Many people take online courses through Coursera and Udemy. The question is, which one should they sign up for and which is better? In this blog post, we will compare the two services and help you select the one that is best suited to your needs.
This comparison of Udemy vs. Coursera gives you a clear picture of the different courses available on both platforms. You will be able to compare the prices and the course length. Additionally, this article will shed light on the similarities and differences between the two so that you can make an informed decision about what your next step should be.
This article breaks down common learning platform topics into easy-to-read sections. First, let's talk about Udemy and Coursera, after which we will move on to other important topics.
Topics covered in this article
- What is Udemy?
- What is Coursera?
- Course Quality
- Comparison of Udemy vs Coursera Courses
- Enrollment Options
- Free Courses
- Final Verdict
What is Udemy?
Udemy is an online e-learning platform for professionals and students. Since its launch in 2010, Udemy has become one of the largest e-learning communities in the world. It offers more than 150,000 courses in 65 languages, is available in more than 300 million languages, and has attracted more than 300 million students to date.
Udemy offers two types of courses:
- Paid courses with certification
- Free Courses
What is Coursera?
Coursera is a United States-based provider of massive open online courses. Two Stanford professors founded Coursera in 2012, and 200 institutions have partnered with it. Over 150 million students have enrolled in courses on this e-learning platform that focuses on partnering with universities and corporations. Presently, it offers close to 4,000 courses, degrees, and specializations.
Coursera offers various course options:
- Single Course
- Professional Certificate
- Guided Projects
Comparison of Udemy vs Coursera Courses
Choosing a course or program can be challenging when there are so many options. However, some e-learning communities make finding relevant information easier than others. As a starting point, Udemy courses feature content written by subject experts. On the other hand, Coursera offers courses taught by university professors.
It is a site with a vast collection of courses, and it categorizes them well into 13 main categories (and dozens of subcategories). There is no doubt that Udemy's filtering system is among the best. Depending on your needs, you can filter courses based on language, duration, student feedback, or price.
If you are interested in learning your field of expertise, check out these free Udemy courses recommendations.
In addition, students can easily read reviews of previous courses, with a classic star system that grades courses from 0 to 5. Additionally, it provides video introductions to each course to help you learn more about the course and the instructor.
Udemy offers the following categories and subcategories for you to learn:
- Business: Entrepreneurship, Communication, Management, Sales, Business Strategy, E-Commerce, Real Estate, Human Resources, and other businesses (Binance, Bitcoin, Fundraising, Freelance Writing).
- Design: Web Design, Graphic Design and Illustration, Design Tools, Game Design, 3D & Animation, Fashion Design, Interior Design, Architectural Design, User Experience Design, and other designs (Comic Book Creation, Character Design, PCB Design).
- Development: Data Science, Database Design & Development, Web Development, Mobile Development, Programming Languages, Game Development, Software Testing, No-Code Development, Software Development Tools, Software Engineering.
- Finance & Accounting: Accounting & Bookkeeping, Compliance, Cryptocurrency & Blockchain, Finance, Economics, Investing & Trading, Money Management Tools, Taxes, and others (Technical Analysis, Passive Income, PowerPoint, Stock Trading).
- Health & Fitness: Fitness, General Health, Nutrition & Diet, Sports, Yoga, Mental Health, Martial Arts & Self Defense, Safety & First-aid, Dance, Meditation and others (Spiritual Healing, Massage, Holistic Medicine).
- IT & Software: IT Certifications, Network & Security, Hardware, Operating Systems & Servers, and others (Python, DevOps, NFTs, Kubernetes, Docker).
- Lifestyle: Arts & Crafts, Beauty & Makeup, Esoteric Practices, Food & Beverage, Gaming, Home Improvement & Gardening, Pet Care & Training, Travel, and others (Neuro-Linguistic Programming, EFT, Meditation, Herbalism, Aromatherapy).
- Marketing: Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, SEO, Social Media Marketing, Branding, Market Fundamentals, Marketing Analytics & Automation, Public Relations, Paid Advertising, Video & Mobile Marketing.
- Music: Instruments, Music Production, Music Fundamentals, Vocal, Music Techniques, Music Softwares.
- Office Productivity: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and others (AutoCAD, Python, ServiceNow, QuickBooks Pro).
- Personal Development: Personal Transformation, Personal Productivity, Leadership, Career Development, Parenting & Relationships, Happiness, Esoteric Practices, Religion & Spirituality, Personal Brand Building, Creativity, Influence.
- Photography & Video: Digital Photography, Portrait Photography, Photography Tools, Commercial Photography, Video Design.
- Teaching & Academics: Engineering, Humanities, Maths, Science, Online Education, Social Science, Language Learning, Teacher Training, Test Prep, and others (MS Word, Proofreading, Academic Writing, Punctuation, Research Paper Writing).
Nearly 4,000 courses are offered at Coursera with specializations and degrees from the world's top universities, including Duke University, Columbia University, Yale, New York University, and more. There are eleven categories and numerous subcategories. Its helpful filtering system lets you narrow down your search even further once you have chosen your subject.
If you are interested in learning your field of expertise, check out these free Coursera courses recommendations.
Coursera offers the following categories and subcategories for you to learn:
- Arts & Humanities: History, Music and Art, Philosophy.
- Business: Business Essentials, Business Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, Leadership & Management.
- Computer Science: Algorithms, Computer Security & Networks, Design & Product, Mobile Web Development, Software Development.
- Data Science: Data Analysis, Machine Learning, Probability, and Statistics.
- Health: Animal Health, Basic Science, Health Informatics, Healthcare Management, Nutrition, Patient Care, Public Health, Research, Psychology.
- Information Technology: Cloud Computing, Data Management, Networking, Security, Support, and Operations.
- Language Learning: Learning English, Other Languages.
- Math & Logic: Mathematics, Calculus, Linear Algebra, Differential Equation, Precalculus
- Personal Development: Critical Thinking, Soft Skills, Sustainability, Career, Intercultural Communication, Stress Management, Fitness, Professional Development, Music, Meditation, Parenting.
- Physical Science and Engineering: Chemistry, Environmental Science and Sustainability, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, Research Methods.
- Social Sciences: Economics, Education, Governance and Society, Law.
Having selected your course, you will find it easy to navigate around the About this course page, with helpful filters like Reviews, which take you directly to that section on the page.
Result: There's no clear winner here, as Udemy offers more courses and makes it easy to find resources, but Coursera's courses are of higher quality. So, it's a Draw.
As a collective body, I think we can agree that an organized and clear user interface makes navigating the platform easier. Let's find out which is the most straightforward among Udemy and Coursera.
Creating an account with Udemy is simple. You only need to enter your email address, password, and name, and that's it. After completing the registration process, Udemy will send you a confirmation email. Confirm, and you are good to go!
Upon registering with Udemy and exploring its platform, you'll find that the interface is intuitive. Searching for courses is easy by checking out Categories, Subcategories, and Popular Topics.
The homepage has a nice feature called Top Categories, which might make it easier for you to decide where to start as Udemy's large number of courses can feel overwhelming to some. Additionally, you can find subheadings such as Students are viewing.
At Coursera, you can register the same way, but you only need to fill out your name, email address, and password before clicking "Join for Free.". You can register using your Facebook account or Apple ID for more convenience.
Coursera has an equally intuitive interface. As you arrive on its homepage, you're immediately attracted to the 200+ partners with whom it collaborates and the sense that it is a global organization.
Additionally, you can read about the different partners and the courses and specializations available by browsing their profiles.
Result: Coursera is easy to use and has a slick interface, but information can sometimes be overwhelming. Udemy, on the other hand, has a cleaner design that makes it easier to find what you are looking for. That's why Udemy is a clear winner here.
If you are asking: What is the best place to find free courses? You are not alone. You have to decide what you are looking for before finding your answer.
In the past, Udemy offered the largest selection of free courses. However, as of the beginning of 2020, it changed its free courses to help learners distinguish between free and paid courses. There are currently 600 free courses on Udemy, which provide a simplified learning experience compared to paid courses. For example, free courses are not accompanied by a certificate of completion or have features such as Q&A.
There is nothing wrong with trying out a free course to see if you like the Udemy platform and whether you want to invest more time and money in the course, instructor, and Udemy.
With Coursera, you can audit any course, meaning you can study for free, but you won't get a certificate when you complete the course. Coursera's free courses are perfect for those interested in taking a high-quality course without the acknowledged accreditation.
Result: Being partnered with a recognized institution makes Coursera's courses exceptionally high-quality. Therefore, Coursera gets the point here.
If you are going to succeed at learning, you need to find an instructor you can connect with who is passionate about the subject matter. It will keep you motivated and involved.
Udemy has experienced instructors teaching its courses and some of the courses include teaching assistants. You can read a short blurb about their experience, and many instructors are willing to connect with you through social media if you have any specific questions.
A Coursera course is created in collaboration with a partnering institution, which ensures that the course is of top quality. Several beta testers (experts and enthusiasts) will review and provide feedback before the courses are made available to the general public to ensure they are of the highest quality. It is possible to read the instructor's bio, prior experience, and social media links by clicking on the instructor rating in the course description.
Result: Coursera takes the lead here due to its renowned instructors and beta testers.
There is no limit to the number of courses you can take on Udemy. It is not necessary to complete a course to enroll in it. With Udemy, you can find paid or free courses for almost any topic, and the content of these courses is better than traditional study materials.
Depending on the course, you will see different options for paying or free enrolment. For example:
- Paying for a Course Certificate
- Subscribing to a Specialization
- Subscribing to Coursera Plus
- Financial Aid or Scholarship
- Audit only
- Full Course No Certificate
You can choose what amount of course content you see and participate in based on your choice. No matter which option you choose, you'll have access to the same course content after completion, including the ability to review assignments and download videos and transcripts.
Regardless of whether the course is part of a Specialization, you can earn a Certificate with just one course. For more information, you can see Get a Course Certificate.
Specializations are a collection of related courses designed to help you master a specific topic. You can pay for individual courses, subscribe to all, or pre-pay all courses. A free trial comes with all Specialization subscriptions. Find out how to enroll in a Specialization here.
Coursera Plus is a subscription plan that provides you unlimited access to over 90% of the learning programs in the Coursera catalog.
Financial Aid or Scholarship
Scholarships and financial aid are usually available for most courses. If you cannot afford the cost of the certificate, you can apply for Financial Aid or scholarships through the link on the course home page. In addition, you can view most course materials for free through the audit mode. Scholarships and Financial Aid recipients will have access to all course materials and can complete all course requirements required to earn a Course Certificate.
Auditing a course will grant you access to most of the course materials but will not enable you to submit assignments or get grades. Course certificates are not provided, but you can purchase one at any time during or after the course. When you buy a Certificate, you may need to complete additional coursework that wasn't available in the audit version.
Full Course No Certificate
As with auditing, this option lets you access all course materials, submit required assessments, and receive a final grade. Although you won't receive a Course Certificate, you can purchase one during or after the course. Coursera will save any grades you already have if you choose to get a Certificate.
You are considering the appropriate type of e-learning platform if you consider Udemy or Coursera for its completion certificates.
When you complete a course on Udemy, you'll receive a completion Udemy certificate. It is not a valid certificate, however. A verified certificate costs money. Even if you initially choose the free option, you can still upgrade to a verified certificate.
You will receive a verified Coursera certificate once you have completed a course. The verified certificate will include the course name, the instructor's signature, the partner institution's logo, a verification URL to check the authenticity of the certificate, and a statement indicating that Coursera has verified your identity.
You can download, print, and share your certificates. Future employees are attracted to Coursera's partnerships with top institutions like Duke University and Imperial College.
Result: Coursera thanks to its accredited certificates.
A good support system builds the foundation of e-learning platforms. As a beginner, you will require a decent support system to help you clear your doubts while taking a course.
A well-stocked support system makes Udemy a great place to learn. There is also an FAQ section that can often answer your questions. If you use their support chat, you can leave your name, email, and message, and a representative will contact you.
Like Udemy, Coursera offers a support system that allows you to search for a topic or view topics like Account Setup, Payments, Enrollment, etc. Additionally, Coursera offers a live chat feature when you are logged in. You may find this useful if you are looking for a very specific answer and the standard help articles do not cover it.
Result: Draw! As both learning platforms have a well-stocked support system.
In deciding on an e-learning platform, you will have to consider the price of your course, so if it's too expensive, you should consider other alternatives, right?
Coursera and Udemy both offer free courses. Udemy requires that you pay for each course or learning path separately. Udemy offers many courses at varying prices, as instructors determine and set their own prices. The platform does have periodic promotions, so you might be able to take advantage of a discount when you register.
All courses that you buy on Udemy come with lifetime access, so you can review them whenever you want. Within 30 days of purchase, you can request a refund if you're not satisfied with an individual class. Even though the company does not give refunds on monthly subscriptions, you can cancel them at any time.
You can purchase Coursera classes individually and, alternatively, you can subscribe to Coursera Plus for $59 per month or $399 per year. As part of your subscription, you'll have access to more than 3,000 courses, specializations, certifications, and guided projects. Individual learning programs are also available for $49.79-$79 per month.
You can try Coursera for free for seven days if you opt for a monthly subscription and 14 days by opting for an annual subscription. At any time, you can cancel your Coursera Plus subscription.
If you need financial assistance to pay for your studies, course-specific pages will indicate whether there are any financial aid or scholarship opportunities.
If you are not satisfied with an individual product purchase, you may request a refund within 14 days. Coursera doesn't generally offer refunds on paid subscriptions, nor do its paid courses offer lifetime access. Your access to the free material will terminate once your payment expires.
Please see the table below for a detailed explanation of pricing:
|Free courses||Close to 600 courses||1000+ courses (Audit the Course)|
|Individual course prices||$19.99 to $199.99 a course||$29 to $99 a course|
|Specialist Program (e.g.degree or Masters)||Doesn’t offer any Specialist Program||$10,000 to $25,000|
|Platforms||Desktop, iOS & Android||Desktop, iOS & Android|
|Refund Policy||30-day Refund Policy||14-day Refund Policy|
Result: It's a close race, but since Coursera offers a few different payment options, they have to take the point.
According to the points, the clear winner is Coursera. With this Udemy vs. Coursera comparison, I hope many of your questions have been answered, and you are now aware of which e-learning community to choose. Here are some tips on how to utilize each platform:
Udemy is your choice if you want a wide variety of courses, a reasonable price, and a 30-day refund policy.
If you want access to the largest selection of courses offered by partnered institutions, courses taught in languages other than English, or courses taught by high-quality instructors, then Coursera is for you.
What are MOOCs?
Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, are free online classes available to all. Taking a MOOC may enrich your personal development, improve your college studies, or advance your career. Udemy and Coursera both offer MOOCs.
Can I access course materials offline on Udemy and Coursera?
Udemy allows users to download course materials, such as videos and resources, for offline viewing within their mobile app. Coursera also offers offline access to the course.
Can I interact with instructors on Udemy and Coursera?
On Udemy, instructors often provide discussion boards or Q&A sections within their courses, allowing students to ask questions and engage with the instructor and other learners. Coursera courses also provide opportunities for interaction through discussion forums and peer-graded assignments. However, due to the partnership with universities, Coursera courses may have a more structured and moderated discussion environment.
Does It Make Sense to Pay for Udemy and Coursera Courses?
Paying for Udemy and Coursera courses may be worth it if you earn a master's degree that is equal to or greater than the cost. In return, a person may also gain personal satisfaction or gain a raise or promotion at work.
Udemy or Coursera certificates: Are they worth it?
Course certificates from Udemy and Coursera have value. Even though Udemy is not an accredited institution, some employers might prefer to see courses relevant to your position or industry on your resume.
Many Coursera courses lead to industry certifications or degree programs, while others offer continuing education credits. Due to this, a Coursera certificate is more likely to be valued by educational institutions and employers.
Which platform is better for career advancement?
Both Udemy and Coursera can contribute to career advancement, but they have different approaches. Udemy courses focus on practical skills and personal development, making them beneficial for acquiring specific job-related skills or expanding knowledge in a particular field. Coursera, with its partnership with universities, offers more in-depth and comprehensive programs, including degree programs, which may carry more weight in certain professional settings.