E-learning platforms like Udemy and Coursera are booming today. The demand for e-learning platforms has skyrocketed in the last couple of years, particularly after the Covid-19 outbreak. With the majority of schools and universities shifting to remote learning, both teachers and students have started using such platforms regularly.
Coursera and Udemy are two of the most renowned e-learning platforms, but the question remains: which one should you choose? Which one is better?
To help make this decision easier, I have chosen several factors to judge the two platforms on.
Udemy has a simple interface that is easy to navigate around. You can easily look for courses by clicking on the ‘Categories’ section. You can also find recommended courses by searching which is especially helpful considering the vast volume of courses Udemy has to offer.
Coursera also provides a visually appealing design. The homepage instantly captures the readers’ attention by informing them about the various partner universities and organizations the company has collaborated with. You can browse through the partners and read about the courses they offer.
Udemy contains over 32,000 courses, divided into 13 main sections. There are lots of filtering options as well; you can filter courses by level, duration, language and price, among other options. There are nearly 600 free courses available as well across all categories, but they don’t offer a certificate of completion.
Coursera, on the other hand, contains around 4000 courses across 11 categories and many subcategories. Once you pick your chosen course, the About This Course section provides lots of useful information regarding the course to help you decide if it’s the right one for you. The course content is usually free to watch and read, but users have to pay for course completion certificates.
Udemy focuses on courses that are shorter than Coursera, and you can complete them in a few hours. They are precise to the topic and taught in a more practical way. Coursera, on the other hand, offers courses on harder topics and more in-depth, and they usually last for months.
Udemy offers a large number of courses that are free of cost, and there are many with comparatively low prices. You will also find good Black Friday and January sales for Udemy courses. Offers like these bring massive user enrollments to Udemy. However, the platform does not offer any financial aid to people looking for it. All courses on Udemy have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Coursera, on the other hand, offers mixed pricing. There are individual courses and some specialization paths which make the prices vary. Coursera also offers a monthly subscription costing from $33-$59, which you can also use to access specialization courses.
Finally, Coursera offers financial aid for those who cannot afford to pay and qualify for it. With financial aid, you get access to all courses with certificates and graded quizzes and assignments. Most courses are also available as an Audit only option allowing access to course material without certification and grades.
Udemy offers courses in 65 languages, including English, Spanish, German and Portuguese. You can easily choose your preferred language through the filter option. Additionally, you can use the transcript feature if you’re watching a lesson in any language other than your native, although this feature is not supported in the mobile application.
Coursera lags behind Udemy in this regard, as it has 55 languages. However, the majority of the video lessons have an interactive transcript and this feature is mobile-friendly, unlike Udemy.
On Udemy, you’ll be able to earn a completion certificate once you have completed a course, provided it's a paid course. However, it will not be a formal, accredited certificate, so it wouldn’t hold a lot of weight with any potential employer. If you want an accredited certificate, you will need to pay a specific fee, depending on the type and length of the course you are studying.
Coursera, meanwhile, provides verified certificates that include the course name, instructor signature, logo of the partner institution, a statement by Coursera confirming the identity of the learner, and a verification URL allowing others to check the authenticity of the certificate. However, Coursera certificates not only require you to pay the full course fee, but also complete the course within 180-days. Otherwise, you have to pay the full fee again to attain the course certificate.
Any experienced instructor can create courses on Udemy, as long as he/she completes the instructor identity verification process. You can read a brief description of the instructors’ past experiences, see their ratings and reviews as well as the amount of courses they teach. You can also connect with them via social media in case of queries.
The instructors on Coursera, meanwhile, are professors from reputed universities and institutions. Each course is created in collaboration with its partnered institution to ensure maximum quality. An instructor rating is given in the course description, where you can also read his/her bio and prior experience.
The final answer to the Udemy vs Coursera debate boils down to what you are looking for in an e-learning platform. Udemy’s main strength lies in its vast course availability. With such diversity in the subject matter of the courses, the opportunities for you to learn are limitless. If you have a specific non-academic interest like gymnastics or cooking, Udemy’s courses would serve you better.
On the other hand, Coursera is the right platform for you if you have a particular academic interest like psychology, and want to learn it like it is taught at a university program. You’ll also earn an officially recognized certificate which holds great value. In the end, there is no absolute answer for which platform is better; it all depends on your own needs and requirements.
What did you think about both of the MOOC platforms? Let us know in the HackerNoon Community.