One of the challenges of taking online courses is deciding which platform to learn from. The purpose of this article is to compare two major online learning platforms – Udemy or Udacity – and help you make a better decision on which platform to continue your journey in learning.
Udacity believe university-level education can be both high quality and low cost. Using the economics of the Internet, it has connected great teachers to hundreds of thousands of students all over the world. It was founded by three roboticists who believed much of the educational value of their university classes could be offered online for very low cost. A few weeks later, over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled in the first class, “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence.”
Udemy’s goal is to disrupt and democratize the world of education by enabling anyone to teach and learn online. Just as blogging democratized the publishing industry (enabling anyone with basic knowledge to become an expert). Instructors can use video, PowerPoint, PDFs, audio, zip files and live classes to quickly build a course and share their expertise.
Free or Paid
When Udacity started its first courses in February 2012, the model was that all classes are open enrollment; you can learn at your own pace and access all of the information you need at any time. Upon completion of the class, you download your class certification to demonstrate your level of achievement in the course, all for free.
However in April 2014, Udacity announced that effective from May 16, they’ll be phasing out certificates for free courseware completion. Students are now required to pay to complete courses and get a verified certificate. No free launch after all.
From the word go, Udemy started with paid online courses in mind. The goal was to build a platform for authors, professors, experts, professionals, entrepreneurs and public speakers to create and teach courses online as a business model. And they have been consistent with this model. You will also find interesting free beginners courses, more like a marketing strategy to attract paid learners for intermediate and advanced version of the course.
Who create the courses?
Courses are built by experts from tech companies in Silicon Valley and institutions including Google, Facebook, Cloudera, Salesforce, San Jose University etc. Teachers are knowledgeable on skills tech companies need, because they work there.
Courses are created by authors, professors, experts, professionals, entrepreneurs, public speakers and just about anyone who can teach something worth learning.
Average cost of Courses
Courses cost about $150 a month. However, you can take trial version of the course.
Paid courses typically range from $5 – $250, or more. In fact instructors have the full control to charge whatever price they deem fit. Learners pay one-time fee to access the full course.
What category of courses can you learn?
With Udacity, “stand out by learning in-demand tech skills from the best companies in Silicon Valley”.
Learn in-demand tech skills needed in the tech industry today from web development, software engineering, android etc.
“Our mission is to help anyone learn anything online”.
Students can take courses across a great breadth of categories, including: business & entrepreneurship, academics, the arts, health & fitness, language, music, photography, yoga, technology, games, and more.
Udacity – the screenshot below from Google Trend shows the regional interest for Udacity
Udemy – the screenshot below from Google Trend shows the regional interest for Udemy
User rating and reviews
There is no user generated reviews or rating for the courses. As a result, prospective learners don’t have the luxury to make decisions based on social proof.
Before you enroll for any course on Udemy, you can read what past students have to say about the course. You can see the ratings for each course to help you decide to take the course or not. This is a great social proof to help you maximize your investment.
Which platform is better?
Eventually, it’s totally up to you to decide. If you want to learn tech skills from large companies like Google and Facebook, and pay about $150 per month to complete the course and get a certificate, Udacity may be the right choice. Browse Course on Udacity
If you want to learn just about anything taught in a less formal, less academic style, Udemy could be the better choice. Browse Courses on Udemy