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What is Udemy and How Does It Work?

Founded in 2010, Udemy is an online learning platform—the same genre as platforms like edX, Coursera, Udacity, and Khan Academy—but with a twist.

Most online learning platforms either host their own curriculum content (Udacity and Khan Academy), or curate university course material (edX and Coursera). Udemy, on the other hand, identifies itself as a “learning and teaching marketplace,” meaning its user base is made up of both students AND instructors.

How does this work? The 130,000+ courses Udemy currently advertises on their site are created, owned, and managed by Udemy users. These courses range from free to paid. Absolutely anyone can create a free course, but users who want to charge for their courses need to apply to become a “premium instructor.”

The result? A whoooole lot of courses on just about every topic imaginable (including coding). So what are the pros and cons to Udemy’s unique approach, particularly when it comes to learning how to code?

udemy couponUdemy Main Features Review

It seems like an odd point, doesn’t it? The platform offers courses, goddamn it! - what other features could it have? Well, in this Udemy review, features relate to the actual functionality of the site - video player quality, additional things that you get for signing up or enrolling in a course, etc. So, let’s check is Udemy legit on this point, too.

First of all, the technical stuff. The video player, user interface and the downloadable content all seem to work fine. They’re quite intuitive, don’t crash or, at the end of the day, cause any bigger issues. Even though in their Udemy.com reviews some users do point out that they experience technical difficulties, I have encountered none of that.

When you purchase a course (at least this is the case with all of the courses that I checked out), you receive a lifetime access pass to that course, some downloadable content (usually - this depends on the topic) and a certificate of completion. Udemy doesn’t really advertise the certificates all that much (at least from what I’ve seen), so it’s tough to say just how valuable they truly are.

A point of struggle seems to be the feedback. A lot of Udemy.com reviews include Udemy complaints about the fact that there are little to no responses received to certain questions that users may have. Most of the time, the instructors are the ones that answer questions and interact with their students. Furthermore, it’s probably a bit unrealistic to think that the staff over at Udemy could manage to answer all of the student questions, seeing that there are more than 30 million (or 24 million, depending on where in the site you found the number - yet again, fishy!) students on the platform. Still, if the company wants to minimize the amount of Udemy complaints, they should look into this issue.

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How to Choose the Best Udemy Courses

In addition to following other people’s recommendations, you can – of course – also browse Udemy’s catalogue of over 100,000 courses.

It can feel quite overwhelming, but at long as you follow some simple guidelines, you shouldn’t go far wrong:

  • Read plenty of reviews: It’s hotly debated whether Udemy fake reviews are a problem, so it’s definitely worthwhile to read several for courses you’re interested in, to ensure you get a good overview.
  • Research the instructor: As stated above, some Udemy instructors are big names in their fields – but some are little more than hobbyists. Find out about your instructor’s credentials before signing up.
  • Try a sample: Most courses offer some preview content, so you can get a good idea of what’s in store, and of the teaching style, before you hand over any cash.

Udemy Review: Pros & Cons

Udemy Pros

  • A massive and varied catalog of self-paced online courses, many of which are free.
  • Enables professionals to share or sell their expertise through courses.
  • Users can learn or teach via one intuitive interface.
  • Complementary certificates of completion.
  •  

Udemy Cons

  • Many courses are so short they are effectively tutorials.
  • Free courses constantly seek to upsell users to paid offerings.
  • Inadequate assessment.
  • Limited video captioning and language support.
  • Content needs more careful vetting.

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How Much Does It Cost? Udemy Pricing and Discount with coupon code

I once wondered about this myself. I was often turned off by Udemy because of its random sales efforts. It wasn't until I took the dive and bought an array of courses that I got an idea of the actual cost. Any course on Udemy, as of the writing of this article, will cost you $10.99. That price is excellent if the video delivers on its promises. The subscription, however, is over $200 a year per person and requires upfront payment. This can be steep if you are starting out.

The other downside is that if you do choose to get a subscription, you lose access to the content if you do not pay for it in the future. Since the material is regularly upgraded as technology evolves, it's beneficial to be able to keep access to it for the latest standards and modules that the instructors add as time goes on.

Udemy Conclusion

You can find a lot of great content, lessons and professors via Udemy’s marketplace. When you find the right course, they’re often reliable, informative and easy to follow. However, it may take a while to find exactly what you’re looking for — that is if you know what you’re looking for. Therein lies the biggest issue with Udemy. If you’re new to coding and web design then you probably don’t know where to start. That’s where platforms like Treehouse and Lynda come in handy, they walk you through everything.

Comparatively, Udemy does offer a much larger library than most and the variety of topics are insane. You can find a lesson on just about anything through Udemy’s marketplace.

Overall, we recommend Udemy as a solid option to learn coding concepts with the caveat that your mileage may vary greatly based on the course selected. Udemy’s recent popularity has allowed the best courses to become more evident as more students provide feedback. This limits your chance to enroll in a “dud”, therefore, making the platform a reliable source of online education.

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