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Udemy Review 2024: Everything You Need To Know

Explore this comprehensive review of Udemy, an online education platform, covering what it offers, costs, pros and cons, and comparisons with similar platforms

The Verdict: Is Udemy Worth It?

In our opinion: Yes, Udemy is worth the price!

Education is often about how much time and effort you put into your studies.

Udemy is easily one of the cheapest options out there for online education, and with a huge range of really great courses, it’s a no-brainer for exploring your subjects of interest.

Taking a careful look at reviews and figuring out what course might suit you best could be the step between you and your next big career move or the development of your new passion.

Getting the Most Out of Udemy

Udemy can provide a high-quality learning experience for students who are looking to master a skill and dive deeply into a topic.

While it may not make the most sense for casual learners looking to take online courses on a number of topics,

Udemy can be a great platform for people seeking to learn a new skill to help with their professional development.

Likewise, if you’re an expert on an in-demand subject matter, you can bring in money and start a nice side hustle by offering your own courses through Udemy.

What is Udemy?

Udemy is an online learning platform offering over 210,000 courses in various subjects, including technology, business, creative arts, and lifestyle. Courses, featuring videos, slides, and texts, are created and managed by expert instructors.

While Udemy has both free and paid courses, the free ones offer a more basic experience without features like completion certificates, Q&A, or direct messaging. Whatever your interest, Udemy likely has a course to match.

How Much Does Udemy Cost?

The cost of Udemy courses varies. Individual courses range from $11.99 to $199.99.

For businesses, there’s an enterprise plan at $360 per user per year. Additionally, there’s a personal plan with a 7-day free trial, which then costs as low as $18 per month after the trial.

Popular alternatives to Udemy include Coursera and Skillshare, and Khan Academy. Khan Academy, another competitor, is free.

Pros and Cons of Udemy

vector graphic showing an illustration of people learning how to make a udemy course

Pros of Udemy

1. Wide variety of courses on diverse subjects

Udemy is not like a college or university where you may need to take a course even if it doesn’t interest you or serve you in the future.

There are so many courses for each subject, which means you can find a tutor that approaches it in a way that interests you (which always makes a huge difference) or one that you feel covers all the topics that are relevant to what you need to learn.

2. Lifetime access to purchased courses

Once you’ve bought a course, you can revisit it forever! Every course is structured with a one-off access fee to the information contained within.

This means that you can rewatch or reread any of the resources weeks, months, or even years down the track.

3. Regular updates by instructors

The power of Udemy and the Internet means that you can receive regular updates and contact from your instructors.  This can ease the learning process and help answer any questions that may come up in your studies.

4. Opportunities for anyone to teach and share expertise

Not everyone has the opportunity to become a teacher, even if they have a great amount of expertise in a certain subject area!

Udemy gives people who clearly have a passion for teaching a platform to share their invaluable knowledge.

These are often industry professionals who don’t have the time to teach but still want to share their knowledge – which makes Udemy very worthwhile to explore.

Cons of Udemy

1. Inconsistency in course quality

With such great diversity and the sheer amount of courses on offer, there is unfortunately a huge variance in course quality as well.

Anyone can create and teach courses, which is good in many ways but detrimental in others. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to check out the reviews of a course you are considering before committing.

2. Limited quality control of instructors

Similar to the problem above, the quality of instructors themselves may be lacking. formal education.

3. Concerns about content authenticity or copyright issues in some courses

An article by Plagiarism Today outlines the copyright issues that Udemy has faced.

With 15,000 courses being uploaded a year, some copyright cases slip through the cracks – with one instructor even finding his course on Udemy plagiarized from another website!

This caused other instructors to quickly discover similar cases of plagiarism. Udemy responded by saying that while it is difficult to keep track of plagiarism cases, they do their best to follow through on queries within 24 hours.  

Udemy Review for Students

There are over 100,000 Udemy courses available on the platform, so it’s hard to summarize the effectiveness of all the courses with broad strokes.

Like any large online platform, there is excellent content, good content, and not so good content. The key is knowing how to find the good stuff.

Find the Best Courses

While having so many courses may seem overwhelming, the site does try to make it easy to find the best courses available.

The Udemy review settings allow you to easily see the course quality when searching for a course, and push higher quality courses to the top of search results.

Udemy review: course search results on the Udemy site

Here’s an example of a Udemy search:

As you can see, courses are evaluated on a five-star rating system, which is clearly displayed next to the results, along with the number of student reviews compiled.

If you click on the course itself, you can scroll down and then read both positive and negative reviews in more depth. A course with a higher Udemy review rating from more students will likely be a better course to invest in.

The student reviews let the users create a meritocracy where you can quickly sort through a variety of courses and find the best ones available.

Putting In the Work

Like anything, what you get out of these courses is often reliant on what you put in.

Udemy courses have no deadlines and no set schedules.

You sign up for the courses you like and take them at a pace you feel comfortable with.

Udemy courses are available 24/7, which makes them convenient to take whenever you like, but there are no one-on-one meetings with instructors to hold you accountable.

If you are the type of person who can dive into a subject and stay on task, Udemy’s wide range of courses should be fantastic for you.

And while Udemy does charge for some of its best courses, some students say that paying for the course gives them an incentive to take it more seriously and complete it.

Are Udemy Courses Worth the Money?

While there are plenty of free courses available on Udemy, there are also courses that require payment.

Some sites like Skillshare and Coursera offer subscriptions, but Udemy asks students to pay for individual courses, so you’re only paying for exactly what you need.

This can be a good thing or bad thing, depending on why you’re interested in online learning.

If you have a wide range of topics that interest you and are always eager to learn new things, a subscription to a site like Skillshare — where you can study up on DSLR photography in the morning and watch a lecture on giving the perfect Powerpoint presentation in the afternoon — might make more sense.

Udemy courses, on the other hand, tend to be much more in depth and offer people looking to develop professional skills a chance to dive deep into a topic.

For $19, you could take a coding masterclass with 42 hours of instruction spread across 228 mini lectures.

If you’re looking to develop a new skill and master it, Udemy courses can be an effective way to spend your money.

Udemy Review for Instructors

Udemy has proven to be great for students with initiative who are driven to learn about a new topic.

But what about instructors?

While many platforms offer instructors some form of compensation for designing and building courses, Udemy allows instructors to charge a tuition fee for each and every student who takes the course.

Based on many a Udemy review, this can be both good and bad.

If you design a course that becomes the authoritative course on a given topic and earns tons of sign ups, you can make quite a bit of money.

If the course doesn’t do well and struggles to find an audience, however, it can be tough to recoup the time and energy that went into making the course.

Udemy Course Requirements

Udemy courses are generally video based.

The best courses offer engaging lectures that show a deep knowledge of a topic, and supplement those with exercises and assignments that build a rich learning experience for the students.

To ensure that these courses meet a standard of quality, Udemy insists that courses have:

  • At least 30 minutes of video content
  • At least 5 lectures or “learning modules”

Learning modules are a Udemy feature that allows you to test students on a topic or give them a space to practice coding, writing in a foreign language, or working out SAT math questions.

Additionally, Udemy lets instructors create an entire course to test students on a given topic.

These Practice Test courses are made up solely of practice questions and are meant as a follow-up to a lecture-based course.

(Learn more about Practice Test courses on the Udemy site.)

How Udemy Pays Instructors

Udemy is unique among websites in that it allows online instructors to post courses with the intent of earning money via student tuition.

Anyone can post free courses to the platform.

To charge students a fee for your courses, however, you must be registered as a Premium Instructor.

The good thing is: Applying to become a Premium Instructor is free, and the site says you’ll usually get a decision within two business days.

How to Become a Premium Instructor

To apply to become a Premium Instructor, you have to start building a course.

Once you’ve begun the process, you can click on “Price & Coupons” on the course management page.

There, you’ll see an option to click to complete your Premium Instructor application.

Udemy review: the webpage to sign up to be a premium instructor

It looks like this on the site:

After you’ve clicked the link, you’ll be prompted to provide:

  • Your name
  • A description of your expertise
  • A short bio
  • A billing address
  • A phone number
  • A profile picture

Accept the terms and conditions, and all that’s left to do is choose your payout method.

Udemy offers money via PayPal or Payoneer.

To get paid, you’ll need to set up an account with one of those platforms.

Do that and you’re all set to earn.

Udemy vs. Other Online Learning Platforms

With over 210,000 courses and 62 million learners, Udemy is one of the largest educational platforms in the world today.

Udemy is affordable, offers up to 600 free courses, has a 30-day refund policy,  and provides Udemy certification and lifetime access to courses.

It’s great for people looking to upskill or in the midst of a career change. The diversity of courses certainly outshines competitor platforms like Skillshare or LinkedIn Learning.

However, it is important to note that Udemy certificates aren’t formally recognized as they are not from an accredited institution such as Coursera.

All in all, it depends on what you are looking for in your education: an affordable price and high variety, or accreditation and quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the revenue sharing model for instructors?

Udemy’s revenue sharing for instructors depends on how students enroll. If a student signs up using the instructor’s code, the instructor keeps 97% of the fees.

If a student finds the course through Udemy search or Udemy’s paid promotional campaigns, the revenue is split 50-50 for search and 25-75 (in favor of Udemy) for paid user acquisition.

Instructors with a large social media following benefit significantly, as they can retain almost all fees from students they attract.

As a student, can you get a refund if the course isn’t what you’re looking for?

Yes. Udemy courses can be refunded within 30 days. You can make a request for a refund or learn more about their policy at their website.

What is Udemy for Business?

Udemy for Business is a subscription model aimed at large companies who want to give their employees an online learning resource.

Companies like Lyft, Century 21, General Mills and more offer Udemy to their employees as a perk of working there. Learn more at Udemy for Business.

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