If you want to deepen your knowledge, get a salary raise, find a new job, or get a new profession, you can take online courses. Online courses that can also provide certificates are an amazing possibility to acquire new demanded knowledge without even leaving your home. However, it can be hard to take the first step. First, you need to decide on the educational online platform and choose from the tons of great options. In this post, we are going to talk about Udemy and Coursera, the most reputable and widely known platforms that offer diverse courses.
Which is better Udemy or Coursera?
There is no precise answer to this question. Both platforms have their advantages and disadvantages and can be beneficial to the same person but for different needs and at a different time. What does it mean? Let’s first see the principles of the platforms’ work.
Coursera provides an academic-type education. This means that the provided classes are much like the university courses by the structure and content. The approach to the presentation of the discipline is quite thorough, it includes general knowledge about the subject, involves the study of additional materials, and implementation of practical tasks. This type of education is perfect for people who struggle with self-discipline as here every block of knowledge and the tasks have certain deadlines. In general, Coursera is an amazing platform that recreates the experience of studying at a university.
As for Udemy, this platform offers courses that are quite far from conventional academic education. They are more like tutorials for specific skills. The major plus of these courses is that they are taught by practicing professionals and not professors. For instance, it could be web designers, Front-end and Back-end developers, and so on. However, you will need a lot of self-motivation and discipline because there are no deadlines, guidelines on how much time you have to spend on a certain material, and so on. In general, it is reasonable to choose Udemy if you want to obtain or develop certain specific skills. For instance, learn to build responsive web pages using Bootstrap, understand the principles of flat design, and so on, or to keep up with world trends (new concepts, tools, software) and learn from representatives of the avant-garde of the profession, trendsetters.
Udemy vs Coursera Pricing
The undeniable advantage of Coursera is that you can take any course free of charge. You need to pay from $29 to $99 only if you want to get a certificate or complete a graduate program. Besides a certificate, paid courses also offer teacher-graded homework. You can buy several related courses with a discount and obtain different certificates at a much lower cost. Any student can complete a single course, full specialization course, or a degree program comprising different courses. If the cost of education is too high for you, you can apply for grants from Coursera.
Coursera also offers a full refund for the course within two weeks after the payment. However, you won’t be able to get a refund if you bought a specialty course available on a subscription basis. It means that what you have already paid won’t be refunded, but you can cancel the subscription for the following months.
Most of the Udemy courses cost money. The prices can greatly vary because each creator of the course sets the price on their own. The highest cost for one course is $200. However, many creators offer temporary discounts so you can get a pricey course quite cheap. The discounts are aimed to attract as many students as possible and get multiple positive reviews, which in the future will attract more buyers ready to purchase the course at the whole price. This means that to choose the best course on a topic of interest, you can rely on reviews. Udemy also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for every course if, for some reason, you didn’t like it.
In this Udemy vs Coursera comparison, Coursera is a winner because here you can obtain the needed knowledge for free and have to pay only if you need a certificate or a degree.
Subjects and Topics: Coursera or Udemy, what to choose?
By the number of available courses, Udemy wins. Here you can find more than 100,000 courses on a variety of subjects. It means that here you can find courses for virtually any professional field. At Udemy, you can find different language courses, yoga courses, courses about health and fitness, technology, photography, art, and many others for different levels of specialists.
Currently, Coursera offers more than 2,700 courses. The number is much smaller than offered by Udemy, but you have to keep in mind that here the courses are more academic, i.e., they usually provide more comprehensive knowledge and require more time to complete. Besides, the courses are accredited, i.e., you can get a certificate from a certain university once you complete their course. Coursera is focused on more academic subjects and courses such as Data Science, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Math and Logic, and others.
Instructors of Udemy or Coursera – who are the best?
This is a criterion on which Udemy certainly loses to Coursera because it doesn’t check the qualifications of the instructors/tutors. The number of courses provided by Udemy seems impressive, but most of them do not worth your attention and money. Why? Because literally anyone can upload a course to the platform and charge money for it, and there are many poor-quality courses uploaded to get an easy buck on a target audience. Of course, there are also plenty of pretty valuable courses from real professionals in their field who have an inborn tutor talent.
Coursera, on the other hand, offers courses prepared by the leading world companies and professors of renowned universities such as Princeton University, Stanford University, Google, and many others.
Udemy vs Coursera Course Quality
Both Coursera and Udemy offer courses with home tasks that can be checked by the instructors. However, in the case of Udemy, the help with homework is pretty limited and is provided by the course instructors only. At Coursera, assistance with homework is provided only for courses aimed at obtaining a degree. But here, you can be certain that the feedback and help are provided by the experts and professors who have the qualifications to teach. Keep in mind that only self-learning is free on the platform. If you want professional assistance, you need to pay for a subscription.
Time Commitment – how much time do you need to complete a course?
The time needed to complete a course both as Udemy and Coursera can greatly vary.
Coursera courses by the companies usually contain around 8 hours of educational video materials. University and college courses are longer. Some of them are also quite short, but the majority imply 40-80 hours of studying. Some courses are also a part of specialization programs with the necessary completion of several related educational programs. Naturally, this form of grasping knowledge takes more time.
The majority of Udemy courses contain in total 8 hours of educational materials. But some can have around 50 hours plus homework. All courses at Udemy can be bought and completed at any time. The courses of Coursera start on a certain date and end at a certain time so you cannot start a course whenever you wish. Besides, once you complete your education, you cannot go back and access the materials you submitted.
Udemy vs Coursera certificate value
In short, Coursera certificates are valued much higher than those provided by other platforms. Mainly, it is so because here, you can obtain a professional skill or even complete a specialization or degree course from accredited tutors. Udemy also offers certificates, but they are less valued. For instance, with Coursera, you can even get a diploma from a renowned university, and Udemy simply gives you proof that you have completed a certain course. But keeping in mind that Udemy tutors do not necessarily have sufficient qualifications, here you mainly acquire knowledge for yourself and not for proving your skills to anyone.
Conclusion – what should you choose Udemy or Coursera, which is better?
First of all, you need to understand what for you need certain educational courses. Do you need a diploma, a valuable certificate, or want to obtain a new skill fast without actually deepening your knowledge in the field?
No matter what you chose, treat any online course as a real education if you want to get any benefit from it. The majority of students drop off the classes long before completing them and do not obtain the desired skills.