Is Udemy Worth It? 2021 Course Review
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If you’re looking for Udemy course reviews, you’re in the right place.
I’ve taken online Udemy courses on a variety of topics from photography to website optimization, and I’ve talked to friends and colleagues who have taken courses on even more topics including digital marketing, software development, and more.
I’ve asked all of them: Is Udemy worth it? And I’m going to share the results here.
Keep reading for a complete review of Udemy’s online course platform plus information on how to take advantage of Udemy’s best special offers and discounts.
Udemy Review: What You Get with the Platform
Udemy is an online course website offering 130,000+ video courses taught by a variety of instructors in various fields. Topics include everything from web design to software engineering to photography and creative writing.
When you enroll in a Udemy course, you gain access to a library of pre-recorded videos that the instructor has laid out, plus any additional resources and tools.
Your instructor may include downloadable templates, worksheets, or other files/resources. In my experience, this is what sets the best courses apart, and I’ll talk more about this soon.
Overall, Udemy courses range from one to two hours of video content all the way up to 15+ hours. You can see the length of each course in the course details before enrolling.
Udemy courses are self-paced, meaning you can choose how quickly to move through the material (and you can even skip ahead to different sections/videos if you’d like).
Let’s talk about the quality of courses next, since that’s what’s most important in a Udemy review…
Quality of Courses on Udemy
The quality of Udemy courses is good overall but varies widely depending on which course and instructor you choose. Therefore, it’s important to select your Udemy courses carefully.
To help you choose a high-quality course, Udemy provides student reviews as well as tags such as, “Highest rated,” “Bestseller,” etc.
Read Udemy’s course reviews from other students before committing to a course. This is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re selecting a course that’s worth your money.
Also, make sure to take advantage of Udemy’s option to “preview this course.” Through this option, you can watch an introductory video and get a sense of the instructor and what you’ll be learning in their course. Some instructors also offer additional free sample videos before you pay, too.
Udemy Course Structure and Learning Experience
The typical courses on Udemy are well-structured, with distinct sections to help you make better sense of the information and stay organized as you work through the material.
Udemy’s platform also does a great job of tracking progress so you know where you’ve left off. Each video is marked with a blue check-mark upon completion, and you can also view your overall percentage completion for each course.
There’s also a small community aspect in some courses. Udemy instructors can choose to include a Q&A section as a part of the learning experience, where you can ask questions and read questions and answers posed by other students.
One other feature I enjoyed was the “Notes” section, where you can input notes while watching any course video.
These are some of the top features that make Udemy worth it for many of their students and differentiate the experience from free platforms like YouTube, blogs, etc.
Worksheets, Quizzes, and Real-World Projects
One course that I went through as a part of this Udemy review was The Complete Conversion Rate Optimization course, which Udemy provided to help with this review.
The course was an example of how the quality of your learning experience depends heavily on the instructor… and in this case, it was fantastic.
What made this course so great were the many PDF downloads and worksheets, real-world projects to simulate how you’d use this knowledge after finishing the course, and links to useful web resources and tools.
The content in the course I took went above and beyond just a series of videos!
And I chose this course based on student reviews, which were overwhelmingly positive. Therefore, if you’re going to take courses on Udemy, I can’t emphasize this enough: choose a course with many positive reviews and a strong overall rating.
In this particular course, the instructor also included optional quizzes, which I found to be helpful.
The extras you receive with your course will depend on the individual teacher, but many of the top courses offer at least some of these add-ons. I felt these extra pieces enhanced the experience and made Udemy worth it, especially compared to free alternatives like trying to learn everything by yourself on YouTube.
Is Udemy Worth It? Pros and Cons
Next, let’s look at the main benefits and disadvantages of taking courses on Udemy, to help you determine if the website is worth it for you.
Strengths of Udemy’s Online Courses:
- Generally high-quality video courses that are worth the cost, and often provide value equivalent to courses that cost much more on other e-learning platforms.
- Many instructors include downloads, links to relevant tools and resources, worksheets, and more, so you’re acquiring a wide range of helpful resources in addition to the video content (However, this depends on the course and instructor).
- Udemy offers frequent, deep discounts so you can often find great deals and get Udemy courses for below $15 (I’ll share more about this coming up).
- Money-back guarantee. Udemy courses can be refunded within 30 days of purchase for any reason, according to Udemy’s official website.
- Lifetime access to courses. Once you pay for a particular course, you’ll have access to that material forever.
- Student reviews help you find the best courses in any learning topic quickly and easily, and you can also see how long a course is before enrolling.
Cons and Downsides of Udemy’s Online Courses:
- Not accredited. Udemy doesn’t provide transferable credits or an accredited diploma/degree, so it’s not the best place to learn skills if you’re looking to earn transferrable credits. However, this is true of almost all online learning platforms and isn’t specific to Udemy.
- Videos are pre-recorded and not taught live, so if you’re looking for an immersive, bootcamp-style learning experience, then this isn’t the right fit for you.
- The quality of Udemy’s instructors varies. While some instructors are fantastic, others aren’t as good. Make sure to read reviews before choosing a course on Udemy!
Is Udemy Legit?
Udemy is a legitimate, reputable e-learning platform. They’re one of the largest online course websites in the world and have been in business since 2010. Udemy also offers a money-back guarantee with all of their courses.
They currently offer 155,000+ courses and have helped tens of millions of students, according to Wikipedia, making them one of the largest platforms of their type. Rest assured that Udemy is safe, legitimate, and reliable.
Udemy Course Prices
Now you’re probably wondering, “How much do Udemy courses cost?” Udemy courses typically range from $19.99 to $129.99 USD, with some shorter, more basic courses offered for free.
You tend to get higher-quality courses with far more material if you pay rather than opting for a free course on Udemy. The typical free course I looked at on Udemy contained one to two hours of content, whereas paid courses often had 10, 12, or even 15+ hours of content.
Still, the free courses are an excellent way of learning the basics and “testing the waters” in a topic before committing more time and money. Then, if you’re committed, you can invest in one of the most advanced online courses on the platform.
Taking a free Udemy course is also a great way to see if you like a particular instructor, since many teachers on Udemy offer multiple courses, some paid and some free.
See Udemy’s current pricing and discounts HERE.
Udemy’s Special Offers
Udemy offers many sales and discounts throughout the year, often reducing their online courses to a price of $15 USD or lower.
For this reason, I recommend waiting until Udemy runs a special discount/sale before investing in a course. That way, you’ll pay just a small fraction of the list price (the best courses on Udemy typically sell for $100+).
However, if you’re in a rush and aren’t sensitive to the price, then I’d say that Udemy is worth it even at regular pricing if you choose a highly-rated course with plenty of positive reviews.
Why is Udemy So Cheap?
Most courses on Udemy are cheap because the website relies on high volume to make money. This is normal within the e-learning space and for online courses in general. While creating a course requires a lot of time and effort upfront, it doesn’t cost the teacher or Udemy any additional money to bring on each additional student. The lessons are already created and ready to be viewed.
Because of this, Udemy instructors, and the company itself, can still make a great profit even with relatively low pricing.
The fact that courses on Udemy are relatively cheap doesn’t mean that the training and instructors aren’t good.
Rest assured, you can find high-quality courses on Udemy despite the prices being low.
I was doubtful about this initially because of the low pricing, too, but after going through a few popular courses, I changed my mind. They were absolutely worth the money and time spent!
Note, however, that there’s one additional reason some instructors offer their courses for very cheap (or free). Some teachers on Udemy will upload a basic course in the hopes of driving leads to their “main” course, which costs more money and is often hosted on another site.
This has been happening for years. So if you enroll in a course on Udemy, make sure you check how much course content you’ll be getting (in terms of hours and number of videos).
Can You Get Udemy’s Online Courses for Free?
While most courses on Udemy are not free, instructors can choose to offer their material free of cost, and occasionally do so.
While most free Udemy courses will be relatively short and basic in comparison to paid courses, they still provide some basic info that can help you start to learn new topics and new skills.
And from there, you can decide if you want to take steps to learn a topic further.
You can find free Udemy courses on everything from getting started as a web developer to managing your personal finances.
However, if you want to gain knowledge in an area beyond the basics, I recommend investing in a paid Udemy course.
Udemy’s Money-Back Guarantee
Udemy offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with a course for any reason, you can request a refund through the course dashboard, and according to Udemy, you will be refunded the full price paid.
This is another feature that makes Udemy worth it in my opinion, since students have plenty of time to see if a course is going to be a good learning experience and get refunded if not!
This, plus the ability to watch demo videos from the instructor and read reviews from previous students before paying, makes Udemy a very safe and reliable online learning platform.
Is Udemy Accredited?
Udemy is not accredited; therefore, you don’t earn transferrable credits when you take courses with Udemy, and you won’t earn a degree such as a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree, no matter how many courses you take. If your goal is to obtain a degree, you should seek out other educational institutions.
However, with Udemy courses, you will be learning real-world skills that you can use to start a freelance career, become more valuable to your employer to earn a raise or promotion, or start a new hobby.
You can also put every course you finish on your resume and LinkedIn profile. I’ll share more about the specific ways you can use Udemy as a job seeker/career professional coming up soon, so keep reading.
Udemy Certificates of Completion
Some Udemy courses will award certificates of completion to students.
These certificates are provided in PNG or JPG format and can be uploaded to your LinkedIn profile or other social networks, shown to potential employers, etc. You could also convert the image file into a PDF. Many free online programs offer this option.
So while you won’t be earning transferrable credits or a degree when you take online courses with Udemy, you will be able to show that you finished a course and gained knowledge in a new area.
Are Udemy Certificates Worth It?
Udemy certificates are not formally recognized by employers, recruiters, or accredited educational institutions, and you shouldn’t enroll in a Udemy course only for the certificate.
The main reason to go through the courses and lessons that Udemy offers is to gain a real-world education and build skills that you hope to use. The certificate that some courses offer should be secondary.
The certificate is a nice little bonus that you can show on your LinkedIn profile, etc., but it’s not a huge difference-maker, and I’d go so far as to say that you shouldn’t rule out a popular, high-rated course just because it doesn’t offer a certificate. (Some Udemy courses seem to offer a certificate of completion while others don’t).
How to Know if a Udemy Course Offers a Certificate of Completion
If a particular class on Udemy includes a certificate of completion, you’ll see it among the course details just before clicking “Add to cart” when viewing the course. Look for the section entitled, “This course includes.”
Should You Put Udemy Courses on a Resume?
Yes, it is beneficial to put Udemy courses on your resume. Doing so may help you get more job interviews and will also give you a unique talking point in your interviews, when the hiring manager asks what you’ve been doing recently aside from job searching.
As a former recruiter, I can tell you that this is especially important if you’re unemployed, were laid off or fired, etc.
The more time that passes without a job, the more employers start to worry that your skills might not be quite as “fresh” as other candidates. (I know this isn’t always true, but it’s how many employers view the situation).
So to combat this, put your completed Udemy courses on your resume and LinkedIn profile, and you’ll also have a great response in interviews when employers ask, “What have you been doing to keep your skills fresh while unemployed?”
Where to Put Udemy Courses on Your Resume
I recommend listing your completed Udemy course topic under your resume skills section. Here’s an example of what your list of skills may look like if you completed a Udemy course in email marketing.
- Creative Writing
- Professional Writing
- Microsoft Excel
- Social Media Advertising
- Email Marketing (Completed Udemy Course: Fundamentals of Email Marketing for E-Commerce, January 2021)
Ways to Use Udemy as a Job Seeker
Since this site is mainly a job search and career blog, I want to wrap up this review by sharing a couple of specific ways you can use Udemy’s course platform to boost your job hunt and professional career.
I mentioned that you can include Udemy courses on your resume already, and I mentioned the certificate of completion that some courses provide, but there’s more you can do, too.
First, it may be worth taking a Udemy course to boost your job search skills directly
For example, Udemy offers classes in topics such as:
- Resume writing
- Job interviewing
- Public speaking
- Body language
Udemy is also worth it for boosting a job-related skill or teaching yourself a new professional skill
After completing some training related to the type of jobs you’re pursuing, you can mention it in your cover letters and bring it up in job interviews when employers ask, “What have you been doing to keep your skills current?” or, “What have you been doing this year aside from job searching?” (These are particularly common interview questions if you’ve been unemployed for a few months or more.)
You can also use Udemy classes to build the foundation to break into a brand-new career
Whether you want to transition into a new full-time career, or set out as a freelancer or consultant, Udemy offers a chance to learn topics like software engineering, web design, data science, digital marketing, etc.
Those are all high-demand, high-paying jobs, in industries where employers often consider skills above formal education and degrees.
Those are just a couple of additional ways that students can use Udemy’s course platform to boost their career.
And since Udemy offers free courses, you can use the learning platform even if you don’t have much money to spend during your job search. While you won’t gain the most in-depth education from the typical free Udemy class, it can still provide some basic training to get you started in a new field.
For this reason, it’s worth looking through the courses on Udemy as a job seeker and finding at least one that will benefit you.
Conclusion: Are Udemy Courses Worth the Money?
For most students, Udemy classes are worth the money. Udemy courses are typically well-organized, informative, and not very costly, especially if you wait for Udemy to offer one of their frequent sales where top courses drop from $100+ to below $15.
At this discounted price point, Udemy is certainly worth it, and after speaking to multiple colleagues who have been through courses on Udemy, I’ve heard the same conclusion over and over.
I’ve spoken to friends who have told me the course content in a $100 Udemy course was as good as a $500 online course that they bought elsewhere.
And the platform becomes an even better deal if you wait for the frequent sales where the courses on Udemy drop to below $15 in price. This seems to happen quite regularly, both during holidays and at random times throughout the typical month.
However, Udemy is not perfect for everyone, and it wouldn’t be right to end this Udemy review without sharing who it’s not ideal for, so let’s finish our review by discussing that.
Udemy May Not Be Worth It For You If…
If you’re looking for live, immersive training to learn a complex field such as software engineering, then you may want to consider live bootcamps where you can ask questions as you learn, interact more with classmates, etc.
And if you want to take a high number of courses, you may get more value from an e-learning platform that lets you pay a single, low monthly subscription to access everything. My two favorites are Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning.
Lastly, Udemy isn’t the right learning platform for those looking to earn transferable credits. If so, you should look to accredited institutions like universities and community colleges.
Otherwise, Udemy is Absolutely Worth It!
For everyone else, especially those who want to learn and improve on a topic through a budget-friendly online course website, Udemy is a strong option. With millions of students and course reviews to help you choose a program, plus a money-back guarantee, I’m confident in recommending the platform and can say that Udemy is worth it.
Browse Udemy’s 130,000+ courses and view current discounts HERE.
If you have any questions about this review or want to see a different platform reviewed next, leave a comment below!
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