MasterClass Review 2022 – Learn From the Most Inspiring
Choosing the right online learning platform can be challenging. However, the selection process would be much easier if you have access to the right information. Our MasterClass review goes into detail and shows why Masterclass is one of the best online learning platforms available in 2022.
MasterClass is quite different from other online learning platforms as it is celebrity-powered. They don’t offer free classes or certificates, but if you decide to invest some money into your knowledge, you’ll get the chance to learn from the best of the best. Students on Masterclass can learn cooking from Gordon Ramsey, writing from Neil Gaiman, acting from Helen Mirren, filmmaking from James Cameron, songwriting from Alicia Keys and basketball from Stephen Curry – just to name a few examples.
Let’s take a deep dive into the platform’s ins and outs, and see whether MasterClass suits your needs.
MasterClass offers courses in a number of different categories allowing you to learn new skills and improve your knowledge – with one big advantage over other online learning platforms. And that’s their instructors. You will be learning from the world’s best. The courses are well produced with quality in mind, ensuring you get the best value for your money.
- World-class instructors
- High-quality video lessons
- The Quick Lists feature
- MasterClass mobile app
- There are no free classes or trials
- Low educational value
- There are no certificates at all
MasterClass was founded in 2014 by David Rogier, a film editor and director, and Aaron Rasmussen, an entrepreneur who left the company later in 2017. The platform was called Yanka Industries at first, but on May 12, 2015, the company introduced the MasterClass brand. From that moment on, Yanka Industries, with their headquarters in San Francisco, United States, started doing business as MasterClass.
The platform started pretty slow with only 3 instructors in 2015, and 12 classes added by the end of 2017. They had 50 classes and around 1,000 lessons by late 2018. Today however, MasterClass offers more than 100 courses across 11 categories taught by 100+ top VIP instructors. The company has over 500 employees, and is one of the best online learning platforms available.
MasterClass is best for professionals or enthusiasts looking for a particular topic or a course taught by someone who inspires them.
Let's take a look at some interesting MasterClass stats that might help you decide whether this platform is a good fit for your needs.
What Is MasterClass?
MasterClass is an online learning platform that offers educational content for students of all skill levels across a wide range of topics – from screenwriting, acting, signing, interior design to cooking and beyond. New classes are added every month, and big-name instructors are joining the platform on a regular basis.
What sets MasterClass apart from other platforms is the instructors. Classes are led by some of the biggest names in the business. For example, Natalie Portman teaches acting. Steve Martin teaches comedy. Serena Williams teaches tennis. The instructor lineup is awe-inspiring.
What’s also notable about MasterClass courses, is that the video production quality and course composition are both on another level. Without a shadow of a doubt, the quality of the sets, lighting, and audio cannot compare to any other platform. You can actually binge-watch MasterClass classes just like Netflix, without being overwhelmed.
Is MasterClass Accredited?
Unfortunately, MasterClass isn’t an accredited online learning platform and doesn’t provide formal certification. If you are searching for a learning platform that offers accredited courses, you can check out Coursera, edX or Udacity.
In this section, we're taking a look at MasterClass's main features and what the platform offers to their users. ALl of the factors below should give you a pretty good idea if MasterClass has everything you're looking for to start your online learning journey.
|For Business||Certification||Course Previews||24/7 Support||Free Courses||Free Trial||Mobile App||Offline Use||Promotions||Refunds|
MasterClass Compared to Others
Sometimes, it might be difficult to choose the best platform before you can compare it to other platforms that offer similar features. Check how MasterClass compares to other popular platforms.
How Does MasterClass Work?
Before you decide whether MasterClass suits your needs, you should first understand how the platform works. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the key UI/UX aspects of their website.
The Front Page
As soon you land on the front page, you will have a great first impression of the platform. Everything on the page looks simple, well-structured, and organized. You can instantly tell that the design and layout look professional. The user experience is smooth, too.
And, when it comes to content, you’ll find all the necessary information about MasterClass on the homepage. In other words, users can sign up, log in, and browse categories directly from the front page. Plus, they can learn about some featured classes, past members’ reviews, some class stats, and FAQs.
Opening a MasterClass Account
Opening an account with MasterClass is also simple and easy. All it takes is a couple of minutes and a few steps to follow:
- Visit the www.masterclass.com website;
- Enter your email address and click on the ‘Get Started’ button;
- Choose your preferred membership plan and add your payment card details;
- Click on the ‘Place secure order’ button, and as soon as the payment goes through, you’ll be ready to get started.
Browsing all Available Courses
Once you have opened your MasterClass account, it’s time you start browsing through the courses and find something to watch. You can easily do so by selecting the category you like from the ‘All Categories’ drop-down menu on the homepage. You will be presented with all the courses available within that category. MasterClass offers more than 100 classes across 11 different categories, including:
- Design & Style,
- Arts & Entertainment,
- Sports & Gaming,
- Science & Tech,
- Home & Lifestyle,
- Community & Government,
Alternatively, if you already know exactly what you are looking for, you can enter keywords into the search bar and get relevant results. Just remember that some categories like Food, Home & Lifestyle, or Writing have more courses than others such as Community & Government or Science & Tech.
Choosing a Potential Course
After you’ve finished browsing and found a course, you should have a closer look at the course itself. Luckily, you have two options: watch sample or view class info. If you choose the first option, you will be presented with a video excerpt from one of the lessons.
On the other hand, if you choose the latter, you will be taken to the course page to find all the information needed about the course, including the instructor and lesson plan. Still, again you can watch the class sample and the course trailer (about 2 minutes) directly from the course page. In addition, by scrolling down the page, you can see some other classes that might interest you, as well as a FAQs section.
Completing a Course
Completing a MasterClass course is pretty straightforward.
There aren’t any requirements for taking a specific course, so anyone can join. On average, courses consist of 20 lessons, and each lesson is about 10 minutes long. All video lessons are highly engaging and well produced and will certainly have you hooked until you finish them all. Plus, there’s a PDF workbook you can follow that comes with every MasterClass course.
We must mention that courses don’t have any exams or quizzes to check your progress or validate your knowledge. Also, you’re not asked to complete any homework or mandatory weekly assignments. Instead, there’s only an optional interactive resource for those who want to practice.
One great feature included in the video lessons is that learners can write notes or words of wisdom from the VIP instructors. The notes section is separate for each lesson so that you can easily find what you are looking for.
There is a Join the Discussion option provided at the bottom of each Master Class video page. This is where you can connect with other members, ask questions, share ideas, get feedback, and much more. You can either join an existing discussion or start your own by creating a New Topic. In general, there are about three to four discussion topics a month with most of the MasterClass classes.
Now that you know how MasterClass works, let’s move on to one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an online learning platform – pricing.
MasterClass has made their pricing pretty straightforward. There are only three subscription plan models: Standard, Plus, and Premium, and no pay-per-course option. Just note that all MasterClass subscription plans are billed annually and may be subject to local government taxes, which vary by country, state, and even city.
Here are the three subscription plans:
- Standard: $15 per month ($180 when billed annually);
- Plus: $20 per month ($240 when billed annually);
- Premium: $23 per month ($276 when billed annually).
In addition, all plans give you access to the entire course library (100+ classes) taught by the best talent across different industries. You can also go back and re-watch the classes as many times as they wish. All subscription models include a downloadable workbook, quick lists, community, and the MasterClass mobile app.
The main difference is that the Plus and Premium subscription plans have some additional features that allow learners to download videos for offline use and access the platform on various devices simultaneously.
If you decide to quit your subscription, you can do so within one month, as MasterClass provides you with a 30-day refund guarantee from the day of purchasing your subscription. All you need to do, is send an email to the MasterClass support team on firstname.lastname@example.org, and you will receive your refund in 5-10 business days.
Are MasterClass Courses on Sale?
There aren’t any MasterClass courses on sale, but there is a special ‘2 memberships for the price of 1’ offer that’s active several times a year. In other words, you can purchase one annual membership and get another one for free. You can send the additional membership as a gift to someone.
Does MasterClass Have Free Courses?
MasterClass doesn’t offer any free courses. The closest thing to free is its 30-day refund guarantee meaning that you can enjoy what the platform provides for one month and then get your money back.
MasterClass for Business
MasterClass offers a business e-learning solution, just like other popular online learning platforms. So, if you want to give your team the chance to learn from the best people in their respective fields, you get to choose between two plans:
- For Teams (suitable for 5 to 20 people) – $180 per person, per year;
- For Businesses (suitable for more than 20 people) – custom pricing depending on the size of the organization and its needs.
Note that the Team Plan comes with a group rate discount (5% to 35%) depending on how many annual memberships your business purchases, with a minimum of 5 memberships needed. And, of course, the more memberships, the higher the discount.
On the other hand, as the Business Plan applies to more than 20 people, you have to contact sales, request a demo, and get a quote depending on your needs.
Whichever plan you purchase, you can rest assured that your employees will love MasterClass for Business. This solution allows your team to:
- Get unlimited access to 100+ classes;
- Stream anytime, anywhere, at their own pace;
- Get inspired by the world’s best;
- Watch 10-minutes engaging cinematic-style videos.
Your organization will get a central admin panel for distribution, allowing you to add and remove users at any time. In other words, you will be in charge of seat assignment.
It’s important to note that even though MasterClass is available worldwide, classes are available only in English. Some courses however, offer subtitles in Spanish and German.
MasterClass Courses Review
Compared to other online learning platforms, MasterClass offers quite unique approach when it comes to lesson design and style. Classes on MasterClass follow a format of a one-sided conversation. Let’s take a deeper look at how MasterClass courses are structured.
On the downside, MasterClass doesn’t offer any courses free of charge.
All MasterClass courses include a 20 pre-recorded video lessons on average, each about 10 minutes long. So, you can expect to finish an entire course in about three and a half hours. This is quite manageable, and still enough to learn something new, improve and get inspired.
Moreover, each course at MasterClass is taught by a VIP instructor and features Hollywood-level production quality videos, course notes summarizing critical points of each video, extra reading resources, a space to enter your own notes, access to the community, and access to the MasterClass mobile app.
Here’s a brief list of the best MasterClass courses on each category for 2021:
- Food – Yotam Ottolenghi: Modern Middle Eastern Cooking; Gordon Ramsay: Cooking I; and Massimo Bottura: Modern Italian Cooking;
- Design & Style – Annie Leibovitz: Photography; Jimmy Chin: Adventure Photography; and Bobbi Brown: Makeup and Beauty;
- Arts & Entertainment – David Lynch: Creativity and Film; and Jeff Koons: Art and Creativity;
- Music – Alicia Keys: Songwriting and Producing; and Timbaland: Producing and Beatmaking;
- Business – Bob Iger: Business Strategy and Leadership; and Diane von Furstenberg: Building a Fashion Brand;
- Sports & Gaming – Stephen Curry: Shooting, Ball-Handling, and Scoring;
- Writing – Issa Rae: Creating Outside the Lines; and David Sedaris: Storytelling and Humor;
- Science & Tech – Matthew Walker: The Science of Better Sleep; and Neil deGrasse Tyson: Scientific Thinking and Communication;
- Home & Lifestyle – Ron Finley: Gardening; and Brandon McMillan: Dog Training;
- Community & Government – Doris Kearns Goodwin: U.S. Presidential History and Leadership; and Dr. Jane Goodall: Conservation;
- Wellness – RuPaul: U.S. Self-Expression and Authenticity; and Emily Morse: Sex and Communication.
Are MasterClass Courses Useful?
Although MasterClass courses aren’t likely to help you in your career in terms of getting a raise or a promotion, they can certainly provide you with some good tips and practical wisdom, boost your confidence and motivate you to pursue further advancement.
Are MasterClass Courses Worth It?
Getting to learn from world-class celebrities and VIP instructors for $15 a month is undoubtedly worth it. For a reasonable price, you’ll get a first-hand access to a lot of talent, knowledge, passion, and experience.
The course production is high-quality, if not one of the best out there. But, if you are looking to learn a skill from scratch, maybe you should check other top-ranked online learning platforms platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Upskillist or Skillshare.
The main MasterClass advantages include:
- World-class instructors;
- High-quality video lessons;
- The Quick Lists feature;
- MasterClass mobile app.
We’ve said it a million times before; MasterClass courses are taught by world-class instructors, celebrities, VIPs, and the best in business. If this isn’t a selling point, I don’t know what is. They all live up to their reputation and are successful in captivating and motivating their audience. In addition, they have years of experience and are very used to being in front of cameras.
High-Quality Video Lessons
Similar to the instructors, we’ve also mentioned this point numerous times in our MasterClass review. But, it is definitely worth emphasizing it as the videos are remarkably well produced. Everything from the camerawork, the lighting, the sound, to the music makes you feel like watching an excerpt from a Hollywood movie. It is that good!
The Quick Lists Feature
I know we haven’t discussed this feature in-depth (only mentioned it once), but it is most definitely one of the main advantages of MasterClass. Basically, this feature provides you with lesson recommendations based on what you’ve watched already. Hence, you can jump from one lesson by one instructor to another by a different instructor based on the topic that interests you. And, you don’t have to finish classes in order to start new ones.
MasterClass Mobile App
Last but not least, the MasterClass: Learn New Skills app is built with a single principle in mind – there’s nothing more inspiring than watching the best in the field/ industry share the secrets of their skills and knowledge wherever and whenever you like. With the MasterClass app, users can learn at their own pace and download classes to watch offline for maximum convenience.
The main MasterClass disadvantages include:
- There are no free classes or trials;
- Low educational value;
- There are no certificates at all.
There Are No Free Classes or Trials
Unlike many other online learning platforms, it is so unfortunate that MasterClass doesn’t offer any classes for free or free trials. The closest thing to free is the 30-day refund policy, meaning that you can watch as many classes you like within the thirty days of your registration, then cancel your subscription and get your money back.
Low Educational Value
As already noted, MasterClass courses don’t hold much of an educational value. They more feel like seminars from a VIP or like TED talks. However, they do inspire and motivate tough. You only get to know some tips and tricks on a specific topic. Moreover, there isn’t an instructor-student exchange, nor any quizzes or exams.
There Are No Certificates at All
Finally, we know that getting a certificate from MasterClass won’t help you further your career as there’s low educational value. But still, it would certainly be nice to have some form of certification that proves you’ve completed a course. Maybe you’d like to show your family and friends that you’ve learned from the best.
MasterClass Review: Is MasterClass Legit?
Since you have to commit financially before you get to enjoy MasterClass courses, you may be wondering ‘Is MasterClass legit?’ or ‘Will I be Scammed?’. So, to give you peace of mind, let’s go through the main aspects again.
First and foremost, MasterClass is an American online education subscription platform on which students can access pre-recorded video lessons by experts in various fields.
The company was founded in 2014 by David Rogier and Aaron Rasmussen and has its headquarters in San Francisco, California. Currently, MasterClass offers over 100 courses divided into eleven categories led by world-class instructors.
So, if you are a big fan of one of the instructors and want to learn more about their expertise, go ahead and join MasterClass. You will definitely be thrilled by the quality if you aren’t looking for educational value. It’s important to note that MasterClass is not a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) provider like Coursera, Udemy, or edX.
To sum up, MasterClass is a legit company.