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The following is a summary of some of the notable strengths and weaknesses of Udemy.
What do you want to discover? — Udemy has over 40,000 courses on a wide variety of subjects, both academic and non-academic. From computer programming and business management to how to learn a new language or supercharge your fitness routine, there’s something for everyone to learn!
Education on your schedule — Unlike other websites of its kind, learning on Udemy is entirely on-demand. You don’t have to wait for enrollment periods; you can join any available course on Udemy whenever you want. And there are no deadlines, either… however long it takes you to grasp the course material is fine by Udemy!
Learning doesn’t have an expiration date — When you enroll in a course, you will have access to it for as long as it is offered on Udemy and as long as your account remains active. This means that you will never have to pay for a course twice if you ever want to go back and review what you’ve learned!
Pay up or move on — All courses on Udemy cost money to take. Also, unlike similar websites (such as Coursera), you can’t choose whether you want to take a Udemy course for free, or pay for it and get a bunch of extra goodies when you finish. You can, however, often greatly reduce the costs of Udemy courses with promotional codes.
Who is an “expert”? — Unlike certain other websites of its kind, Udemy allows virtually anyone to create a course. It doesn’t borrow its courses and instructors from official educational institutions (though some instructors may be college or university educators). It does, however, have a rigorous quality control process, which you can read about here.
The focus is skill-building, not credential-earning — Completing most courses doesn’t offer any sort of credit towards a program at an official education institution. In addition, very few courses count towards completion of technical training programs.
The bottom line: 7.5/10
The main edge that Udemy has over some of its competitors is in the flexibility of its content. Udemy’s course library isn’t restricted to strictly academic subjects, meaning that you can find courses on more practical (for lack of a better word) skills such as how to play a sport better, how to cook, or how to better manage your personal bank account. There are also no registration or assignment deadlines, meaning that you can sign up for Udemy courses and finish them pretty much whenever you want.
One of the main drawbacks of Udemy is that course financing is all-or-nothing. Although you can often reduce the tuition fees for courses through promotional coupons, if you ultimately don’t want to pay for a course, then you can’t take it. In addition, Udemy allows pretty much anyone to create a course, even if they have no teaching experience. And most of their courses don’t offer any sort of credit towards official academic or technical training programs. This may lead some to question Udemy’s educational integrity.
So, is Udemy legit? All that we can say is that they have a rigorous quality control process to make sure that only the courses that meet their standards appear on their website. In addition, you can check the enrollment rates and ratings/reviews of courses to decide whether or not they’re worth taking. Just remember that Udemy is largely about learning and improving your skills rather than earning and showing off credentials. That is, you’ll get more out of it if you use it to better yourself rather than to impress others.
That wraps up our review of Udemy! Before you start using it (if for no other reason than to decide if our assessment is fair or not), though, we have a few notes on Udemy’s pricing model in our next tutorial. If you’d rather just get learning right away, though, head over to our tutorial on how to create an account!