Online learning platforms exploded in popularity a few years ago. Recently, a handful of platforms have fought their way to the top.
Both Udemy and Coursera often come up in conversations about the best learning platforms. A given person might assume they offer a similar experience and similar courses. However, each platform is geared toward a different audience, and that’s especially clear with Udemy and Coursera.
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An Overview of Udemy
Over 15 million people access over 65,000 courses offered by Udemy. Instructors sign up with Udemy and create a course in their area of expertise. Currently, everyone from industry experts to educators and enthusiasts create courses on the platform.
Each course is driven in a video-based format with features for discussions, PDF attachments, and even quizzes. Courses are designed to help students expand their skills in an area.
An Overview of Coursera
Coursera is utilized by over 20 million individuals and features over 2,000 courses. For quality control, the company partners with universities and educators to bring online courses to the platform.
Most of these courses mirror similar courses found at those universities, which means high quality education is a guarantee here. By using Coursera, students may earn a technical certification or even a Masters Degree from an accredited and prestigious school.
Differences Between The Two Platforms
Based on descriptions alone, it’s simple to identify the major differences between Udemy and Coursera.
- Students can learn from countless topic areas by taking courses on Udemy (much more courses options compared to Coursera).
- Coursera, on the other hand, takes a more limited approach by offering educational and academic courses from top Universities.
- Typically, courses on Coursera are structured and fairly intensive.
- Every course on Udemy is designed to be taken at an individual’s own pace with no specific deadlines.
- Each platform relies on video-based instruction with an instructor guiding each lecture. With Coursera, however, most students can expect homework and extra assignments. These assignments may be mandatory for a certification or degree.
- Udemy allows instructors to include assignments and tests, but they’re not necessarily a requirement. After completing a course through Udemy, a certificate of completion (CoC) may be available.
- A certificate or degree from Coursera often goes further than a CoC from Udemy.
Udemy VS Coursera: Course Options
Both Udemy and Coursera offer users plenty of courses and content to engage with.
- With over 65,000 courses, Udemy blows Coursera out of the water in selection. The platform offers more subject areas for learning by virtue of this large content library.
- However, it’s important to remember that anyone can create a Udemy course. Most courses are built and taught by industry experts or educators, but course quality varies greatly.
- A course from Udemy can range anywhere from an hour to 50 hours or more. Therefore, users will run into courses that are fairly short and may feel like they’re missing content.
- The same cannot be said for Coursera’s library of 2,000+ courses. Partnering with universities and colleges allows the platform to offer a stacked course catalog. While Coursera lags behind in total number of courses, the quality of individual courses is higher.
- Potential users should keep in mind the nature of these courses and their costs. On average, a Udemy course ranges anywhere from $10 to $200. Keep an eye also on the frequent flash sales that run almost every month to get even lower prices on Udemy.
- A Coursera course or specialization may run from $50 to $500 or more. The Masters Degree and related programs, unsurprisingly, cost thousands of dollars on Coursera. For Coursera specialization series, users can sometimes pay a monthly fee for regular access to multiple courses.
- Udemy offers a small selection of free courses, as does Coursera.
- Coursera essentially runs itself as an online college, and it’s set up accordingly. Courses are highly structured, cost a decent amount of money, and they’re designed for career development.
- On the other hand, Udemy offers a larger selection of courses with more relaxed course structures and no particular deadlines or mandates. They cover areas from hobbies, IT, software development, business, make-money courses, etc
These platforms seem similar at first, but they’re geared toward different audiences completely.
Does Udemy Provide Certificates?
As previously mentioned, Udemy does provide a certificate of completion for some courses.
The certificate comes from a template and is identical from course to course. Not all courses include a certificate of completion (ask the instructor first if they offer a certificate). At this point, these certificates are more ceremonial than practical.
The certificate for a given course doesn’t guarantee results as far as landing a job or boosting one’s resume. Results will vary with certificates.
Are Coursera Courses Available For Free?
Most of the courses from Coursera cost money to access. Still, a limited number of courses can be accessed on a trial basis. Even fewer complete courses are available free of charge whatsoever.
Students cannot acquire a certification from a free course and must instead purchase access for the certification. Nonetheless, the ability to try out certain courses before committing to buying them is a welcome feature.
Udemy and Coursera each come with their advantages and disadvantages. Students can learn a new skill on either platform through video-based courses. However, each platform takes a different approach to education, and that must be kept in mind.
Udemy wants to help its users learn new skills or dabble in an area of interest. Coursera takes a more intensive approach with its certifications and small selection of Masters Degree programs.
That’s not to say that courses taken on Udemy couldn’t lead to a new career. An individual could take courses in a particular subject and land a career with the right skills and strategy.
Regardless, Coursera specifically focuses on career development and earning certifications or degrees to move deeper into a career. The structure and overall mission of Coursera may seem more legitimate in the eyes of a recruiter.
In the end, users can benefit from either platform based upon their own needs. Not everyone wants to take online courses to find their next career.
Perhaps one person wants to earn a Masters Degree online, but another person wants to pursue a new hobby.
Opportunities are limitless on both platforms. These days, both Udemy and Coursera continue to expand their course offerings, and they’re available to everyone.