While there are a number of online course providers out there, for many people it’s likely going to come down to Udemy vs Udacity

At first glance, both seem extremely similar. However, there are some fundamental differences you should be aware of before choosing one or the other.

In this comparison, we’ll be looking at what these two platforms offer, the quality of their courses, the costs, and finally which one you should choose.

Udemy vs Udacity: General Overview

Both providers are excellent choices if you’re looking to learn new skills and advance your knowledge. Just keep in mind that they have different approaches when it comes to the length of their courses and the process they use to select their instructors.

Udemy: Learn the Basics on Almost Anything

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Udemy claims to be the world’s largest provider of online courses, and the numbers certainly back that up. They offer over 100,000 courses taught by some 57,000 different instructors, making for an extremely impressive content library.

Unlike some other platforms, there are no prerequisites for becoming a Udemy instructor. Anyone with the time and motivation can create a course and offer it on Udemy. This is the primary reason why they’ve been able to amass so many more courses than their competitors.

Their courses range from 30 minutes all the way up to over 70 hours, but most of them clock in at around the 5-hour mark. As a result, Udemy is primarily known for shorter courses that provide people with the basics they need to understand a topic.

They also offer little in the way of accreditations, so don’t expect your employer to recognize a course you completed on Udemy.

Udacity: Quality Over Quantity

While Udacity’s course selection is much more limited than Udemy, their content is generally much more in-depth and taught by certified industry professionals.

All of their instructors must go through an interview process and be able to prove their expertise before teaching on the platform. Many of their courses also feature hands-on exercises and can often take months to complete.

To further set themselves apart, they offer certifications called Nanodegrees that prove to employers you’ve completed a specific program. While not an official accreditation, these Nanodegrees are gaining an increasing amount of recognition in a number of industries.

What Courses Do They Offer?

When it comes to Udemy vs Udacity, both have a great selection of courses. However, you’ll find Udacity is a little more specialized with what they offer, so keep that in mind. 

Udemy: Something for Everyone

As we discussed in the last section, Udemy has a staggering amount of content. The topics they cover span from business and marketing all the way to health and the arts. Here are the various categories they offer courses in:

DevelopmentPersonal DevelopmentPhotography
BusinessDesignHealth & Fitness
Finance & AccountingMarketingMusic
IT & SoftwareLifestyleAcademics
Office Productivity

Each of these categories contains a number of subcategories, and most of those subcategories contain further subcategories for you to explore. Below is a quick example of all the topics you can find in just one of Udemy’s categories:

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Basically, if you can think of a topic Udemy has probably covered it. This is what truly sets them apart from their competitors.

Udacity: More Specialized in Technology

Udacity advertises itself as a provider of technology courses. Their content is more geared towards business professionals who are looking to upskill and advance their careers.

They offer courses in the following categories:

  • Programming and Development
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cloud Computing
  • Data Science
  • Business
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Career
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Like Udemy, each of these categories contains a number of more specific subcategories. However, the selection is far less. This isn’t to say that Udacity’s course selection is lacking. They just focus on a specific niche which is naturally going to limit the number of options they have.

What is the Quality of the Courses?

A great selection of courses is nice, but if the courses don’t actually teach you anything valuable then there isn’t much point in taking them. Both Udemy and Udacity offer some great courses, but there is a noticeable difference in quality.

Udemy: Hit and Miss Quality

While Udemy’s courses range in length and difficulty, the majority of their offerings are just a few hours long and give you a high-level overview of the topic. They’re usually meant for more casual learners who don’t want to invest a lot of time and money into a subject.

Anyone can create a course on the platform so quality can vary, but for the most part Udemy has received positive reviews.

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However, with no screening process for instructors, there are bound to be a few courses that disappoint:

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Overall, Udemy scores a ⅗ on Trustpilot, which is considered “Average.” Obviously, not all of these reviews are based on the quality of their courses, but it gives you a good idea of what to expect. Basically, most of the content is good, but there’s still a fair amount that misses the mark.

Luckily, you can read reviews on any Udemy course before you purchase it. It’s best to stick to the courses with the very highest ratings to be sure that you get your money’s worth.

Udacity: Only Hiring Top Instructors Has Paid Off

Udacity’s specialty is longer, more in-depth programs on technology and business-related subjects. Their courses often last months and can help you gain a comprehensive understanding of complicated subjects.

The company has a very thorough screening process for their instructors and it shows in the quality of their content. A quick look at some of their reviews illustrates that their online reputation is stellar.

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Honestly, it’s hard to find any reviews that are overly negative. Udacity has a perfect 5/5 score on Trustpilot, proving just how much people love their content.

If you’re looking for the very highest quality courses you really can’t go wrong with Udacity.

What are the Costs?

When debating Udemy vs Udacity, one of the biggest questions on everyone’s minds is going to be “How much does it cost?” While both platforms offer a similar service, their pricing is very different.

Udemy: Shorter Courses Starting at just $9.99

Most of Udemy’s courses are incredibly cheap and start at just $9.99. The price of each course is determined by the instructor, with the maximum price being $199. That being said, most of their content is priced between $10 – $20.

There are also a fair number of free courses as well, although you’ll still need to sign up to Udemy to gain access to them. Just keep in mind that these free courses are often there to upsell you on paid content, so don’t expect to learn a ton from these.

Finally, all courses come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with the content of any of the courses you purchase simply request a refund to get your money back.

Udacity: More In-Depth Courses for a Larger Price Tag

As we’ve established, the length and quality of Udacity’s courses generally exceed that of Udemy’s. This means they’re able to charge a much higher price for their content.

Udacity’s courses are $399 per month. You can opt for their pay as you go option which means you only pay for one month at a time, or you can purchase several months at once to lower the cost per month.

Like Udemy, Udacity also offers a number of free courses, so you have the option of trying the service for no charge before you actually pay for anything.

Just be aware that most of their free offerings don’t involve any hands-on projects like the paid courses do, and many of these courses haven’t been maintained or updated.

While they don’t offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can cancel your enrollment within the first 2 days of your subscription for a full refund. If you cancel any time after this you won’t be charged again after the billing period is over, but the subscription you paid for will not be refunded.

Udemy vs Udacity: Which One is Right for You?

As you can see, while Udemy and Udacity may seem similar they actually cater to completely different clientele. The one you choose will largely depend on what you’re looking to learn and what your goals are for your online education.

Are You a Casual Learner Who Wants to Educate Yourself on a Wide Range of Topics? Choose Udemy

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While the quality of Udemy’s courses might receive some criticism, they offer great value for people looking to quickly pick up some new skills. If you’re interested in expanding your knowledge on a variety of subjects and don’t have a lot of time or money to invest, Udemy is great for that.

They also have a wide variety of courses that can assist you in your career. Just be aware that generally these courses aren’t recognized by employers.

Are You A Technology Professional Looking to Learn Skills to Further Your Career? Choose Udacity

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The quality of Udacity’s courses is unmatched, but the subject matter is likely a little more involved than what the average person is looking for. 

These courses are mostly designed for professionals who want to add to their skillset so they can advance their career and potentially increase their income. If that’s you then Udacity can definitely help you.

But if you’re just looking for something more casual you’ll likely find these courses to be a little much for you, and far too expensive.

Conclusion

Both Udemy and Udacity give you the opportunity to learn a variety of subjects in own home and on your own schedule. The one you choose will really just depend on what your needs and goals are.

We recommend doing your own research and taking advantage of the free courses offered by both to determine which one is the right fit for you.