Masterclass Alternatives for 2022

Other · 13 min read · Jun 06, 2022
masterclass alternatives

Masterclass is an internationally acclaimed online learning service. Yet, not necessarily is it the best option for your specific learning goals and other solutions are likely to be better.

If you are looking for online courses that could work as Masterclass alternatives to either develop technical skills or creative skills, you do not need to worry. Masterclass alternatives abound and some of them offer great online learning experiences.

Thanks to the current technology, online learning has become a natural way to obtain knowledge and develop new skills. Something that Masterclass alternatives have in common is that you can easily access their courses through the online learning platform they offer.

Now, before we share with you the best Masterclass alternatives, let us answer some of the most common questions about the online learning platform Masterclass.

Students taking courses on an e-learning platform

What is Masterclass?

Many people claim that the most popular online courses are found on Masterclass, and there is a reason why they say it. The masterclass is unlike other online course platforms because they offer innovative online courses where famous highly-skilled and acclaimed professionals in their field become your instructors. This provides learners with exclusive insights on how they have achieved life-long goals successfully.

From people like Mariah Carey teaching you how to use your voice as an instrument, and Gordon Ramsay teaching you how to cook restaurant food at home, to Bill Nye teaching you science and problem-solving skills or Neil deGrasse Tyson from the famous TV documentary show called Cosmos teaching your scientific thinking and communication, you can definitely find a wide variety of interesting topics.

Also, this online education platform combines a wealth of resources with excellent videos that provide excellent quality instruction for the students.

Is Masterclass a gimmick?

For many people, believing that an online learning platform has managed to gather so many celebrities as well as high-level business and corporate professionals is difficult. Therefore, the people who think is too good to be true are usually the same people looking for the best Masterclass alternatives.

However, MasterClass is an authentic company doing exactly what they describe on their website and marketing campaigns. They are not trying to swindle you. So, the answer to the question above is no, Masterclass is not a gimmick.

What is true is that they have a different approach to teaching, and there are some topics that may not be covered by the courses they offer. In other words, Masterclass courses are not for everyone, and there are cases where looking for the best Masterclass alternatives may be a good idea.

A person browsing courses on an online training platform.

Is there a free version of Masterclass?

While there are no free courses in Masterclass, you can try Masterclass and get your money back if you do not like it thanks to their 30-day satisfaction guarantee. You just need to send an email within 30 days of the date you purchase your subscription, and they’ll offer you a full refund. Although you actually have to lock some of your money, this is a good way to make sure the platform is what you are looking for to cover your learning needs.

What is similar to Masterclass?

So, with this question, we introduce you to the best Masterclass alternatives which happen to be their top competitors too. Top competitors for Masterclass include but are not limited to:

  • LinkedIn Learning
  • edX.org
  • Khan Academy
  • Mindvalley
  • Skillshare
  • Udacity
  • Udemy

Let’s now dig deeper into the details of the online learning platforms in the list above that offer online courses, including some free courses, and of course, paid courses.

LinkedIn Learning online courses

LinkedIn Learning courses cover a wide variety of topics intended to help you build up your CV. LinkedIn Learning, previously called Lynda, is a great Masterclass alternative because all the courses are created by professionals in their areas although they might not be as famous since most of them are their own LinkedIn users.

Perhaps the strongest point of LinkedIn Learning is the amount courses they offer with a total that exceeds 17,800, according to their own numbers. However, this could also be a disadvantage for certain users since the wide range of courses could make it difficult to identify which particular course might be the best choice for their specific needs.

The good news is that they also offer something called “Learning Path”, a solution that packs up individual courses related to a certain topic the user adds into one single bundle.

Pricing

The users can take advantage of a one-month free trial to check and test the platform, time enough to even complete some of the courses which come with certificates of completion that are appreciated by employees although they are not accredited.

After the free trial period, the user can decide whether to pay a subscription or not. Subscriptions are billed monthly at $29.99 or annually at $239.88. For those wanting to only work on a specific skill, some individual courses are also available for purchase at prices ranging from $20 to $50 each.

Pros of LinkedIn Learning

  • Certification: LinkedIn is a professional platform and any courses the users complete on it will add value to their CV and make their profile stand out from others. The course certificates are also recognized by many companies, so it might be definitely worth investing in some training.
  • All-inclusive trial: When the user enters a free trial, the entire course library becomes readily accessible, so if there is a need to get some insights on a particular matter, it could be a good idea to take advantage of this perk

Cons of LinkedIn Learning

  • Emails: Emails are still one of the best ways to go about marketing, however, an excessive amount can become overwhelming. This is the biggest drawback of LinkedIn learning, the users will get quite a large number of emails.
  • Varying qualifications of instructors: While there are a lot of great subject matter experts on LinkedIn learning, but there still are courses of questionable quality, so it is important to do some research.
LinkedIn Learning homepage.

Khan Academy – better for school curriculum

As the title suggests, this Masterclass alternative offers courses mainly focused on primary and secondary students. Both school-age students and grade school teachers can take advantage of the free courses (yes, all the courses are free) covering school grade subjects such as:

  • Mathematics
  • Computer science
  • Art
  • Economics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Finance
  • History

If you are still wondering how come all these courses are for free, the fact is that Salman Khan, a former hedge fund manager, founded this online academy with the intention of providing education to the entire world, particularly those in impoverished countries, without the need for money or specialized online courses.

In other words, Khan Academy works as a non-profit organization. Yet, this does not mean you need to fear for the quality of the education they offer. At Khan Academy, they have a filtering process in place that is overseen by a specialized team to make sure the courses and content they offer on their website are of the highest possible quality. While most of resources in the platform are dedicated to high school students, they recently, they have also added college level classes.

Pros of Khan Academy

  • Multilingual approach: Khan Academy has subtitles in quite a few languages which make the platform accessible and usable for a a huge non-English audience.
  • Computer-graded assessment: Every course in Khan academy comes with a test to evaluate your new skills. The scores users get on the tests are highly accurate and trustworthy due to them being graded by a machine.

Cons of Khan Academy

  • High-school level: While Khan Academy is a highly successful platform, most of the courses are aimed at high-schoolers and it is lacking training for college graduates entering the job market or people looking to upskill for work.
  • Lackluster mobile app: Khan academy has a superb website, however, the mobile app is missing some of the web functionality, making this platform limited to a computer only.
A man in a blue T-shirt browsing Linkedin Learning courses on his tablet.

edX.org – high-level free courses

We say that this is a Masterclass alternative because like Khan Academy, edX.org offers many courses for free. The main difference is that these are great courses created in partnership with high-level institutions that include acclaimed colleges, universities, and well-known companies in different areas, such as Google, Microsoft, and IBM in computer science.

So, where is the catch? Well, while the great courses found in edX.org are totally free, they are free to audit. This means that access to course materials will be limited, you will not have access to graded assignments nor exams, and you will not receive the verified certificate upon completion.

Another relevant aspect of this platform is that, thanks to the partnerships mentioned above, they have managed to offer comprehensive programs that go from professional certificates to Bachelor’s and even Master’s degrees from universities like Oxford, Harvard, and the MIT which are known as world class education institutions.

edX.org courses are offered on a very intuitive online learning platform with interactive assignments and quizzes that go along with professionally led course videos and downloadable class material. Topics are varied, going from art history, to programming and other sciences.

Pros of edX.org

  • Verified partners and certificates: One of the biggest advantages of edX.org is their partnerships with world-renown companies, universities and colleges, which make the course certificates extremely valuable.
  • Individually paced courses: The users can start, resume and complete the courses at a time most convenient for them as the majority of training material in edX.org is completely on-demand.

Cons of edX.org

  • Science-focused: A large number of courses on edX are oriented towards scientific subjects such as AI, computer science, data science and similar, so people looking to earn a certificate in other fields (film, art, languages) might not have that many options.
  • Unstructured courses: edX.org training material is compiled entirely by their partners, so some courses might be quite inconsistent and lack some structure.
edX.org homepage.

Udemy online classes

The online classes found on Udemy make up for another Masterclass alternative. Again, one of the main differences is that instructors are not celebrities, but that does not mean that the course instructors are not good. However, you can still find great courses on this platform. Also, there are many free courses for you to try.

Something to keep in mind about Udemy is that it offers crowd uploaded courses, thus meaning that anyone can become an instructor. On the one side, this is a great advantage since there will always be new courses coming. On the other side, filtering among the many courses to find the best course on any topic may take some time. Also, instructors are normally in control of the pricing, and many use simple free offers to upsell very expensive courses.

Udemy offers more than 150,000 courses in over 65 languages. Among those courses, there are creative courses like the The Ultimate Drawing Course – Beginner to Advanced by Quinton and Jaysen Batchelor, and others like Complete Blender Creator – Learn 3D Modeling for Beginners by Rick Davidson and his team if you are looking for a more technical course.

Obviously, there are several courses in many other areas of knowledge, including digital marketing and coding courses among others.

Pricing

Courses on Udemy are sold separately at prices ranging from $20 to $200. However, Udemy offers discount campaigns quite often. Nearly every month the user can find “all courses at $11.99” and learn something new at a fraction of the price.

When paying for a course, the user gets lifetime access to all the course material, something that may be interesting for that kind of students that like to refresh their memory from time to time.

Pros of Udemy

  • Reasonable pricing: Udemy has many extensive and informative courses at a reasonable price thanks to their frequent discount programs.
  • Lifetime access to learning material: The users are allowed to keep the courses and all resources that come with it in their account for a lifetime. This is especially convenient if you like to refresh what you’ve learned from time to time.

Cons of Udemy

  • Unverified teaching material: Sadly, the material uploaded to Udemy courses is often unverified and might clash with reality from time to time, so learners should keep an eye out and choose the information they are looking for carefully.
  • Low-quality language support: Unlike Khan Academy, Udemy lacks in a translation department and non-English speakers might find it rather challenging to navigate the website and listen to courses.
A person learning on an e-learning platform and taking notes.

Mindvalley – a life transformation platform

This Masterclass alternative markets the platform as one that is created to change people’s life. This is because the range of courses offered are mainly focused, as they say, on “the art of truly living extraordinary, fulfilling, happy lives.”

To put it in perspective, this course provider offers courses on topics like personal spiritual growth, but they also offer a few courses on entrepreneurial topics. Also, this is not a crowd or open-source platform where anyone can upload a course and sell it. Their instructors are experts they claim to be living legends.

Another interesting feature is that this educational platform applies the most current technologies, including micro-learning so that students can get advanced knowledge on complex topics more easily. Also, they have devised a clever strategy that blends online learning with an app that ensures the effectiveness of the first and target sessions.

Pricing

As you can expect from the “life-changing” nature of their video courses, their pricing seems quite high, with courses ranging from $199 to $499 in the past. However, now they offer a membership that gives access to all the material they have to offer at $99/month when billed monthly or $41.60/month when billed annually, thus saving 58%. The membership comes with a 15-day risk-free guarantee, which means that if you do not like it, you can cancel and get a refund with one single click, no questions asked.

While they do not offer a free trial, they do offer a master class of 60 to 90 minutes every week which you can join for free, so you can get a taste of what Mindvalley is all about.

Pros of Mindvalley

  • Offline accessibility: Mindvalley has to be one of very few platforms which offer their learners courses offline. This is a great feature for those who love learning without the distraction of the internet.
  • Active community of users: Mindvalley encourages and helps to organize learner community events which is a great help for those seeking to build their network, find new like-minded people and exchange ideas.

Cons of Mindvalley

  • Pricey: Joining one Mindvalley course might a little too expensive for the everyday user, but their yearly subscription is priced quite reasonably.
  • A limited choice of courses: Most of Mindvalley’s training catalogue is quite narrow, not to mention, quite specific too. It might be worth checking out Udemy for a wider choice of topics.Mindvalley homepage.

Skillshare – creative courses

The next alternative in the list is Skillshare, an open-source platform that mainly offers courses on creative topics. However, you will also find courses covering more technical aspects like HTML essential training to design and launch your first website.

Given the fact that it is an open source learning platform, it has a great number of courses that currently surpasses 30,000. Yet, they do have a way of filtering the instructors, so they claim to have real creators teaching classes. As they say, “Skillshare teachers are icons, experts, and industry rock stars excited to share their experience, wisdom, and trusted tools with you.” However, their instructors are clearly not as prominent as those found in Masterclass.

Popular courses include skills like photography and Photoshop, writing, and marketing, although you could find curious niche topics that would definitely surprise anyone, such as very special art classes or even wine tasting.

Pricing

To get access to the courses offered in Skillshare, you will be required to pay a subscription, although there is a free 30-day trial. After the initial free trial is over, you can expect to start paying a fee depending on your region.

Pros of Skillshare

  • Offline functionality: Skillshare allows its users to download courses for offline learning, which is quite a rare feature for e-learning platforms.
  • Extensive course catalogue: Skillshare offers over 20.000 courses ranging from hobbies to college subjects.

Cons of Skillshare

  • Hobbyist quality: Some of the courses on Skillshare are produced by people without formal training in a certain subject, hence the information users get from such training can sometimes fail to meet professional and industry requirements. This especially becomes an issue with their non-refundable premium membership.
  • Course duration: A portion of the courses are too short and fail to provide the vital information, forcing the user to take additional training to upskill properly.
A laptop screen displaying Skillshare home page.

Udacity – job-ready digital skills

The fact that they use the words “job-ready digital skills” can be kind of confusing. Udacity does offer courses and certifications on skills for the digital era we are living now, but they are not related to digital marketing as many may think from reading those words.

The most popular courses found in this platform cover topics in IA and Machine Learning, but they also offer programs like Flying Car and Autonomous Flight Engineer, and Intro to Self-Driving Cars which they claim to be available only on their platform.

Their programs are very attractive because they are developed in partnership with big names in the business world such as Google, AWS, Microsoft, Intel, and many more.

As you can expect for the type of programs and the partners they have, programs can get expensive. However, they offer personalized discounts and scholarships that may be of great help.

Pricing

Depending on the difficulty and length of the course, Udacity Nanodegrees vary in price. An average price of a full course (paid upfront) is about $1200, however, the users can opt for monthly installments, which make the courses slightly more expensive.

Pros of Udacity

  • Career support: Nanodegree students get access to CV and resume reviews as well as an evaluation of their LinkedIn and GitHub.
  • Pristine quality: Unlike Skillshare or Udemy, Udacity creates their own training programs in close collaboration with their partners, so all their courses meet industry standards.

Cons of Udacity

  • Limited topics: Most of the Nanodegrees on Udacity are aimed towards computer science, data science and business. For a broader selection of topics, it might be better to choose Udemy.
  • Only in English: A common problem of many e-learning platforms as well as Udacity is the lack of language support for non-English speakers.

Aeroclass.org – aviation and management courses

We could not conclude this guide without mentioning Aeroclass.org among the alternatives to Masterclass. While you could find some aviation and management-related courses on some platforms, most of those mentioned above do not offer this type of knowledge.

What’s more, here at Aeroclass.org you will find high-quality aviation training courses on an all-around e-learning platform that offers three different training delivery methods that include pre-recorded video courses, virtual classrooms, and online training programs to help advance your career and help it take off. What’s more, you will also find a wide selection of free aviation courses in the format of webinars, workshops and interviews with industry leaders.

With over 30 global aviation industry experts teaching you about more than 30 different aviation topics there is more than one single course for you to start your path into the aviation industry. And there are more than 150 new courses coming next year.

The courses are created and taught by aviation professionals to aviation professionals relying on a team of experienced instructors from a cross-section of industry-specific disciplines, from civil aviation, airline operations, management, group operations, cargo, and airport management to law and aviation regulations.

Popular courses cover topics like safety management systems, revenue management, aircraft leasing and valuation, and Performance-based Navigation or PBN for pilots.

Pricing

Aeroclass offers a subscription-based learning model. There are two plans for you to choose from: Standard and Professional, which come at $95 and $175 per month respectively. You also get a 3 day free trial which includes microlearning courses designed to provide you with a glimpse to a full course before committing to a subscription plan.

Pros of Aeroclass

  • Beginner friendly: If you are looking to start a career in aviation, Aeroclass has a large selection of entry-level courses to help you find a job within an airline or an airport. This platform is a good start for a job change!
  • Highly-trusted instructors: Aeroclass courses are created in a close-knit cooperation with 30+ industry aces who have been in aviation for more than one decade.

Cons of Aeroclass

  • Only aviation: Aeroclass currently offers courses for aviation professionals only. While users with a background in business might still benefit from some courses, the training is still heavily focused on the aviation industry.
A workplace of a person watching an online course.

What is the best online learning platform?

The basic idea is that you use an online platform to gain the knowledge you need to apply at work or in your daily life. Simply put, there is no such thing as the best online learning platform for everyone. You need to take different aspects into account and choose the one that best suits you and really covers all your needs.

Perhaps you should also carry out a cost-benefit analysis, especially considering the varying quality from one platform to the other.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes you need a single course to cover your needs, so paying for a full subscription may not be very cost-effective for you.

With all the information we have shared so far, you should have a better idea on whether Masterclass or any of the alternatives we mentioned is the right choice for you.

In any case, we want to invite you to go and see our course offer. If you are interested in management, especially within the aviation industry, we are sure you will find a course for you. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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Carlos Collantes
Carlos Collantes
A mechanical engineer and aviation enthusiast dedicated to share some knowledge by creating top-notch content, especially in engineering and aviation topics.

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