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One of the first questions you might ask when looking at Udemy reviews is — ‘is Udemy legit?’ or ‘is Udemy worth it?’. After all, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of online course providers out there, all offering the same thing — the promise of improving your knowledge. So, obviously, you’re going to be concerned whether or not you’re in safe hands. In this review we’ll go through the key elements you should always look for in an online course provider.
But before we do, let’s take a look at Udemy’s history. Self-styled as an ‘online learning platform’, Udemy was founded in 2010 by Eren Bali, Gagan Biyani and Oktay Caglar on the back of Bali’s live virtual classroom software created in 2007. After 30 attempts to raise venture capital were rejected, they decided to bootstrap the development of what we know as Udemy today and launched the product in May, 2010. Within a few months at least 1,000 instructors had created around 2,000 courses; and alongside this 10,000 students had already registered to the service, which finally convinced investors to part with a grand total of $1 million. This was merely the beginning.
After further investment rounds, attracting further millions — peaking with a Series D financing round, raising $65 million in June 2015 — the company has now emerged as one of the leading online service providers towards the end of the decade. Now hosting 100,000 online courses, it is safe to say that if you’re looking to learn, Udemy is probably one of the best places to go. Not only do they offer courses at affordable prices, but their peer review system ensures the best tutors get the exposure they need, while rushed and low-quality Udemy courses are pushed to the bottom.
Obviously, when you’re signing up for an online course, you want to make sure that everything is above board and legit. You don’t want to get ripped off, and you want to feel reassured that the provider is offering a course of at least adequate quality. So it’s perfectly reasonable to feel a measure of uncertainty when considering your online course options. In the modern world, issues of internet safety and security are never far away from the news, after all.
But you can rest assured that it is completely safe to use Udemy – that, yes, Udemy is legit. After all, this course provider now has around 100,000 courses on offer. You don’t create that kind of online learning resource without being trusted by both learners and tutors. There are around 57,000 tutors providing content for Udemy. That number of people would not be involved if the company was not providing a legitimate and worthwhile service to learners.
For more info, check out our ‘Is Udemy Legit?’ guide.
Read on to get the lowdown on Udemy in the UK and what online classes they’ve got on offer.
Udemy was founded in 2010 by Eren Bali, Gagan Biyani and Oktay Caglar
Udemy boasts a library of over 100,000 courses, offering online classes in business, design, development, photography, IT and more.
Courses start from £9.99, depending on the subject. Coding courses can reach up to £150.
Udemy offers courses in English, French, Spanish, Turkish, Portuguese and German.
Yes, Udemy offers courses for businesses via their Udemy for Business portal.
One of the main attractions of Udemy is that they keep their costs low.
– Firstly, they allow tutors to upload their own work and set their own prices: this essentially creates competition on their own platform, thus driving down the price. Which is why nowadays it is common to find courses available at £9.99 — which while is very cheap, still offer incredible value for money.
– The sheer volume of traffic Udemy gets allows tutors to still make decent money, even if they offer courses at low prices.
– Udemy doesn’t charge fees to their tutors, which further reduces fees for their students.
– The peer review system that Udemy has implemented allows the community to school the courses on offer, reducing Udemy’s operational costs.
Of course, the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ bodes well for Udemy. You are unlikely to walk away with any professional qualifications by completing a two hour Udemy course, that’s for sure. And in a way Udemy doesn’t really market themselves as a place to gain certification.
Instead, Udemy pairs knowledgeable tutors with aspiring learners — bridging the gap between the two. Thus, while Udemy might be ‘cheap’ when compared to the likes of other learning providers (MasterClass, Coursera, etc.), there is still the opportunity to learn a lot.
Yes, in fact, Udemy offers a wide range of free courses — over 6,000 in fact, which accounts for over 5% of the total courses available. Udemy’s best free courses vary in format, but typically include introductory lessons in chess, graphics design, marketing and business. Average free course length is around 1 – 3 hours, which is certainly enough to develop your foundational skills.
Now you have the background history of Udemy and an idea about their pricing structure, it’s about time we discussed what classes are on offer at Udemy. With over 100,000 courses on offer, it’s safe to say there is plenty on offer — but let’s dig deeper into what skills you can develop with the online platform.
It is safe to say that the range of business courses at Udemy is impressive. At the time of writing we found 11246 courses available, with 1246 being free. Subcategories include: Entrepreneurship, Finance, Management, Home Business, Communications and loads more. The average course duration was 0 – 2 hours, but there were 186 courses offering 17+ hours of material.
Finance is another popular topic to study online, especially for those looking at accountancy careers. Currently, there are around 4100 courses available. Subcategories include: Finance, Personal Finance, Investing & Trading, Accounting & Bookkeeping and many more. Topics include Forex, Personal Finance and Investing. Average course is 2 hours long.
Looking to improve your photography? Udemy offers a wide range of photography courses. We found just over 2000 online photography classes available, with 141 on offer for free. Subcategories include: Video Design, Digital Photography, Photography Tools and more. Popular topics include Adobe Lightroom and Video editing. Average course duration is 0 – 2 hours.
Marketing skills are becoming increasingly important, especially in the digital era. Udemy offers nearly 7500 online courses in marketing, covering topics such as: Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, Content Marketing and more. Topics around Facebook and Social Media Marketing are popular. The average course length is 0 – 2 hours, while there are 76 courses at 17+ hours.
While your career is important, sometimes you have to look after yourself. Udemy’s collection of personal development courses will help you de-stress and relax, with over 11000 courses on offer. Subcategories include Personal Transformation, Parenting & Relationships, Productivity, Religion & Spirituality and more. The most popular course length is again, 2 hours, but there are nearly 700 longer courses available.
Firstly, one thing we must make clear is that Udemy doesn’t produce course content — this is done via independent tutors. You have to think of Udemy as a YouTube for educators, without the adverts. Of course, you avoid the adverts due to paying up-front for the class (in most cases), but otherwise it works in exactly the same way.
Udemy tutors come in all shapes and sizes, from the experienced SEO guru to the sceptical personal health experts — after all, it’s an open platform which anybody can contribute to (as long as the course content complies with Udemy’s terms and conditions). The website depends on peer-reviews to keep tutors in check, with students having the ability to leave feedback after completion of a course. Courses are rated out of five stars. Courses with less than four stars are normally relegated to the nether-regions of Udemy — hence, feedback is very important. Overall though, as with YouTube, there are many tutors doing very well — such as: John Purcell, Rob Percival, Phil Ebiner, Dr. Chad and many more.
The average course length on Udemy is around 2 hours, mainly due to the fact that courses are often serialised by tutors to increase their revenues. Students are more likely to spend £9.99 on one course than £199.00 on a series of courses. Also, by serialising course content students are able to split the cost of learning, so it’s a win-win.
There are courses on Udemy that offer 17+ hours of content, but as mentioned previously, these are often more expensive. As such, we’ve found that Udemy is best for students who with a lower budget, who enjoy learning in shorter bursts.
One of the best things about Udemy is the number of courses that can be taken for free. There are free courses on offer in almost every subject area too. Whether you are seeking to improve your business skills with a course in stock market investing for beginners, or sharpen up your cookery with a course in the art of baking, you can find a huge number and variety of free courses at Udemy.
When we scanned what was available at Udemy for free we were impressed with the breadth and depth of the range. While the computing and business sections of the site were particularly well populated with free courses, there are other subject areas that have a real variety of great options in plentiful numbers. Photography and health and fitness are another two subject areas that have a diversity of free courses on offer in great numbers. There are even free courses in topics such as teacher training.
Obviously, you cannot expect too much from a free course in terms of qualifications and certificates. But that Udemy can provide for free is the kind of detailed and insightful snapshot of a topic that can boost your knowledge and skills. This is not a course provider where you come for qualifications, so do not expect to be able to study for a formal qualification for free at Udemy.
But you can rest assured that there are hundreds and hundreds of free courses on offer at Udemy, with the majority being of very high quality indeed. As we explained earlier, there is no need to worry that any of the courses on offer are trying to scam you in some way or are not legitimate. Browsing through the massive range of free courses at Udemy is well worth some of your time.
Udemy does not operate in the same way as a course provider like Coursera, for example, that offers formal qualifications and certificates. You are not going to be charged for taking modules of a degree course, for example, at Udemy. As we have explained above, Udemy works more along the lines of providing insight and specific skills training, rather than offering any formal qualifications. This means that you do not need to plan a huge budget if you’re looking to study a course that Udemy provides.
While many courses at Udemy are free, as we outlined above, there is a huge range of prices available. Courses start at £11.99 at the time of writing in March 2020, and range right up to a reported $5000 for a private course in blackhat marketing. Many more courses can be found in the $100 to $500 range, however. The amount that you will need to pay really does depend on the relative complexity of the courses you take. You should not have set figure in mind, but weigh up the pros and cons of each course according to the size of your budget.
Corporate clients will have to pay different rates, of course, for business training services. The simplest way to find out what deals are on offer for corporate clients is to head to the Udemy for Business tab at the top of the home page. From there, you can contact customer services via live chat to discuss pricing and other options.
So now you have a good idea about how much courses are at Udemy, let’s take a look at some specific courses. We have pulled out four of the most popular offerings in subject areas that should interest a wide range of potential learners.
In March 2020, this was the bestselling business course at Udemy. Over 200,000 students in 96 countries have signed up for it so far. It is taught by a tutor called Chris Haroun, who is an award-winning MBA tutor, venture capitalist and author. He currently teaches full-time on Udemy. This course usually retails at £149.99, but in March 2020 learners could pick it up at a special price of £25.99. That in itself is a sign of how popular it is. If it selling so fast that its price can be reduced by that amount and it is still generating revenue for its instructor then it must be of high quality.
The course syllabus asserts that it can teach you to start your own business and launch a company from scratch. It also promises you how to raise money for your business quickly, as well as improving your chances of getting a job. It does seem to promise a plethora of amazing skills, which did make us a little suspicious at first. The course does seem to deliver to many of the students who have studied it, though, and it remains top of the bestseller list in Udemy’s business section. It’s worth noting that you won’t receive an MBA when you complete this course, though.
This was the course that was topping the bestseller lists in the photography section at Udemy at the time of writing. Again, just like the MBA course that we detailed above this course usually retails at £149.99 but we found that it was available at a discount offer price of £25.99. The course’s main aim is to teach you how to take memorable photos for your friends and family. Part of this is to teach you how a camera really works, so that you get an idea of how to maximise the possibilities.
As well as learning how to use flash and lighting to improve your shots, you will also study editing, location and composition of photographs. Significantly, the course also includes material about how it is possible to make money or even a living from photography. Given the rise of the smartphone camera in the last 15 years or so, there is also a lesson on how to take better photos with your phone.
One of the more interesting things about Udemy is that the range and variety of courses is so extensive. This means that you can study some genuinely esoteric and often quite unusual things. One of the bestselling courses on offer in the Personal Development section at Udemy is entitled How to Be Psychic – Psychic Development for Beginners.
Usually costing £74.99, this was another course on sale at a discount price in March 2020. Available for £30.99, the course apparently teaches learners how to tap into their natural psychic ability. The course covers contacting spirit guides, protecting yourself from psychic attacks from negative people and learning to use crystals and other tools.
This course is not going to interest everyone, of course, and many may well sneer at it. It is one of the bestselling courses on Udemy, though, which gives you a good idea about the range and variety of courses that are available. The choice of course subject matter at Udemy is certainly eclectic, and this another reason why you need to take care when selecting a course.
Marketing, digital marketing in particular, are very popular with online learners. Many of these courses are focused on using social media or other internet tools to boost your company’s appeal. One of the bestselling marketing courses that we found at Udemy was Ultimate Google Ads Training 2020: Profit with Pay per Click.
This course, as you can tell from its title, is intended to teach you how to maximise the value that your business can extract from Google. You’ll learn techniques that improve the volume and consistency of traffic to your company’s website, as well as how to advertise your products and services more effectively.
There are over six billion daily searches on Google. This course will help you to monetise those searches that relate to your business. No experience with Adwords is required for the course, and all you need is a laptop, tablet or phone to be able to access all course materials.
When it comes to searching the web for Udemy reviews from students, it’s a mixed bag. Many students sing Udemy’s praises when it comes to cost and platform, but there are some students who have found course content to be less than standard.
Of course, like any open platform you can expect to find good content and bad content — this is what makes the peer-review system so important. You must check the reviews of a course before spending your cash. With most tutors offering at least one free lecture, it’s impossible to at least get a sense of the full course before parting with your hard earned money.
But overall, if you’re looking for cost-effective learning then the majority of past students who’ve spoken out on Facebook, Twitter and Quora have left positive reviews. Many previous students have taken at least out at least two courses; one in particular who has bought 30 – 40 speaks positively of his experience, especially the 30 day, no questions asked, money back guarantee.
Udemy offers free courses, but normally to embark on a full course you will be required to pay. The great thing is most courses start at £9.99.
According to Udemy, at the time of writing, the online course provider offers over 100,000 online courses.
Languages available at Udemy include: English, French, Spanish, Turkish, Portuguese and German.