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Introduction

Are you interested in taking online courses but aren’t sure where to start?

As you likely have already discovered, you have a wide array of options when it comes to pursuing an online education. From taking individual courses on online learning platforms like Udemy to signing up for a full master’s degree on edX, there is truly something for anyone.

How do you choose the right online learning option for you? It starts with reading our detailed Udemy vs. Coursera review – and choosing which features matter most. Here’s what you need to know.

Udemy vs Coursera Ease of Use

Having a well-organized, easy-to-navigate platform is essential. After all, you don’t want to spend valuable time that could be spent learning new skills and content trying to figure out how to log in to a course in the first place!

Both Udemy and Coursera are relatively easy to use. It all starts with the registration process.

With Udemy, all you need to do is plug in your email, name, and password. You’ll have to confirm your email via a link that Udemy will send you, but that’s it. You don’t have to plug in credit card or other billing information in order to register.

Coursera has a similar registration process. However, if you’d rather register with Apple or Facebook, you can do so by linking your accounts. That means fewer passwords and usernames to remember – a major benefit. 

It can be a bit overwhelming to try and find a course on Udemy because there is such a vast collection. However, the platform does a nie job of categorizing courses so that you can browse by section or subsection. There is an advanced filtering system in place, too, that will allow you to search by other qualifiers like price, feedback, duration, language, and level. 

There are nearly a dozen categories and dozens of subcategories. Upon finding a course that you are interested in, you can read more about the course on the course page. You can also read things like reviews to help you get an idea of whether a course is right for you. 

Udemy vs Coursera Features

Here are some of the top features offered by Udemy and Coursera. 

Mobile Compatibility

Both Coursera and Udemy offer online courses that can be accessed on a desktop computer, iOS, or Android device.

The apps offered by both platforms are easy to navigate and download. 

Wide Variety of Courses

Coursera and Udemy each offer thousands of courses in a variety of topics – they aren’t like many other e-learning websites that only offer classes in in-demand topics like software development.

You’ll be able to take individual courses on both. Coursera offers the added benefit of specialist programs like full degrees and master’s degrees. These can be pricey but are worth it when you consider how their prices compare to full-fledged degree programs!

Some of the most popular course categories on Udemy include:

  • Design
  • Marketing
  • Development
  • IT and Software
  • Personal Development
  • Photography
  • Music
  • Business

On Coursera, you can take classes in similar categories, such as:

  • Data Science
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Health
  • Personal Development
  • Physical Science and Engineering
  • Arts and Humanities

Quality Instructors

Both Udemy and Coursera courses are taught by quality instructors. These courses are delivered by experts and come highly recommended by the vast majority of students.

However, there are a few differences in how each platform goes about hiring its instructors.

While Coursera only employs instructors from leading universities and corporate partnerships, on Udemy, just about anyone can take a course. TO do so, all you need to do is make an account and watch an orientation video on the platform’s basic course guidelines.

This has its benefits and disadvantages. The benefit of taking a Udemy course is that you will learn from people who might not have major educational credentials – but have serious street smarts. They can walk the walk and talk the talk, with many instructors having backgrounds as authors, public speakers, chefs, or other professionals. 

However, the downside to this system on Udemy is that you very well could end up taking a course from someone who doesn’t know much about their subject but instead meshed together a bunch of information from the Internet to create a hodgepodge of a course.

You won’t always learn from experts – nor will you always learn from instructors who are the best teachers. However, it’s worth noting that might be the case when you take classes on Coursera, too – just because an instructor works at Harvard doesn’t mean he has the best teaching style. He’s just credentialed! 

Accreditation and Certificates

Both Udemy and Coursera offer a certificate of completion options at the end of completed courses. Online course certificates are extremely valuable additions to a resume or CV. However, with Udemy, the courses are not accredited or backed by any kind of organization.

Time Commitment

It’s worth noting the difference in time commitments required by taking courses on either platform. Purchase a course on Udemy, and you’ll have unlimited access to the material. With Coursera, you’ll only be able to start and finish on specific dates. They are more like courses offered by formal institutions. 

Udemy vs Coursera User Interface

Both Coursera and Udemy have attractive websites that are easy to navigate.

After registering with Udemy, you can browse around the platform and search for a course. You have a few different options when it comes to finding the right class.

You can search for a specific optic or course or you can browse by looking at categories, subcategories, and popular topics. 

A feature that is unique to Udemy – and one that we absolutely love – is the ability to receive personalized recommendations for courses. To do this, you’ll just have to answer a few questions and complete your profile. This will help you avoid feeling bogged down by the vast quantity and variety of courses available on this online learning platform.

Coursera also offers an intuitive user interface. Upon arriving at the homepage, you’ll be able to view a list of the hundreds of partners with whom the platform collaborates. You can browse the list of courses offered by specific partners or read more about other specializations that they offer. This will allow you to learn more about the instructors you might be taking classes with.

It can sometimes be a bit challenging to find the course you are looking for on Coursera because there is so much information crowded onto the homepage. It can be a bit overwhelming if you aren’t confident about what you are looking for. You also won’t receive individualized course recommendations.

It’s a tough call – while both platforms are nicely organized, Udemy is a bit easier to navigate and has a cleaner, less cluttered interface. 

Udemy vs Coursera Support

Picture this – you’re sitting in front of your course, a cup of coffee by your side, ready to learn. 

Then your course crashes.

You reload the page – and it crashes again.

It can be incredibly frustrating to have to deal with technical glitches when all you’re trying to do is learn. Fortunately, both Udemy and Coursera offer excellent customer support.

Udemy has a solid support system in the palace that will allow you to get help with anything you need. You can message the support chats with your name, email, and issue and somebody will contact you quickly.

Of course, there is also a helpful FAQ page that will allow you to search for a specific topic and get answers to help you solve our problem.

Coursera has a similar support system in place. You can look up a specific topic in the FAQ or you can take a look at popular categories like payments, enrollment, and account setup. It even offers a live chat feature as you are logged in, something that can be super helpful if you have a very specific question and the standard help topics just aren’t cutting it. 

Udemy vs Coursera Certifications

Regardless of whether you choose to take courses on Coursera or Udemy, you can rest assured that you will be able to get a certificate of completion regardless. 

With Udemy, you will receive a completion certificate as soon as you complete a paid course. The downside to a Udemy certificate, however, is that it is not formal or validated in any way. While it will look cool on your resume or LinkedIn profile, it’s not backed by credentials from any kind of accrediting body or university. 

Of course, you’ll still have to pay a fee, too – if you take a free class on Udemy and decide that you want to upgrade to the verified certificate option, you can still do so afterward. You’ll just have to pay an upgrade fee.

With Coursera, you can also receive a certificate. It offers a slight advantage over Udemy in that your certificate will be verified. It will include the logo of the partner institutions, the signature of the instructor, your name, the course name, and a verification URL that will allow other people to check the authenticity of your new credentials. 

Both platforms will allow you to download, print, and even share your certificates. The benefit of choosing Coursera, however, is that your certificate is more likely to be recognized by a future employer because it is offered in partnership with a leading university or corporation. 

Udemy vs Coursera Pricing

Udemy and Coursera have different pricing structures though they share some similarities. 

Udemy works on a pay-per-course approach, with individual courses ranging from just a few dollars to more than $200. Coursera, on the other hand, offers individual courses ranging from $29 to $99 with the option of online degrees – these can cost more than $25,000. 

What about free courses?

Udemy has a large pool of free courses and was once hailed as the online learning platform with the widest variety of free classes to choose from. You can take more than 600 different free courses. Although these are more simplified than the paid courses, not offering a certificate of completion or course features like question and answer sessions, they still offer a nice value.

While we wouldn’t recommend going to Udemy solely to take free classes, a free course is a wonderful way to learn more about Udemy and to figure out whether this platform is right for you. If you’re trying to get a feel for a certain instructor’s teaching style, taking a free course from the same teacher’s portfolio will allow you to do that, too.

Coursera doesn’t offer free courses in the same way that Udemy does. Instead, you’ll be able to audit a course. This will let you study an entire topic for free but you won’t receive a certificate of completion at the end. For many students, that’s a huge benefit – you can get the same high quality of education as a paid course, just without the added credentials at the end.

Udemy vs Coursera Courses

Compared to Coursera, Udemy is the way to go if you are looking for a wide selection of courses. It has more than 100,000 different courses on many different topics. Coursera offers around 4000 courses in partnership with 200 institutions. 

These courses are also offered in more languages, with 65 different options available. 

The structure of the courses on either online learning platform is a bit different.

With Udemy, you can work through your courses at a pace that works best for you. All course material, from assignments to projects to videos, is self-guided and self-paced. Most contain just a few hours of video lectures and written content to work through.

Coursera includes courses that are a bit more rigorous – it’s just like taking a class at a formal institution. All classes start and finish on specific dates. You’ll have to follow a specific timeline.

With Coursera, you will be able to watch videos and complete peer-reviewed and auto-graded assignments. You may also be able to participate in discussion forums to learn more from your professors and classmates. 

Udemy vs Coursera Content Quality

The content quality on both Coursera and Udemy is excellent. Coursera classes are taught by some of the most well-respected instructors in the world. These instructors work at places like MIT, Yale, Stanford, and more. There’s no question that the quality of education you will receive here is superb.

Not only that, but the accredited certificates you’ll receive after taking a Coursera course are also a bonus. These will look outstanding on your resume when you go in for an interview!

The content is more structured and requires a bigger time commitment – usually four to five months of study if you plan on pursuing a specialization program or degree. 

With Udemy, you’ll have unlimited access to a wider variety of courses and be able to learn new skills in just about any topic. The content here is geared more toward the recreational learner rather than someone who is trying to boost his education in order to get a job. 

The courses are not accredited or checked by a team of quality control specialists as they are with Coursera – so while the quality might not always be as good, there’s a greater breadth of content for you to choose from. 

Want to learn more about what it’s like to be a student on Coursera? Be sure to check out this comprehensive review of Coursera. 

Udemy vs Coursera Instructors

Finding the right instructor is essential when it comes to learning – but especially when you’re planning on doing any online learning, since this is a unique style of education that for some students, can be hard to get used to.

Udemy’s courses are taught by experienced instructors, with many courses even including the help of teaching assistants. Before you start taking a course, you can read a small blurb about an instructor’s prior experience. You can also connect via social media and ask any questions that you might have.

The only downside of Udemy is that not all courses are created according to the same standards. Just about anyone can launch a class on Udemy and it won’t always be of the highest quality or offered by the best instructors – you don’t have to have any specific types of credentials in order to teach here.

While most classes are top-notch, you do run the risk of getting a sub-par instructor. This is where reading reviews can really come in handy!

Every course on Coursera is created alongside a partnering institution, allowing you to get some reassurance in the fact that the instructors have master’s or doctoral level education. Courses are checked and verified thoroughly before they are released on the platform – each one will use a beta tester to review it and give feedback to make sure the content is up to snuff. 

Curious about what else Udemy has to offer? Be sure to check out this comprehensive review of the Udemy platform.

Udemy vs Coursera Course Count

Without a doubt, Udemy is the way to go if you are looking for a variety of courses to choose from. This online learning platform has more than 100,000 courses for you to choose from in dozens of categories  – which is much more than the few thousand offered by Coursera.

However, Coursera’s courses offer “quality over quantity.” As we mentioned earlier, the courses on Coursera are all offered in combination with partnering universities. These aren’t just any universities but the best universities in the world. You’ll receive a more curated experience. 

Therefore, it’s up to you as to which platform will be best. While Udemu offers the highest course count, Coursera’s content quality is slightly higher.

Udemy vs Coursera Available Languages

As we mentioned earlier, Udemy really takes the cake when it comes to diversity.

This platform offers courses in 65 different languages. You can filter to find courses by language, with sample languages including English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and more.

Coursera also offers a wide selection of available languages, including English, Spanish, German, Korean, Japanese, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Russian, and more. Not only that, but these video courses also come with interactive transcripts, even on the mobile app, so you can get a clearer idea of what you are learning.

Udemy vs Coursera for Business

If you own a business and want to offer your employees a way that they can keep learning and building their professional skills, both Coursera and UDemy offer excellent resources.

Udemy has an Enterprise and Team Plan. Both will provide your employees with lifetime access to more than 100,000 courses for just $360 per year. To qualify, you must have at least five users. The enterprise plan will also give users unlimited access to courses in other languages as well as to create their own custom content and set career paths. The career paths aren’t always included in the enterprise plan, though, since these are personalized.

Coursera also offers a similar plan. These training and development programs were developed by leading institutions and meant specifically for businesses. You can choose from both Team and Enterprise options.

The Team option is best for small businesses and costs $400 per year per user in a small business. They’ll have access to Coursera’s entire library of courses. The Second option is a custom-priced package that is meant for larger organizations. It’s worth looking into if you have more than a handful of employees.

Udemy vs Coursera Value for Money

Although both Coursera and Udemy offer an excellent value for the money, it’s easy to see that Udemy is the more popular platform. Founded in 2010, this platform has more than 300 million students and courses in 65 languages. Because you can pay per course – and pay a lower price per course than Coursera – it offers an excellent value for your money. You can truly customize your learning experience.

Coursera, founded in 2012 by Stanford professors, offers a wholly different learning process. Although the content quality is typically higher on Coursera – classes are offered in partnership with leading institutions so you’ll always be learning from expert instructors – there aren’t as many classes offered. 

It focuses most of its work on its partnerships with corporations, institutions, and universities. The content is more limited but may be of a higher quality. There’s not as much of an option to customize your learning experience, though, so that’s something to be considered. 

Both Coursera and UDemy offer an excellent value for your money – neither necessarily come out on top. It will be up to you to decide which learning experience is best for your needs and goals. 

Value for Money

Although both Coursera and Udemy offer an excellent value for the money, it’s easy to see that Udemy is the more popular platform. Founded in 2010, this platform has more than 300 million students and courses in 65 languages. Because you can pay per course – and pay a lower price per course than Coursera – it offers an excellent value for your money. You can truly customize your learning experience.

Coursera, founded in 2012 by Stanford professors, offers a wholly different learning process. Although the content quality is typically higher on Coursera – classes are offered in partnership with leading institutions so you’ll always be learning from expert instructors – there aren’t as many classes offered. 

It focuses most of its work on its partnerships with corporations, institutions, and universities. The content is more limited but may be of a higher quality. There’s not as much of an option to customize your learning experience, though, so that’s something to be considered. 

Both Coursera and Udemy offer an excellent value for your money – neither necessarily come out on top. It will be up to you to decide which learning experience is best for your needs and goals. 

Payments and Refunds

Both Coursera and Udemy offer flexible payment options, though each platform’s pricing structure is a bit different.

With Coursera, you’ll be able to engage in a seven-day free trial. There are also options to audit courses. 

Regardless of which you choose, you will ultimately have to pay something if you want to benefit from the full Coursera experience. All courses come with a money-back guarantee.

Udemy also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. It offers numerous free courses with many less than $10. 

If you need to get a refund, you can do so within 30 days of purchasing a course on Udemy. These are made to the original payment method. 

Coursera also offers a flexible refund policy. If you’re paying for a subscription, you can get a refund simply by canceling the subscription. 

If you have a free trial and need a refund after that, there are no worries – there are no payments made until after the free trial ends so nothing needs to be refunded Otherwise, you can get a refund for a course within two weeks of your payment. It’s important to note that you can’t be refunded if you already earned a certificate for a course, which indicates that you already completed it.

As far as payment methods go, Udemy offers payment via Google Play, the Apple App Store, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. You can also pay with PayPal. Coursera allows you to pay with a credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Discover, or American Express) along with prepaid cards, PayPal, and more. 

Conclusion

Both Coursera and Udemy offer excellent opportunities to students who are interested in building their skills and taking a wide range of courses in various topics, from data science to business fundamentals. 

Depending on what kind of learning experience you’re looking for, both online learning platforms should serve you well in enhancing your experience and building your skills. They provide a phenomenal learning experience and access to some of the best instructors in the country, most of whom are experts in their content areas. 

Don’t stress the decision – both Udemy and Coursera offer reasonably-priced courses in a wide range of topics. You aren’t going to be sacrificing life and limb in order to take these classes! 

Know that you’ll be in good hands regardless of which of these online learning platforms you select. Enjoy the learning experience – and be sure to leave reviews after taking your courses so that others can benefit from your wisdom! 

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Rebekah Pierce

Rebekah Pierce is a writer with a B.A. in English from St. Lawrence University and a Master’s in Special Education from SUNY Plattsburgh. She has worked both as a college admissions counselor as well as a high school English teacher and has also written extensively on topics related to educational technology and the college selection process.

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