What to Know About Udemy

Udemy is a massive open online course provider, and its learning experience arranges coursework into a series of modules and lessons that can include videos, text notes and assessment tests. Udemy’s video player has functional features like closed captioning and note-taking functions.

Courses cannot be downloaded for offline viewing; however, the Udemy mobile app allows users to view classes offline and to listen to lectures on the move in the app’s podcast mode. Udemy users can also watch courses through Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

Udemy has more than 35 million users learning new skills from 57,000 expert instructors who’ve produced over 130,000 online courses. Tutorials reach students from more than 180 countries in over 65 languages, and thousands of enterprise customers use Udemy for employee training.

The company was launched by Eren Bali, Oktay Caglar and Gagan Biyani in 2010. It is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Denver, Brazil, India, Ireland and Turkey.

(Courtesy of Udemy)

Dozens of Udemy courses are free, though they can cost up to $159.99 and higher. Courses on the site are discounted frequently.

Udemy doesn’t offer accredited degrees or certifications, but it can provide professional development.

For employers, Udemy for Business offers an employee training and development platform with subscription access to more than 5,000 courses, learning analytics, and hosting and distribution privileges. Experts teach courses across tech, business, wellness and more. Similarly, Udemy for Government is designed for public servants.

Udemy for Business and for Government have similar value- and volume-based price structures. The Udemy for Business Team plan, for example, is $360 per user per year, plus applicable taxes, for teams of five to 20 users. Its Enterprise Plan, for 21 or more users, means more seats and a lower price per seat.

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Dissatisfied users can request a refund on courses within 30 days of purchase by following the company’s refund guidelines.

Most refunds are issued via the original payment method, although the company’s refund policy says some courses may not be eligible for a cash refund and will be refunded with Udemy credits instead. Credits can be applied toward the purchase of another course on Udemy. Refund requests cannot be submitted via the Udemy mobile app. Clients can access Udemy on a desktop or laptop to request a refund for an eligible course from the course player “My Courses.”

If you want to learn new skills but aren’t necessarily looking for a degree or courses affiliated with a college or university, Udemy might be a good fit for you. Udemy does issue certificates, but these are not accredited or university-aligned. This doesn’t mean, however, that knowledge gained through Udemy can’t advance learning and careers.

“Udemy students always have access to the most current courses on virtually any subject,” Udemy communications manager Patrick Heffernan says. “We’re able to provide that because we’re an open marketplace where anyone can teach anything, and our instructors are real-life practitioners who know the latest in their areas of expertise.”

Course topics on Udemy range from mindfulness to music and from design to dog training.

When pursuing any type of education, research your options. Udemy is not rated or accredited with the Better Business Bureau. It has a 2.7 average rating out of five, based on 588 reviews on Trustpilot.

If you’re seeking to learn a specific skill, Udemy courses can provide step-by-step instructions to accomplish a goal. Coursera, on the other hand, has more of an academic focus on its subjects and courses.

Udemy is likely cheaper if you’re surveying specific subjects or working at a slower pace. Udemy course purchasers get lifetime access to scholastic material, and many tutorials on Udemy tend to focus on more practical, hands-on applications.

Coursera, on the other hand, offers a deeper dive into more academic material. There’s no cost to sign up with Coursera, which features more than 1,000 free course audits. Individual courses typically charge a one-time payment for 180 days of access.

Udemy does not offer such features as graded assignments, mentorship and specialized certificates like Coursera does. Specializations typically contain multiple courses and operate on a subscription basis, typically between $39 and $89 per month. Coursera also allows you to apply for financial aid.

Skillshare and Udemy each offer thousands of online courses with differing cost structures and course lengths.

Skillshare classes can be as short as 10 minutes, while Udemy’s are at least 30 minutes long. Both platforms offer courses that are several hours long, but in general, Udemy goes more in-depth while Skillshare tends toward shorter and more direct lessons.

Udemy users pay for each course they take, while Skillshare charges a flat monthly or annual subscription fee for premium access to all platform courses. Skillshare also offers a library of free courses.

Udemy and Skillshare both offer courses created by individuals rather than by universities or companies. These instructors are web developers, photographers, coders, business executives and others who are experts in their fields.

For those who want to constantly learn new things, Skillshare’s premium subscription model might offer value. For people seeking to learn specific skills, Udemy is probably more practical. Each site is designed for users to acquire skills without pursuing a diploma or degree.

The differences between Udemy and Pluralsight begin with the purchase model. Udemy created a marketplace where users can buy a single course with lifetime access. This includes access to articles, quizzes, practice questions and other material affiliated with that course.

Pluralsight, on the other hand, runs on a monthly subscription fee that provides access to more than 7,500 courses. Pluralsight pupils can learn offline.

Udemy classes cover topics from music to marketing and development. Pluralsight focuses on coding and programming modules, with more select training options and clearly defined skill paths.

For the casual learner, Udemy is probably a better choice. For aspiring tech industry professionals and for in-depth professional development, Pluralsight might be the more strategic path.

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