Udemy vs LinkedIn Learning (Lynda): 9 Rounds To Find The Winner

Catherine Cooke

19 July, 2021

Udemy Vs LinkedIn Learning

Deciding on the right elearning platform isn’t always an easy decision. Especially when the platforms you are deciding between have many similarities. Udemy and LinkedIn Learning (formerly known as Lynda) are two of the top platforms out there. I hope this in-depth comparison will help you decide between Udemy or LinkedIn Learning.

If you have questions like; What are their prices? How does Udemy compare to LinkedIn Learning courses? Which one will help me grow professionally? This review will answer any questions you may have.

Udemy Vs LinkedIn Learning Summary

Udemy offers over 155,000+ courses and works on a pay-per-course basis with its individual courses ranging from ($9.99 to $199.99). Like Udemy, LinkedIn Learning has the option to pay for individual courses priced between $20 to $50 (including VAT), it also offers a monthly subscription of $39.99 a month or an annual plan of $24.99 a month. LinkedIn Learning is currently offering over 16,000 courses and focuses on Business, Technology and Creative subjects.

Round 0: Which One Is More Popular?

Let’s be honest, Popularity is not really a category that is something that should make us decide between one thing or the other. As we all know, popular services or products have their moment in history. Who remembers the blackberry mobile phone? When did that stop being so popular?

Saying that, it is a good way to assess the market and see which elearning platform is most searched among users.

Google Trends Udemy vs LinkedIn Learning

Google Trends Udemy vs LinkedIn Learning

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

Udemy was founded in 2010, is home to 40 million students and offers 155,000+ courses. Its courses are available in 65 languages, and it offers courses ranging from Business to Health & Fitness.

In 2017 LinkedIn Learning was formed when Lynda.com merged with LinkedIn. It offers over 15,000+ courses in Business, Creative and Technology subjects. Its courses are self-paced meaning that you can learn at your own rhythm.

Round 1: Ease-of-Use & Interface

Who likes a clean interface that is easy to navigate around? I know that I do, and I imagine you would also agree. Let’s check out which platform comes out top in this first round.

I think we can all agree that having a clean and well-organized interface makes it easy to navigate around the platform. Ready to find out which one is the most straightforward.

Registration

Registering at Udemy is really easy, just add your email, password and name, and that’s it. The only thing left to remember is to check and confirm your confirmation email from Udemy which you’ll receive directly or shortly after registering.

Udemy account registration process

Udemy account registration process

The registration process at LinkedIn Learning is easier, especially if you already have a LinkedIn.com account. The sign in is the same email and password. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn.com account you will click on Join now and be redirected to sign up with an email and password and click Agree & Join (see image below).

LinkedIn Learning account sign up

LinkedIn Learning account sign up

Backend & Design

Once you are registered with Udemy, you can start to get familiar with the platform, and you will soon realize it is easy to move around its clean design which make it easy to find what you are looking for. On its landing page you can view its Categories in the top-left corner and check out its subheadings for Students are viewing and Top categories (see image below).

Udemy Landing Page

Udemy Landing Page

Like Udemy, LinkedIn Learnings platform has a fresh and attractive design. I particularly like their branding and graphic illustrations (see image below). On its landing page it directs you to find particular courses which are categorized by Trending Courses, Trending Illustration Courses, Trending Spreadsheet Courses and more.

LinkedIn Learning Landing Page

LinkedIn Learning Landing Page

Winner: This is a difficult one to choose as both Udemy and LinkedIn Learning to have clean, attractive designs. Both interfaces are really well laid out making it straightforward to find what you are looking for. So for this round a point for both

So lets kick things off with Udemy and LinkedIn Learning gaining a point each 1-1.

Round 2: Udemy vs LinkedIn Learning Courses

It’s a hard one deciding on which platform has the best courses. So, lets compare in detail and find out whether Udemy or LinkedIn Learning will come out top in this round.

Course Information

With such a variety of categories and courses, it’s not always easy to find what you are looking. But some elearning platforms make it easier than others to find your desired course.

Both Udemy and LinkedIn Learning have a clear and concise course description along with what’s included in the course, but let’s look in detail below at what else they offer.

Udemy offers 155,000+ courses which are categorized by 13 topics and dozens of subcategories. Udemy has a fantastic detailed filtering system which allows you to filter by Ratings (this one I find particularly helpful), Video Duration, Topic, Subcategory, Level, Language (see image below).

Udemy course filter

Udemy course filter

Another feature that is really helpful is to read reviews from previous students who have taken the course. The standard star rating system from 0-5 makes it easy for new users to identify the popularity of the course. In addition, each course has a preview of the course (a free video introduction) which you can watch to get more familiar with the course structure and the instructor.

LinkedIn Learning offers over 16,700+ courses on Business, Technology and Creative topics. Its filter system isn’t quite as detailed as Udemy, but it does let you select Sort By, Level, Type, Time to complete and Software. This is a helpful way to find what you’re looking for.

LinkedIn Learning course filter

You are able to preview the introduction plus the first few minutes of the first chapter. This is an ideal way to get a taste and feel of the course.

Winner: It’s a hard one, but as Udemy offers more courses and has a slightly smarter filter system this one has to go to Udemy.

We have Udemy leading with 2 – 1.

Popular Udemy and LinkedIn Learning 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.

LinkedIn Learning Popular Courses:

Finance and Accounting Tips – A course for beginners and intermediate that will help you understand balance sheets, debit and credits, company operating cycles and more. It has had over 500,000 learners and over 40,000+ have liked this course. The course instructors are Jim and Kay Stice who have been exploring financial information for a combined 60 years.

Effective Listening – A course to assess your current listening skills, understand the challenges to effective listening and develop behaviours to become a better listener. It has had over 1.000,000 viewers and close to 50,000+ who have liked this course. The course instructors are Tatiana Kolovou and Branda Bailey-Hughes who are communications experts.

Introduction to Graphic Design – A course that covers the concepts and software that every designer needs to know and explain how they fit into a typical graphic design workflow. It has had over 150,000 viewers and over to 8,000 who have liked this course. The course instructor Tony Harmer has worked in the creative industry for over 30 years on a range of design, illustration, and web/screen projects.

Python Essential Training – A course that teaches you how to use Python 3 to create well-designed scripts and maintain existing projects. It has had over 400,000 viewers and close to 20,000+ who have liked this course. The course instructor Bill Weinman is a tech advocate, entrepreneur, and expert in programming languages such as Python.

Round 3: Free Courses At Udemy & LinkedIn Learning

One of the most commonly asked question is: Where can I find the best free courses?

To be honest, this really does depend on what exactly you want out of a free course. Udemy does offer a helpful filter system on its free courses, where you can select Topic, Subcategory, Level and Language (see image below).

Udemy Free Courses

Although you have access to Udemy’s free courses, it is a simplified learning experience from Udemy’s paid courses. Some of its features are limited, and you won’t receive a certificate of completion or participate in the Q&A.

Here are just some of the topics and subcategories that Udemy is currently offering free courses in;

  • WordPress (17)
  • Excel (13)
  • HTML (10)
  • Personal Productivity (10)
  • Meditation (9)
  • Goal Setting (8)
  • JavaScript (8)
  • Personal Development (8)
  • HTML5 (7)
  • Investing (6)

LinkedIn Learning doesn’t officially offer free courses, but what it does offer is a 1-month free trial. The free trial is available with the monthly and the annual membership, and it gives you full access to the 16,000+ courses.

LinkedIn Learning Pricing

LinkedIn Learning Free Trial

What makes its free trial even better is that you really do get full access, that includes certificates of completion, practice exercise files and quizzes and full access to LinkedIn Premium.

Winner: Since LinkedIn Learning’s 1-month free trial gives you full access to all its features, it means you really get a true learning experience. Plus the 1-month time frame is a real motivator to try out its courses. So, this one has to go to LinkedIn Learning.

Now the score is 2-2

Round 4: Available Languages at Udemy & LinkedIn Learning

This round shouldn’t take long, I promise.

Udemy is localized in Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Thai. But as an Udemy instructor, you are welcome to create a language in any course you like.

Udemy courses in other languages

LinkedIn Learning course videos are available in English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Simplified Chinese and Portuguese. It’s important to note here that some courses and features are not available in all the languages.

LinkedIn Learning languages

The easiest way for users to change the language content in their account is from the LinkedIn Learning homepage (see image above).

Winner: Udemy wins this one hands down.

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

Round 5: Udemy Vs LinkedIn Learning Certificates

If you are considering Udemy or LinkedIn Learning for its completion certificates, then you are considering the right type of elearning platform.

Both platforms completion certificates are not validated or a formal accreditation, they are used more as a proof of successfully completing a course.

Udemy certificate example

Udemy certificate example

The LinkedIn Learning certificate of completion will be automatically generated as soon as LinkedIn Learning detects that all videos have been completed. The certificate can be shared on your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn Learning Certificate of Completion

 

Winner: Since both Udemy and LinkedIn Learning certificates offer the same value. Both platforms deserve a point for this round

That means Udemy is still pushing ahead 4-3 to Udemy

Round 6: Course Quality & Instructors

Finding the right course isn’t the only thing that is important when deciding on an elearning platform. But having an inspiring teacher or instructor teaching top quality content can make your learning experience not only memorable but what keeps you engaged and motivated.

At Udemy its courses can be taught by anyone who has an interest and knowledge of a subject. When you click on your chosen course you can read a short article about the Instructor along with ratings and reviews from prior students. Some instructors are even happy for you to reach out and send them a message (see image below).

Udemy Instructors

Udemy Instructors

Once the instructor has created the course and content it will go through a quality review process with Udemy and feedback will be provided. All Udemy courses need to have at least 5 lectures and a minimum of 30 minutes of video content. Due to the fact that anyone can be an Udemy instructor it can mean that quality of instructors and courses are not always consistent throughout the whole platform.

To become a LinkedIn Learning instructor you will need to apply with a sample video and complete an application form. All LinkedIn Learning instructors are subject-matter experts and if you are accepted, you will work closely with LinkedIn Learning team of production, directing and editing to create high-quality course content.

LinkedIn Learning Instructor

LinkedIn Learning Instructor

Winner: Since LinkedIn Learning has a higher quality assurance to accepting their instructors, and they also work closely to produce the course content, the point has to go to them for this one.

That means the score is even with 4-4 for each.

Round 7: Is Udemy or LinkedIn Learning’s Support Better

Udemy has a decent support system, where you can ask for help, and it offers a useful FAQ section. If you do have any specific questions you can contact them directly via support@udemy.com.

Udemy support system

Udemy support system

Udemy’s support chat means you can add your name, email and leave a message and then someone will get in contact with you.

LinkedIn Learning has a similar help center for support including recommended topics like Subscription Billing and Account Center plus its suggested articles can be helpful. It also offers a chat with support where you can speak with an agent and if that agent isn’t available, you will be able to complete a form and someone will get back to you.

LinkedIn Learning Support

Winner: This is a tricky one, as both Udemy and LinkedIn Learning offer an equally helpful support system. It has to mean a point for each.

Udemy and LinkedIn Learning and still drawing 5-5. This is getting exciting.

Round 8: Which One Is Better For Businesses

It’s now become pretty popular for businesses and organizations to offer their employees the opportunity to learn and develop their professional and personal skills. Both Udemy and LinkedIn Learning offer this service.

Udemy for Business offers the Team and Enterprise plan. The team plan is ideal for small companies or growing teams (5-20 users). This plan gives you access to 5,500+ courses and costs $360 (plus applicable taxes) each user per year (minimum of 5 users required).

The Enterprise plan is perfect for larger organizations and companies (21+ users). You will have access to 5,500+ courses, custom topics, create users groups and more. You will need to contact Udemy sales for pricing and can request a free demo.

 

Udemy Business Plans

Udemy Business Plans

Like Udemy, LinkedIn Learning offers content for businesses. If it is something you are interested in for you and your team then you need to contact LinkedIn Learning sales for more information. LinkedIn Learning approach is to personalize the content library, help to drive engagement and deliver a seamless learner experience for its business employees. The pricing is customized and only once you contact sales will they be able to give you a quote.

LinkedIn Learning for Business

LinkedIn Learning for Business

Winner: Udemy has a couple of different Business plans ideal for both small and big teams, as well as its pricing being transparent.

This round will go to Udemy. So, that leaves the scores at 6-5 to Udemy.

Round 9: Udemy vs LinkedIn Learning Pricing

These two platforms have a different approach to their pricing models. Udemy’s courses are paid for individually and LinkedIn Learning has a subscription model which you can for monthly or annually and in some cases you can pay for an individual course. It is true that both approaches have their pros and cons.

I have summarized in the table below what both platforms offer with their pricing;

Udemy LinkedIn Learning
Free courses Close to 600 courses 16,000+ courses in 1 month free trial
Free trial to access all courses Not available 1 month
Pricing Model Individual courses $9.99 to $199.99 Individual courses from $20 to $50

Subscription $39.99 a month OR $24.99 a month annually

Platforms Desktop, iOS & Android Desktop, iOS & Android
Refund Policy 30-day Refund Policy No Refund Policy on subscriptions
More information Visit udemy.com Visit linkedin.com/learning/

Winner: Due to the fact that LinkedIn Learning offers the option of paying for an individual course as well as a subscription that gives you access to 16,000+ courses then the point has to go to them.

The final score leaves us with a draw of 6-6 from Udemy and LinkedIn Learning.

Bonus Round: Udemy & LinkedIn Learning Alternatives

You may have come to the end of this article and realized that neither Udemy nor LinkedIn Learning is what you are looking for. Well, no worries as I am one step ahead and have thought about some other highly reputable platforms for you to consider.

Skillshare

Skillshare is similar to LinkedIn Learning with its subscription plan. Skillshare offers a 1-month free trial on its premium paid membership. Its highly engaged community of learners make it stand out from other platforms. Many of its classes involve peer assessments which keeps its classes interactive and fun.

Skillshare an alternative to Udemy and LinkedIn Learning Skillshare an alternative to Udemy and LinkedIn Learning

Skillshare offers creative courses and is aimed at anyone who wants to develop new skills or improve existing ones. It doesn’t only offer courses for individuals, it also offers plans for businesses and teams.

Read Skillshare Review

Visit Skillshare.com

Coursera

For those students looking to get an accredited certificate, Coursera may be a good option as it partners with secondary educational institutions like Stanford, The Imperial College of London or Duke University.

Coursera is a good alternative to Udemy and LinkedIn Learning

Coursera is a good alternative to Udemy and LinkedIn Learning

You can join most Coursera courses for free, however, if you are looking to get a certificate, you will need to pay for the course (or program). There are different types of elearning programs available: individual courses (cost $29 to $100), Specializations (cost is $39 to $89 a month), Coursera yearly subscriptions ($399) and complete degrees (starting at $15,000).

Read Coursera Review

Visit Coursera.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 achieve official degrees from edX.

edX can be a good alternative to Udemy and LinkedIn Learning

edX can be a good alternative to Udemy and LinkedIn Learning

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 edX Review

Visit edx.com

Final thoughts: Udemy vs LinkedIn Learning

Hopefully, now you have a good overview of both the Udemy and LinkedIn Learning platform. And if you had any questions or doubts they have been answered. I wanted to summarize each of the platforms.

Choose Udemy if you want:

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

> Try Udemy for free

LinkedIn Learning is for you if:

  • You want courses on Business, Creative or Technology subjects
  • A 1-month free trial on 16,000+ courses
  • Offline viewing on the mobile app

> Try LinkedIn Learning for free

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

Review Updates:

09/07/21 Udemy & LinkedIn Learning Quiz

Catherine Cooke

Hey. I am Catherine and have been working as a freelancer for many years now and I believe that you are in charge of your own destiny. If learning a new skill or having a career change is something you want to do, then there is no better time than the present. If you have a question please feel free to ask me anything or leave me a comment.
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Betsy
Betsy
1 month ago

Thanks, interesting. I’d love to see a similar comparison between various language learning classes, specifically broken down into the specific languages, eg. best for French, best for Spanish, best for Russian, etc.

Charles
Charles
4 months ago

Thanks, Catherine. This was very useful! It helped me narrow down my choice to Linkedin since they only offer courses by preapproved instructors.

Bish
Bish
4 months ago

This was a very informative comparison. I would choose to learn from Experts rather than from anyone with generic training skills, hence would stick with Linkedin Learning

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