UDEMY vs. Coursera: Which Is Right for You?

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Finding an online learning platform isn't difficult. But picking the right one is a different story. You have a good start if you've narrowed your options down to Udemy vs. Coursera.

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Both offer a wide variety of online courses for beginners and advanced learners. You can learn new skills at your own pace and advance your knowledge with either one. But which massive open online course (MOOC) provider has more of what you are looking for and is most worth it?

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Topic Variety and Number of Courses

There are over ​4,000 Coursera​ courses and over ​185,000 Udemy​ courses. Either platform has more than enough online classes to keep you learning for years. You have lifetime access to the courses you buy, and you can view them on your computer or your iOS or Android device.

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Both e-learning platforms offer a vast range of courses and topics. They overlap mostly in in-demand professional skills and personal development topics such as Excel, Microsoft training, web development, data science, computer science, machine learning, social media and digital marketing.

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The platforms start to diverge in two areas: personal enrichment and degree programs.

Coursera's partnerships with ​175 universities​ and ​75 industry partners​ allow them to offer academic and industry-specific online content that Udemy cannot, including ​39 professional certificates​ and ​33 online degrees​. On the flip side, Udemy corners more of the personal enrichment and hobby market.

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You'll find over ​900 individual courses​ related to yoga on Udemy and only two on Coursera. A search for "knitting" on Udemy turns up over ​100 results,​ while the same search turns up topics related to Python and patterns in machine learning on Coursera.

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Because of the longstanding partnerships with top institutions, Coursera course certificates may carry more professional value than Udemy's, which carry no formal credit or association with formal credit.

Quality of Content and Instructors

Udemy and Coursera are both revenue-sharing e-learning platforms. They make their money by splitting revenue with the partners who design and deliver the content.

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Because of the accreditation of Coursera's partners, instructors for Coursera courses are university lecturers and instructors. And because of Coursera's partnerships with companies like Google, Meta, IBM and Intel, the professional certificate programs are taught by industry experts from high-profile companies.

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Udemy has talented and knowledgeable instructors who are licensed teachers or professors. However, Udemy instructors may also be subject matter experts sharing knowledge about something they know or love, with or without a degree or experience in the topic.

Both platforms are video lecture-based, highly rated by their students and have a solid reputation in terms of course quality. Both platforms also offer very accessible reviews of every course, so you can research before enrolling.

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If you are looking for content at the university level, Coursera will be the better option. You can expect high-quality offerings with accredited institutions like the University of Michigan, Stanford and Yale behind the content.

Quality courses are available on both platforms. Depending on the topic, your learning style and the teaching style to which you best respond, you may find one platform more suitable for you.

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Is a Certificate Part of Your Goal?

The educational institutions or companies that partner with Coursera award the degrees or professional certificates behind Coursera degree or certificate programs.

If you take a Coursera course or specialization, you receive a Coursera Course Certificate, the same way you receive a Udemy Certificate of Completion for any Udemy course.

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Because of the longstanding partnerships with top institutions, Coursera course certificates may carry more professional value than Udemy's, which carry no formal credit or association with formal credit.

Certificates from either platform can be added to your LinkedIn profile.

If certification is not part of your goal and you want to gain knowledge or learn a new skill, either platform will suit your needs. Coursera's Guided Projects or Udemy's development courses are short-term, low-cost skill-building options.

Cost of Udemy vs. Coursera

Udemy and Coursera offer lots of free courses. While a learner may not be able to access the complete course materials and quizzes with the free option, the ability to learn a new topic or skill is still available.

Both platforms offer thousands of paid courses, and the costs can add up. Udemy tends to start at a lower price point ($9.99) and offers frequent sales on regular course prices, while Coursera starts at a higher price point ($29.99) and goes much higher, depending on the program you choose.

If you are an avid learner and expect to take several courses a year, Coursera Plus is a monthly subscription program with unlimited access to over 7,000 courses. The cost is currently ​$59​. Udemy has a monthly subscription program priced at ​$29.99,​ but access is not unlimited, and the plan is not widely offered yet.

Both platforms offer limited money-back guarantees and free trials to new users. Coursera offers financial aid; Udemy does not.

Consider also:Money Myth: Worth it to Go Into Debt for Education

Which Is Best Depends on You

Udemy and Coursera are both pros in the e-learning space. You'll find quality courses on both. Determining which is right for you will depend on your goals and budget.

Consider also:Is UoPeople the Best Choice for Your Education?

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