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Udemy Review: Good or Bad?

How do users rate the Udemy course platform? What are its advantages and disadvantages? Are the online courses worth it?

Udemy Review: Good or Bad?
Images: stocksnap, peggy_marco / pixabay

Online course providers differ in terms of quality, user ratings, and price.


Udemy offers courses to 35 million learners who have had both positive and negative experiences.

What is it that Udemy students like? What are they criticizing?

 

(Continue here to search online courses from 50 providers.) 



What is Udemy?

  • Provider of more than 130,000 online courses with 35+ million users   
  • Founded in 2010 in San Francisco, backed by venture capital 
  • Focus on computer science, business, and lifestyle courses
  • Short lessons – think YouTube, not lengthy lectures 
  • Any expert can offer courses, it’s not limited to university instructors


Positive aspects from user reviews:

  • Choice: Many different topics. Includes professional training courses (programming, business, marketing) but also hobbies and leisure 
  • Moderate costs: Many courses are available at prices around $10-20 
  • Expert knowledge: Courses from practitioners who want to teach skills that can be applied immediately. The course range is not limited to well-known universities and institutions. Some Udemy instructors have tens of thousands of students and outstanding reviews. 
  • Direct teaching style: Many users prefer a quick start to long introductions. This depends of course on the individual learning objective.  
  • Preview: The instructor's presentation style can be tested in preview videos. This is a key feature not available on most other course platforms. 
  • Playback speed: Can be adjusted, and that is very user-friendly. Useful for longer lessons.
  • Languages: Unlike other course platforms, Udemy also offers courses in 65 languages besides English.


Sometimes criticized:

  • Varying quality: Since anyone can create lessons, the quality of the content is very different between courses. This is also true for teaching styles. In addition, some non-native English-speaking instructors can be hard to understand. The course preview is a great help! 
  • Price changes: Some reviews criticize the fact that course prices change a lot. But that’s not a scam, it’s just dynamic pricing over time and between geographies and users. As a rule of thumb, you should only book at prices below $50. 
  • Few free courses: Some instructors start by offering their courses for free. However, Udemy does not have the permanently free learning option that other providers offer.   
  • Value of certificates: The reputation of Udemy certificates with employers is still low and needs to improve. The main reason is the varying quality between courses. Thus, most Udemy students aim to upgrade their skills, not to get certificates for their CV.
  • Limited theoretical insight: If you are looking for theoretical concepts at university level, chances are that you will find better alternatives with other course providers.
  • Course updates: Many courses are launched but never updated later. The date of the last update is shown on the course page. 
Udemy Review: Good or Bad?

Our Conclusion:

  • Udemy offers applicable practical skills. There are many popular courses on programming, marketing, and lifestyle. If you are looking for academic content and theoretical concepts, you should look elsewhere.  
  • Since the course quality varies, you should check out the instructor first. Is he/she a serious expert in his/her field?  
  • In our opinion, the course preview is a great way to also check out the teaching style. You should definitely do this before booking a course! 
  • If you have found a suitable Udemy course , you risk little due to the moderate prices.
  • It can also be worth to check out alternative courses in our course directory and to compare pros and cons.  
  • Specific Udemy questions can also be discussed in the Reddit Udemy forum.

 

This "learning junkie" only likes some of the Udemy courses:

 

What Are Some Alternatives to Udemy?

  • Coursera, EdX, and FutureLearn: The leading providers of university courses. Overall high quality; longer course durations than Udemy. Free learning is often possible; certificates can be purchased. (continue to Coursera / EdX / FutureLearn)     
  • Udacity: Specializes in IT courses; offers longer course series (Nanodegrees) and individual free courses. More expensive than Udemy courses.  (continue
  • LinkedIn Learning: Similar to Udemy, courses are also from individual expert instructors. Subscription model instead of paying for individual courses. (continue
  • Pluralsight: Also specializes in computer science courses, bootcamp style. Paid courses. (continue
  • Treehouse: Similar to Pluralsight, but fewer courses. Strong focus on IT/computer science. (continue)
  • Skillshare: Rather short individual lessons to learn specific skills. Paid courses. (continue
  • Skillsoft: Strong focus on technology, relatively short courses. (continue)


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