The online education industry has blossomed in size over the past twenty years, and has emerged as a true economic force all of its own. While this boom has been hugely advantageous for students who are looking to build their skills and enhance their knowledge, providing an endless array of providers to choose from, there’s a downside to the popularity too: the risk of illegitimate or scam sites. Whenever anything gets popular and generates a profit, there will quickly be at least a few unsavoury characters looking to jump onto the bandwagon and claim a slice of the pie for themselves.
For any prospective online student, the fact that scam course providers exist is not a thought that sits easily. After all, if you’re going to invest a significant amount of time – not to mention money – into an online course, the last thing you want is to make that investment and then discover it is all for nought due to having the misfortune of choosing a scam site. It’s therefore entirely natural to be sceptical of every provider, wondering if they’re one of the white hats that can provide an outstanding learning experience, or whether they’re a black hat that you should avoid.
One such provider you may have questioned is Udemy. With Udemy’s proliferation of courses – some of which are provided completely free of charge, or at very low prices – wondering if the platform is legit is entirely natural. Thankfully, Udemy is definitely a course provider you can trust, and here’s five key reasons why we can state such a fact with outright confidence…
#1 – Udemy’s extensive history
Scam course providers are like meteors: for awhile, they burn bright, lighting up the sky and drawing attention from anyone who sees them. However, reality soon kicks in, and they burn up and vanish without a trace – taking the funds of students who invested in their poor-quality courses with them, without any chance of recourse.
Udemy, in contrast, are clearly built to last – and have been “lasting” for nearly a decade now. The platform are akin to the North Star; solid, dependable, and exactly where you expect it to be every week, day, or even year. Udemy’s extensive history means that students know they are signing up to a company with an established reputation and a long history of assisting students in their pursuit of learning.
#2 – Udemy’s peer review system
If someone were creating a course provider with the sole intention of ripping people off, then you can be sure that every single course would be extremely popular and acclaimed by all students. Or, worse still, you wouldn’t even be able to see what students thought of the courses; that information would be completely hidden, rather than shared.
Udemy, however, is literally built on the back of its excellent peer review system, so you can see real feedback as to the quality of each individual course from students. All the information you need is front and centre; Udemy have nothing to hide, and you can conduct all the research necessary to choose a great course – so you always know exactly what you are signing up to. Due to this, joining a Udemy course isn’t a leap of faith based off scant or faux reviews on a dodgy site; you’re signing up based off genuine evidence as to the course’s quality, every single time.
#3 – Udemy (and its staff) receive coverage from external parties
With a less-than-reputable course provider, everything about the platform is very hush-hush. You won’t see much discussion of who runs the platform, the history of the company, or anything beyond the bare basics. It is, obviously, far preferable for a scammer to be able to hide their identity in order to make it next-to-impossible for people to seek recourse for courses they have paid for, and they will also want to keep the company from the headlines too. For scammers, it’s better to act quietly, slipping by, and not drawing attention, lest that attention be unwelcome and the scam detected.
Udemy, as with most major companies, has a profile well outside of its own business. For example, has been featured or discussed on media platforms such as the BBC, Fast Company, and many other established (and reputable online sites), while current CEO Gregg Coccari has a full profile on Bloomberg; no illegitimate company would ever be able to secure (or even want) this kind of coverage.
#4 – Udemy is used by some of the most recognisable names in business
While individual students can register for Udemy courses, the platform is particularly popular with businesses who are seeking to upskill their employees. Udemy state on their website that 80% of Fortune 100 companies trust the company for this purpose and even names companies – such as Lyft, SurveyMonkey, Adidas, and Booking.com – who use the service.
When a course provider is able to demonstrate such a firm place in the market, and is evidently relied upon by some of the most successful businesses in the world, it’s safe to say that that company is as legitimate as you could possibly wish it to be.
#5 – Udemy is a big business
A non-reputable course provider will exist almost entirely within itself; set up and run on a shoestring, the business’ sole reason d’etre will be to fleece funds and nothing more – there’s no investors, no financial history, nothing. The scam is the focus, and there’s never going to be an attempt to build a viable business and all the connections (such as staff members) that go with doing so.
Udemy operates like a fully-fledged business that is firmly rooted in the business landscape and has developed, and seeks to maintain, a reputation as a major player – because that’s exactly what the company is. For example, Udemy is a wildly successful business, with an estimated annual revenue of $75 million. What’s more, Udemy acts like you would expect any complete company to act: they received $60 million in funding in 2016, and the company is also an employer, with around 2,800 staff members. None of the aforementioned factors would be possible if Udemy were not a completely legitimate, trustworthy company that you can be confident will offer an exemplary online learning experience.
While it’s understandable that you might have doubts about the legitimacy of Udemy, the above five points demonstrate that such concerns are unfounded. Udemy is an outstanding platform that has so much to offer to students, all of which is backed up by its outstanding reputation and clear legitimacy.
We can therefore suggest that if you are looking to learn a new skill online, Udemy is absolutely worth your time. To ensure the best experience, filter by reviews – relying on that all-important peer review system we discussed above – to find the courses that have been highly rated by former students and then make your selection. If things go according to plan, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of your new course and the subsequent enhancement to your skills.
However, if things don’t quite proceed as you expected and you feel you’d like a refund, then remember that Udemy offer a fantastic 30-day money back guarantee. Refunds can be requested by contacting the support team and, according to reviews from other students, are usually processed without hassle. The existence of this refund reassures should hopefully reassure students that signing up with a respected, legit company such as Udemy is sure to be the best choice for their online educational needs.