A couple years ago, I invested in a subscription to the streaming platform MasterClass. The service offers online classes from world-renowned professionals that are considered some of the best in their field of work. An annual subscription grants you access to over 100 classes across eleven main categories with new classes being added every month. It piqued my interest because, aside from practical classes for business and everyday life, there are a plethora of classes for hobbies I enjoy such as music, cooking, and photography.

The eleven categories of learning are listed below with some examples of class topics and notable instructors:

Arts & Entertainment

Topics: Graphic Design; Art of Storytelling; Photography; Acting; Filmmaking; Screenwriting; Directing

Instructors: Ron Howard; Jodie Foster; Annie Leibovitz


Topics: Business Strategy and Leadership; Effective and Authentic Communication; Advertising and Creativity; Sales and Persuasion

Instructors: Daniel Pink; Bob Iger; Howard Schultz

Community & Government

Topics: Economics and Society; Campaign Strategy and Messages; U.S. Presidential History and Leadership

Instructors: David Axelrod; Karl Rove; Doris Kearns Goodwin

Design & Style

Topics: Interior Design; Fashion Design; Architecture; Game Design and Theory; Makeup and Beauty

Instructors: Frank Gehry; Anna Wintour; Bobbi Brown


Topics: Gardening; Cooking (Italian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Japanese, etc); Bread Baking; Wine

Instructors: Gordon Ramsay; Wolfgang Puck; Aaron Franklin

Home & Lifestyle

Topics: Dog Training; Mindfulness and Meditation; Better Sleep; Art of Magic

Instructors: Brandon McMillan; Matthew Walker; Penn & Teller


Topics: Songwriting; Beatmaking; Electric Guitar; Violin; Singing; Drumming and Percussion; DJing; Performance

Instructors: Tom Morello; Carlos Santana; Hans Zimmer

Science & Tech

Topics: Space Exploration; Scientific Thinking and Communication; Conservation

Instructors: Neil deGrasse Tyson; Dr. Jane Goodall; Chris Hadfield

Sports & Gaming

Topics: Chess; Poker Strategy; Tennis; Ballet; Skateboarding; Basketball; Gymnastics

Instructors: Serena Williams; Stephen Curry; Tony Hawk


Topics: Fitness and Wellness Fundamentals; Yoga; Sex and Communication; Self-Expression and Authenticity

Instructors: Joe Holder; RuPaul; Donna Farhi


Topics: Creative Writing; Art of the Short Story; Mystery and Thriller Writing; Fantasy and Science Fiction Writing; Reading and Writing Poetry

Instructors: Dan Brown; Judy Blume; James Patterson

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?! The above lists are just a small glimpse into all MasterClass offers. Classes are broken up into bite-size lessons to make it easier to learn at your own pace and because most people don’t have 3+ hours to sit and complete one class all at once. Each class also has an in-depth workbook to make the most of the course.

I’ve enjoyed watching several of the classes, but the most intriguing session I discovered was “Scientific Thinking and Communication,” by Neil deGrasse Tyson. My extensive notes have come in handy on several occasions recently as science and opinion have been at the forefront of pretty much everything related to the pandemic. You can’t argue with proven scientific facts, but as Neil puts it, “It’s not good enough to be right, you have to be effective.” How do you appeal to your audience? You have to do your homework: what’s their age, gender, education, occupation, etc? Knowing basic demographic information about who you’re speaking to can help you tailor your words and capture your audience, and ultimately, convey your message in a way that’s meaningful and effective to those hearing it. Anticipate what questions may be asked, and come prepared to answer those questions with supporting facts instead of trying to get the audience to feel a certain way. I could go on and on about how engaging this class was, but the truth is, for one-tenth of the cost of ONE average college class, you can watch this course plus more than 100 others on your own time, at your own pace. (See what I did there?)

If you’re eager to learn new or deeper skills useful for your career or hobbies, definitely check out MasterClass!