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Is Udemy worth it?
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.
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Introduction - Who are Udemy?
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.
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.
Udemy UK: How Expensive is Udemy in 2020?
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.
Does Udemy Offer Free Courses?
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.
What Courses Are Available At Udemy in 2020?
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.
Development / Coding
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.
Content Quality at Udemy
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.
Reputation of tutors at Udemy
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.
Course length — too long, too short?
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.
Is Udemy Legit?
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.
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 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…
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
Free Courses at Udemy in 2020
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.
Plan Your Budget: How Much to Learn at Udemy?
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.
Standout & Popular Courses at Udemy
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.
An Entire MBA in 1 Course at Udemy
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.
Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography at Udemy
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.
How to Be Psychic at Udemy
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.
Ultimate Google Ads Training 2020: Profit with Pay per Click at Udemy
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.
Reputation of Udemy: What Are The Students Saying?
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 Final Score:
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.
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