed into LinkedIn Learning, so there are some changes with that.
We’re here to help you choose which one is better for your needs.
It’s time to have the heated debate of Skillshare vs Lynda and see just which course website has the better offer. These online education giants both have a lot to offer, so trust me when I say it’s not going to be an easy decision to make.
- Skillshare and Lynda Compared
- What Courses do They Offer?
- Who Teaches the Courses?
- Teaching Methods of Skillshare
- Teaching Methods of Lynda
- Skillshare Pros and Cons
- Lynda Pros and Cons
- Who Has the Better App: Skillshare or Lynda?
- Is One Better for a Specific Skill?
- Technical Skills and Art Skills: You Choose
Skillshare and Lynda share subscription-based models, intuitive online learning experiences, and they’re both outlined with 10,000+ courses that can enhance your working knowledge of just about anything that you’d like.
But against one another, which one performs better, and does the course type really matter that much? Let’s find out.
As an online education platform, Skillshare is a collective of various creators and course makers that make up 20,000+ courses in various skills.
Skillshare allows for low-priced subscriptions that almost anyone can afford, as well as intuitive learning methods, interactive modules, and tons of content to help you scale your idea into something marketable, or at the very least enhance your creative endeavors.
The community is excited to learn, the instructors are competing for your attention, and above all else, it’s available in so many different ways. Skillshare is learning on-the-go or in the comfort of your own home, and at your own pace.
What is Lynda?
Lynda has a heavy emphasis on enhancing your current workplace capabilities, helping you learn a new skill to switch fields, or seek a promotion from within your company with your newfound skills and working knowledge.
With over 16,000+ courses for you to choose from, you have so many opportunities to develop your skills.
What Courses do They Offer?
Skillshare and Lynda are going head-to-head right now because they offer some similar courses, but with heavy, heavy sways to opposite sides of the aisle.
Skillshare is all about creativity: photography, art, drawing, design, guitar, piano, music production, you name it. If it’s artistically-fueled, they have their hands in the honey pot.
With Lynda, they mostly focus on job-ready skills, such as coding, business admin, marketing, SEO, and social media management.
Both do a fantastic job in their own respective fields, but they have different ways of showing it.
Who Teaches the Courses?
On Lynda (remember that this is now LinkedIn Learning), you learn from hired professionals that were brought in specifically to teach these courses.
They know what they’re doing, they have first-hand working knowledge of the subject, and they all but guarantee you’ll get a more in-depth, realistic experience from someone who’s currently in the role you wish to fill one day.
Then we get to Skillshare, which has similar themes to Udemy in their courses. Content is user-generated, and not necessarily vetted. Now, platforms like these have high-quality courses, so any new course makers know that they have to not only provide high-quality content, but beat other people’s products.
It’s a competitive environment that ensures you’re getting the best education that is within the abilities of that specific instructor. Skillshare also has a ton of experts on their platform as well, all there by their own free will.
It always comes down to the budget-friendly options, the ones we can all afford. With Skillshare and Lynda, you get two excellent subscription-based choices that help you save tons of money.
These are both subscription-based models, but Skillshare takes the cake when it comes to affordability. If you choose their annual package, it’s $99 per year, or just $8.25 per month. The savings here is fantastic when you consider the alternative, which is a $19 month-to-month basis.
The thing is, that’s still just $228 per year even if you can’t afford the annual plan, but it’s obviously a far cry from the savings of the annual plan. That’s a dollar above the federal minimum wage for thirty days of access to 20,000+ courses—that’s an insane value.
Lynda has been acquired by LinkedIn, which means that their entire learning library—while still accessible from Lynda.com—is now part of LinkedIn Learning. If you have a LinkedIn account and you pay annually, you end up just paying a cool $19.99 per month for access to 16,000+ courses.
However, standard monthly payments with no annual plan in place are at $29.99. That’s still under $400 per year, and it all automatically comes with LinkedIn Premium. The big catch here is that you can post your certificates/completion on your LinkedIn Profile, so as you accrue more certificates, your LinkedIn profile is working in the background to attract employers.
The more certificates you earn (which LinkedIn veterans know can be trusted), the higher your earning potential becomes.
Features are basically anything that you interact with that help you understand the learning material. Clicking on a video and it actually working is technically a feature, so we’re going to tread lightly with this list.
- Offline Viewing: Not able to get any type of reception when you’re on the train for fifteen minutes in the morning? That’s okay—you can download videos and lessons and use them through the app offline.
- Free Classes: Yeah, you don’t have to sign up for anything if you don’t want to. While Skillshare doesn’t have an enormous library of free courses, many of them (that are very in-depth and valuable) are entirely free. It can’t hurt to scan the site and see what you can get.
- Shared Learning: It’s okay to use one Skillshare account for multiple people. You can backtrack through a course, provided that two people want to take that same course, and just restart from wherever you left off.
- Customer Support: Skillshare wasn’t known for its customer support until recently, but whether it’s a refund or just having a technical question answered, they actually have customer service reps that don’t get agitated or make you feel stupid for asking questions. Props to Skillshare for this.
- Video Quality: I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to focus when I know a video is buffering in super low resolution. LinkedIn Learning wouldn’t be a frontrunner in the online education space if they had poor quality videos.
- 16,000+ Courses: That’s a lot of courses, especially when you realize they all gravitate towards technical, marketable skills. While you can’t guarantee that all 16K are going to be top-notch, no human being even has time to learn everything on Lynda/LinkedIn Learning.
- Constantly Adding New Courses: As skills develop and job demands increase, LinkedIn Learning/Lynda provide new access to top-notch courses without it affecting your membership fee. No extra charge, just extra classes dropping in constantly.
- LinkedIn Premium: This is just integrated in. Enjoy messaging prospects, being found in search results easier, and having access to better analytical tools to help turn those newfound skills into the start of a budding career.
Similar to Lynda, Skillshare uses video learning methods through modules. When you open up a module, you’ll first be met with video content in almost every circumstance.
From there, you’ll have access to certain downloadable content such as PDFs, images, and text documents that may be pertinent to the course. These help you grasp the skill you’re being taught, but depend on what the instructors want to include.
Because content is user-generated, there’s no set time frame or limit on what you can expect from their courses. Everything is built into a fairly clean interface, so you shouldn’t run into any problems with modules, loading times, or understanding the content. Modular learning is linear and the way that most online platforms do it.
Teaching Methods of Lynda
With Lynda, you can expect to see a system similar to Skillshare. The thing is, Lynda uses sequences, which work slightly differently than modules.
Instead of one module leading to the next, they use sequences that don’t rely on one another for the learning material.
Yes, you should view all of them, but if you already know part of a subject and you’re using a Lynda course to enhance that knowledge or further it, you don’t have to sit through introductions or parts you already know to get to new information.
- Quality Courses: While there’s no accreditation, Skillshare still takes the quality of the courses that appear on their site very seriously. You’ll be able to rely on their attention to detail and demand for high quality in every course that you go through.
- Ridiculously Cheap: $8.25 per month is an amazing deal, especially when you consider that the 20,000+ course library is expanding every single day. You’re not just getting access to what’s there, but what’s still yet to come.
- Interactive Learning Experience: While it’s not in every course, some do have an interactive learning technique that allows you to actually engage with the content. You learn a lot more by doing, and this helps.
- Intuitive App: Skillshare just cares that you learn period, so they give you tons of avenues to explore it. Their apps, which work well for Android, iOS, smartphones and tablets, all give you the ability to access courses and learning material on the fly.
- Creatives Reign Supreme: This is good for creatives, but if you’re here to learn a new skill for a career path or to get a raise in your job, this might not be the place. They have some courses for this, it’s just not tailored to career skills nearly as much.
- Not Designed for Team Use: Well, they have a corporate section, which is what landed them in the doghouse in the cons list. They try to offer team-based solutions, but Skillshare caters more to creatives than it does to technical skills that you would want to sign your employees up for.
Lynda Pros and Cons
- Extensive Library: There are 16,000+ courses in Lynda, which means currently, if you did one entire course in one day (not always possible, but for argument’s sake), you would need 43+ years to complete what they have. Not to mention that the list is growing by the day.
- Affordable Subscription: While it is more expensive than Skillshare no matter how you look at it, both of these options are super cheap, and allow you to learn new skills that can net you five extra figures every single year, all for a low cost of a couple hundred bucks. That’s beyond worth it.
- LinkedIn Premium: Want LinkedIn’s premium services? It’s all wrapped up in the price, so you get to enjoy hundreds of dollars in LinkedIn value while also learning new skills to appeal to recruiters on LinkedIn. It’s like an all-in-one job service.
- Some Courses Are Flops: LinkedIn had to port over everything from Lynda, and not all the courses were that great. While we’d say about 85% or more of Lynda’s courses are viable for learning, that’s not a full one-hundred. There are bound to be a few bad apples in the bunch.
- Shorter Courses: When you do find quality courses, they’re short. This isn’t always because they optimize them, which is why this doesn’t land them any points. Short courses with condensed materials would be better and save you time.
There is no certification, no matter which way you spin it. Lynda is not accredited, and Skillshare is not accredited. The only noteworthy mention here is that because Lynda is now LinkedIn Learning, certifications show up on your LinkedIn profile, but not anywhere else.
People have found lifelong careers on LinkedIn, and continue to do so. That’s not a small thing, but because this certification isn’t even usable on other networking sites and is not a tangible achievement, you can’t bring it with you. It’s limiting either way.
However, the skills you learn from these high-quality classes can transfer over to getting a full degree from a top-tier university through Coursera. Many of the courses on there require you to have previous knowledge, so a hundred bucks to get prepped for an accelerate learning program with a real college degree on Coursera isn’t half bad.
Skillshare has a fantastic app, and now that Lynda has become part of LinkedIn Learning, they’re integrated with that platform.
I have to say that while Skillshare makes their app intuitive as can be, they’re pretty neck-in-neck with LinkedIn Learning. There’s no clear-cut winner here.
Instead, I’ll point out that using the app, from learning to hosting courses, is far better than most LMS apps out there. From the front-end of things, Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning make it easy to access about 80-90% of what you would be able to access on web applications, so you’re not limited regardless of which app you use.
Is One Better for a Specific Skill?
You’re not going to learn guitar on Lynda, and digital marketing on Skillshare is either poor quality or practically non-existent. Yes, you are going to find different skills have their strengths and presences
Adobe After Effects is used in so many post-production applications, and as such, even with its technical requirements, usage is sought after by creatives more than anyone else.
People want to know how to make their creative, artistic visions come to life, and they can only do that through certain apps like these. Skillshare absolutely takes this one without a fight, but considering that Lynda is better with business administration and marketing, they still have their high ground in this battle.
Lynda is now owned by Microsoft, but ironically, Skillshare has the better courses on Microsoft office applications (that we were able to find, at least).
From what we viewed, Skillshare is mostly used by creatives, but there are definitely people on there that want to learn about job skills as well, and the Skillshare instructors who designed these courses did a fantastic job.
Technical Skills and Art Skills: You Choose
Keep in mind that Microsoft owns Lynda (through their acquisition of LinkedIn), and Microsoft has been known for either completely screwing up a business or making it fantastic, there’s rarely any in-between.
So far, Lynda still appears to be a solid option, but big companies have a way of making drastic changes without consulting the community. In terms of courses, it all depends on what you really want to learn.
Lynda is excellent, and while there is more of a margin of error in Skillshare because courses can be user-generated, there are also plenty of low-cost, high-quality courses on here, and Skillshare does a good job of making it easy to access them. It depends on the skills you want to learn, because both of these services are top notch.