MasterClass vs Great Courses Plus

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Two of the best online learning platforms these days are MasterClass and The Great Courses Plus – while they’re similar in a lot of ways, they offer a lot of unique features and outlooks on online eduction and online courses.

In this article, we’re going to compare MasterClass vs The Great Courses Plus and see which is best for you.

It’s also important to keep in mind the Great Courses and ‘The Great Courses Plus’ are two unique businesses. We’ll look to cover both here but a focus is on the subscription model, Great Courses Plus.

Can’t Wait? Here’s Our Verdict

Both options are great. But for me, if you’re a general student wanting to learn a range of topics, The Great Courses Plus is the better option. A lot more classes, a lot more topics, taught by educational leaders, and a better price.

However, that isn’t to say MasterClass is bad quality. if you’re interested in a particular field like writing, then you might like the MasterClass courses. I’ve taken a few classes like Malcolm Gladwell’s and thought it was helpful.

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For more information about the two, check out these related articles:

MasterClass Review


The Great Courses Plus Review

The Pros for MasterClass

MasterClass is one of the leading online education platforms where anyone can learn from the most successful people in their respective industries. This unique quality of MasterClass is also one of its most prominent advantages. As a student, you can learn different skills from the best in each industry. For example, MasterClass offers a singing course taught by Christina Aguilera, and Samuel L. Jackson teaches a course on acting.

With MasterClass, there is a large selection of courses as well. Subjects range from writing to sports, from business to the art of negotiating. The platform has over 80 courses, all taught by experts in the field. Each course also comes with a digital workbook that includes extra notes as well as space for taking notes.

There are also question and answer videos where students record questions that they have from the course. The teacher then answers these questions so that other students can better their understanding of the topic.

One final pro to MasterClass is that you can watch the courses at your convenience. Courses have about 20 video lessons, each lasting about 10 minutes. You can pause or rewind as needed. Students can view lessons on their smartphone, tablet, computer, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, or any other streaming player.

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The Cons for MasterClass

You know that more than likely, you are going to get quality courses on MasterClass because the teachers are well-respected in their industry. However, there are some cons to the services that MasterClass offers.

First, you may not be so crazy about the price. One course costs $90, which grants access to the course and all its supplemental notes and videos. Although it seems a bit pricey, purchasing a course gives you access to it forever. If you want to learn about more than one subject, then MasterClass offers yearly access to all classes for $180. In the long run, the price is probably worth it, but at first glance, it is a bit expensive.

A problem that some users underwent is forgetting about their membership. After paying, it can be easy to forget about your MasterClass purchase. So, don’t waste your money. Many users recommend setting dedicated time aside so that you go through each lesson and take advantage of MasterClass.

Finally, the quality of the course depends on the subject and who teaches. Some classes are more structured, and others have a more thought-provoking flair. If you decide to take a class in the arts, expect to see less structure. For more business-oriented programs, you can see a clear framework for each lesson.

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The Pros for Great Courses

Great Courses is a platform where anyone can be a student. It offers more than 700 courses on an array of subject matter, allowing anyone to learn at their convenience. The sessions take a very academic approach to each subject so that students get the most out of their learning experience.

Although Great Courses does not have celebrities as their instructors, it does have some of the most esteemed professors and experts serving as teachers. Great Courses makes a point to vet their potential lecturers very thoroughly- many of the featured lecturers are professors from ivy-league universities. There are also employees from well-respected institutions. You can learn photography from a National Geographic photographer, or you can learn about the American Revolution with a professor at Princeton University.

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Great Courses offers multiple ways to purchase courses. You can buy courses as an instant video to take the lessons wherever you go. Great Courses also provides the option to buy programs as a DVD. Select courses also come as instant audio, and you can even send classes as an e-gift. Great Courses Plus is a membership that gets you unlimited access to courses at a higher price.

Each course has about 20 lectures on an average of 30 minutes each. You can get so much content within one single course.

The Great Courses Plus on the other hand, is a streaming subscription model that gives you unlimited access to a lot of the best courses from The Great Courses. The price for the membership program is actually very reasonable compared to MasterClass. 

how much does the great courses cost

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The Cons for Great Courses Plus

The same disadvantage for MasterClass exists for Great Courses: it is easy to purchase and then forget. Therefore, after deciding to purchase, you should set time aside dedicated to viewing each lesson so you can get the most out of your money.

Great Courses’ individual prices can be steep as well. The price for courses ranges anywhere from $25 to $500. It all depends on what class you purchase and how many lessons it contains.

However, when you buy with the Great Courses, you’re buying the course. With membership models like MasterClass and The Great Courses Plus, you’re buying access. When you cancel your subscription, you lose access. So in that regard, I understand the inflated price.

The Great Courses website also frequently offers sales on various classes. However, the cost for many courses is in the triple digits. Therefore, you should be very motivated to learn about a specific topic if you spend that much money.

As with MasterClass, the structure for each lecture on Great Courses is different and depends on the subject matter. You cannot expect all the courses to have the same teaching style.

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The Winner

With all things considered- cost, quality, content- in a showdown of MasterClass vs Great Courses, the winner is Great Courses.

Great Courses proved to be a bit pricier than MasterClass. However, it offers more content- over 700 different courses! It also has some of the most well-respected and well-qualified experts in their industry, serving as the teachers. Therefore, you can have confidence in your lecturer.

Great Courses also offers more payment options. You can pay for each class- in digital format or as a DVD- or you can get Great Courses Plus, the plan with more access. For $24.99 a month (and even less if you pay annually), you can learn about more than 100 original subjects. Courses also come with a guidebook and supplemental elements that expand on the information.

MasterClass uses its celebrity element to teaching. It can be fun to learn about an industry from your favorite personality. However, when it comes to learning a subject, Great Courses can offer you a bit more. Their lecturers may not be famous in the eyes of the public, but they provide students with their knowledge from experiences and studies.

All in all, MasterClass and Great Courses both offer people the chance to learn for the sake of learning. No matter which you choose, you can be sure to discover something new.

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