MasterClass Is the Ultimate Investment For People Who Love Learning

MasterClass Is the Ultimate Investment For People Who Love Learning

masterclass subscription being displayed on laptop on office desk
POPSUGAR Photography | Kyley Warren
POPSUGAR Photography | Kyley Warren

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My friends and I often like to play fun theoretical games where we ask one another questions like: “Who would be your dream dinner party crew?” “If you could choose one person to be your mentor for a whole year, who would it be and why?” “You get 20 uninterrupted minutes to talk to your professional hero — who are they and what questions are you asking them?”

I’ll admit, it’s a little existential — and not exactly the type of girl’s night discourse you’d expect from a generation of women who were raised on “Sex and the City” and “Gossip Girl.” But between our religious binging of Oprah’s “SuperSoul” podcast and our obsession with the most mainstream self-help books you could imagine (“Untamed” forever!), I’d say it’s definitely on brand for my friend group. Plus, who wouldn’t want to imagine what it would be like to sit in a room with some of the world’s most influential people and simply learn from them?

The concept — as outlandish as it may seem — is actually kind of a reality through MasterClass, a subscription-based service that offers educational online classes that not only span a range of categories, but are also designed for people of all skill-levels. The program is marketed as having the “best instructors in the world,” as it literally features courses from some of the most influential people in their respective industries — including (but absolutely not limited to) musicians like Alicia Keys and Ringo Starr, business leaders like Sara Blakely and Richard Branson, athletes like Serena Williams and Tony Hawk, plus a ton of other well-known figures ranging from Hillary Clinton to Samuel L. Jackson and more.

I’d heard about MasterClass for years and was always curious about just how in-depth the courses went — though after graduating college, the idea of paying to essentially attend even more online classes didn’t exactly sound like the most appealing hobby. Over the last year or so though, I’ve had an itch to start dabbling in online coursework again, and figured MasterClass would be the perfect place to start.

The brand kindly offered me the opportunity to test out its MasterClass Individual Subscription Plan ($120) and ahead, I break down how the platform works, what all is included in the subscription, and whether or not the membership (which is billed annually) is really worth the splurge.

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What I Like About the MasterClass Subscription

Not to state the obvious, but getting the opportunity to take a course from some of the most esteemed creators and trailblazers in the world is a gift in itself. But getting to do it from the comfort of my own living room? It sounds too good to be true, and yet, it’s totally possible through MasterClass.

When you first log into your subscription, the site offers a range of course options that you can choose from, all of which have been broken down by categories (like “wellness” and “business”) to create a super user-friendly experience.

From there, you can select which topics and instructors you’re most interested in, that way MasterClass can help to better optimize your experience with suggested courses. Once you’ve gone through the selection process, your picks are automatically saved to your library, which is where you can conveniently access all of your videos and keep track of your progress. Plus, if for some reason you need to stop a video and pick back up on it later, the video saves exactly where you left off in your library.

POPSUGAR Photography | Kyley Warren

I personally selected a wide range of courses, because the more learning the merrier, right? One of my chosen classes was taught by journalist Elaine Welteroth and focused on tips for designing your career, while another offered lessons in leadership by longtime college basketball coach, Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) — yes, I was absolutely inspired by season two of “The Bear” for this one.

Plus, I also saved courses that were focused on writing and business from figures like author Malcom Gladwell and Vogue’s chief editor Anna Wintour. With any MasterClass membership, you have complete access to all of the program’s courses, so I wanted to ensure I was taking full advantage of the service by creating as diverse of a library as possible.

Each course varies in topic and length — some are just over two hours and feature 12 different lessons, while others are nearly five hours long with 24 different lesson plans. Regardless of length, I tried to treat each lesson like it’s an actual online class so that I would get the most out of it. MasterClass even helps users to dive further into the curriculum with its notes tab, which is located on the right side of the video on a web browser, and gives you the opportunity to jot down notes during the lesson. The notes also save automatically, so you can pull them back up and refer to them later with no problem.

POPSUGAR Photography | Kyley Warren

I love that MasterClass provides such a user-friendly experience and that, more than anything, it’s designed with absolutely every type of student in mind. Whether you’re an athlete, an avid home designer, someone who’s just starting a business, or someone who’s obsessed with all things related to fashion or sports, there’s a lesson plan on the site that’s bound to peak your interest and make your subscription feel truly worthwhile.

I’ve been experimenting more with poetry recently after watching Amanda Gorman’s incredible MasterClass on writing, and have even relayed some business tips from Sara Blakely’s course to a friend who is finally launching her own company. It’s also helping me to build up confidence in subjects that I have zero knowledge in — namely crypto and all things investing (does anyone understand crypto?). Browsing through the site’s huge selection of content, I’ve even felt inspired to gift a subscription to a few people I know who would absolutely get a kick out of the service, so it’s giving me some unique gift ideas ahead of the holiday season, too.

What’s Worth Noting About the MasterClass Subscription

As much as I’ve enjoyed my MasterClass subscription so far, I’ll admit there are a few things that I wish were different about the program. Most notably, I wish there was an option to pay for individual classes or sessions rather than having to sign up for a full membership. At the time of this review’s publishing, you can only access Masterclass’s catalog of content through a subscription, and the membership fee is billed annually rather than monthly. While I appreciate the wide array of courses and sessions provided by the service, many people might only be interested in learning from one particular celebrity or business professional, and therefore might not desire paying for access to the entire program. I wish the brand offered a way to purchase (or even better, to gift) individual courses on top of its subscription model, that way people could still benefit from the program’s cool curriculum – even if they can’t afford a proper MasterClass membership.

I also wish there was some sort of certification you could receive from taking these courses, which would confirm that you participated in the class, were engaged in the curriculum, and actually learned enough that you can confidently apply the teachings into your own life and work. Whenever I’ve taken classes through LinkedIn or even online platforms like Coursera, students have the potential to earn a certificate that confirms their participation and knowledge. I know — the real “award” or “gift” of MasterClass is simply in the fact that you’re learning from some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the world. But nevertheless, I have a hunch that taking a course from Gloria Steinem would look damn good on a resume, and I wish there was a better way to document it.

POPSUGAR Photography | Kyley Warren

Who Is the MasterClass Subscription Best For?

If you’re someone who is innately curious, craves any opportunity to learn new things, or simply wants an outlet to hear from some of the best professionals in their respective industries, then MasterClass is such a worthwhile investment for you.

The program offers courses in a range of different categories, including everything from science and tech to entertainment, home and lifestyle, gaming, writing, sports, and even crypto. The program has tapped some of the biggest names in their respective industries, all of whom have dedicated hours (many of the courses are 2+ hours long) into creating a course that’s thoughtful, unique, and specific to their individual skillsets.

Malala Yousafzai instructs a course on creating change while Stephen Curry talks through the basics of shooting, handling, and scoring the basketball. Helen Mirren teaches viewers about the fundamentals of acting and even former presidents like George W. Bush and Bill Clinton offer programs on topics like leadership and emotional intelligence.

The selection of content is so wide-ranging that it’s bound to impress and delight anyone, regardless of their line of work or personal goals. Beyond buying a MasterClass subscription for yourself, I also think that the membership would make such a unique gift for the person in your life who already has everything — but, you know, maybe hasn’t taken a specially curated online course from some of the most influential people in the world (yet).

Additional Details

  • MasterClass offers three subscription options: Individual, which costs $15 per month and includes one account for one device; Duo, which costs $20 per month and includes one account for two devices; and Family, which costs $23 per month and includes one account for six devices. (Just remember that, while these are monthly prices, you are billed annually for all of the subscriptions.)
  • The Duo and Family memberships also offer options for offline viewing, which allow users to watch their MasterClass courses even when they aren’t connected to WiFi — like on an airplane.
  • The service offers 180+ instructors and classes that span across a wide range of categories, including business, arts and entertainment, science and tech, food, sports and gaming, and more.
  • While MasterClass is already home to dozens of unique courses and video lessons, the program continues to expand on its offerings by introducing new instructors on the regular — ensuring that the selection of content still feels fresh for longtime users and subscribers.

How Can I Purchase a MasterClass Subscription?

You can simply visit MasterClass’s plan page, choose from one of three subscription offerings — which are conveniently broken down by the monthly cost and what exactly is included in each membership — and then continue onto checkout. While MasterClass doesn’t offer free trials, all membership plans come with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so if you aren’t totally sold on the service by then, you’ll still have the opportunity to cancel your subscription.



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