Udemy vs Coursera (2024 Updated) Which is Better?

Last Updated on June, 2024

Udemy or Coursera? Which is best? 

If you’re confused and seeking someone’s help to give you support, I’m here!

Udemy and Coursera provide a wide range of courses for students worldwide. But still, based on your preference, ONLY one will convince your mind. 

To know which one is the best, read everything in this piece!

Quick Summary

To make the best decision between Udemy and Coursera, it is essential to consider personal learning goals, the experience and teaching style of the instructor, the quality of the course content, and one’s own preferred learning style.

Udemy prides itself on providing an open platform for instructors of all backgrounds while Coursera partners with top institutions and professionals for their courses.

Udemy offers more affordable pricing for individual courses, while Coursera’s subscription and certification options can be more expensive. Both platforms offer refunds within a specific time frame.

Quick Summary Table: Udemy Vs. Coursera

FeaturesUdemyCoursera
Average Course Rating4.44.7
Number of UsersOver 64 millionOver 92 million
Number of Courses210,000+ across 13 categories9000+ across 10 categories
TeachersAnyone can create and offer coursesProfessionals from top Universities offer courses
PricingIndividual courses start from $12.99
Plus, a monthly subscription at $20.00, and annual at $190
Various course types starting from $49.99
Plus, a monthly subscription at $59, and annual at $399
Free Content500+ courses2500+ courses 
Accredited CertificatesLimited accreditation (select few)Yes
FeaturesQuality video content, downloadable resources
Diverse course content from professional to fun
Open access to high-quality university education
Community forum
Offers full degree programs
SpecializationOpen to anyone on any topicOpen access to University quality education
AdvantagesOffers a wide range of courses
Passionate instructors with notable contributions
Frequent sales and numerous free courses
Teaches professional and creative skills
Lots of free content
Accredited certificates from top organizations
Strong focus on professional skills
Instructors from famous institutions
DisadvantagesCompletion certificates aren’t universally accredited
Varies in course quality
Higher cost compared to Udemy
Pricing can also be confusing
Best for Access to diverse content (work-related to creative)Values accredited certification, seeking promotion, or career change, prefers structured academic learning
More InformationVisit Udemy’s websiteVisit Coursera’s website

About Udemy and Coursera

Udemy

udemy logo

Udemy began in 2009 to make learning more accessible and better for everyone. It allows people to create and share quality online courses.

GUESS WHAT? Currently, it has over 64 million users and offers over 210,000 courses spanning 13 categories, covering professional and personal development.

On Udemy, you can purchase individual courses separately, each with its own price. Buying a course gives you lifelong access to it and all its materials. Some courses are available for free.

Udemy also provides a subscription called the ‘Personal Plan,’ which gives unlimited access to a carefully selected collection of over 10,500 top courses as long as the subscription is active.

The best part is that it’s the largest company in education technology, and big names like Apple, Unicef, PayPal, Accenture, Samsung, and Unilever trust Udemy for employee training.

Now, I’ll talk about Coursera.

Sounds right for you? Take a peek at our full Udemy Platform review.

Coursera

a person logging in coursera through a tablet

Established in 2012, Coursera aims to change lives by offering open access to high-quality education from professionals and top institutions like Yale, Stanford, and Google.

It offers certified courses in sought-after professional fields and personal development areas like language and arts. This is an accredited institution. 

Do you know? Coursera has over 92 million registered users and collaborates with 250+ Universities and industry educators. It provides 9000+ courses and degree programs across 11 categories.

You can learn Coursera courses by purchasing individual courses and certifications, accessing free content, or subscribing monthly or annually. 

You won’t believe me; in 2020 alone, Coursera attracted as many learners as its closest competitor did throughout its entire existence. Over 100 Fortune 500 companies and 6000+ businesses, campuses, and governments rely on Coursera for learning.

I hope you got a basic idea about both popular online learning platforms. I’ll discuss their courses in the following section.

Or is this sounds right for you? Take a peek at our full Coursera Platform review.

Udemy Vs. Coursera Courses

DetailsUdemyCoursera
Number of CoursesHas a selection exceeding 210,000 courses spanning 13 categoriesOffers a collection of 9000+ courses distributed across 10 categories
CategoriesEncompassing Development, Business, Finance & Accounting, IT & Software, Office Productivity, Personal Development, Design, Photography & Video, Marketing, Lifestyle, Health & Fitness, Teaching & AcademicsInclude Arts & Humanities, Computer Science, Business, Information Technology, Health, Language Learning, Math & Logic, Physical Science, Data Science, Personal Development, Social Sciences, and Engineering
Number of Free CoursesWith over 500+ complementary courses available Provides access to more than 2500+ free courses
Additional DetailsExplore Udemy hereExplore Coursera here

Now, let me discuss in detail about the general and best courses offered by both online learning platforms one by one.

General Courses Offered By Udemy

a screenshot of a set of popular courses available on udemy

As discussed above, Udemy offers over 210,000+ online courses covering various academic subjects, divided into 13 categories. Most courses are typically presented in pre-recorded video format, ranging from one to more than 20 hours.

They are organized into manageable lessons, allowing you to learn quickly. Instructors guide you through the content relevant to your field, and you can access these courses on demand, giving you the flexibility to study wherever it suits you.

Most online courses also provide additional learning materials such as downloadable texts, articles, and other relevant resources.

Plus, you can explore Udemy’s extensive catalog in three ways: by category, recommended topics, or by using the search function

Categories are easily accessible from the tab at the top of the homepage, where you can find all the courses within a specific category. Understood?

After using Udemy, the platform will start recommending many courses based on your preferences on your homepage. If you have a particular class or subject in mind, you can ALWAYS use the search bar at the top of the homepage to find it.

Best Udemy Courses

Choosing the BEST Udemy courses isn’t easy due to the wide variety available. The correct course for you depends on your interests and preferred teaching style. 

However, I’ve shortlisted the top courses from different categories below:

General Courses Offered By Coursera

a screenshot of coursera courses catalog

Coursera offers a variety of learning paths with over 9000 courses across ten categories. These paths include Courses, Guided Projects, Specializations, Professional Certificates, and Degree Programs.

Typically, when you engage in a lesson on Coursera, you can expect: 

  • Video lectures with accompanying transcripts that you can watch at your own pace.
  • Opportunities to connect with fellow students for discussions and sharing your learning experience.
  • Quizzes, questions, projects, and assignments to assess your progress.
  • Access additional resources like PDF files, e-books, TED talks, readings, case studies, and examples.

Plus, to explore Coursera, you can sign up for FREE with your email and then navigate using:

  • Search – to discover the academic subjects and topics you’re interested in.
  • What we offer is to explore the different learning paths.
  • Explore – to browse many courses by subject.

Remember! Like Udemy, Coursera uses your browsing history to suggest programs that might suit your interests once you’ve visited the platform.

Best Coursera Courses

Listen, to find the BEST Coursera courses for you, and consider your interests and learning goals.

Here’s a shortlisted course based on different learning paths:

  • Yale University’s Introduction To Psychology: You’ll gain a comprehensive overview of studying thought and behavior scientifically. You can explore perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, persuasion, and emotions here.
  • Coursera Project Network: Chat Gpt Playground For Beginners (Guided Project): Build an AI-powered Health Assistant using the ChatGPT Playground Graphical User Interface. You can learn to guide AI text generation for contextually appropriate medical advice.
  • Macquarie University’s Excel Skills For Business (Essentials): You can learn how to use Excel confidently to solve various business problems. You can also explore advanced features and techniques highly rated in our Best Excel Course review.
  • Microsoft’s Cyber Security Analyst (Professional Certificate): You can acquire the skills necessary for a job in the Cybersecurity industry.
  • University of Michigan’s Social Work Practice: You can explore various roles of social workers in a range of settings, understand social work profession, and values that guide social work practice, follow the history of the field of social work from its beginnings through challenges.
  • University of Landon’s Bachelor Of Science In Computer Science (Coursera Degrees): You will learn to solve complex problems, sharpen creativity, specialize in one of seven fields, and master sought-after computing skills.

Note: Comparing Coursera and Udemy, Udemy has way more courses. Both platforms have professional courses to help you advance or switch careers. 

Coursera’s college courses are more academic and severe, while Udemy also has fun OPTIONS like learning to play an instrument, banking, or doing magic tricks.

Udemy Vs. Coursera: Quality and Instructors

When comparing Udemy and Coursera regarding teacher quality, it’s essential to recognize each platform’s distinct approaches to selecting and approving instructors.

Udemy prides itself on providing an open platform for passionate individuals to share their knowledge, irrespective of formal teaching experience.

Instructors, ranging from tenured professors to tech CEOs, create all the courses after adhering to specific guidelines, such as a minimum of 30 minutes of video content and at least five separate lectures.

a screenshot of rob percival's udemy instructor profile
a picture of victor bastos
a screenshot of jose portilla's udemy instructor profile

Everyone recommends the following instructors!

  • Victor Bastos is an internet developer who has taught over 50k students web development from scratch. 
  • Rob Percival: He is an Entrepreneur and a web developer who has trained over 120k students to code on Udemy.
  • Jose Portilla is the head of data science at Pierian Data; he teaches the top course, from Zero to Hero, in Python.

The process involves outlining learning goals, producing the course, and submitting it for review. Courses meeting Udemy’s standards and policies are then published, with a 5-star rating system determining their visibility. 

The average course rating on Udemy stands at 4.4/5, so the variability in instructor backgrounds and teaching styles can be more pronounced.

On the other hand, Coursera takes a different approach by partnering with over 250 of the world’s top Universities and Institutions, including Yale, Stanford, Google, and IBM. 

a screenshot of the schools and partners of coursera

Courses on Coursera are typically taught by top trainers, Nobel prize winners, bestselling authors, academics from prestigious Universities, C-suite executives, and practicing experts in their fields. 

The average course rating on Coursera is currently 4.7/5. This alignment with globally recognized institutions suggests a more consistent and potentially higher teaching quality than Udemy.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t imply there aren’t exceptional instructors on Udemy, but rather, the variability in quality may be more pronounced on that platform. 

Udemy Vs. Coursera: Features

Udemy Features:

  • Offers a vast selection of 210,000+ courses covering both in-demand professional skills and a variety of fun and creative options.
  • Permits anyone to create and offer a course on the platform featuring high-profile instructors, including tech CEOs and award-winning artists.
  • It provides individual courses that you can purchase separately. 
  • Presents 500+ free courses.
  • Offers a subscription option (The Personal Plan) with access to 10,500+ of the most popular courses.
  • Delivers on-demand video lessons along with downloadable learning materials.

Coursera Features:

  • Collaborates with 250 prestigious partner institutions, including Yale, Harvard, Caltech, Google, and Accenture. 
  • Provides a catalog of 9,000 courses and degrees with a strong emphasis on professional skills.
  • Delivers on-demand video lessons accompanied by downloadable learning materials. 
  • Features teaching from leading academics and professionals, such as Nobel Prize winners, top authors, c-suite executives, and field leaders.
  • Offers a variety of learning pathways.
  • Allows courses to be purchased individually or through monthly/annual subscription.
  • Facilitates access to a community forum where learners can collaborate, ask questions, and share successes. 
  • Providers accredited certification upon course completion.

In short, Udemy is known for its extensive course variety, including professional and recreational topics. At the same time, Coursera focuses on professional skills with courses and degrees from renowned institutions and prominent instructors.

Both platforms offer individual course purchases, subscription options, free courses, on-demand video lessons, and downloadable learning materials. Coursera stands out with accredited certifications and a community forum for learner collaboration.

Udemy Vs. Coursera: Access to Their Free Courses

Many wonder, “Where can I find the BEST free courses?” If you ask yourself this question, you’re not alone in seeking quality education without a hefty price tag.

a screenshot of the free courses offered at udemy

Udemy, previously known for its extensive collection of free courses, made changes in early 2020. They offer just under 500 free course(s) with a more easy learning experience than their paid courses.

However, these free courses (s) need specific features like certificates of completion and Q&A sessions. 

When you visit Udemy’s homepage and click ‘Explore,’ you’ll find a section for free courses with over 7,600 options. TRUST ME. Trying a free course is a great way to test the Udemy platform, evaluate the instructor, and decide if further investment is worthwhile. 

Courser, another reputable platform, provides high-quality courses and stands out for its transparency. Their free courses, available for auditing, allow you to study without receiving a completion certificate.

a screenshot of the coursera free courses

If your main goal is gaining knowledge without formal accreditation, Coursera’s free course(s) are an excellent choice. 

With the option to ‘Audit the Course,’ Coursera ensures learners can access the best education without formal certification. Given Coursera’s collaboration with leading Universities and Companies, it earns credit for delivering high-quality, accredited content.

Udemy Vs. Coursera: Course Certificate Value 

This is important, right? (There are some key differences).

Well, when it comes to Udemy courses, while they offer professional certificates of completion for their paid courses, it’s crucial to understand that these certificates do not serve as formal accreditation evidence.

This is because Udemy itself is not an accredited institution. It’s worth noting that only a limited number of courses on Udemy are accredited by the institution associated with each course.

Certificates obtained from Udemy course(s) can be conveniently downloaded in PDF or Jpeg formats. Additionally, they offer the option to share these certificates on various social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

In contrast, Coursera takes a different approach. Coursera certificates are issued by the partner institution delivering the course. The noteworthy aspect is that Coursera’s partners are world-class Universities and Companies.

a screenshot of a coursera certificate

Therefore, certificates from Coursera carry official recognition from accredited institutions. You can earn accredited certificates here. Coursera emerges as the preferred platform.

Udemy Vs. Coursera: Which is More Popular?

TRUST ME. I’ll keep this short!

When choosing an online learning platform, it’s essential to consider factors beyond just popularity. A prime example of this is Apple. Even though this is a famous brand and popular worldwide, it will not be suitable for everyone.

In comparing the popularity of Udemy and Coursera, it’s evident that Udemy courses currently hold the lead, as indicated by Google Trends. 

Udemy, established in 2010, stands out as a widely embraced online learning community globally, having over 740 million students, support for 75 languages, and a repository of 204,000+ courses.

On the other hand, Coursera, founded in 2012 by two Stanford professors, has a different focus. It collaborates with 200+ leading Universities and Companies, emphasizing high-quality courses and learning programs.

Coursera has attracted over 107 million learners and offers 7,000+ courses, specializations, and degrees.

While popularity is worth considering, each platform’s specific features and offerings should also be weighed when choosing between Udemy and Coursera for your online learning needs. You can learn more about traditional courses on their website.

Udemy Vs. Coursera: Available Languages

Udemy supports 75 languages, allowing you to find courses in English, Portuguese, Spanish, German, and many more effortlessly. They have a handy filter system to help you discover classes based on your preferred language.

Conversely, Coursera also offers diverse languages, including English, German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Chinese, Russian, and Chinese (Traditional). 

Notably, most video lectures on Coursera come with an interactive transcript, also accessible on their mobile app. 

When exploring courses on Coursera, you conveniently filter courses based on the available languages using their user-friendly filter system after selecting your subject category.

Udemy Vs. Coursera: Which is Best for Business?

Udemy and Coursera both provide business-oriented products that cater to different needs. I’ll help you understand which is best for business. 

a screenshot of udemy business pricing plans

Keep reading!

For small teams, Udemy offers a Team Plan for up to 20 users at $360 per user per year, while Coursera provides a Tram plan for small to medium-sized companies at $399 per user per year. 

Udemy has 6,500 courses and a mobile app, whereas Coursera course(s) has 5000+, 100 skill sets, and 1,900 guided projects.

Regarding larger teams, Udemy has an Enterprise Plan for 21 more users with custom topics and the availability to host proprietary courses.

In contrast, Coursera’s Enterprise Plan for large companies includes job-based learning programs, authoring tools, an accountant manager, and user analytics.

a screenshot of coursera for business

Udemy offers a Leadership Development Program for leadership development, while Coursera has over 100 executive-level courses from top institutions, including leadership programs, live events, and AI analytics and insights.

In short, Udemy provides more offerings at a lower cost, including a Leadership Development Program, making it a slightly better choice for business users. 

Udemy Vs. Coursera: Pricing and Refund Policy

This is all about money!

When comparing Udemy and Coursera based on pricing, Udemy offers individual courses ranging from $12.99 to $199.99 for lifetime access. There are often discounts available, and over 500 courses can be taken for free.

a screenshot of the udemy personal plan subscription

Udemy also provides a subscription option called ‘Personal Plan,’ offering unlimited access to 10,500 curated courses. It comes with a seven-day free trial, which costs around $20 per month or $190 per year.

GUESS WHAT? Subscriptions can be canceled anytime, with continued access until the next payment is due.

Refunds for Udemy courses are available within 30 days, subject to eligibility criteria. However, Udemy may reject a refund under certain circumstances.

On the other hand, Coursera’s pricing structure may appear complex due to its diverse learning pathways. Coursera Plus subscription, providing unlimited access to 90% of the catalog, costs either $59 monthly or $399 annually.

Courses can be audited for FREE, but certificates are available for $49. Guided Projects start at $9.99 each, while specializations and professional certificates begin at $39 monthly.

a screenshot of the coursera plus subscription plans

Coursera also offers Master Track modules starting at $2,000 and complete online degrees starting at $9,000. Free trials are available for Coursera Plus, Specializations, and Professional Certificates, and most products have a 14-day money-back guarantee.

In short, Udemy may be the most cost-effective for individual course purchases, especially during sales, while Coursera’s subscription costs are higher.

With its various purchasing options, Coursera is suitable for those seeking a broader range of learning pathways.

Udemy Vs. Coursera: Customer Reviews

In comparing Udemy and Coursera, I analyzed customer feedback from Trustpilot, a popular review site, to provide a comprehensive perspective.

Udemy Reviews

The data, collected on 10/23/2023, reveals that Udemy has an overall Trustpilot rating of 2.2 out of 5 stars, based on 1179 user reviews. 

Udemy stands out, with 38% of users giving it a 5-star rating, compared to Coursera’s 14%. Specifically, 40% of Udemy users awarded it five stars, praising its ease of use, diverse course selection, and value for money.

A satisfied 5-star reviewer has mentioned, “I’m surprised about the low rating of Udemy. I’ve had a good experience with courses, and the prices are great too.”

I’m surprised about low rating of udemy. I’ve had pretty good experience with courses, and the prices are pretty great too.

Coursera Reviews 

Coursera has a rating of 1.8 out of 5 stars from 444 customer reviews in Trustpilot. 14% of users have given 5 stars and sadly 69% have rated 1 star showing their dissatisfaction. I’ve attached the screenshots of two random customer reviews for you. Please check them out!

  • Customer Review 01:
it is very impressive to have all this diversified resources available under your hand. if you wanna do computer science? sure. go ahead, personal development? make up? history? coding? finances? it is all in there. Pretty good. I actually had to go through a few courses at work sometime ago, i dont even remember the exact topics but the user interface was really comfortable for me.

Moving into Coursera’s 1-star reviews, which constitute nearly 70% of its feedback, common complaints include poor customer support, concerns about course quality, and difficulties with peer grading.

An unhappy customer has expressed, “I am one of many whom Coursera deceived regarding money. They advertised their service as if one could try it for free for a week.

After using the service for three days, I realized it wasn’t suitable for me. Despite canceling the service, Coursera still withdrew money from my account. They acted unprofessionally and didn’t even respond to my emails.”

  • Customer Review 02:
I am one of many who was deceived by Coursera regarding money. They advertised their service as if one could try it for free for a week. After using the service for three days, I realized it wasn’t suitable for me. Despite canceling the service, Coursera still withdrew money from my account. They act unprofessionally and didn’t even respond to my emails.

Considering the data and specific customer comments, Udemy appears to have a more positive overall reception, earning a final score of 7 compared to Coursera’s 4 in this comparison.

However, the overall winner is humorously declared Coursera, acknowledging the variance in user experiences despite the numerical scoring.

Udemy Vs. Coursera: Pros and Cons

This is one of the most important sections you shouldn’t skip. I’ve added some pros and cons of both platforms below. Check them out!

Udemy

Pros ConsBest For
Reasonably priced with frequent salesNot all courses are of equal qualityIndividuals seeking tech and computing skills
Comprehensive range of coursesCourse certificates not accreditedEnjoy diverse learning experiences
500+ free courses High achievers with busy schedules
Teaches skills for changing work landscape Business owners and managers investing in team education
Passionate instructors with high profiles Learners preferring one time course purchase

Coursera

ProsConsBest For
Various learning paths and subscriptionsMore expensive compared to UdemyStudents seeking certification from prestigious Universities
Accredited certificates from top organizationsConfusing pricing structureIndividuals interested in high-quality, open source education
Instructors from top Universities Exploring tech or computer science and data science 
Lots of free content for sampling Learners aiming for promotion, a new job, or career change
Strong focus on professional skills Busy people seeking quality learning at their convenience (best course quality)
Community forum for questions Business teams and leaders investing in ongoing professional development
81% of learners give 5 star rating  

Alternative Platforms

edx learning platform
skillshare learning platform logo
MASTERCLASS LOGO

If you’re looking for Udemy and Coursera alternatives, consider edX, a platform similar to Coursera, founded in the same year and partnering with the best institutions like Havard and Stanford.

While pricing and offerings are alike, Coursera has a more extensive course library and nearly three times the number of learners.

If you’re more inclined towards Udemy, check out Skillshare. Like Udemy, both platforms offer courses, but Skillshare focuses on creativity with a smaller selection (35,000 courses).

Udemy allows you to buy individual courses, whereas Skillshare operates on a subscription-only model, which might suit some learners better.

For a UNIQUE approach, explore MasterClass, a departure from Udemy and Coursera. Instead of academic courses, MasterClass offers online classes hosted by celebrities such as Gordon Ramsay for cooking and Margaret Atwood for writing.

MasterClass is known for its high-quality production, and it has also introduced project-led MasterClass Sessions, a 30-day course where you collaborate with fellow students and receive feedback.

The subscription-only platform provides an annual pass to access all MasterClasses, including sessions.

Other comparisons you might want to read:

Conclusion

Now it’s your part.

However, if you’re still confused, I’ve added some questions below. Answer them to find which is the BEST platform for you!

  • Are you looking for academic and work/business-related courses? (yes/no)
  • Are you expecting a more consistent teaching quality? (yes/no)
  • Want accredited certificates? (yes/no)
  • Want inexpensive courses? (yes/no)

Was my piece helpful? Great, start picking your favorite choice with this satisfaction in mind!

FAQs

It ultimately depends on your goals and preferences. Udemy certificates may not be considered reputable by some employers. On the other hand, Coursera courses are developed with prestigious universities and organizations, making them more impressive to employers. Coursera may be more advantageous.

Coursera is more expensive than Udemy, especially for courses that offer certificates, graded assignments, and assessments.

The amount of time needed for Udemy courses varies, but typically ranges from a few hours to weeks. Coursera courses have a more structured schedule, with weekly deadlines and an average commitment of 4-10 hours per week. Overall, Coursera courses last between 4-12 weeks on average.

It depends on the individual’s goals and preferences. Both Udemy and Coursera offer certificates upon course completion, but Coursera’s certificates hold more recognition as they are issued by official institutions while Udemy’s certificates are for personal satisfaction and not recognized by schools. Therefore, Coursera may be perceived as a better choice for those seeking official credentials.

Yes, you can keep and use the course materials on Udemy for as long as you want. On Coursera, you can access materials during and for a specific time after the course ends, usually 180 days. Degree programs and subscription-based courses on Coursera may have different rules for accessing materials.

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Carlos Eduardo
Author
Carlos Eduardo
Hey there, I’m Carlos Eduardo, the Founder and Author of Scorebeyond. Delving deep into 20+ years of education transformation through innovative e-learning, I’ve poured my expertise into this platform. My enduring legacy continues to drive the path towards a future empowered by knowledge!

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