I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tell you that the most effective and efficient organizations are the ones where employees working take part in continuing professional development.
But rather than sign up for a pick and mix of courses from multiple course providers, there’s a lot to be said for attaining them all through a one-stop platform, where everything is standardized.
But, not all such platforms are created equal, which is why it pays to read articles like this one that conduct a thorough full review of the service and what it has to offer.
In this Skillsoft review, we will explain what Skillsoft is, provide some background information, describe its various features, tell you what people are saying about Skillsoft elsewhere on the net, and discuss the various price plans available and their value for money.
We will also mention some of the alternatives available and how they compare, before briefly summarizing the pros and cons for you.
By the time you get to the wrap-up at the end, you will be in a position to decide whether the Skillsoft platform is right for your organization.
And without further ado, let’s get straight to it and analyze the full review.
What Exactly Is The Skillsoft Platform Anyway?
Skillsoft is basically an Information technology company that produces not only great LMS tool, but also find content in the form of courses and knowledge that you can access on a web browser online or, alternatively, through an app on devices such as tablets and smartphones.
What’s Skillsoft’s USP?
With so many learning platforms and course offerings out there, you might be wondering what gives Skillsoft its edge that has made it such a well known name in the field…
It’s this – it is designed for business to boost the skills and knowledge of its workforce, empowering them to be able to achieve more, and achieve highly.
But that’s not the whole story – Skillsoft goes a step further than that.
Their approach focuses on providing business outcomes by thoughtfully suggesting online training pathways that are in line with the client organization’s business objectives, through a very tailored and personalized approach.
This way, Skillsoft not only addresses training needs in the workplace but also ensures that this online training is fully incorporated into the overall business strategy.
Since its founding in 1998 by Charles Moran, Skillsoft has gained well over 20 years industry knowledge and experience in what they do.
What’s more, they have won award after award from multiple organizations every single year since 2009.
Skillsoft describes itself as the world leader in cloud-based training, and it has thousands of clients around the globe.
They truly believe in the learners and their mission is to bring out what they already have inside of them.
However, things have not always been plain sailing for Skillsoft.
There were various changes to the business over the years, and at one point, in June 2020, Skillsoft actually filed for bankruptcy. But then emerged from bankruptcy just 2 months later.
Things are certainly on the up now, however.
In December 2021, Skillsoft announced that it was acquiring the popular code and programming learning platform known as Codecademy, and the sale was completed by April 2022.
And currently, it now trains more professionals than any other company in the world.
And in order to do so, it has courses available in over 30 different languages. What’s more, since it’s beginning it has trained over a whopping 400 million users!
What Are The Features Of Skillsoft?
Relevant Content For Businesses And Their Workforce
Skillsoft broadly covers the following areas:
- Leadership development
- Technology & Developer
- Business necessary skills
- Digital upskilling
Let’s touch on some of these in a little more detail…
Skillsoft is most celebrated for its Leadership Development Program, which is what it markets most keenly.
This program uses scenario based learning through compelling drama and storytelling, highlighting the critical human interaction elements of leadership that can be the key to success.
It serves to boost such core leadership competencies as leading innovation, leading virtually, leading in times of change and disruption, embracing diversity in the workplace, and leading a customer-centric company culture with work life balance.
In Demand Skills For Technology Professionals
Skillsoft has cleverly found a gap in the continuous professional development market.
While technology professionals are frequently very good at all kinds of digital tasks, it is often a boost to their soft skills that will give them a competitive edge, since communication is a critical skill in any area of business.
As technology changes and improves, so must the workforce.
Workforces need to familiarize themselves with what this new technology means for how they conduct their business.
And to that end Skillsoft has put together Elearning courses across a number of core competencies such as the essentials of digital transformation, data science, digital marketing & communications, and virtual working.
As we know, laws change over time and get tweaked as things change.
And every workforce has to keep up and demonstrate that they comply with the new circumstances.
To that end, Skillsoft offers a Compliance Solutions program designed to provide legal, ethics and workplace safety training through a full suite of customizable compliance training with so many options that are tailored around each client’s industry-specific requirements.
Library Of More Than 500,000 Assets
Skillsoft holds the largest and the most comprehensive set of business training assets there is, thanks to their library of over 500,000 parts that enable learners to not just passively watch, read, or listen to information, but also gives them the opportunity to practice it as well.
Learning with Skillsoft is multimodal, and there’s video learning, hands-on practice labs, books and book summaries, audiobooks, and even virtual mentoring.
Another great thing about Skillsoft is its accessibility. As with most learning platforms, all of the learning is available on the internet through a web browser.
But, in keeping with the times the Skillsoft content is also available to access on the Skillsoft Learning App which is available from the App Store for use on an iPad or iPhone, and there’s also the Skillsoft Percipio App, which is available on Google Play for use on Android and Windows devices.
If you have to choose between the two, the Percipio app has the better user ratings, and the better user interface.
You can learn new skills on the go, and improve on skills you already have thanks to the benchmarking, earn digital badges, set weekly goals, use notifications, and you don’t even have to be online to access course content – you can watch, read, or listen offline.
Perfect for the daily commute!
As mentioned earlier, Skillsoft acquired the computer programming platform Codecademy in 2022, which is now a subsidiary.
As you may imagine from the name, Codecademy is basically an academy for learning how to code. It’s perfect for anyone wanting to explore coding, learn a programming language, or gain a skill. And if you have a particular career in mind, then you can select that particular lesson path, to reach your desired goal.
It is possible to sign up to Codecademy alone, without having to subscribe to Skillsoft.
What Different Subscription Plans Are Available?
Although the different Skillsoft apps are usually free to download on either Android, Windows or Apple devices, it’s important to note that you will have to pay a subscription fee in order to access any course content.
At the time of writing this article, there were 3 different subscription plans available…
There’s one just for individuals, and it covers skills in business, technology and more, and includes courses, certifications, boot camps, and curated learning journeys. It’s a great way for individuals to boost their CVs.
It’s reasonably priced (we don’t include prices here in case they change), and you can save a nice sum of money if you choose to pay annually rather than monthly.
The team plan is for up to 50 new users, but you only have to pay for each user. As you may imagine, this is more expensive than the individual plan, but it does have more to offer…
In addition to everything included in the individual plan, you can also create assignments for the leadership team, add your own content, track user progress and learning engagement.
And again, you can save money by opting for annual billing rather than the monthly billing.
The enterprise plan is impressive.
There’s enhanced content management, personal development learning paths, extensive reporting tool and dashboards, and an option to include the much coveted Leadership Development Program, and the Compliance add-on.
When this article was written, the cost of the enterprise plan was conspicuously missing from the website.
And call me a cynic, but to me this suggests that the plan is considerably expensive.
Visitors to the page are encouraged to request a demo, which, no doubt, is as much of a selling exercise as it is a demonstration of the service.
Is It Good Value For Money?
As mentioned earlier, we believe that the Individual plan is very reasonably priced, and therefore worth the money until you have acquired all the technical skills and knowledge that you’re looking for.
But I’m going to level with you here. As for whether the other pricing plans are good value for money is really hard to say.
For the Team pricing plan, the cost will depend on how many people are in said team (or it could even be a whole department).
What’s more, the true value of the platform comes down to how keenly the business needs this workforce training.
However, visitors to the website are often eligible for a free trial.
So if you’re tempted but not yet decided, you could make the most of the opportunity to try before you buy, and gauge for yourself just how valuable their service offering actually is for you and/or your business/team.
What Are The Alternatives To Skillsoft, And How Do They Compare?
It’s beyond the scope of this article to compare Skillsoft with every other online learning platform out there, but we can certainly compare it to some of the main contenders.
At the time of writing, Skillsoft had a 4.2-star rating, while Udemy Business had a 4.5-star rating. However, Udemy Business had more than 5 times as many individual user ratings.
Pluralsight Skills also had a higher overall rating than Skillsoft, coming in at 4 and a half stars. But again, Pluralsight Skills had seen more individual user ratings.
And it’s a similar story with LinkedIn Learning, which comes in at 4 and a half stars, but with more individual user ratings than Skillsoft.
Skillsoft was deemed the best for features such as skill assessment, comprehension checks, learning paths and manager tracking dashboards, but was rated lower than the others on many missing critical features.
Summary Of The Pros And Cons
- Relevant content for businesses and their workforce
- Provides business outcomes by suggesting training pathways that are in line with the client organization’s business objectives
- Largest and the most comprehensive set of business training assets around
- Excellent leadership and professional development program
- Can be good value for money in certain circumstances
- Easy accessibility online and offline with Skillsoft apps
- Compliance solutions and learning programs for legal, ethics, and workplace safety training courses.
- Excellent for the digital upskilling of the workforce
- It’s possible to sign up to Codecademy alone, without having to subscribe to Skillsoft
- Despite just how much Skillsoft has to offer clients and learners, it doesn’t always fair as well with some of its alternatives when it comes to user ratings
So, in summary, Skillsoft certainly does have quite a lot to offer. As for whether it’s right for your business, this very much comes down to what your business workforce actually needs.
It is imperative that you carry out a needs assessment before you look into what learning platform to sign up with, and that you browse through the course catalogs (or use the search bar) to determine whether each platform caters for the training that your workforce needs.
We hope that you enjoyed reading this full review!