Udemy vs Coursera: Who Comes Out On Top?

Catherine Cooke

13 December, 2021

udemy vs coursera

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Trying to decide which is the right elearning platform for you to study with can be a hard choice. Udemy and Coursera are among the top platforms to choose from.

You may be asking yourself, What are their prices? How do Udemy vs Coursera courses compare? Which one will help me grow professionally?

To answer all these questions and help you out choosing the most suitable platform for your goals, I’ve created this in-depth comparison.

Let’s get into it!

Udemy Vs Coursera Summary

Udemy works on a pay-per-course approach, with individual courses ranging from ($19.99 to $199.99). Coursera’s individual courses range from  ($29 to $99) also with the option of Online Degrees around $25,000. Udemy’s strength is the number of courses it offers more than 183,000+ courses whilst Coursera offers a variety of learning programs from courses to Specializations and Degrees all of which are partnered by top 200+ Universities and Companies.

Warm Up Round: Which One Is More Popular?

Popularity is not really a category that should make us choose one provider over the other, as sometimes popular products or services aren’t always the best choice and sustainable. Who remembers Blockbuster? I remember going every Friday night with friends to rent out our favourite movie and now the popularity of renting out a movie is a thing of the past.

However, looking at which is more popular is a good way to assess the market and see where each elearning platform stands.

Google Trends Udemy vs Coursera

Please, note that the screenshot was taken during the COVID-19 period, this explains the spike in the graph.

As you can see in the graph above, Udemy takes the lead in popularity over Coursera.

Udemy was founded in 2010, and possibly it’s the most popular elearning community worldwide. So far more than 300 million students have joined the platform, it’s available in 65 languages and it’s home to more than 150,000 courses. If you want to read a more comprehensive review on Udemy then click here.

Coursera was also founded in 2012 by two Stanford professors and is partnered with 200 institutions. It is an elearning platform that focuses on its partnerships with Universities and Corporations and has had well over 150 million course enrollments. It currently offers close to 4,000 courses, specializations and degrees. If you want to read a more detailed review on Coursera then check it out here.

Round 1: Ease-of-Use & Interface

I think we can all agree that having a clear and well organised interface makes it easy for us to navigate around the platform. So let’s have a look at which one is the most straightforward.

Registration

Registering at Udemy is dead simple, add your email, password and name, and you are good to go – you’ll have to check (and confirm) the email confirmation Udemy will send you.

Udemy Sign Up

Udemy sign up

The registration process at Coursera is similar, but you’ll only need to add your name, email address and create password and then click Join for Free. There is also the option to register using your Facebook or Apple account if you prefer.

Backend & Design

After you register with Udemy and browse around its platform, you’ll notice that the interface is easy to navigate around. You can search for courses by checking out Categories and then Subcategories and Popular Topics.

Udemy Top Categories

Udemy top categories

A nice feature you can find on the homepage is Top Categories (see image above) which may help you with a place to start as Udemy’s big pool of courses can feel a little overwhelming for some. As well as that you can also find other subheadings like Students are viewing.

Coursera has an equally intuitive platform to navigate around. When you arrive on its homepage you are greeted with the 200+ partners they collaborate with and the sense of global community that they have.

Coursera Meet our Partners

Coursera Meet our Partners

You can browse the different partners and read a little about them and the courses and specializations that they offer.

Winner: Coursera does have an easy design and interface, but at times can feel a little overwhelming with information. Whereas Udemy has a slighter cleaner design making it easier to find what you are looking for. So the first point goes to Udemy.

There you go, Udemy is leading with 1 point

Round 2: Udemy vs Coursera Courses

It’s difficult to say who’s got the best courses but let’s try to answer a couple of questions so you know whether to choose Udemy or Coursera.

Course Information

With so many courses and programs available, it’s challenging to find which one you should use. But some elearning communities make it easier than others to find the relevant information.

Udemy has a vast collection of courses and it does a good job of categorizing them into 13 main sections (and dozens of subsections). Udemy has one of the most advanced filtering systems I’ve seen. You can filter out courses by level, language, duration, students’ feedback or price.

Udemy course filter

Udemy course filter

It’s also very straightforward to read reviews from previous course students, the classic star system grading courses from 0 to 5. Each course has a video introduction that will let you know more about the course structure and the instructor.

Coursera offers close to 4,000 courses along with specializations and degrees. It has 11 categories and dozens of subcategories. Once you have selected your subject you can then use its helpful filtering system to get really specific on what you are looking for.

Coursera course filters

Coursera course filters

Once you have picked your chosen course and are on the About this course page you will find it is really easy to navigate around and with a helpful set of filters like Reviews (see image below) which will take you directly to that part on the page. The Reviews are nicely displayed with a photo of the learner.

Coursera About this Course filters

Coursera About this Course filters

The overall presentation of the About this Course is visually pleasing and nicely structured making it easy to find what you are looking for.

Winner: It’s a hard one, as Udemy offers more courses and makes it very easy for you to find resources, but Coursera’s course quality is much higher. I would give a point to each.

We have Udemy leading with 2 – 1

Popular Udemy and Coursera Courses

Udemy Popular Courses

Complete Guitar Lessons System – Beginner to Advanced – This 40-hour course teaches you how to play the guitar and so far, it has helped over 200,000 learners. Previous students have given it a 4.6 out of 5 to this course.

2021 Complete Python Bootcamp From Zero to Hero in Python – This is Jose Portilla’s Python course, a best-seller with more than 900,000 enrolled students. This 24-hour long series had a 4.5 out of 5 from past students.

The Complete Financial Analyst Course 2021 – You won’t need any financial experience to take this popular Udemy course which has been taken by nearly 300,000 students who have rated it a 4.6 out of 5.

Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography – Another Udemy top-seller course with close to 250,000 students taking this course. It has 22 hours of lessons starting with the basics of photography. The rating from past students is 4.7 out of 5.

Coursera Courses

Machine Learning – A free course to learn the science of getting computers to act without being programmed. It has had more than 4,000,000 students enrolled on the course and a 4.9 (out of 5) rating from student feedback. The course instructor is Andrew Ng the Co-founder of Coursera. You have the option to upgrade and purchase the course, where you will earn the certificate for $49.

Getting Started with Power BI Desktop – A 2-hour long project-based course, where you will learn the basics of using Power BI Desktop software. It’s offered by Coursera project network for beginners, with over 30,000 already enrolled and a 4.7 (out of 5) rating from student feedback. It costs $9.99 to take this guided project.

Python for Everybody Specialization – A Specialization to learn to program and analyze data with Python. It has had more than 1,000,000 students enrolled in this specialization and a 4.8 (out of 5) rating from student feedback. The course instructor is Charles Russell Severance and partnered with University of Michigan. It will take approximately 8 months to complete, and costs $49 a month, with a 7-day free trial available.

Facebook Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate – A Professional Certificate to launch your career in social media marketing to build job-ready skills and credentials. It has had more than 50,000 students enrolled in this professional certificate and a 4.9 (out of 5) rating from student feedback. The course instructor is Anke Audenaert and partnered with Facebook. It will take approximately 7 months to complete, and costs $49 a month, with a 7-day free trial available.

Machine Learning for Analytics – In this 4-course program, you’ll develop skills in statistics and machine learning to advance your career as a data science professional. The certificate is partnered with The University of Chicago and will take you 5 months to complete. You can either do a 1 off payment for $3,900 or 4 payments for $1,000 monthly.

BSc Computer Science – Earn a Bachelors Degree with University of London to give you a strong foundation in Computer Science and specialized knowledge of topics such as Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Web Development. The Bachelors degree should take you 3-6 years and will cost you between £11,229 – £16,790 ($15,230 – $22,872). You will need to apply for the Bachelors Degree.

Round 3: Free Courses At Udemy & Coursera

If you are asking yourself: Where can I find the best free courses? Then you are not the only one.

The right answer to this question really depends on what you are looking for. Udemy used to be the platform that offered the biggest pool of free courses, but as of the beginning of 2020 they made a change to its free courses to help learners distinguish the value of both free and paid courses. Currently, Udemy offers close to 600 free courses that have a simplified learning experience compared to the paid courses. For example, free courses do not offer a certificate of completion or course features like the Q&A.

Udemy Free Courses

A free course is still a great way to try out the Udemy platform and the instructor teaching the course and whether you want to invest more time and money into the course, instructor and Udemy.

Coursera offers its courses so you can Audit the course, which means you will study for free but won’t receive a certificate on completion. If your main goal is to study a high quality course without the acknowledged accreditation then Coursera’s free courses are for you.

Coursera Audit the course

Coursera Audit the course

Winner: Due to the fact that Coursera’s courses are  high-quality being partnered with recognised institutions. The point will go to Coursera.

That leaves the score at 2-2

Round 4: Available Languages at Udemy & Coursera

This will be a short round, I promise.

Udemy supports many languages (65 to be exact) and as you can see in the image below it even has a filer to let you find courses by language. Among others, you’ll find content in English, Portuguese, Spanish or German.

Udemy courses in other languages

Udemy courses in other languages

Coursera also offers a wide range of languages available including the following; English, German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Chinese, Chinese (Traditional) and more. The majority of the video lessons have an interactive transcript (also available on the mobile app).

Coursera languages available

Coursera languages available

Once you have selected your subject category you are then able to view what languages are available with the filter system.

Winner: Udemy wins this one hands down.

This leaves the score 3-2, Udemy is leading this one.

Round 5: Udemy Vs Coursera Certificates

If you are considering Udemy or Coursera for its completion certificates, then you are considering the right type of elearning platforms.

With Udemy you’ll be able to earn a completion certificate once you’ve completed a course. However, it isn’t a formal validated certificate.

Udemy Certificate of Completion

Udemy certificate example

All verified certificates will cost a fee. If you originally choose the free option you can still upgrade to a verified certificate.

Once you have completed a course with Coursera you will receive a verified certificate that includes: The course name, The instructor’s signature, The logo of the partner institution, A verification URL that allows others to check the Certificate’s authenticity, A statement that Coursera has confirmed the identity of the learner who completed the course.

Coursera verified certificate example

Coursera verified certificate example

You will be able to download, print and share your certificates. Coursera is partnered with top institutions like Duke and Imperial College which are recognised by future employees.

Winner: Coursera will have to take this one, due to its accredited certificates.

Wow that means we have a draw with 3-3 to Coursera and Udemy.

Round 6: Course Quality & Instructors

Finding the right instructor can be key for your learning success, you want to feel it is someone you can connect with and is passionate about the subject they are teaching that will keep you engaged and motivated.

At Udemy its courses are taught by experienced instructors and some of its courses have teaching assistants.

Udemy Instructors

Udemy Instructors

You can read a small blurb  about his or her prior experience and many instructors are open to you to connect via social media and ask any particular questions.

Every course at Coursera is created alongside its partnered institution which is reassuring the course is top quality. Before the courses are open to the public they will use Beta testers (experts and enthusiasts) to review and give feedback to ensure it is of the highest quality.

Coursera instructor bio

Coursera instructor bio

An instructor rating is included in the course description, you can then click to read his/her bio and prior experience and social media links. In this case the instructor of this course is also the Co-Founder of Coursera.

Winner: This one will have to go to Coursera, for its top Instructors and beta testers.

That means Coursera is out in the lead with 4-3.

Round 7: Is Udemy or Coursera’s Support Better

Udemy has a good support system, you can get help with anything. Plus they have the FAQ which many of the times will answer your questions.

Udemy support system

Udemy support system

They have a support chat where you can add your name, email and leave a message and then someone will get in contact with you.

Coursera offers a similar support system to Udemy where you can search for a specific topic or you can check out directly look up popular topics like Account Setup, Payments, Enrollment etc.

Coursera live chat

Coursera live chat

Coursera also offers a live chat along as you are logged in. This can be particularly helpful if you are looking for something very specific and the standard help articles aren’t enough.

Winner: This is a tricky one, but as both Udemy and Coursera offer an equally helpful support system. It means a point for each.

We still have Coursera leading this one with 5-4

Round 8: Which One Is Better For Businesses

Many businesses and organizations like to offer their employees a source to keep on learning and develop their professional skills. Udemy and Coursera aren’t an exception.

Udemy for Business offers the Enterprise, Team plan and Leadership Development Programs. The Team plan is for 5-20 users and costs $360 per user a year. The Enterprise plan is for 21 or more users, and you will need to contact sales for pricing. Both of these plans give you access to 14,000+ courses. The Leadership Development Program needs you to contact sales, where you can also request a demo.

Udemy Business Plans

Udemy Business Plans

Coursera offers training and development programs that have been developed by top institutions for Businesses. Coursera has a couple of packages Team and Enterprise. The Team package is for teams and small organizations and is $400 a year for each user in a team or small organization giving them access to over 3,800 courses. The second option is the Custom Pricing that is larger organizations.

coursera for business

Coursera for Business

Winner: Both platforms offer similar plans. Due to the fact its offerings are so similar a point will be given to each.

That makes our score 6-5 to Coursera. Udemy still has a chance to draw this one.

Round 9: Udemy vs Coursera Pricing

The price of your course will be a deciding factor when choosing an elearning platform, if you can’t afford its cost, maybe you should look for cheaper alternatives, right?

Udemy Coursera
Free courses Close to 600 courses 1000+ courses (Audit the Course)
Individual course prices $19.99 to $199.99 a course $29 to $99 a course
Specialist Program (e.g.degree or Masters) Doesn’t offer any Specialist Program $10,000 to $25,000
Platforms Desktop, iOS & Android Desktop, iOS & Android
Refund Policy 30-day Refund Policy 14-day Refund Policy
More information Visit udemy.com Visit coursera.org

Coursera Plus is another payment method which lets you pay an annual subscription to access the majority of the courses on Coursera. There is no limit to courses you enroll in and you will earn a Course Certificate on every course you complete. It costs $339 for the annual subscription and does not include degrees or Mastertrack certificates.

Winner: This is a close one, but due to the fact Coursera offers a few different payment methods, the point has to go to them.

The final score is 7-5 to Coursera.

Bonus Round: Udemy & Coursera Alternatives

You may find that Udemy and Coursera aren’t the right option and you may be looking for another option. It could be a more diverse range of courses or strong sense of online community. So I have put together a few alternatives for you to consider.

edX

Like Coursera, edX offers courses organized by world-class universities like MIT, Berkeley or Harvard. And since it’s an accredited organization, you’ll be able to earn official degrees from edX.

edX an alternative to Udemy or Coursera

edX can be a good alternative to Udemy or Coursera

You’ll find many free courses on its platform, however, you’ll need to pay for the course (between $50 to $300) to be able to earn an edX completion certificate.

Read Review

Visit edx.com

Skillshare

Not only does Skillshare offer a generous 1 month free trial but its highly engaged community of learners makes it appealing for many. Many of its classes involve peer assessments which keeps its classes interactive and fun.

Skillshare an alternative to Udemy and Coursera

Skillshare an alternative to Udemy and Coursera

Skillshare believes in the importance of community to empower one another from members to teachers and to employees.

Read Skillshare Review

Visit Skillshare.com

Final thoughts: Udemy vs Coursera

Hopefully, this long Udemy vs Coursera comparison has cleared up most of your questions and you know which elearning community you should use. But let me summarise when to use each platform:

Choose Udemy if You:

  • Wide range of courses
  • Reasonably priced courses
  • 30 day refund policy

> Try Udemy for free

Coursera is for You if:

  • You want the largest choice of courses
  • You are looking for courses in other languages than English
  • You want high-quality courses from partnered institutions

> Try Coursera for free

Please, leave a comment below if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to help you out.

Review Updates:

13/12/21 Udemy Vs Coursera Quiz

25/05/21 Udemy Free & Popular Courses

Catherine Cooke

Hey. I am Catherine and I have been working as a freelancer for many years now. In 2005, I graduated from a BA honours in Art & Design from BCU and then went onto complete a Master’s Degree in Teaching from UEL. The skills I gained from learning and teaching have led me to create Upskillwise, a place for learners like myself to find the best possible resources and courses to train and upskill themselves, either personally or professionally. If you have a question, please feel free to ask me anything or leave me a comment.
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Ali
Ali
1 month ago

For me Udemy carries the day, I have taken a few courses on Udemy and found it to be more interactive, detailed content and easy to understand they just need to work on their certification design.

Ab Seigh
Ab Seigh
2 months ago

Good overview. Your objective approach is admirable. I’m looking for the best self-paced math course available. I’ve used Chegg for homework help…but I’m not convinced they offer a learning-based course. It’s seems more problem solving than “learning” focused. Here’s a couple thoughts on identifying winners. 1) How many videos are included in the course? 2) are the videos high quality? 3) Are problems (math, for example) and solutions clarified with videos or with text (or both)? 4) What is the turn-around time for answers to a student question(s)? 5) Are there a set number of questions a student is “allocated”… Read more »

Rashonda
Rashonda
3 months ago

This is EXACTLY what I was looking for, plus so much that hadn’t even crossed my mind. Thank you for a such detailed and engaging article.

Chang
Chang
3 months ago

For the longest time I’ve been contemplating which platform to use, and this post has helped me so, so much! Thank you for the awesome post!

Amy
Amy
5 months ago

This is so beautiful Catherine. Thanks for the detailed research

ISAAC EKABUA
ISAAC EKABUA
6 months ago

Wow thanks for spending so much time to Carry out this educating research… it’s really going to help me with my decision in this new year…as I plan on taking online courses to improve myself.

SHUBHAM
SHUBHAM
6 months ago

Hey Catherine. First of all congratulations and my gratitude for writing such a wonderful, unbiased article; This has decluttered many of my confusions related to the above two mediums. Keep up the good work!

Clackston
Clackston
8 months ago

Can credentials from Coursera and Udemy both be presented on a resume and will employers take it seriously?

Sonali
Sonali
9 months ago

Hey Catherine, you have already made my choice pretty clear. Very detailed and fine research. I was confused between two. I was going by Udemy due to price but I think certificate value does matter. I going with Coursera now. Thanks 👍

Kenneth Chang
Kenneth Chang
11 months ago

Hi Catherine.  Great review and timely as I’m considering Coursera and your review has confirmed that choice for me.  Thank you very much!

Libra
Libra
11 months ago

 Hi, this comparison is very useful to me. I already registered a course on Coursera, and I also found that the quality on Coursera is good and professional.
And this post have gave me more information about other sides. Thank you

Delwin
Delwin
11 months ago

The internet has it al. I am glad I was able to find this comparison. Based on what you intend to learn this sort of comparison will be useful. This definitely helped me making my decision.

Shreyash Sharma
Shreyash Sharma
1 year ago

It helps thx☺😚

Rahma Tarek
Rahma Tarek
1 year ago

useful and informative blog post❤️

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