Udemy vs Coursera: Who Comes Out On Top?

Catherine Cooke

24 November, 2022

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 204,000+ 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.

Round 1: Which One Is More Popular?

Popularity shouldn’t be the only reason we choose one provider over the other, as sometimes popular products or services aren’t always the better choice. Who remembers Blockbuster? I remember going every Friday night with friends to rent out our favorite movie. The culture and popularity of renting out a movie is definitely now a thing of the past.

Saying that, comparing which platform is more popular than the other is a good way to assess the market and see which online learning platform users are searching for.

Google trends of Udemy vs Coursera

Google Trends Udemy vs Coursera

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 740+ million students have joined the platform, it’s available in 75 languages, and it’s home to more than 204,000+ courses. If you want to read a more comprehensive review on Udemy then just click here.

Coursera was also founded in 2012 by two Stanford professors and is partnered with 200+ Universities and Companies. It is an elearning platform that focuses on offering high-quality courses and learning programs. It has had well over 107+ million learners and currently offers 7,000+ courses, specializations and degrees. If you want to read a more detailed review on Coursera then please check it out here.

Winner: Udemy

To get things started, we have Udemy taking the lead with 1-0

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

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 275+ partners they collaborate with and the sense of global community that they have.

Coursera 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 close to 550 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 2,650+ 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 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 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 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

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

Coursera for Business

Winner: Coursera

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

Round 10: Udemy vs Coursera Pricing & Refunds

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 550 courses 2,600+ 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 for every course you complete. It costs $339 for the annual subscription, but doesn’t include degrees or Mastertrack certificates.

Winner: Coursera

That leaves our final score at 3-7.

Overall Winner: Well done 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.

MasterClass

MasterClass is the online learning platform that offers thousands of courses on categories like Food, Music, Writing and much more. Its classes are taught by VIP instructors like Anna Wintour, Chris Voss and Gordon Ramsay. MasterClass offer 3 different subscription plans for users which gives you full access to the platform.

MasterClass alternative to Udemy and Coursera

MasterClass an alternative to Udemy and Coursera

MasterClass subscription plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means if you aren’t happy with the platform, you can request a refund within the first 30 days of purchasing.

Read MasterClass Review

Visit MasterClass.com

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:

24/11/22 – Coursera for Business Updated

13/09/22 – MasterClass Alternative

05/09/22 – General Update

22/12/21 – General Update

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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Moe
Moe
9 days ago

This was very helpful. Thank you.

SlipEternal
SlipEternal
4 months ago

This was an excellent breakdown of the two! Thank you for your hard work putting this together. I have not tried Udemy, but I have taken a course via Coursera. I noticed that they set up forums for students to discuss the work. The course I took was fairly old (two or three years). The most recent forum post was from back then. It seemed not many people took advantage, and there was not an active community of people currently taking the course. Does Udemy offer anything to help put you in contact with other students taking the course? A… Read more »

Ali
Ali
6 months 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
7 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
8 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
8 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
10 months ago

This is so beautiful Catherine. Thanks for the detailed research

ISAAC EKABUA
ISAAC EKABUA
11 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
11 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
1 year ago

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

Sonali
Sonali
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year 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❤️

Edward Archie Puo
Edward Archie Puo
2 months ago

Hi Catherine, thanks, for all effort and time to bring this forth to public knowledge. I find this comparison in my interest.
I was kinda wondering as to whether, will there be guaranteed of getting job after completion of course from coursera?

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