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Learn Excel on Skillshare FOR FREE!

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Welcome to part 3 of my Insider’s Guide to Free Online Excel Training.

In my last article, I recommended two free Excel courses on Udemy. This time we’re going to take a look at how to learn Excel on Skillshare for free!

What Is Skillshare and How Does It Work?      

Let’s tackle the most basic questions first. What is Skillshare and how will it help you become more proficient in Excel?

Skillshare is an online learning platform with courses covering a wide range of subjects. Instruction is provided through videos and screencasts. Participants are able to engage with instructors and other students as they complete project-based lessons.

Skillshare leverages various technologies to facilitate online learning. Here is a list of the most important components.


Instruction is primarily delivered through videos and, not surprisingly, the Excel courses rely heavily on screencasts. Users can opt to display captions or read a written transcript of each lesson if they want to.

Projects & Resources

The Projects & Resources tab is where you find supplementary materials for the course. Most courses include practice files and handouts in PDF format.


The Discussions tab is where conversations take place. This is where learners can ask questions, talk with other participants, and post completed assignments.


Participants are able to create public or private notes as they complete courses. Notes are associated with specific videos and can be recalled any time to facilitate reviewing key concepts. The notes pane is toggled on or off using the View All Notes button (located at the bottom of your current course’s video window).

Notes button in Skillshare course

Can You Learn Excel on Skillshare?

Skillshare offers an intuitive platform for learning about various topics online but a lot of their marketing is aimed at “creatives” – artists, photographers, and writers. Do they have courses for people who work in offices? Can you learn Excel on Skillshare?

Skillshare offers hundreds of Excel courses. Some are free, others require a paid membership, but there are many Excel training options available. There are useful Excel courses that focus on every aspect of working with spreadsheets, data analysis, visualization, and VBA programming.

Click here to see the full list of Excel courses on Skillshare.

Man in a suit working on a computer

Free Skillshare vs Skillshare Premium

There are several differences between the free version of Skillshare and Skillshare Premium. Here is a table that lists the premium options available with a paid subscription.

Course FeaturesPremium (Paid)Free
Access to all coursesYesNo
Offline accessYesNo
Ad-free viewingYesNo
Creative communityYesNo

Once you create an account for the free 7-day trial of Skillshare Premium, you’ll have unlimited access to all of the courses on the site. If you cancel before your trial ends you won’t incur any costs but, if you’re interested in any of Skillshare’s other courses, you can continue as a premium member.

Skillshare vs Udemy: Which is Better?

Skillshare and Udemy deliver online courses using a similar set of technologies. Both sites deliver educational content through video lectures, both provide practice files and handouts, and both have private discussion boards.

The one area where these organizations differ is their pricing model. Skillshare operates on a subscription basis and premium members have access to their entire course library.

If you intend to take several courses, and you want access to Skillshare’s entire training library, their subscription model will provide solid value. Membership in their creative community and the ability to view course content offline further solidify Skillshare’s value proposition.

If you only want to purchase one course, Udemy allows you to do that. With Udemy, you also get lifetime access to any courses you purchase while your ability to utilize Skillshare’s premium content ends when you cancel your subscription.

What Is the Best Free Excel Course on Skillshare in 2021?

In order to take any of the courses on Skillshare, you need to create an account and sign up for a 7-day free trial. During this period, you’ll have access to all of their premium content.

I created an account but didn’t put my credit card information in right away. Instead, I closed the browser window and was working on something else when Skillshare e-mailed me with an offer for 14 days of unlimited access.

At any rate, you can sign in with a Google, Facebook, or Apple ID… or you can create an account with an e-mail address. Then, you have to enter your credit card information. Don’t worry… you can cancel before the trial period ends with no financial obligation.

The best Excel course on Skillshare right now is Microsoft Excel Essentials: Level 1 Basics – Master Excel Step-By-Step – Learn Excel Fundamentals!

Microsoft Excel Essentials course on Skillshare

I feel like the title of this course has been over-optimized for SEO but over 14,000 students have taken it and 99% said the course met or exceeded their expectations.

Reviews for Microsoft Excel Essentials course

To be clear, Microsoft Excel Essentials: Level 1 Basics is one of Skillshare’s premium courses but if you can finish the course before your trial membership is over, it’ll cost you nothing.

The instructor is Alan Jarvis, a trainer with over 30 years of teaching experience and four other courses on Skillshare.

Microsoft Excel Essentials: Level 1 Basics contains close to 4 hours of video and covers topics in 50 bite-sized lectures. Topics include formulas, functions, keyboard shortcuts, and tips & tricks.

What I Like About the Course

Alan communicates clearly and presents topics at a comfortable pace.

I really like that each lecture is short and covers a single concept. This means if you need to go back and review one or two concepts later on, it’ll be easy to find exactly what you’re looking for and you won’t have to fast forward through material you’re not interested in to get to what you need.

What You Should Keep in Mind

Microsoft Excel Essentials: Level 1 Basics was recorded using Excel 2013. This isn’t a big deal because the core features in Excel haven’t changed much. Just be aware that there may be times where Alan’s screen doesn’t look exactly like yours, if you’re using a different version of Excel.

Also, keep in mind that Microsoft Excel Essentials: Level 1 Basics is a premium offering. You need to complete the course before your trial membership ends if you’re truly committed to learning Excel for free!

Does Skillshare Give Certificates?

If you read my article on how to learn Excel on Udemy for free, you’ll recall that paid courses come with a certificate of completion, free courses don’t.

What about Skillshare? Do their courses come with a certificate?

Courses on Skillshare don’t come with a certificate. Participants are invited to post completed class projects to the site to demonstrate their Excel knowledge but there’s no certificate of completion to present to your company’s HR department or a potential employer.

In my opinion, a certificate of completion is nice to have but the knowledge and confidence you gain from an Excel course is more important than a piece of paper saying that you attended a course.

What’s Next?

If you enjoyed this article, and you want to explore additional ways to learn Excel without spending any money whatsoever, you should check out part 4 in the series: Learn Excel on YouTube FOR FREE!

By Michael Belfry

Working as a full-time training consultant, Michael provides Microsoft Office courses to government and private sector clients across Canada.