Udacity was started by 2 Stanford university lecturers who offered one of their courses (“Introduction to Artificial Intelligence”) for free in 2011. It turned out to be a massive success and more than 160,000 students from around 200 counties watched the course.
Udacity has around 12 million users and 300 employees and since it first started, over 100,000 students have graduated from this technology and business-focused elearning platform.
But of course, none of the above means that its Nanodegrees (programs) are going to be a good choice for you. And will you have to break the bank to join one of their programs?
I’ll explain all there is to know about this (geeky) platform in my Udacity review, and we will figure out if it is compatible for you.
Udacity develops its own content with tight collaborations with (industry-leading) partners such as Google, AWS (Amazon), Mercedes or Nvidia.
Easy To Use
Its backend is intuitive and easy to follow.
There are several free courses you can follow at Udacity. This is great to get an idea of what to expect from this popular elearning community.
If you complete a Nanodegree (how its programs are named) with Udacity you’ll earn a certificate. However, be aware that these aren’t offered if you use Udacity with a free account. Be aware that Udacity is a private institution and their certificates aren’t accredited.
Improve your CV
Udacity has a high reputation among companies, so even if they don’t offer university-accredited degrees, having a Nanodegree certificate from Udacity can help you climb professionally. Career advisors are also offered to help you find and improve your professional path.
You’ll Need Some Budget
As we’ll see later on, Udacity isn’t cheap. If you’d like to join one of its programs you’ll need to have some budget.
Not A Huge Community
There doesn’t seem to be a thrilling engaging community behind Udacity courses. It’s more of a solitary learning approach.
It’s true that Udacity offers a wide range of courses about computer science and business, however, there aren’t any courses outside these niches – check out Udemy or Coursera for more variety.
Only In English
The website and backend are available in other languages, but the course materials are mainly in English – some courses have subtitles in other languages.
Udacity Review Verdict
Udacity is a MOOC (Massive open online course) elearning platform that offers hundreds of top-quality programs to help you move forward. Their programs are called Nanodegrees, these are a bundle of, more or less, 4 to 10 courses that will provide you with in-depth knowledge about a certain topic.
Its pool of available programs is not the most extensive and you are limited to certain areas (mainly technology and business-related). The lessons are designed to be hands-on and provide practical learning that you should be able to apply to your job.
Who Is Udacity For?
Udacity is for everyone that is looking to gather knowledge and earn new skills in business or computer-related topics. For example, machine learning, cloud computing or self-driving cars engineering.
There are some topics you won’t find in Udacity like illustration design, language learning, video producing or HR-related programs.
At the time of writing this review, there are about 195 free courses available, but be aware that unless you pay for a program you won’t be eligible to earn an Udacity completion certificate.
Udacity certificates aren’t accredited as it is a private institution that ’just’ offers (high-quality) courses online. Check out alternatives like edX or Coursera if you need an official certificate.
How Much Is Udacity?
Udacity programs cost $399 (€359 or £329) a month and each program will be between 2 to 6 months assuming you work an average of 10 hours every week. Some of Udacitys’ Nanodegrees can be completed at your own pace. If you take longer than the estimated time to complete, the final course price will be higher as you’ll need to extend the program.
There are about 200 courses that you can enjoy for free at Udacity. However, be aware that these free courses have some limitations, for instance, you won’t be able to get a completion certificate.
|Program duration||Monthly Payment||Full Course Prepaid|
($399 a month)
|$678 for the program|
($339 a month)
($399 a month)
|$1,017 for the program|
($339 a month)
($399 a month)
|$1,356 for the program|
($339 a month)
($399 a month)
|$1695 for the program|
($339 a month)
($399 a month)
|$2034 for the program|
($339 a month)
Some Nanodegrees may offer a 1-month free promotional campaign (e.g. Programming for Data Science with R), make sure to take advantage of it as it can reduce the price considerably.
Udacity offers a couple of ways you can purchase one of their programs:
Monthly payment: You will be charged the monthly $399 (€359 or £329) for as long as you take to complete the Nanodegree, or until you decide to cancel your subscription.
Bundled Subscription Payments: If you are choosing an online course in the form of a bundled offering, you will purchase a fixed, multi-month subscription at a discounted rate and will pay a one-off fee upfront. However, you’ll have to make sure you put in the work to finish the program within Udacity’s estimated time frame or you will most likely have to pay extra.
To cancel your subscription you will go to ‘Subscription & Billing’ that is found in your account settings, then click ‘Cancel’ on your active enrollment. You can also contact Udacity at email@example.com and request to cancel your automatic subscription too. You will need to do this, at least, one day before your next billing date.
Scholarships And Financial Aid
There are a bunch of Udacity Scholarships you can apply to if you don’t have the financial resources to pay for a program’s fees. At this time, there are 10 scholarship programs available that have helped around 22,000 students in 48 countries.
Unfortunately, there are no federal, state or local aid programs accepted at Udacity. The Udacity Scholarships are exclusively sponsored by third-party organizations such as Google, AT&T, Lyft, Intel or Accenture.
Financial aid at Udacity
Udacity will give you a couple of options to break down the course cost, so they are a bit more manageable. You can use:
- PayPal Credit: Purchase the program via PayPal and split the cost into several months. Interest will be charged.
- Affirm will let you create a monthly plan (loan) for 3, 6 or 12 months to afford the course. Please, be warned that the interest rates can be high (up to 30%)
How To Open An Udacity Account?
Opening a Udacity account is very easy, follow these steps:
- Visit Udacity.com and click on the top-left button ‘Get Started’
- You can decide to register with Udacity using your own email account, your Facebook or Google account.
- Add the date of your birthday
- Confirm your email account if needed
Examples Of The Most Popular Udacity Programs
Allow me to show you a couple of Udacity Nanodegree programs so you can check out what to expect from these programs:
- Data Scientist Nanodegree – This is a 4-month Udacity program developed in collaboration with Kaggle, IBM Watson or Starbucks. Past students awarded a 4.5 out of 5 rating to this program.
- Deep Learning Nanodegree – In 4 months you’ll be able to learn and apply the PyTorch deep learning framework to your projects (e.g. image recognition). This program is a collaboration with AWS (from Amazon) and Facebook. The Udacity community has graded this Nanodegree with a 4.6 out of 5 grade.
- Sensor Fusion Engineer – This is a Mercedes collaboration to provide students with advanced knowledge on sensor engineering for robotics. It’s going to take you 4 months to complete assuming you work about 10 hours a week.
- Digital Marketer Nanodegree – In collaboration with leading digital companies like Google, Hootsuite, Mailchimp or Moz. This 3-month program will put you in the digital marketing path. Over 1,000 previous students have graded this Nanodegree with a 4.7 out of 5.
- Predictive Analytics for Business Nanodegree – It’s a program that will take you about 3 months to complete and Udacity has partnered with Alteryx and Tableau to develop it.
6 Tips To Find The Perfect Udacity Course
Let me give you a couple of tips to find the perfect Udacity program for you, and show you how to find out if it’ll meet your requirements.
Use the Udacity filters
When you browse Udacity’s library, you can use filters to narrow down your searches. For example, it’s possible to filter courses by ‘Skill level’ (beginner, intermediate or advanced), or the estimated duration (from 1 month to 3+ months).
You can also select the different areas that you’d like to study from the sidebar menu. This will filter out irrelevant courses and programs for you. Another option is to select some industry skills you’d like to learn (e.g. CSS, C++, Deep Learning or Digital Marketing), then relevant courses and programs will be suggested.
Read the program’s syllabus and information
All Udacity courses and programs have a detailed syllabus with the courses’ curriculum. Detailed descriptions about the subjects, the project that you’ll work on and the weekly plan of the course are available.
On the program landing page, you will also be able to find information such as the estimated duration of the courses, the level (from beginner to advanced), and if there are any prerequisites you should have (e.g. existing knowledge).
Udacity’s program syllabus
Be aware that you can download the entire syllabus of the program in a PDF format for extra information.
Make sure you check all these to ensure that the program is definitely what you were looking for.
Every program has a presentation video where they tell you a bit about the syllabus, you’ll get to check the instructor out and who (and why) you should choose it.
This video can be helpful, but don’t forget that its main goal is to make you open the wallet and pay for it. Don’t base your decision entirely on the presentation video.
Read reviews at Udacity
It’s possible to read some reviews for the programs that Udacity offers. Sadly, not all the courses and Nanodegrees have reviews – some are too new to have student feedback.
Udacity community review example
This feature is OK, but other platforms such as Udemy or Skillshare have a more intuitive way to organize reviews.
Who is the program organized by
As I’ve mentioned before, most of Udacity’s courses are collaborations with leading companies from different sectors. For example, Mercedes, Nvidia or Google partner with Udacity to teach some programs.
Udacity instructors’ profile
There is also the possibility to find out who the instructors will be. Among other things, you will be able to find out which companies they work for and what experience they have.
Check out what companies are organizing the program and the instructors to find out what type of learning you’ll get.
When you purchase a program you’ll have a 7-day refund policy. Therefore, I’d recommend you start checking the videos and the materials as soon as you’ve been given access. If you don’t like what you see, get a refund.
Will Udacity Help Me With My Career?
If you take its Nanodegrees seriously, you can certainly learn new skills and become an expert on the topic you choose. This should offer you new opportunities to develop new roles and put you in the right position for a potential job promotion.
Udacity career advice
Another good thing about Udacity is that you can get career advice, they can even help you rewrite your CV. You can also schedule a 1 on 1 chat with one of the career advisors. Keep in mind that this service is US-focused. If you are looking to find a new job in another country it won’t be as effective.
Another perk of this platform is the Udacity Talent program where thousands of employers like Nvidia, Lyft, Mercedes, AT&T or Google hire Udacity alumni. The way it works is the following:
- Create and share your profile
- It will get added to the Udacity Talent database
- You’ll be notified by email if an employer invites you to apply for a role
Is Udacity Legit?
Udacity isn’t a scam, this popular elearning platform has been around for several years and over 100,000 students have graduated from one of its programs.
They also partner with popular and leading companies and organizations to create the courses and programs.
Udacity 1 month free trial
There is a 7-day refund policy too, so if you are dissatisfied with the course program you can always get your money back.
Become a Udacity Instructor
If you want to become a Udacity instructor you can get in touch with them. However, to be accepted isn’t easy, you’ll need to offer proof that you are knowledgeable about your topic and have first-hand professional experience in the subject you teach.
You will create the course alongside the Udacity experts, so they will help you with the planning and execution (e.g. final recordings).
Instructors are financially compensated based on completion of course development or may be entitled to a revenue-shared in relation to the number of enrolled students. Your classes will be able to reach thousands when published on this professional development elearning platform.
Udacity mentor application process
There is also the possibility to become a Udacity Mentor to guide students with their Nanodegrees, you’ll support and give feedback to the students.
Last Thoughts: Is Udacity Worth It?
OK, that’s all I have to say about Udacity.
I hope my review of this professional elearning platform helped you understand if its programs are a good fit for you. But let me summarize what you can (and can’t) expect from Udacity.
Udacity is a platform geared towards technology and business professionals to (mainly) help you master a certain topic. It’s a good option if you want to specialize and become an expert on a given field (e.g. artificial intelligence or digital marketing). The programs are very practical and big companies like Amazon or Google participate.
Sadly, the completion certificate you’ll earn isn’t accredited, check out edX or Coursera if that is what you are looking for. It’s not cheap, a Nanodegree can cost you anything between $600 to $2,000, you’ll need some budget. Even if it has hundreds of courses, the choice isn’t as varied as Udemy or Skillshare.
If you have any questions about Udacity, please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help you.