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Last update: Mar 27, 2024

Udemy vs Coursera: Who Comes Out On Top?

Coursera vs Udemy
4.8

Best for

  • Accredited Certificates
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vs
4.3

Best for

  • Affordable Courses
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Written by

Catherine Cooke

Catherine Cooke

Upskillwise Advisor

I'm Catherine, originally from London, now living in Spain. My professional journey led me from being a certified teacher to a yoga instructor and then a freelancer designer. These changes were made possible by online learning platforms like Skillshare and Coursera. It wasn't always easy, but so worth it and inspired me to start Upskillwise.

Photo of Catherine Cooke

Upskillwise.com is fully supported by its readers. If you register or buy a course using our links, we may receive a commission. This does not affect our ratings, methodology or partners.

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.

Find Out in 2 Minutes Which One Is Best for You

Udemy Vs Coursera Summary

Udemy and Coursera are two popular online learning platforms, Udemy is the biggest platform, offering an extensive selection of courses, taught by individuals. Whereas Coursera partners with top Universities and Organizations to provide a wide range of learning programs from individual courses, specializations, professional certificates and degree programs. When it comes to pricing, Udemy offers courses priced between $12.99 to $199.99, which are all individually paid for. On top of that, Udemy offers a personal subscription plan, costing $16.58 per month, which includes a 7-day free trial. Coursera offers several different payment options, from paying for a single course $49 to $79, to subscribing to Coursera Plus or paying for a degree as a one-time payment or in installments.

Additionally, Coursera offers the option to learn for free with 2,500+ of its courses, some features aren’t included, like a graded assignment or earning a certificate on completion. Plus, financial aid and scholarships are available for anyone who can’t pay for a certificate. To sum up, if you’re seeking a wide variety of affordable course, Udemy is the obvious choice. If you prefer a more structured course or program taught by top professors from prestigious institutions, then Coursera would be best.

Udemy Vs Coursera Side by Side

4.8

Accredited Certificates

$9.99 USD

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Round 2: 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 Form
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 land on the homepage you are greeted with the 325+ partners they collaborate with and the sense of global community that they have.

Coursewra 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.

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.

Winner: Udemy

There you go, Udemy takes another point the score is at 2-0

Round 3: 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 more than 7,000 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.

It’s a hard one, as Udemy offers more courses on a variety of subjects, but Coursera’s course quality is much higher and the range of learning programs and courses is the most I have seen on any online learning platform.

Winner: Coursera

We have Coursera in the game, leaving the points at 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 4: 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 just under 500 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
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.

When you click on ‘Explore’ on the homepage, you can easily find Free Courses, there are currently 7,600+ available (see image below). Coursera not only offers high-quality courses, but they are transparent about it and make it easy for you to find them. This definitely isn’t the case with all Online Learning Platforms.

Coursera free courses
Coursera free courses

Coursera has the option to 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

Since, Coursera’s courses are high-quality and the fact they are partnered with top Universities and Companies. The point has to go to Coursera.

Winner: Coursera

After this round, it leaves the score at draw at 2-2

Round 5: Available Languages at Udemy & Coursera

This will be a short round, I promise.

Udemy supports many languages (75 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’s languages available

Once you have selected your subject category, you can then view what languages are available using its filter system.

Winner: Udemy

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

Round 6: Udemy Vs Coursera Certificates

If you are considering Udemy or Coursera for its completion certificates, then you are considering the right types 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 completion certificate example
Udemy completion 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 recognized by future employees.

Winner: Coursera

Wow! That means we are back with another draw with the score at 3-3.

Round 7: 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: Coursera

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

Round 8: 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: Coursera

Coursera is still out in front and the score at 3-5.

Round 9: 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 explained
Udemy Business Plans

Coursera for business 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 $399 per user annually for a team or small organization (5-125 users) who will get access to 5,000+ courses. The second option is the Custom Pricing that is larger organizations.

Coursera for business costs
Coursera for Business plans
Winner: Coursera

Coursera is still storming ahead with the score at 3-6.

Round 10: Udemy vs Coursera Pricing & Refunds

The price of a course or learning program is the final deciding factor, right? The table below gives an overview of Udemy and Coursera’s costs, so you can decide which one fits your budget.

Udemy Coursera
Free courses Close to 490 courses 2,900+ courses (Audit the Course)
Individual course prices $19.99 to $199.99 a course $49 to $79 a course
Subscription plans Personal Plan: $20 per month Coursera Plus: $59 per month or $399 per year
Specialist Program (e.g.degree or Masters) Doesn’t offer any Specialist Program $9,000 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 a monthly or annual subscription to access 7,000+ world-class curses, hands-on projects and job-ready certificates. There is no limit to the number of courses you enroll in, and you will earn a Course Certificate for every course you complete. Be mindful that the Coursera Plus doesn’t include Degrees or Mastertrack certificates.

Udemy personal plans
Udemy personal plans

Udemy offers a 30-day refund policy if you aren’t happy with your purchased course, which is pretty generous as refunds go, this isn’t the case with all online learning platforms. Coursera equally has a decent refund policy, in most cases you can request a refund within 14 days of payment. It only doesn’t have a money-back guarantee on Guided Projects and if you enrol on a Degree program and change your mind, you’ll have to speak to the partnered University or Organization as they set the refund policy.

Winner: Coursera

That leaves the score at 3-7 in the penultimate round.

Round 11: Udemy vs Coursera Customer Reviews

For a comprehensive perspective in this Udemy vs Coursera comparison, I’ve taken the time to examine customer feedback from Trustpilot, a popular customer review site. This approach provides insights from a wide range of users about their experiences with these two online learning platforms.

Trustpilot Rating Udemy Coursera
5-star 38% 14%
4-star 11% 5%
3-star 6% 4%
2-star 6% 8%
1-star 39% 69%
Overall 2.2 out of 5 stars 1.8 out of 5 stars

Data gathered on 10/23/2023

The Udemy review compiles insights from 1,179 users, while the Coursera review is based on the input of 444 customers. Udemy stands out with 40% of its users granting it a 5-star rating, whilst Coursera has only 14% awarding it 5-stars.

I was curious to delve into some of the customer reviews further, I found many of the Udemy 5-star ratings complimented ease of use, good selection of topics, value for money. “Easy to use, great courses…I found quite a few really useful for my work” a delighted 5-star customer said.

I was eager to delve into the specific issues that Coursera was having, given that nearly 70% of them had left a 1-star review. Many of their complaints were related to poor customer support, concerns regarding course quality, difficulty with peer grading. “Worst customer service. They don’t have any way to move from a monthly plan to an annual one”. an unhappy 1-star customer said.

Winner: The point has to go to Udemy, with the final score at 4 – 7.

Overall Winner: Well done Coursera!

Bonus Round: Udemy & Coursera Alternatives

After reading this comparison article, you may have come to the conclusion that neither Udemy nor Coursera meet your needs, it could be for the fact neither offer the categories you are looking for or don’t they don’t have the career support you’re after. Never fear, as I’ve compiled a list of alternative platforms for you to consider.

Masterclass

Masterclass is an online learning platform that provides courses in various categories such as Food, Design & Style, Business, Home & Lifestyle and more. Its classes are led by famous instructors like Anna Wintour, Chris Voss and Gordon Ramsay. It offers 3 different subscription plans, starting with the Individual plan for $120 annually (working out at $10 a month). All plans give you full access to the platform and its classes.

All Masterclass subscription plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning if you aren’t happy with your chosen plan, you can request a refund within the first 30 days of purchasing.

Read Masterclass review

Visit Masterclass.com

Datacamp

If neither Udemy nor Coursera offer the data and AI skills that you are looking for, then Datacamp may be your answer. It’s a platform that focuses on helping individuals and teams develop data skills. Its wide range of categories from non-coding essentials to learning python and ChatGPT.

Datacamp alternative online learning platform
Datacamp is the data alternative to Udemy and Coursera

It offers individuals a Basic (free) plan which gives you access to a very limited number of courses or the Premium paid plan for $39 a month or $300 when billed annually. There are also plans for teams of 2 and up for $25 per user a month and an Enterprise plan for bigger businesses that is custom priced.

Visit datacamp.com Read Datacamp review

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 is an alternative to Udemy and Coursera
Skillshare is an alternative to Udemy and Coursera

Skillshare offers both monthly and annual subscription models, with the monthly subscription costing $29 USD and the annual subscription offered at $99 USD. If you decide with the trial period that Skillshare isn’t for you, you’ll need to cancel in the first 14 days.

Visit Skillshare.com Read Skillshare review

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 alternative online learning platform
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.

Visit edx.com Read edX review

Final thoughts: Udemy vs Coursera

After a comprehensive comparison of Udemy and Coursera, it’s clear that both platforms offer unique advantages and have certain limitations. To help you make an informed decision, let’s summarize and expand on the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Udemy Pros

  • Affordable: Udemy courses are really affordable and start as little as $11.99 and go up to $199.99.
  • Free Courses: Udemy is offering just under 500 free courses on a selection of topics from WordPress to Investing, Goal Setting and more.
  • Refund Policy: Its generous refund policy of 30 days means if you change your mind in the first month, you’ll get a full refund
  • Wide Selection: With more than 213K+ courses on 13 categories and dozens of sub categories, Udemy is the biggest online learning platform on the market.

Udemy Cons

  • Non-Accredited Certificates: Udemy does offer a certificate when you successfully complete a course, but it won’t be accredited by an external partner (e.g. University or Organization).
  • Lack of Quality: The quality of some of its courses may not be to the highest standard because anyone can teach at Udemy. So, it’s important you research your teacher and the course before committing.

Try Udemy for free Read Udemy review

Coursera Pros

  • Collaborations: Coursera partners with top Universities and Organizations to create its courses and learning programs, like Stanford University and Google.
  • Free Courses: Coursera offers 7,600+ courses for free, even though it comes with some limitations e.g. no certificate, you are still learning for nothing.
  • Wide Range: The variety of courses and learning programs is more than any other online learning platform, there is something for all users.
  • Affordable: It’s learning programs and degrees are very affordable when you compare it to the cost of an on-campus degree or Masters.
  • Community: A supportive community who shares, provides support and feedback to one another.

Coursera Cons

  • Prior Knowledge: So learning programs and degrees will require learners to have prior knowledge before taking the program.
  • No Career Services: Sadly, no career services are available for learners who are looking to be supported post course or learning program.

Try Coursera for free

Read Coursera review

In the end, Coursera seems to take the crown in this comparison due to its prestigious partnerships, accreditation, and structured learning paths, making it a preferred choice for those looking to gain formal education and recognized qualifications online. However, your personal learning goals, budget, and preferences should ultimately guide your decision.

Udemy Vs Coursera: FAQ

Both Udemy and Coursera are popular platforms, but it’s worth considering what it is you want to get from your learning experience. Udemy is best if you are looking for a course on any topic that is affordable. Whilst Coursera is better if you want a course or learning that is taught and partnered with a top University or Organization.

A certificate from Udemy can demonstrate that you have successfully completed a course, be mindful its courses aren’t partnered with an external University or Organization, so it may not be recognized by a future employer. Whereas Coursera’s courses and programs are built in partnership with top Universities and Organizations like Harvard and Google, which maybe more helpful if you are looking to present a successfully completed certificate to a current or potential employer.