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Give the Gift of Learning With These Subscriptions

We've pulled together our top picks for the best learning software for anyone from an amateur enthusiast or a seasoned professional.

Max McHone
3 min read
See at Udemy
Classes from $15
See at Wondrium
Unlimited courses for $12 a month
See at ABC Mouse
ABC Mouse
70% off an annual subscription
See at Skill Share
Skill Share
Get one month free

A gift idea that often flies under the radar is the gift of learning. The latest tech toy or flashy gadget is always a wonderful thing to unwrap, but you never know if today's trend will be tomorrow's trash. If you're shopping for a friend or loved one who is an enthusiast about a certain subject, chances are they already have whatever you're thinking of getting them. Plus, we all know how pricey presents like this can be.

Which brings us back to education. It's always nice to learn a new skill. Sometimes, the best present is a useful one that is fun and reaps lasting rewards. These classes also tend to be affordable. To be clear: We're not trying to convince you to get your giftee a college class to attend. Instead, these class subscriptions and online learning services include unique courses helmed by experts in their fields -- like celebrity chefs and world-renowned filmmakers, for example. A whole array of online communities are connected to many of the services we're highlighting which offers support as you develop new skills. There are also educational services that appeal to children and young adults. They say you learn something new each day. Read on to see our guide to our favorite online learning services. So many teachable moments are just a click away.


Whether you're looking to pick up a new skill, or hone an existing one, MasterClass offers a chance to learn directly under the tutelage of experts at the top of their field. From filmmaking tips from David Lynch to cooking classes taught by Gordon Ramsay, there's a class that will pique just about anyone's interest. 


If you're looking to get a leg up on your career, or simply work on improving yourself, Udemy is a great (and affordable) resource. It offers a wide array of courses available online, with notes, videos and even assessment tests to track your progress. While there are plenty of courses for creatives, like photography and cooking, there is also a huge selection of business-related classes, covering everything from programming and web development to entrepreneurship to economics. 


Compared with MasterClass and Udemy, Wondrium (formerly known as The Great Courses) is geared more toward actual learning than skill development. Sure, there are still plenty of amazing courses available about hobbies and trades like baking and woodworking, but there's also so much more. For example, courses that are designed to teach you about history, not how to be a historian. You can learn about the great philosophers of ancient Greece, or the science of astronomy and so much more. Plans given as gifts are available in either three-, six- or 12-month periods, all of which work out to between $12 and $15 a month. 

ABC Mouse

For kids aged 2 to 8, ABC Mouse is a great online resource that makes learning fun. There are more than 10,000 educational activities that cover a variety of subjects, including math, reading and language arts, arts, science, and social studies. Plus, there are step-by-step learning programs that help your child progress at their own comfort level. Right now, you can sign up for an annual subscription for just $45, which is 70% less than it would cost you on a month-by-month plan.

Skill Share

Skill Share is less of a collection of lectures and classes, and more of an online learning community (that also offers courses). There are more than 35,000 courses led by everyone from professionals to enthusiasts on a huge variety of both creative and entrepreneurial pursuits. Skill Share is a great platform to hone your skills and also engage directly with creators and communities that share your passions. If you're so inclined, you can even sign up to teach a course. You can get a one-month free trial, then pay $14 per month.