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Udemy vs Coursera: A Detailed Comparison for E-Learners

Deciding between Udemy and Coursera for your online education needs? Our comparison breaks down each platform's offerings, from course variety to cost, ensuring you find the perfect match for your learning style.
by Chris Allmer | Nov 17 2023

Are you looking to pursue a new career path, or are you eager to master a new skill? In the world of online education, Udemy and Coursera are two big players. But how do they stack up against each other? In our article with the focus on Udemy vs. Coursera you will find A detailed comparison to help you select the best platform for both, your professional and personal growth.

What Are Udemy and Coursera?

Udemy and Coursera are two renowned online learning platforms, each with its own unique features and educational approaches. Here’s a closer look at what each platform offers.

What is Udemy?

Since 2010, Udemy has been a widely recognized MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) provider, offering a comprehensive range of courses encompassing technology, business, personal development, and other related fields. 

Udemy is a place where experts from different fields can create and sell their courses. This makes it a popular choice for people who are keen to learn new skills or improve their existing ones.

What is Coursera?

Founded by Stanford professors in 2012, Coursera collaborates with universities and organizations worldwide to offer online courses, specializations, and degrees. 

Coursera’s model blends academic rigor with practical skills, making it ideal for learners seeking comprehensive education, professional certificates, and even degrees. Today, Coursera works with over 270 top universities and companies.


Udemy vs Coursera: Comparing the Facts

When considering Udemy vs Coursera, it’s evident that each platform has its own unique strengths. Udemy has numerous courses for a lot of different interests and skill levels, and Coursera has a more academic approach with opportunities to get certificates and degrees.

Feature Coursera Udemy
Learners Over 82 million Over 64 million
Number of Courses 7,000+ 210,000+ online courses
Course Categories 11 main course categories: 

Data science, Business, Computer Science, Information Technology, Language Learning, Health, Social Sciences, Personal Development, Arts and Humanities, Physical Science and Engineering, Maths and Logic

13 main course categories: 

Development, Business, Finance & Accounting, IT & Software, Office Productivity, Personal Development, Design, Marketing, Lifestyle, Photography & Video, Health & Fitness, Music, Teaching & Academics

Languages Available Coursera is available in 12 languages: 

English, Arabic, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Ukrainian

Udemy is available in 75 languages, for example:

Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish
Learning Approach Course Certificates, Professional Certificates, MasterTrack Traditional course structure with lectures and quizzes
Mobile App Availability Desktop, iOS & Android Desktop, iOS & Android
iTunes rating 4.8/5 (114.8k ratings) 4.7/5 (75.9K Ratings)
Pricing Model Subscription model for specializations Pay-per-course with both free and paid options
Enterprise Solutions Coursera for Business, Coursera for Campus, Coursera for Government Udemy for Business
Certificate of Completion Course Certificates, Professional Certificates, MasterTrack Provides certificates of completion for many courses (not the free courses though)
Free courses 1,700+ free courses with paid certificates 600+ free courses
Free Trial Period 7-day free trial Free trial periods for individual courses
Money-Back Guarantee 14-day refund on courses & annual subscriptions 30-day money-back guarantee

As we make our way through the two big online platforms, Udemy and Coursera, it’s clear that self-improvement and skill enhancement are at the forefront of many learners’ goals. But what fuels our journey towards these goals? Motivation and inspiration.

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Exploring the Key Features: Coursera vs Udemy

Let’s look at the unique e-learning platform features that set Coursera and Udemy apart:

The Top 5 Features of Udemy

  1. Keep Your Courses Forever: On Udemy, when you buy a course, it’s like buying a book—it’s yours for life. You can come back to it whenever you need a refresher; this offers great long-term value.
  2. Create Your Own Course: Udemy empowers experts with easy-to-use tools for creating and marketing their own courses, fostering a diverse learning environment.
  3. A Course for Every Interest: Udemy offers an extensive range of courses across various subjects, from technology to hobbies, catering to all kinds of interests.
  4. Always Up-to-Date: The great thing about Udemy courses is that instructors keep their content fresh and updated. So, you’re always learning the latest and most relevant information.
  5. Chat with Your Instructors: Got a question? With features like Q&A sections and direct messaging, Udemy makes it easier for learners to connect with instructors and learn more.

Top 5 Features of Coursera

  1. Learn from the Best Universities: Coursera offers courses, specializations, and degrees in partnership with world-renowned universities like Duke, or Stanford, providing high-quality, accredited education.
  2. Real Degrees and Certificates: Not just any certificate, but ones that actually hold weight in the real world. Whether you’re aiming for a professional certificate or even a full degree, Coursera’s got your back.
  3. Courses That Feel Like College: Coursera provides structured courses with regular assignments and interactive content, ideal for a comprehensive learning experience.
  4. Financial Aid Options: If the budget’s tight, Coursera can help. They offer financial aid and scholarships for many of their courses, making learning more accessible for everyone.
  5. Learn Together: The platform encourages active learning with peer-reviewed assignments, discussion forums, and group projects, fostering a community of learners.

The Pricing of Coursera and Udemy’s: What Fits Your Budget?

It’s important to know how much online learning costs, especially if you’re trying to save money or find the best deal. Let’s explore how Coursera and Udemy compare in terms of their pricing structures. This comparison will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your financial considerations and educational aspirations.

How Much is Udemy?

Udemy has a pricing plan that works for everyone, no matter how much they want to learn or how much money they have. Whether you’re looking for a one-off course or a more comprehensive learning plan, they’ve got you covered. Let’s take a closer look at the costs:

Udemy Offering Pricing
Pay-per-course Ranges between $19.99 and $199.99 per course
Subscription (Personal Plan) Starts at $16.58 USD/month
Free Courses They’ve got both free and paid courses
Price Control for Instructors Instructors set their own prices for courses
Business Plans Starts at $360/year for team learning solutions

Here’s a bit more about what this means for you:

Pay-per-course: Prices for individual courses vary, but they generally fall between $19.99 and $199.99. It’s a great way to pick and choose what you want to learn.

Subscription Plan: If you’re a serial learner, Udemys Personal Plan might be up your alley, starting at just $16.58 a month.

Free Courses: Udemy also offers a range of free courses, which is perfect if you’re testing the waters or on a tight budget.

Instructors Set Prices: This means you’ll find a wide range of courses fitting various budgets, all set by the instructors themselves.

Business plans: If you’re interested in educating a group, Udemy’s business plans start at $360 per year, providing a comprehensive education platform for organizations.

How Much Does Coursera Cost?

Coursera has a variety of options, whether you’re just starting out or looking to get a full degree. Here’s a quick look at their pricing, so you can figure out what works best for you:

Coursera Offering Pricing
Individual Courses Many are free to access
Guided Projects Start at $9.99 each
Specializations & Professional Certificates From $39.99/month
Coursera Plus Subscription $399/year for access to many courses and certificates
Full Degrees Begin at $9,000 (more comprehensive, but hey, it’s a degree!)

And here’s a bit more detail:

Guided Projects: Starting at just $9.99, these are perfect for hands-on learning in a shorter format.

Individual Courses: Typically, they’ll set you back around $49 to $79 per month.

Professional Certificates: Starting at around $49/month, these are great for boosting your resume.

MasterTrack Certificates: If you’re ready for something more in-depth, these start at $2,000.

Degrees: For the full academic experience, degree programs start at about $9,000.

With the Coursera Plus subscription at $399/year, you get a lot of bang for your buck, especially if you’re a learning enthusiast.

Let’s talk about the certificates you can get from Coursera and Udemy, as they’re both popular choices for online learning but offer different types of certification.

Coursera Certificates:

  1. Course Certificates: When you complete a single course on Coursera, you receive a course certificate. These courses can be part of a larger specialization or stand-alone.
  2. Specialization Certificates: Specializations are a series of related courses designed to help you deepen your expertise in a subject. Once you complete all the courses within a Specialization, you get a specialization certificate.
  3. Professional Certificates: These are training programs designed by industry leaders and top universities to enhance your professional skills. Completing these programs earns you a professional certificate.
  4. MasterTrack Certificates: A step above Specializations, MasterTrack Certificates are portions of Master’s programs that can count towards a full Master’s degree if you decide to pursue one.
  5. Degrees: Coursera offers full degree programs (Bachelor’s and Master’s) in partnership with leading universities. Upon completion, you will receive an accredited university degree.

Udemy Certificates:

  1. Completion Certificates: Udemy offers certificates of completion for most of its courses. It’s important to note that these are not accredited by formal educational institutions, but can still be valuable for demonstrating your commitment to learning and skill enhancement.
  2. Informal Recognition: The certificates from Udemy are more about personal and professional development. They are a way to acknowledge that you’ve completed a course and potentially gained new skills or knowledge in a certain area.
Certifications Coursera Udemy
Course Completion Certificates    
Specialization Certificates    
Professional Certificates    
Accredited Certificates    
Degree Programs (Bachelor’s/Master’s)    
Certificates Count Toward Degree Credits    
Free Certificates    

In summary, Coursera offers a range of certificates, from single courses to full degrees, many of which carry academic weight and accreditation. 

Udemy, meanwhile, provides completion certificates that are great for personal growth and demonstrating your learning journey, though they lack formal accreditation.

The Pros and Cons: Coursera vs Udemy

Now that we’ve looked at Coursera and Udemy, it’s time to break this information down into something easier to understand. Making the right choice for your online learning journey involves looking not just at what each platform offers, but also considering their limitations. 

To help you with this crucial stage of decision-making, let’s break down the pros and cons of each platform. This summary will give you a clear snapshot of what Coursera and Udemy excel at and where they might fall short, ensuring you choose a platform that aligns perfectly with your educational goals and preferences.

The Pros of Coursera and Udemy:

Coursera Pros Udemy Pros
Accredited Certificates and Degrees Extensive Range of Courses
Structured Academic Courses Flexible Learning
Financial Aid Options Lifetime Access
Comprehensive Learning Paths Interactive Learning
Community Learning Affordable Pricing

The Cons of Coursera and Udemy:

Coursera Cons Udemy Cons
Higher Costs for Certifications and Degrees Non-Accredited Certificates
Less Variety in Non-Academic Subjects Variable Course Quality
Structured Format May Limit Flexibility Less Comprehensive in Academic Subjects

After evaluating Udemy and Coursera, remember that strong decision-making skills are key in all areas of life, including education and career growth.

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Conclusion and Our Final Recommendation

Let’s wrap this up! We’ve explored the ins and outs of both Coursera and Udemy, peeked behind the curtains, and even sifted through the pros and cons. It’s been quite the adventure, right? Now comes the moment of truth: making that final call.

If you’re looking for more traditional, structured, and academically rigorous courses, possibly even leading to a degree, Coursera is the way to go. Its partnership with top universities and the opportunity to earn accredited certificates or degrees make it ideal for professional development.

On the other hand, if you’re more interested in learning new skills at your own pace, want a wide variety of course options, or are looking for more affordable and flexible learning solutions, Udemy is an excellent choice.

In the end, our comparison article “Udemy vs Coursera” is just here to help you decide. The right choice for you depends on what you’re looking to get out of your learning journey. Whichever path you choose, rest assured that both platforms have heaps of great stuff to offer. And if you need a little more motivation before you make life-changing decisions, or you have another 15 minutes to spare, check out Blinkist’s 7-day free trial:

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