Leave a Comment

Best Udemy alternatives: Learn new skills in 2021

Udemy logo

Udemy is one of the biggest and most popular online learning platforms there is, but it doesn’t have everything. If you’re looking for more specialized courses, you may need to look to a few Udemy alternatives.

As a self-proclaimed eLearncing junkie (and former instructional designer), I’ve spent a lot of time searching for online classes. I’ve boiled down that knowledge into this quick guide to the best Udemy alternatives that are worth trying out in 2021.

In a hurry? Try Domestika for creative courses, LinkedIn Learning for professional courses, and Skillshare for everything else.

No let’s get to the full list!

Affiliate disclosure: Articles on Tiny Workshops may contain affiliate links.

Best Udemy Alternatives

1. Domestika

Best Udemy alternative for creatives: Domestika

✔️ Fantastic creative courses
✔️ High production values
✔️ No subscription required
✔️ Very affordable pricing

❌ Many subtitled courses
❌ Not accredited

First up is Domestika, which is the best Udemy alternative for courses related to anything creative.

In fact, its creative course catalog is even better than Udemy’s.

What makes Domestika special is that it uses an in-house production crew for all of its courses. Paired with a qualified teacher, this means that course quality is incredibly high across the entire platform.

Learn more: What is Domestika? Is it worth it?

Granted, there are fewer total courses and they don’t cover as wide a variety of topics. Here’s the full list of categories:

  • Illustration
  • Marketing & Business
  • Photography & Video
  • Craft
  • Design
  • 3D & Animation
  • Architecture & Spaces
  • Technology
  • Calligraphy & Typography

Like Udemy, it uses a one-time purchase model, so you don’t have to worry about any subscription fees. Once you buy a course, it’s yours to keep forever.

Courses are also very reasonably priced, with frequent sales bringing course down to about $10 a piece. There are also course bundles that make them even cheaper.

Now for the downside: most of the courses are in Spanish with subtitles. There is a growing catalog of English-language courses (nearly 100 at this point), but the vast majority will be subbed.

Read also: 15 best Domestika courses in English (plus 5 in Spanish)

Don’t let that deter you though. For me personally, I’ve encountered tons of talented artists from around the world to follow that I otherwise never would have heard of.

Register a free account below to get started browsing creative courses.

2. LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning logo blue

✔️ Great skills for job seekers
✔️ LinkedIn certificates
✔️ 17,000+ courses
✔️ High production values

❌ Somewhat pricey
❌ Not accredited
❌ Limited creative courses

It’s possible that you’ve never heard of LinkedIn Learning, but I can almost guarantee you’ve heard its former name: Lynda.

Lynda was acquired by LinkedIn back in 2015 (a year before LinkedIn itself was acquired by Microsoft), and rebranded to LinkedIn Learning in 2017.

As you can imagine, the main focus of LinkedIn Learning courses are job skills. Courses also have certificates, which you can add directly to your LinkedIn profile to improve visibility from potential employers.

Granted, this isn’t exactly accredited certification, which you find on some other Udemy alternatives.

But it isn’t all about jobs. There are plenty of creative courses as well, although most do fall into the Business and Technology categories.

In total there are more than 17,000 courses, all of which are unlocked with a single subscription fee. It’s fairly pricey at $29.99 a month, or $19.99 a month if you subscribe annually.

That said, the courses are professionally produced and will improve your job skills and employability, so the value is there if you don’t need accreditation. There’s also a 30-day free trial, which you can start right away by clicking below.

3. Skillshare

Best Udemy alternatives: Skillshare

✔️ Wide variety of topics
✔️ Simple and easy to use
✔️ Nearly 30,000 courses
✔️ Some free courses

❌ Requires subscription
❌ Not accredited
❌ Varying course quality

If you’ve spent any amount of time looking for Udemy alternatives or online courses in general, odds are you’ve encountered Skillshare.

For a while the platform was synonymous with online learning, for better or worse. Since it relies entirely on user-created courses, early on there was a lot of junk that cheapened the whole experience.

Thankfully, Skillshare upped its vetting processes and today it’s one of the best elearning platforms around.

Learn more: What is Skillshare? Is it worth it?

What’s great about Skillshare is the sheer volume of classes available. It doesn’t match Udemy’s 150,000+ (spoiler: no one does), but there are nearly 30,000 classes available.

Topics are also varied, with everything from macrame to programming to foreign languages included. No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find countless courses you’ll enjoy.

Unlike Udemy, Skillshare relies on a subscription model. It costs $19 a month on a month-to-month plan, but the annual plan is far more affordable at $99 (or $8.25 a month).

If you love taking lots of courses on many different subject, Skillshare is the best Udemy alternative for you. Click below to start your 2-week free trial before cracking open your wallet.

4. MasterClass

Domestika vs Masterclass

✔️ Celebrity instructors
✔️ Very high production values
✔️ Good course variety

❌ Expensive subscription
❌ Not accredited
❌ Limited catalog size

MasterClass is another interesting Udemy alternative that takes a very unique approach to online courses.

Each and every course on the platform is taught by a well-known and respected professional, many of whom are also celebrities.

For example, you can get acting tips from Natalie Portman, cooking advice from Gordon Ramsay, or storytelling guidance from Neil Gaiman.

Every instructor is truly at the top of their game, and every course is impeccably produced.

That said, the actual number of courses is fairly limited. You’re paying for quality over quantity.

Speaking of paying, there’s only one payment option available, and it’s an annual subscription running $200.

That’s expensive for most online learners, but MasterClass does offer a certain celebrity value that no other platform can match. Click below to learn more.

5. PluralSight Skills

PluralSight Skills Logo

✔️ High production values
✔️ Over 7,500 IT courses
✔️ Useful exercises and exams

❌ Expensive subscription
❌ Only IT courses
❌ Not accredited

Next up is one of the best Udemy alternatives for tech professionals: PluralSight. The platform is most famous for its enterprise plans, but there is also an attractive plan for individuals called PluralSight Skills.

Here you won’t find any of the creative options found in the options above. It’s all about IT skills.

Courses cover topics like machine learning, AI, IT security, software development, and much more. This makes it the ideal one-stop-shop for IT professionals looking to jumpstart their career.

Production values are also excellent, with easy-to-follow courses and lots of exercises to work through.

Instead of pricing courses individually, the entire catalog is available for a single subscription fee. It isn’t cheap, but if it can land you a job or promotion, it’s more than worth the cost.

The cheapest monthly is $26 a month, although you can save more than 10% with the annual plan at $275 per year. There’s also a premium plan costing $410 a year that includes practice exams for IT certifications.

Learn more and start your free trial at the button below.

6. Coursera

✔️ Reputable courses and teachers
✔️ Variety of courses
✔️ Accreditation and degrees
✔️ Thousands of free courses

❌ Not always engaging
❌ Expensive certification
❌ Not skill focused

If what you’re looking for is a more robust Udemy alternative that acts as a kind of online university, Coursera is a fantastic option.

Started by two Stanford professors back in 2012, it offers MOOCs (massive open online courses) tied to real universities around the world.

Courses generally follow a similar format to real university courses, with anywhere from four to twelve weeks of content. Each course has lectures, homework, quizzes, and sometimes a final exam.

Even better, many of these courses are free for everyone.

That said, if you want certification (or even a full bachelor’s or master’s degree) you’ll have to pay up. Pricing is much cheaper than a live university, but still pricey compared to other Udemy alternatives. There are some financial aid options available to help soften the blow.

For the truly dedicated learners out there, there’s also a subscription program called Coursera Plus. It offers access to more than 3,000 courses (and completion certificates) for $399 a year.

That’s expensive, but in many ways it replaces far more expensive in-person continued education. Learn more about Coursera below.

7. Udacity

Udacity logo

✔️ Highly specialized courses
✔️ Excellent for IT job seekers
✔️ Nanodegree certification
✔️ Some free courses

❌ Expensive
❌ Fairly limited course catalog
❌ Little support for students

The next Udemy alternative is similar to Coursera. But if Coursera is imitating a university, Udacity is more like a highly specialized trade school.

Through its hyper-focused Nanodegree programs, you can gain in-depth knowledge of a specific topic in just a few months or even weeks.

These topics are fairly limited compared to other Udemy alternatives, and they mostly cover tech topics like data science, programming, and cloud computing. Don’t expect any creative skills here.

Typically you pay for courses by the month, so finishing them more quickly can save you some money.

If you want to see what it’s all about before paying, there are a few hundred free courses on Udacity, as well. Click the link below to start browsing right away.

8. edX

✔️ Reputable courses
✔️ Mimics university education
✔️ University credits available
✔️ Most courses are free

❌ Few creative courses
❌ Closed enrollment dates
❌ Limited support

I’d like to include just one more university-like Udemy alternative before moving to smaller options, and that’s edX.

In reality edX offers something quite similar to the two options above, with fully online courses tied to more than 160 universities around the globe.

Many of these offer university credit for much less than a traditional university. There are even full Masters programs that can be completed entirely through edX online!

You also have the option to take most courses for free, although you’ll have to pay if you want a certificate.

Enrollment typically starts on a fixed date, but there is some flexibility for deadlines. Courses usually run for a few weeks and require less than 10 hours a week of commitment from students.

Course quality, as you might expect from the world’s top universities, is excellent. However, some courses are a bit out of date and support is limited, especially for free users.

edX is a great Udemy alternative for users who like learning online but want something that can lead more directly to a degree or certification. That said, courses will be less “fun” and more educational in the traditional sense.

9. CreativeLive

Best Udemy alternatives: CreativeLive

✔️ Excellent creative courses
✔️ Good variety of topics
✔️ Start a creative career
✔️ Free courses streamed 24/7

❌ No certification
❌ Somewhat pricey
❌ Limited lecture format

Now let’s get away from university-style courses and back to Udemy alternatives for creatives with CreativeLive.

CreativeLive isn’t one of the most well-known platforms out there, but it does exactly what it says on the box.

All of its courses are for creative endeavors, ranging from arts & crafts to photography, design software, and even small business entrepreneurship. They’re typically recorded in front of a studio audience, giving them a strong lecture vibe.

In other words, it’s the perfect platform for people who want to turn give their creative careers a big push, whether that means starting a new creative business or just picking up some new skills.

Courses can be purchased individually to watch whenever you want, or you can gain unlimited access to nearly 2,000 courses with a Creator Pass subscription. This costs $39 a month if paid monthly, I’d recommend to commiting for a full year, which works out to just $15 a month.

But that’s not all. Select courses are streamed live 24 hours a day for free, hence the “live” in the title. Click below to register a free account and see what’s live right now.

10. Creativebug

Creativebug logo

✔️ Great creative courses
✔️ Reputable teachers
✔️ Inexpensive subscription
✔️ Perfect for crafters

❌ Requires subscription
❌ No certification

The last of the Udemy alternatives I’ll highlight is another creative option, but this time focused more on crafts.

Creativebug is an online learning platform filled with creative projects for crafts like printmaking, sewing, papercraft, crochet, cooking, and more. They’re taught by well-known members of each community, many of which are famous on Instagram or other social media platforms.

Learn more: What is Creativebug? Is it worth it? Review, best classes, and more

In terms of content, they really do cover all the latest trends. If you’ve seen a cool project trending on social media, odds are there’s a course for it on Creativebug.

Courses range from 10 minutes to a few hours, with a lot of variation between topics. Sometimes it’s a deep dive into a new craft, and other times it’s a “Quick class” that covers a single project in just a few minutes.

I’m usually wary of ongoing subscriptions, but in this case it’s so cheap that it’s easy to recommend. The cheapest plan runs less than $8 a month and includes everything on the platform (1000+ classes, patterns, and more).

Bump that up to $10 a month (or less if you commit to a year) and you get an exclusive discount at JOANN and the option to keep one course per month forever, even if you cancel your subscription.

That makes it by far the most affordable Udemy alternative on the list.

If you’re not sure, there’s also a 7-day free trial. New subscribers can also get their first month for just $1 by clicking the link below!

That’s it for the best Udemy alternatives in 2021! Do you have any more recommendations? Drop them in the comments below!

Leave a Reply