Best Online Learning Platforms β€” 2023 Review

In this article we will be overviewing the best online learning platforms: Coursera, Skilshare, Masterclass, Udemy, Domestika and Linkedin Learning. From their structure, pricing to the benefits and cons of each.

Close up of female hands while typing on laptop for online learning at home

Online learning platforms are the latest and greatest way to learn new skills, without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home. In this digital age we’re living in, education is evolving for the better, and it’s never been easier to learn something new or brush up on old skills.

people learning online with laptions

In this article, we will be covering the best online learning platforms in 2023, in no specific order given that they all fit different needs and topics, including pricing options and pros & cons!

Just a heads up, our articles may contain affiliate links in order to help cover the costs of running this review site.


Coursera

Coursera is an expert online learning platform that provides access to online courses and degrees from over 275+ top institutions and organizations around the globe.

Some of the institutions offering courses in Coursera include Imperial College London, IBM, and Google.

Coursera courses contain a mixture of peer-reviewed assignments and video lectures typically used in 4-6 week courses.

It offers Guided Projects, programming assignments, and in-course exams that help learners master the learning materials, offline, and via their mobile app!

Most of Coursera‘s courses are geared toward developing technical skills; popular subjects include content creation, artificial intelligence, data science, web design, computer science, programming languages (Python, Java, etc.), content writing, and marketing techniques.

Skillshare Banner Ad

Another great thing about Coursera is its community. Learners can engage in conversations and exchange ideas on public discussion forums and have direct feedback on their work.

Pricing: How much does Coursera cost? πŸ’΅

Some Coursera Courses are free! (2655 as of writing this article) But most of their content requires some form of payment in order to be accessed.

For Individuals πŸ‘€

  • Guided Projects start at $9.99.
  • Specializations and Professional Certificates start at $39.99 per month
  • Coursera Plus subscription costs $399 per year
  • Full degrees begin at $9,000.

Coursera additionally offers a one-month free trial.

For Teams, Corporations, Businesses πŸ‘₯

If you have a team that has between 5 -125 people, you are able to get a yearly membership that includes unlimited access to 8,500 courses.

  • It costs $399 USD per user, billed either annually or quarterly.
Team Pricing for Coursera screenshot
Team Pricing for Coursera

For Enterprises 🏒

If your business consists of 125+ individuals, you must get in touch with coursera directly here in order to learn more.

Does Coursera offer any certificates?

Most Coursera courses result in credentials like degrees, certificates of completion, and other professional qualifications which are widely accepted. This greatly benefits learners who would like to start a career or learn about a different field but don’t have the time or facilities to attend an in-person institution.

The best feature Coursera has, is that also provides Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Some examples of their higher education degrees include:

Regardless, for aspiring mentors or professors, Coursera is not appropriate for independent course developers; instead, it’s targeted more at universities and large corporations. Most of Coursera’s courses are geared toward developing technical skills; popular subjects include content creation, artificial intelligence, data science, web design, computer science, programming languages (Python, Java, etc.), content writing, and marketing techniques.

Pros

βœ… High-quality courses  

βœ… Recognized Qualifications and Certificates

βœ… Free courses available

βœ… Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees available

βœ… One-month free trial

Cons

❌ Not suitable for independent course sellers

❌ Bachelor’s are still relatively expensive.

❌ Specializations are only accessible through monthly subscriptions.

Skillshare

Skillshare is a popular online learning platform that connects creative professionals with specific skills and eager learners from around the world.

Source: Skillshare.com

Anyone can find, take, or even teach a class on Skillshare.

Through project-based classes, learners can interact with teachers and other course-takers while going through the same challenges and learning material.

Skillshare classes are ideal for anyone looking to develop new skills or pursue current or recent interests. Moreover, classes range from beginner to expert, giving chances for both to pursue their interests.

Most courses offered at Skillshare are oriented but include other topics such as advertising, business, and entrepreneurship.

This online learning platform requires the instructor to record, upload, and publish short classes on the platform. Then, for each Skillshare user who views the courses, the instructor will then receive monthly royalties.

The objective of Skillshare is to promote learning by empowering field professionals to share their knowledge with people who want to learn from them.

Additionally, on each course, you have a discussion forum, where you are able to talk about the things you have learned with other students and sometimes the instructors themselves!

Skillshare Banner Ad
Teacher and instructor question in skillshare

Pricing: How Much Does Skillshare Cost? πŸ’΅

Is there a free trial?

Skillshare provides one month of free trial after signing up for a Skillshare Premium Subscription. This subscription includes unlimited access to all 35,000+ online classes. Skillshare’s Premium Subscription for individuals costs:

  • $32 per month
  • $168 per year ( save about 50%, or roughly $14 per month).

For Teams, Corporations, Businesses πŸ‘₯

Skillshare offers a Team MembershipTeam Plans are billed on an annual contract only. It costs $159 USD per user per year, and payment is made all at once.

Another cool option available for teams/businesses is corporate gift cards. You can read more about corporate gift cards at Skillshare here.

Can I buy individual courses from Skillshare?

Currently, you are not able to purchase individual courses from Skillshare.

Pros

βœ… Offers a free trial

βœ… Best design-oriented online learning platform out there

βœ… Captions/ Subtitles in English, Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese.

βœ… Learning feels more friendly and less stressful

βœ… Community motivated. The discussion forums have a positive ambiance and the engagement is actually positive to your learning experience.

βœ… Refer a friend and receive a free month extra.

βœ… Written Transcripts

βœ… Access to their entire course library with their subscription.

Cons

❌ Course diversity, most Skillshare courses relate to business, design, illustration, and photography.

❌ Tough refund policy

❌Unable to browse courses without creating an account.

❌ Unable to purchase individual courses

❌ Does not offer science and mathematics courses

❌ Absence of credential/accreditation/ certificates of completion

If you’d like to read an in-depth review of Skillshare, you can read it here

Domestika

domestika logo
Domestika Logo

Domestika is the go-to resource for enthusiastic creatives with a business mindset, who want to develop new skills.

This online platform first began as a modest forum for creatives. However, it has since grown into a sizable e-learning platform with more than 10 categories of courses and talented instructors from around the globe.

Domestika provides classes in a variety of creative fields, including illustration, web development, animation, marketing, business, photography, video, design, handicraft, architecture, calligraphy, typography, and technology.

Pricing: How Much Does Domestika Cost? πŸ’΅

Domestika has several pricing options. You can buy individual courses for $59.99 but they often run sales/promotions that bring courses down to $9.99!

There is also a subscription service called Domestika Plus that grants you access to a catalog of courses every 30 days. Additionally, you are granted 1 credit every month that you are able to redeem for any course of your choice and 20% off any additional course.

Currently, there aren’t any free trials available for Domestika Plus.

Screenshot depicting domestika plus courses vs courses that are not included
Domestika Plus courses VS Courses that are not included with plus

Individual Plus Memberships πŸ‘€

  • Monthly subscription: $9.99 per month
  • Yearly subscription: $6.99 per month ( $83.88 yearly )

For Teams, Corporations, Businesses πŸ‘₯

  • 10 logins: $299
  • 20 logins: $599
  • 50 logins: $1499

For over +50 logins you must contact Domestika Directly here.

Pros

βœ… Domestika lessons are created in-house which keeps the quality consistent

βœ… Courses span the fundamentals, intermediate, and advanced levels

βœ… Domestika Plus includes attendance and completion certificates with the signatures of the tutors.

βœ… If you complete a course, you will retain access forever.

βœ… You can buy individual courses

βœ… Great promotional discounts

βœ… Courses in several languages and courses with auto-generated captions in English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch

βœ… 14-day refund or exchange.

Cons

❌ No free trial/free courses available

❌ Certificates are only available by completing courses through a Plus Subscription or a Business plan

❌ Most courses are art oriented, so although there is great variety in the creative arts, there aren’t any courses relating to sciences/mathematics.

❌ Domestika Plus does not allow you full access to their course library, only partial

❌ Presently, you are not able to filter by language/ subtitles.

❌ No free trial

Udemy

Skillshare Banner Ad
Udemy Logo
Udemy Logo

Udemy is a prominent online course provider with the biggest library of content. With over 100,000 courses, it opens up new opportunities for people and organizations all across the world by empowering organizations and individuals through flexible, effective skill and professional development.

Their worldwide marketplace has a large multi-language library with thousands of courses taught by real-world specialists. It organizes training into modules and lessons that include videos, slides, written notes, and assessment quizzes.

demy material course breakdown example screenshot
Udemy Course Material Breakdown Example

While Udemy is not an accredited institution, they provide skill-based courses taught by industry experts. Every authorized, paid course includes a certificate of completion to confirm your achievement. Furthermore, Udemy has the most diverse course selection.

If you are interested in becoming an instructor, all you need to do is sign up and you’ll be able to create and publish your course on the platform. Additionally, it is incredibly easy to find the right topic within your expertise that will generate the most sales by using The Marketplace Insights tool.

Marketplace Insight Tool at Udemy

After selecting a subject, you can look through the Teaching Center’s resources to discover more about how to design the best online course. You also have control over your prices and can set your tuition fees. However, Udemy will have a part of your earnings as this platform uses a revenue-sharing model

Pricing: How Much Does Udemy Cost? πŸ’΅

You are able to buy individual courses at Udemy, and the price may range in between $12.99 and $199.99. Besides, there are around 2,000 free courses available.

For individuals, there is a subscription service available that grants you access to 8,000 courses at Udemy. It costs:

  • $29.99 per month, as a monthly membership.
  • $199 per year ($16.58/ month), as an annual membership (Save $160)

Either membership grants you a 7-day free trial.

For Teams, Corporations, Businesses πŸ‘₯

The Udemy Business Team Plan is a subscription meant for organizations with 5 – 20 individuals. At the moment, it includes access to 8,300+ courses and benefits such as

  • $360 per user (plus applicable taxes) with an annual subscription package.

You are able to try this service for for 14 days

Enterprise 🏒

This plan will require a minimum of 21 members, and the price would depend on after getting in touch with Udemy Support. Additionally, it includes more than double of courses being offered by the Udemy Bussiness Team Plan.

Skillshare Banner Ad
Take a Glance at the Administrator Dashboard
Take a Glance at the Administrator Dashboard

Pros

βœ… Filter by language/captions

βœ… Certificate of Completion at the end of each course

βœ… Lifetime access to bought courses

βœ… Wide variety of courses

βœ… Largest library of online courses

βœ… 7-day free trial

βœ… Free courses available

Cons

❌ Personal plan doesn’t grant you full access to the entire course library

❌ Personal plan can only be bought in specific regions

❌ Strict to a non-existent plan membership refund

❌ Udemy takes a substantial cut of revenues.

❌ Certificates issued by Udemy are neither accredited nor university-aligned.

If you’d like to read an in-depth review of Udemy, click here

Masterclass

masterclass logo
Masterclass Logo

MasterClass sets itself apart from other learning platforms by its unique model and high-production-quality content. In MasterClass, you are able to learn directly from over 150 of the best and most recognized professionals in the world, from Gordon Ramsey to Anna Wintour.

Learning in MasterClass feels inherently different than other online learning platforms; it feels like a direct and personal conversation with your instructors. Almost like watching the best type of informational documentary on Netflix, you will get a direct insight into the instructor’s niches and practices, which are greatly varied. Courses taught in MasterClass include Culinary Arts, Design, Leadership, and Personal Branding, among others.

Each course was designed by the instructor and featured a wealth of pre-recorded video material, interactive assignments, and extracurricular activities.

Examples  of Masterclass Courses and Instructors
Examples of Masterclass Courses and Instructors

In addition, students can follow along in a downloadable PDF instructor’s guide with assignments that they can submit to our community for critique and feedback, in addition to the course videos. Moreover, students receive comments from their peers in our private student group, where we will also broadcast the most recent community activities.

Pricing: How much does Masterclass cost? πŸ’΅

Masterclass offers plans based on how many people will want to have access along with you. Please note all MasterClass plans are billed annually.

Individual πŸ‘€

The individual membership includes unlimited course access, access to sessions, and cross-device learning but, you are unable to download content for offline viewing.

  • $180 per year ($15 a month)

Duo πŸ‘₯

This membership includes the same benefits as the Individual Plan, but it allows you to watch simultaneously on two devices and allows you to download content for learning on the go.

  • $240 per year (save $120 if both people were already using MasterClass!)

Family πŸ‘₯πŸ‘₯

The family pack includes the same benefits as the Duo Membership, but it allows 6 devices for simultaneous viewing. It has the best value option and definitely can be a transferable option for small teams.

  • $276 per year

Team, Companies 🏒

If you are interested in placing a bulk order for a Masterclass Subscription, please reach out directly to their support team here

Pros

βœ… The videos can be accessed through a smartphone, laptop, Apple TV, and FireTV streaming media players at any time, anywhere.

βœ… Each class includes dedicated and certified Teaching Assistants who may answer questions and provide feedback.

βœ… Beginner friendly

βœ… Enriching and entertaining to watch

βœ… Comprehensive plan options for the people in your household

βœ… 30-day money-back guarantee

βœ… Learning from world-renowned successful individuals

Cons

❌ The only pricing option is for an annual membership

❌ Completing a masterclass course will not result in a new job

❌ Individual account doesn’t allow for offline viewing

❌ You won’t be acquiring any hard skills that you can show on a resume

❌ No certificate of completion

❌ No free courses

Linkedin Learning

Skillshare Banner Ad
linkedin learning homepage screenshot

Previously known as Lynda.com, Linkedin Learning is a professional e-learning platform with over 20,000 courses and with a wide variety of topics, such as design, business, and tech. You will be able to grow or refresh your current knowledge of a certain topic or explore a new field and gain in-demand skills while being taught by the top industry experts.

You are able to get Certifications Preparation, Continuing Education (CEU), and even Academic Credits at a selection of universities by completing courses in Linkedin Learning.

With learning paths, you are able to fully immerse yourself in your topic of interest, and all your progress and hard work will be rewarded by certificates that you can easily display directly on your LinkedIn Profile.

Pricing: How much does Linkedin Learning cost? πŸ’΅

If you’d like to buy an individual course they usually range between $25 – $49. Additionally, you are able to get unlimited access to their course library by purchasing one of their subscription services.

For Individuals πŸ‘€

  • $39.99 as a monthly subscription
  • $239.88 as an annual subscription ($19.99/month).

The first month of both subscriptions is free and unfortunately, there aren’t any free courses. If you already have Linkedin Premium, you already have access to Linkedin Learning. Interchangeably, buying LinkedIn Learning will give you a Linkedin Premium account.

For Teams, Corporations, Businesses πŸ‘₯

  • $379.99 per license per year for 2-20 Licenses.
  • 21+ licenses for enterprises, you must reach out directly for a quote. You can get in touch by clicking here.

Pros

βœ… Free 30-day trial

βœ… Certificates of Completion

βœ… You are able to purchase individual courses

βœ… Unlimited library access with subscription purchase

βœ… Offline viewing

βœ… Includes Linkedin Premium

βœ… Transferrable learning with CEU, and Academic Credits

Cons

❌ Courses feel a bit less entertaining

❌ Few Universities are involved in the academic credit scheme

❌ Relatively higher price

❌ Their course library is small compared to Skillshare, Udemy and Domestika.

If you’d like to read an in-depth review on Linkedin Learning, you can do so here

So, Which online learning platform is the best?

online learning illustration

Well, that really depends on what you are looking for.

If you are pursuing art, and design and are not really interested in certificates but in improving your design knowledge and skills, then a platform like Skillshare and Domestika would be best for you.

If you would like to learn passively while being entertained, I would recommend MasterClass.

If you are interested in rebooting your career or adding a specific skillset verification certificate to your resume, then Coursera and Linkedin Learning would be the wiser choice.

And, for all the topics that are far in between where you would like to acquire more specific, in-depth knowledge, I would recommend buying a singular course in Udemy, rather than the subscription itself.

Additionally, for the services that have a free trial available, try them out! More often than not, I found myself using the platforms I expected to use the least, like Skillshare and Masterclass, since it is so fun and entertaining to watch. I constantly had courses that I wanted to watch next and was taking screenshots of things I wanted to remember as my preferred note-taking method.

In the end, I was able to keep the subscriptions I actually enjoyed, rather than just sticking with the option I thought was best for me.