Udemy gives an excellent account of itself in most reviews out there, but what about a thought-provoking article about the platform from an actual Udemy user, well if that’s what you’re looking for, you have come to the right place.
To clarify, I am a paid-up member and my girlfriend of Udemy for use in professional development. I use it a lot along with other platforms, to benefit and progress my professional skills and attributes in the workplace. So far, it seems to be working great for this.
This article will show how to get the best from Udemy and what to keep an eye out for when purchasing courses. Also, a real-world review on the pros and cons of this exciting system for developing your talents.
What is Udemy?
Udemy is a leading online learning platform and MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) where anybody can sign up for an account and have access to a wide variety of courses covering an array of subjects and topics. After looking at numerous online learning platforms, one thing is for sure, Udemy is up there with the best, but is it right for you?
Whether you are a student, or a professional looking to engage in adult education and development, Udemy should be able to assist.
Related: Is Udemy good for students
When you think about these vast platforms, a lot will immediately come to mind, and more than likely, nowadays, Udemy will be one of those. There is a good reason for this. Since 2010, when Udemy’s founders, Eren Bali, Gagan Biyani, and Oktay Caglar, finally acquired the funding necessary to start Udemy after years of failure, it has become a behemoth in the online learning space empowering students and adult learners worldwide to level up their skills to reach their goals. It shows what you can do with perseverance #Americandream.
Let’s take a look at the key milestones that Udemy have hot over the last 10+ years:
When it comes to how Udemy stacks up against its competitors, it does very well, but like with anything, it comes down to preference and needs. Purely on the number of courses, nothing comes close, but if you want something extremely specific, then Udemy may be stretched a bit too thin, and platforms listed further down this post may be more suitable.
What can I learn on the platform?
This is a great question and one that is arguably too large to explain in this single blog post, but with over 130,000 courses available, it is safe today you can find pretty much anything you need on this MOOC pioneer. You can learn everything from web development, Photography, eLearning, creative design, parenting tips to marketing philosophies.
This rating system can be handy for weeding out any “bad actors,” as it were, and make sure you get access to the best courses that are tailored ore to your needs.
If you want to know more, check out below to see a selection of some of the courses and categories that Udemy offers.
So, what do I get within Udemy courses
As you can see below, when you access your course, you will get access to the course, with an overview, chapters on the right-hand side, where you can navigate through to find the lessons you need or let it run chronologically. You will also get the ability to see resources, exercise files to practice with (inside the chaptered lessons), and the community Q&A to ask questions and receive answers from the course author or other learners.
You will also see notes and announcements; keep an eye on these in case there are any communications you need to be aware of.
Do courses last forever
Great question. The quick answer is yes, once you have paid for a course, it is yours forever or as long as you have a Udemy account. There have been reports of users saying Udemy has removed the course from the platform, so they have lost access to it. As annoying as this would be, I have not experienced this myself personally, but that is not to say it could not occur. If it ever did, get in touch with Udemy and ask them for a reason would be my advice in this instance.
What about a refund
Yes, Udemy offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee refund, so if you are not happy with any part of their platform, course or instructor, you can get a full refund paid through the standard accepted payment methods Udemy use.
The User Experience
This is an area of Udemy that I have researched extensively and spent a lot of time on the platform before I wrote this part. It is entirely subjective; to be honest, what one person decides is simple to use can be complex to somebody else.
My honest opinion of Udemy’s interface is it is exceptionally clean and relatively minimal, with enough information to tell you what is happening with your course.
Some critical aspects of the interface are the following:
Although some of these are similar to other platforms, they are all well thought out and offer useful, intuitive, and well thought out features that someone who is super technical or a beginner can understand.
What About Instructors
Who Is Udemy For
Udemy for business
Teach on Udemy
We have spoken about this earlier in this review, but there are pros and cons as an instructor.
Access to a vast, worldwide audience of potential students is a massive plus, as well as Udemy’s platform being easy to set up, with robust e-commerce functionality, are all great points.
But there will also be cons, and Udemy is no exception. With the enormous discounts Udemy offers, which you can do nothing about, your content needs to be quite specific, low cost, high volume works best, and software tutorials arguably are the most popular. Lastly, the need to produce multiple courses to make it financially viable, these are all points to consider before making the jump to the world of instruction on Udemy.
Is Udemy certified or accredited?
Pros and Cons
|Easy learning environment||Hit and miss course quality|
|Affordable courses||Practical exercises not in all courses|
|Taught by industry experts||Social learning is limited|
|Thousands of courses to choose from||Udemy experiences not equal|
Udemy Marketplace doesn’t use a subscription model, instead, you sign up for a free account as a learner and pay for the courses as you see fit. Remembering the prices can range from as low as $9.00 USD to as high as $300 USD +.
Now I slightly lied above, there is a subscription named Udemy Pro that costs $19.99 USD. Udemy Pro is a guided learning experience explicitly designed to help students accomplish their IT certification goals.
Udemy for business
Udemy doesn’t publish their Business pricing publicly on their website, which is helpful, I know. But through exhaustive research, I have found some case studies of what organizations are paying for this business licensed based version.
For teams with 5-20 people, Udemy for Business costs $360.00 per user per year for access to over Udemy’s top courses. There is also an enterprise plan that includes analytics functionality, but its pricing is dependent on the number of users and feature needs of the organization. Businesses that only need access to a few courses can also purchase them individually.
Alternative learning platforms to consider
Our Leftfield Choice
I added Masterclass into possible options because it is just damn cool as a platform. You can learn a variety of topics from superstars in the industry. Want to be a better performer? Why not let Usher tell you how, or what about letting Martin Scorsese (#legend) coach you on filmmaking.
No other service has this star power on the platform, and for $180 for an all-access ticket, the price is pretty damn reasonable.
If you want to check out Masterclass, check it out below:
Is Udemy Worth It
In Taughtup’s opinion, Udemy ticks 90% of the boxes for a phenomenal online learning platform. With an enviable number of courses to learn from, an easy-to-use interface, affordable prices (generally), and scope of topics, Udemy makes a tremendous amount of sense for anyone looking to learn new skills to level up their professional or personal development.
Hey, I’m Kris Taylor. I’m a Learning and Development professional currently in the healthcare field, with over 8 years of experience in the area of corporate education. I have created numerous instructional content for various corporate projects including eLearning, in-person facilitation, and virtual training across a wide variety of learning interventions and sectors. On Taughtup, I discuss topics ranging from how to succeed through K-12 to college all the way to instructional design tips for L&D designers.