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Looking for a one-of-a-kind learning experience? If so, you may have considered taking online courses on an online learning platform. Udemy and Udacity are two e-learning platforms that are great for students of all kinds, from those who are interested in exploring the tech industry to students seeking personal development opportunities.

While Udemy has multiple classes taught by expert instructors in everything from creative skills to machine learning, Udacity is a for-profit institution that has a variety of courses, like Udemy, along with unique nanodegree program opportunities.

So which one is right for you? Regardless of your learning goals, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re yearning for by reading this comprehensive review and comparison of the two platforms. 

Related reading: Udemy Review – Is Udemy Worth it?

Udemy vs Udacity Ease of Use

If you’re new to online learning, there’s no question about it – you don’t have the time to be muddling through confusing website features and compatibility issues.

Both Udemy and Udacity make online learning easy and are both relatively easy to use. 

Let’s start with Udemy. First, you’ll have to complete the registration process. To do this, you will supply your name, email address, and password. You’ll confirm your email and then you’re good to go!

Registering with Udacity is similar. You’ll provide your full name, email address, password, and birthday. However, it’s easier to use in one aspect, and that is that you can link your Facebook account instead of creating a whole new account. That can save some time and make your life a little bit easier since it’s fewer passwords you’ll need to remember! 

Udemy vs Udacity Features

Here are some of the top features of both Udacity and Udemy that you should pay attention to.

Individual Courses and Nanodegrees

Both Udemy and Udacity offer individual courses in a variety of subjects.

Udemy has literally thousands of courses that cover a broad span of topics, from business and marketing to health and fitness and design. With Udemy, it’s easy to pick and choose individual classes that you might be interested in. 

Udacity also offers more than 200 completely free quality courses along with several paid individual courses. Like the Udemy courses, Udacity courses tend to be self-paced. However, there is an expectation that you complete around six to ten hours per week of work (Udemy doesn’t have this kind of structure in its courses).

Another benefit of taking classes on Udacity is that you can pursue a nanodegree program – as of writing this article, there are more than three dozen nanodegrees on Udacity. Many of these are industry-leading programs offered as a partnership with top companies like AT&T, IBM, and Google.

The nanodegrees are made up of individual courses that all meet a similar goal. You’ll complete exercises and instructional videos just as you might with an individual course but at the end of the nanodegree, you’ll be expected to complete a final project. 

Udacity’s curriculum tends to be more focused and niched in nature. Most courses center on programming and development, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, business, data, and other “tech-related” topics. 

Lifetime Access to Courses

With Udemy, you’ll get lifetime access to your course content. That means you can log back in whenever you would like to review the material you learned in the class. If you choose to take a nanodegree on Udacity, you’ll get the same benefit – you will have indefinite access to your program as long as you’ve paid all related fees. 

Partnerships

Although Udemy doesn’t partner with any major industry partners in its courses, Udacity does. You’ll learn directly from industry leaders and can often connect with them via live chats. You’ll also be able to work with these partners directly on active learning products and talk with other peers as you learn. 

Because of this, Udacity offers countless job prospects for tech enthusiasts. You’ll get a certificate at the end of your course along with access to networking opportunities with real companies – a major benefit of choosing Udacity over Udemy.

Mobile App

You can access Udemy from any internet browser (Safari, Chrome, etc) on a desktop or laptop. Alternatively, you can use the mobile app – there are options for both Apple and Android users and both are easy to use. They are also free.

Sadly, although Udacity can be accessed from any kind of web browser on a laptop or desktop computer, it does not have a mobile app for Android or Apple users at the time of writing this article. 

Free Courses

Both offer free courses. However, the quality of these free courses can vary widely between the two options.

Free courses on Udemy tend to be upsells for paid courses – these are meant to promote courses that are more expensive and as such, tend to be brief and of a lower overall quality. They don’t offer much value beyond the paid courses so in most cases, it’s best to opt for the paid classes instead.

Udacity, on the other hand, offers free courses that are a bit more in-depth. These classes cover a lot of the same industry-relevant material that you might find in the nanodegree programs.

The main difference between the free courses and paid courses on Udacity is that the free courses here don’t offer “bonus features” like mentorship, project reviews, or certification. They are still quite in-depth and take a lot of time to complete. 

Course Features

Each class on Udemy comes with a video introduction and is categorized based on level, duration, language, price, feedback, and of course, topic. It’s easy to find past student reviews so you can get an idea of whether the course and its features are right for you

Although Udacity’s features aren’t quite as advanced, you can still search by topic, price, level, skills, and course duration. Each course has a video with a presentation of the program and feedback from students. You’ll get a detailed overview of the course syllabus and be able to read about your instructors before you get started, too.

Quality Instructors

On both Udemy and Udacity, you will learn from quality instructors who are enthusiastic about what they are teaching. Although anybody can become an instructor on Udemy – not just experts – that’s not always a bad thing. Instructors on Udemy tend to be enthusiastic about what they are teaching, while those on Udacity have the education and experience to back that enthusiasm up!

Udemy vs Udacity User Interface

The user interfaces of Udemy and Udacity are similarly easy to navigate.

Udemy has a clean, well-structured site that’s easy to follow. You can create your own categories to manage different courses that you’d like to take, saving them by category so it’s easy to come back to them later. You can also browse individual courses by category or by topic – or you can use the search bar to type in your own query.

Another nice feature of the Udemy platform is that you can filter courses based on any kind of qualification you’d like to find – such as language, average student rating, or course length. This can be super helpful when it comes to finding the ideal course for your needs!

Udemy has a nice video player that will allow you to change up the video speed and quality or to enable subtitles. You can even take notes at certain points during the video instruction!

Although individual lessons are not checked by a third-party quality control department, Udemy courses are all structured in a similar way so that they are exceptionally organized. 

Udacity has a similar user interface. Although you can’t create lists of courses as you can with Udemy, you likely won’t find that you need this feature since there are far fewer courses to get through.

It also offers a similar method of structuring the lessons, though it’s a bit more creative in its approach. For each lesson, you’ll view a quick text introduction with all resources found on the left-hand side menu. You’ll also get a summary of core concepts, which can be helpful when you’re first jumping into a course.

Udacity has a video player almost identical to YouTube. This advanced player will let you change the playback speed, add subtitles, or change up the video quality. 

Udemy vs Udacity Support

Udemy and Udacity both offer excellent student support.

With Udemy, you’ll be able to find a help article on just about any question you might have regarding the platform. These articles are easy to understand. 

However, it can be a bit difficult to get in touch with an actual person at Udemy. While most common questions can be answered just by reading the help articles, if you have more in-depth queries, you might have trouble finding the answers to them. You can’t connect to chat with a support agent directly, although you can email support@udemy.com for help.

Udacity also has helpful articles you can read if you’re looking for an answer to a specific question. However, it is much easier to get in touch with an actual person. It can take a while to get an answer if you are a free user (paid users get priority) but you will be able to chat with a live person using the chatbot button.

Udemy vs Udacity Certifications

Udemy offers certificates of completion upon finishing a course. These are not accredited like university degrees or comparable programs at formal educational institutions and as such, cannot be used to help you transfer into a college program or to get a job.

Instead, the courses on Udemy are meant primarily for self-learning new skills in various areas. While you can use these skills in any way you see fit, perhaps to help you start a new hobby or even a new business, they aren’t meant for getting into college or landing a job. The certificates are a nice touch but don’t do much in terms of their applicability in the real world.

Udacity is not an accredited university, either. Although it offers nanodegrees, these are not degrees that can be transferred into another school for college credit. 

However, since these nanodegrees tend to be focused in the tech niche, they are starting to gain some leverage there. Although a nanodegree certification still might not look as impressive as a college degree, many companies in the tech industry do hold nanodegrees in high esteem when they are hiring.

Udemy vs Udacity Pricing

Udemy and Udacity are similar in their pricing structure. Both have free courses as well as paid individual classes (the pricing for which varies widely).

Paid courses on Udemy can cost anywhere from $10 to $200 or more. There are often sales and discounts available, with some courses heavily discounted at up to 90% off. 

It’s easy to find a well-rated course on a particular subject discounted from $200 to $20.

Individual courses on Udacity are priced in a similar fashion, offered at anywhere from $20 to $500 or more. However, you can also sign up for a nanodegree on Udacity. A nanodegree is typically offered at a flat rate of around $399. Udacity also has a yearly subscription model that will let you save a bit of money rather than paying for individual courses.

There are some premium courses and degrees that might cost more, but on average, these are the costs you can expect from the two online learning platforms. 

Udemy vs Udacity Courses

Udemy offers courses in a variety of categories, with categories and course topic examples including:

  • Business (finance, public speaking, entrepreneurship, deep learning, financial analysis, finance, etc)
  • IT & Software (cybersecurity, CCNA, network and security, IT certification)
  • Office Productivity (Apple, SAP, Microsoft, Google, etc)
  • Design (web design, drawing, graphic design, UI design, etc)
  • Marketing (search engine marketing and optimization, product marketing, content marketing, mobile marketing, social media marketing)
  • Photography (digital, commercial, and wedding photography)
  • Music (various instruments like piano, guitar, and more, plus music software and music fundamentals)
  • Health and Fitness (meditation, nutrition, self-defense, weightlifting, yoga)
  • Languages (Chinese, Spanish, English, Portugues)
  • Lifestyle (training, gaming, arts and crafts, travel, etc) 
  • Personal Development (personal finance, productivity, career development, study skills, leadership)
  • Teacher Training/Education (course creation, instructional design, presentation skills)
  • Development (game development, programming languages, web development)

Udacity courses tend to be much more focused on the tech industry. You’ll be able to take classes such as:

  • Data Engineering
  • Business Analytics
  • Programming for Data Science
  • AI Programming with Python
  • Intro to Self-Driving Cars
  • Predictive Analysis for Business
  • C++ Engineer
  • Marketing Analytics 
  • Front-End Web Developer
    Natural Language Processing
  • Data Scientist
  • Blockchain Developer

If you’re interested in taking a nanodegree on Udacity, you can choose between subjects like:

  • Product Management
  • Cybersecurity
  • BUsiness
  • Cloud Computing
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Programming
  • Data Science
  • Artificial Intelligence 

Udemy vs Udacity Content Quality

Both Udemy and Udacity offer some excellent content quality if you know what to look for.

However, the major downfall to using Udemy for your online learning needs is that there is quite a bit of variability between individual courses. Since anybody can upload a course to Udemy – and the courses aren’t quality checked by the platform – the quality can be iffy. 

Some courses are just a teacher speaking into a webcam, while others feature screen captures, slideshows, interactive projects, and other helpful features. That said, on all Udemy courses, the interaction between instructors and students tends to be quite limited as everything is prerecorded and simply uploaded to the site for individual viewing.

Udacity, on the other hand, partners with leading industry experts to deliver courses. While there is still some element of variability between courses, most offer an exceptional value. Even the free courses have an overall quality that’s most similar to what you would find at a formal university course. Some content is even provided directly by industry partners like Google!

On Udacity, you’ll be learning some of the most up-to-date material, from artificial intelligence to machine learning. You’ll be on the cutting edge since the courses are updated so often. Plus, the nanodegree programs pair you with an individual mentor for more personalized learning.

Most Udemy courses take around three to five hours to complete, but this varies widely. Some Udemy courses are as short as half an hour while others last up to 30 hours. 

Udacity courses tend to have a longer, more consistent time commitment. Most take up to four months to complete, with nanodegrees naturally taking quite a bit more time than traditional, individual courses. 

Udemy vs Udacity Instructors

Udemy courses are unique in that they are often taught by experts – but not always. There’s no “vetting” process involved in teaching a course on Udemy. All you have to do is create an account and sit through a brief training. 

Because of this, there is quite a bit of variability in terms of content quality and instructor credentials. Beyond the brief training and orientation videos, there isn’t much to guarantee that the instructors on this platform have the expertise necessary to teach classes. 

Udacity is a bit different in that you can become a mentor by building your subject matter expertise. You will need to learn ways to motivate others and provide guidance (and have some valuable leadership experience) so that you can create meaningful relationships to impart your knowledge. 

While neither platform requires you to be trained in a certain field of study (or have specific credentials), Udacity does a bit of a better job in terms of training its instructors.

The best way to find the most helpful course is to read past student reviews. This is especially true with Udemy. Some courses are taught by experts and have thousands of reviews, while others seem to be thrown together just in order to make a sale. Look at the course instructor’s details and what their backgrounds are – this will give you a good idea of whether a course is worth your time.

This is true for Udacity, of course, too. While anybody can technically become an instructor on Udacity, the courses there tend to be taught by instructors who have a bit more credentials, with the current lineup of instructors including former teachers, content developers, CEOs of various companies, and more. 

The Udacity founder and president even teaches a few courses himself! 

Udemy vs Udacity Course Count

If you’re looking for an online learning platform with the largest selection of courses, Udemy is the way to go. This online learning resource is known for its extensive selection – there are more than 100,000 courses with options to choose from in just about any category. Whether you want to build your professional skills or are just interested in personal development, Udemy is the way to go.

Udacity has a smaller course portfolio, offering only a few hundred courses. However, it’s designed as more of a specialist learning platform so the courses tend to be much more focused.

There are business courses on Udacity as well as those that are heavily focused on the tech industry.

While Udemy will help you level up fast and build skills quickly, Udacity will provide more in-depth training that will take you a longer period of time to complete. 

Udemy vs Udacity Available Languages

If you are looking for an online learning platform that supports a wide variety of languages, Udemy is the way to go.

You can filter your course search by language with options including English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and more. It offers courses in more than 65 languages! 

Udacity, on the other hand, has a backend that can be set up to support several languages (including English, German, Portuguese, Japanese, and Spanish) but individual courses aren’t offered in any language besides English.

Udemy vs Udacity for Business

If you’re a business owner who wants to offer your employees a way to keep learning and develop their professional skills, both Udemy and Udacity offer an excellent solution.

Udemy has a company-focused plan that provides your employees with full access to Udemy’s entire catalog – more than 130,000 thousand courses. You’ll pay $360 per year for access and have to have at least five users to qualify. 

Alternatively, there is a custom plan on Udemy known as the Enterprise plan. Designed for companies with more than 21 users, it’s individually priced but will allow your employees to create custom content, set career paths, and access content in other languages.

Udacity has a similar Enterprise plan in which you will receive an account manager and be able to customize all of Udacity’s programs to your business needs. There’s also an onboarding procedure. Again, this is custom-priced so you will need to get in touch with Udacity directly to find out which business plan is right for you.

Udemy vs Udacity Value for Money

Both Udemy and Udacity offer superb value for your money. However, it’s important to note that they are two distinct platforms and as such, offer distinct benefits.

Udemy offers a better value for your money if you want to take short, casual courses and are looking to improve your practical skills. It’s relaxed and more casual for learners who just want to dabble in whatever it is they are looking to learn. 

It is also more personalized, giving your course recommendations based on your needs and goals. It’s the best value for learners who are seeking a platform for personal development and online education.

Udacity, on the other hand, is better for more serious learners who want to pursue new job opportunities with the skills they acquire. In particular, Udacity is the better value for students who want to learn technology and computer or data science topics as well as IT professionals who want to learn new techniques of coding. 

Because Udacity offers nanodegree programs, it’s also the best option for candidates seeking employment after taking their courses. 

Udemy vs Udacity Payments and Refunds

Each platform has a different pricing model but both accept a wide variety of payment methods, including credit and debit cards, PayPal, and more.

If you aren’t happy with the services you receive on Udemy, you’ll be able to tap into the 30-day refund window. If you’re learning on Udacity, that window is just seven days. Because you’ll just be paying per course on Udemy (rather than for an entire degree) the refund policy here is a bit more forgiving.

Conclusion

Udemy and Udacity offer similar benefits. With both platforms, you’ll take online classes that will prepare you for work with industry-leading companies. You’ll enjoy all the benefits of a traditional degree with none of the hassle, participating in video lectures, real-world experiences, and other hands-on learning opportunities from the comfort of your own home.

While each has its own disadvantages and benefits, it’s important to weigh each of these variables carefully as you consider which individual courses and platforms are right for you. Be sure to share your experiences with both so that other students have the information they need to make an informed decision, too! 

Still can’t decide? Be sure to check out our detailed reviews of Udacity and Udemy for more information!

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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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