In this article, you learn all about two of the biggest online learning platforms and figure out which is the right one for you.

The article starts with some words about what Udemy and Coursera are. Next come all the key differences between the two, what they offer, and how much it costs. If you’re an instructor, you’ll learn what qualifications you need to upload your course.

In the end, the conclusion will help you figure out which platform you should use!

About Udemy

Udemy is a video-course online learning platform for all sorts of topics. When it comes to the number of different courses and subjects, Udemy is the king of the hill.

A staggering 155.000 courses. Whatever you’re looking to learn, Udemy has got it. Besides courses about coding and writing, you’ll find some about crocheting and aromatherapy. Also trading, architectural design, neuro-linguistic programming, and Reiki for animals.

The basic courses have a series of videos for you to watch. More advanced instructors will prepare worksheets to complete and advanced resources to go even more in-depth.

There is also a comment section below each video for people to ask questions and share advice.

Once you buy a course, you can complete it at your own pace. There are no deadlines. You have lifetime access to all its content.

About Coursera

Coursera is an online college. It’s a video-based online learning platform focused on academic subjects. The courses are created by universities and industry-leading companies to guarantee the highest quality.

Screenshot of Coursera's numbers: 57M students; 4.200+ courses.

Coursera focuses on academic topics. So, it’s understandable that there are fewer courses than on Udemy. But these courses pack a punch! They are often accompanied by peer-reviewed homework and fictional projects you can work on. I just started a content marketing course by UC Davis. Awesome!

Each course has its own forum. Those forums are very well structured, have a lot of content and an active community.

Coursera is all about the certifications you earn when you complete the courses. Depending on the course, the assignments you have to do will have a deadline you need to follow.

The Key Differences Between Udemy and Coursera

  • Udemy offers courses for any topic you can imagine. Coursera has an academic focus.
  • The courses on Udemy are cheap, many of them are free. Coursera offers a lot of free courses as well, but the paid ones are massively more expensive.
  • Coursera doesn’t just offer singular courses but also hands-on projects, professional certifications, and even real university degrees.
  • The instructors of Coursera come from top universities and institutions all around the world. On Udemy, everyone can upload a course.
  • Certifications from Coursera are valued in the workplace, while Udemy certifications are not.

Options and Prices of Udemy

Udemy is pretty simple.

Udemy offers singular courses, nothing else. Everyone can upload them, so the quality varies a lot.


  • Immense selection of subjects. With over 155k courses, you’ll find what you’re looking for.
  • Courses range from 30 minutes up to 60h of video material. You decide how much time you want to invest.
  • It’s up to the instructors to add worksheets, quizzes, and additional resources. But most do.
  • Priced between $10 and $30. Udemy states the usual price for most courses at $200, but they are always discounted.
  • Many free courses are available. They are great to get you started without any financial investment.
  • You have lifetime access to all your courses. You can take them again and again, whenever you want.

Options and Prices of Coursera

Coursera is pretty complicated – until you get the hang of it.

Coursera has a broad offer ranging from guided projects to courses, and even complete Master’s programs!

Guided projects:

  • Guided projects take around 2h to complete. You’ll learn a job-relevant skill that you can apply today.
  • The software to complete the project is in split-screen mode next to your virtual instructor. You don’t need anything besides your browser.
  • One project costs $10, so they’re relatively cheap.
  • You get to keep what you create during the project!


  • With more than 5.100 courses, Coursera is the biggest player in the academic field.
  • Most courses range from 10h to 60h. You can do most at your own pace, but some have deadlines for their assignments.
  • Many courses are free, but you have to pay a fee ranging between $40 and $100 to get your certificate. They are worth their money, though.
  • Some courses cost a monthly fee between $40 and $80. The faster you go, the more you save.
  • For $400 per year, you get Coursera Plus with unlimited access to 90% of their content and certificates. You can save big money if you take several courses a year.
  • You can revisit your courses if you wish, but the emphasis is on getting the certificate.


A specialization on Coursera is a pull-together of courses and hands-on projects. In the end, you’ll have mastered a specific career skill and get a Specialization Certificate. Most of them are included in Coursera Plus. Some cost as much as the number of courses they contain.

Professional Certificates:

Professional certificates can help you advance your career or start a completely new one. To get your professional certificate you can expect to pay as little as $100 or more than $1000. Some are included in Coursera Plus.

Mastertrack Certificates:

The Mastertrack Certificates are online modules of Master’s programs. You can earn university-issued career credentials for $2.000 – $4.000. It’s the full study experience with live expert instructions and interactive team-based learning. And if you’re accepted to the complete Master’s program, the coursework counts towards your degree.


You can earn a full Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a top university. All online! As with a real university, it takes several years to complete. You’ll get the same diploma, but it’ll be tens of thousands of dollars cheaper, averaged at $20.000.

Those are high numbers. For those who can’t afford them, Coursera offers financial aid or a scholarship!

How Useful are Udemy and Coursera Certificates in the Real World?

The Udemy approved courses come with a CoC (Certificate of Completion). You can show it on your resume and add it to your website, but it won’t get many eyeballs.

Coursera, on the other hand, offers high-grade professional certificates that are well recognized. They take it one step further, offering complete Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. You’ll get the same diploma as if you’ve gone to a university.

Being an Instructor on Udemy and Coursera

To be an instructor on Udemy, you just have to create an account, accept the terms and conditions, and you’re good to go. Everyone can upload their content.

To be an instructor on Coursera, you must be a university teacher or an instructor at a highly reputable company. Also, your university or company needs to be a Coursera partner. 

Which One to Choose?

Use Udemy if:

You want to learn for fun and for yourself.

You’ll find everything you want to learn. The courses are fantastic, and so are the teachers. You’ll have a sense of community and a joyful learning process at your own pace. No pressure.

Use Coursera if:

You want to improve your career life and earn a recognized certificate.

It’s all about academic success. The courses are super high-quality at a fast pace. The instructors are from top institutions, and you feel like a part of a real class. It’s demanding but very rewarding once you hold your certificate in your hands.


Both platforms have a lot to offer in their own domain. Both are legit and hold what they promise.

Which platform you should choose depends on your personal and career goals.


What is Udemy?

Udemy is a video-course online learning platform with more than 155.000 courses on all sorts of topics.

What is Coursera?

Coursera is an academic online learning platform offering from free courses all the way to real Master’s programs.

Is Udemy legit?

Yes, Udemy is legit. It’s a large company with strict rules and a great community. When you buy a course, you get it. And when the rating is good, the course is good too.

Is Coursera legit?

Yes, Coursera is legit. They partnered with top universities and institutions all around the world. If you trust Stanford University, Yale, and Google, you can trust Coursera.

Is Udemy accredited?

No. Udemy courses are not accredited nor valued in the workplace.

Is Coursera accredited?

Yes, some Coursera courses are accredited by top universities all over the world. Also, certificates by Coursera are recognized and valued in the workplace.