Is Udemy Worth It? (Review 2020)

Can you imagine an image of a future where you have worldwide access 24/7 to a limitless team of personal tutors, each of them a field expert? These “experts” explain their subjects in clear, practical language; they are incredibly patient, willing to repeat lectures without complaining; and their advice is free or comes at a low cost.

That future is here – in the appearance of a new instructional platform pioneered by internet firms like Udemy.

Their hard work and other education entrepreneurs revolutionize traditional learning paradigms by replacing classroom instruction and fixed curricula with self-paced, online teaching from subject experts worldwide.

They are also “democratizing” reference of information by recognizing expertise wherever it may be found. Suffice it to say, anyone can be a master of a particular field.

What is Udemy? is a one-of-a-kind tutorial medium for computer scientists, engineers, information technology support, coders, and web developers. This platform is filled with instructors in virtually every discipline about technology. You don’t have to be a professional to use Udemy. Many of the courses are split into different sections, including absolute beginner.

Udemy is the same as a Wiki of video programming tutorials that are much greater than anything you can search on YouTube.

Not like other tutorial sites, such as Pluralsight, Udemy does not demand an active purchase to view content. A business subscription is accessible at a cost, but any content you buy is yours. Pluralsight, on the other hand, commonly charges a flat monthly rate to avail all of its material.

Udemy offers innumerable video tutorials where you come along and study new skills or develop existing ones. Some of its instructors are on both the Plural and Udemy site. These instructors are usually very excellent at explaining their topics of interest. With that said, let’s break down what you need to know about Udemy:

Udemy Background Information

Amazon changed the publishing world with its Kindle eReader and its direct publishing subsidiary (KDP). Udemy, a company based in California with $48 million in funding to date, aspires to do the same to the regular instructional industry. Udemy has made a technological medium that allows novice instructors to plan, design, and create video how-to instructions for almost all subjects.

Its goal is to “help anybody learn anything online.” Its dream of the world is one in which every people can teach and share what they know. As a producer and advocate of video how-to instruction courses, Udemy targets several different, though related, markets:

  • The instructor who creates the content.
  • The student who takes the practice.
  • Organizations that might utilize Udemy technology to make specialized courses as a branded product or for internal worker use.

Udemy may be the most prominent educational “how-to” video producer existing on the internet. Currently, it offers 20,000 publicly available video instruction courses in categories from “lifestyle” to “test preparation.” Over 1,000 new courses are added per month, with more than 10,000 instructors globally.

The rapidly growing student base, currently four million, views more than 80,000 lectures daily, accessible in ten various languages and 190 countries.

A lot of the courses are free, and the majority are priced at less than $200. However, prices range up to $999 for classes like “The $400k Crowdfunding Launch Formula” as well as “How to Trade Stock Options: Profiting in Up and Down Markets.”

While several courses provide a certificate of completion (and a very select number offer continuing education credits), since there is no independent verification of course subject matter, these barely have educational or professional value. The real worth of a Udemy course is securing the practical knowledge of a subject and implementing that wisdom to one’s work and life.

The company seeks potential course creators by sharing any tuition fees received from students, similar to Amazon’s strategy. The process is they distributed a royalty varying from 35% to 70% of the sales cost for e-books manufactured by its KDL subsidiary and sold individually on Amazon’s website.

Udemy does not necessitate specialized expertise or credentials to produce and sell a course. It depends on the marketplace to isolate the wheat from the chaff. Course makers are primarily responsible for publicizing and marketing their practices, just as self-published authors must advertise their books on Amazon if they want to have commercial success.

What Udemy Offers

Udemy offers a wide variety of technical courses. These include Web Development, back-end programming, Client-side, Server side, and strictly front-end improvement. Udemy also offers a vast assemblage of practices in IT management, and IT Support I, IT Support II, Help Desk, Networking, Database Engineering, IS Management, and many more.

It has everything you should have to become anything from a Full Stack Developer to a Network Administrator, including courses on hacking and security. That’s real; they teach you how to hack (ETHICALLY).

How Much Does It Cost?

All courses on Udemy, as of the writing of this article, will cost you $10.99. That price is perfect if the video complies with its promises. However, the subscription is over $200 a year per person and requires an upfront payment; this can be steep if you are starting.

The other downside is that if you decide to get a subscription, your access to the content will be invalid if you do not pay for it in the future. It’s beneficial to keep access to it for the latest standards and modules that the instructors add as time goes on since the material is regularly upgraded as technology evolves.

Key Features of Udemy Courses

Individual courses share several similar characteristics:

1. Wide Range of Course Offerings

Udemy offers fifteen major courses ranging from software development to music, with up to fifteen subcategories for each category. In the subcategory of “Music,” “Instruments,” there are 30 separate courses at least for piano students, a similar number for guitar players, five lessons for beginners who want to play the harmonica, and multiple studies on how to play the drums, saxophone, flute, banjo, and autoharp.

2. No Pre Qualification Necessary to Take Any Course

Students can apply to any course that might pique them. Unlike professional courses where there are prerequisite subjects, beginner students can take on Udemy courses without prior education in their chosen courses.

3. Viewable on All Internet-Connected Devices

Courses can be viewed and accessed on portable computers and desktop, as well as smartphones and tablets. Hence, you can learn wherever and whenever you prefer.

4. Free or Low-Cost Tuition

An estimated 10% of courses are offered free by Udemy, while the remainder is generally priced below $200. Though relatively rare, there are exceptions, with some courses costing up to $1,000.

5. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

If students decide that they do not wish to purchase a course for a personal reason during the first thirty days following enrollment, Udemy refunds 100% of the tuition fees.

6. Immediate Access

Students have access to the courses they have chosen instantly upon enrollment since all course materials – PDFs, financial templates, checklists, and guidelines– are electronically available and prerecorded for easier download to any electronic device.

7. Lifetime Access to the Enrolled Course

Courses, or any portion of a class, can be reviewed for reference or retaken repeatedly without additional fees. This access ensures that students have all the opportunity to master the material regardless of their interruptions or schedules.

8. Self-Paced

Every course consists of lectures’ video in lengths ranging from five minutes to fifteen minutes. Students can stop and replay all or rewind as many times as they want when watching the lessons. Generally, courses include a series of interim quizzes so that students can figure their lessons’ mastery. They could also test themselves and review the parts of the course that they found difficult or confusing.

9. Access to Prior Student Reviews and Ratings

Any course’s potential purchasers can easily read past student ratings and reviews for a hopefully unbiased opinion of its value. Also, many courses feature previews of their lessons so you can evaluate the style and quality of each instructor.

10. Instructors Have Practical, Professional Knowledge

Rather than academics, instructors are generally business people with experience in the subjects they teach. They are “been there and done that” type of people and can impart lessons from their time in the field. For the most part, studies are presented in simple English with easily understood examples and applications in virtual environments of business.

11. Certificate of Completion

Many courses grant completion certificates. It’s valuable to note that the value of a certificate may be questioned by people unfamiliar with you or even Udemy since there is no independent verification of subject mastery.

While few courses have been approved for professional continuing education credits, interested students should verify such credits’ status before purchasing a course.


For Instructors and Course Creators

The advantages of potential creators of Udemy course includes the following:

1. Aggressive Revenue Sharing of Tuition Fees

Instructors decide the retail price of each course and usually receive profit from two sources: sales to the current Udemy customer base earn 50% of the tuition fee, and sales to Udemy’s new customers created by the instructor earn 100% of the tuition fee. It could serve as another income stream for instructors.

2. Creator Pricing Control

Course creators condition the market price for the courses they have in store. For every content, Udemy recommends $10 to $30 per hour. A four-hour course would sell a range of $40 and $120 under this formula.

3. Proprietary Technology for Publishing

Udemy offers a one-stop-shop for potential instructors to plan, create, publish, and promote their course offerings. A series of videos provide step-by-step instructions to produce a practice for any subject. Udemy provides support 24/7 with a full library of informational articles and examples. All Udemy services are free to instructors.

4. Opt-In Participation in Special Udemy Marketing Promotions

Udemy runs special promotional programs intended to attract new customers from time to time. The option to join is solely the instructor’s decision.

5. Access to an Established Customer Base

All four million Udemy users are potential purchasers of all courses. Course creators must be ready to pursue an aggressive marketing strategy, however, with their contacts to ensure sales success, unlike self-published authors who must make “buzz” for their works.

6. Brand Building and Tie-Ins

Udemy is also great for marketing and advertising. Professionals can use their Udemy courses to promote other services or products, thus building their brand’s value. For instance, Angela R. Loeb, a “self-development consultant,” offers a free course titled “Your Job Search Is a Spiritual Journey.” A number of the course’s 3,471 enrollees have likely sought to engage Ms. Loeb for additional services. Every student of practice is a potential customer of the instructor.

For Students

A potential Udemy student benefits for purchasing:

1. Discounts and Low-Cost Courses

Udemy estimates that many of its courses are free, although generally priced from $29 and $99. The company seeks aggressively to build its customer base with widely distributed discount coupons and promotional periods. Students can try courses without having to pay or for 50% or less than the price listed.

2. Extensive Course Offerings Dwarf Competition

There are more than one hundred classifications and subclassifications of practices on Udemy, from web development to foreign languages to photography. Udemy’s library of courses surpasses any of its video learning competitors.

3. Instructor and Student Feedback

Generally, courses have an accompanying lecture board that enables students to post questions, comments, or problems where other students and the instructor can view and respond to them directly.

Hence, even though Udemy isn’t like a conventional classroom, students could still get the clarification and explanation they need by asking the instructor and fellow students.

4. Tie-Ins With Instructors’ External Services

Several course creators use their instructional videos to promote proprietary products like consulting services or books. In a lot of cases, enrollment in a course may entitle students to special promotions and price discounts.

5. Ability to Test-Drive

Not only do many courses give a free preview of one lesson, but if students wish to “return” courses they purchased for any reason within 30 days, they may do. This makes it easier to try out one or more courses free of risks if you’re not entirely sure they will suit you; no questions asked!


1. For Course Creators and Instructors 

In choosing Udemy as their publisher, course creators must consider the following drawbacks:

2. Competitive Instructional Video Publishers

Numerous startups, such as, SchoolKeep, Skilljar, and Fedora have entered the video how-to market. Competitors may generate dominant positions in a particular subject category, producing a disadvantage for Udemy course creators.

3. Competitive Course Offerings Inside of Udemy

Course creators are in the clutches of the “milestones” – each course’s viewing spot on the Udemy website. Udemy manages the placement and looks of each milestone through proprietary logarithms, which means your competitors may have a leg up simply due to them appearing before you.

4. Uncertain Quality of Udemy Classes

Udemy needs certain technical standards, such as a course outline with a minimum of five lectures, each under 20 minutes long, and minimum audio and video standards. In spite of this, there is a limited review of the completeness, conclusions, accuracy, or recommendations of the course creator.

As a result, course offerings vary considerably in quality. One rotten apple could spoil the barrel just as a badly designed and presented course reflects poorly on the Udemy library as a whole, potentially harming your brand.

5. Lenient Return Policies

If, for any cause, purchasers request their money back within thirty days of purchase, refunds are guaranteed. Consequently, course creators bear the risk that a student would complete and use the course within thirty days, yet still request a refund. Minimally, royalty payments for the courses given to the instructor are deferred until the guarantee period is through.

6. Dependence on Personal Marketing Efforts

With the disintermediation of traditional marketing connections, the burden of product promotion falls completely upon the shoulders of the course maker, whether publishing with Udemy or one of its competitors. While Udemy gives limited marketing assistance, the bulk of promotion depends upon the creator.

Promotional activities can be very costly, even when limited solely to social media. Course creators should be prepared to take on marketing and promotional roles for their courses.

For Students

1. Insufficient Academic Credit

Unlike accredited MOOC courses provided by universities and colleges, most of Udemy courses don’t include any certificate of proficiency that would be acknowledged by an employer or other educational establishment.

Udemy courses are generally not meant for academic credit, but the passing of practical knowledge from instructor to student. Students need to be aware that mastering a subject is up to them.

2. Variability of Production Values

Courses generally include talking heads, computer screenshots, slide show presentations, and limited pupil-to-pupil or pupil-to-lecturer interaction. Even if the information presented is basic, easily comprehended, and generally complete, the videos tend to be uninteresting, even boring, so that maintaining attentiveness over an extended period can be tricky.

In addition, the production values between separate courses can vary largely. Some courses are just plain and simple; others are technological assemblies of professional presenters, stunning design, and computer graphics.

While each course has to meet minimum audio and video standards, the quality of presentation can affect retention and attention. For instance, the heavy accent of a nonnative English speaker may rattle students in the U.S., just as a Texan’s lazy-tongued pronunciation of Español is likely to detract from a course’s worth to native Spanish speakers.

3. Lack of Course Mastery Validation

With few special cases, Udemy courses are targeted to newcomers with little or no experience in a particular field of study. Learners should recognize that completing a course might be the first step in mastering the field, not the endpoint.

4. Overlapping Course Content

The latest search for Udemy courses about “business plans” gave more than 800 entries in the English language. While 115 courses were free of charge, the remaining had fees, starting at $15 (“The Business Plan”) and going up to to $749 (“Grow Your Own Tarot Business”).

The surplus of courses covers similar materials in different degrees. Students searching for specific information or instruction might have a difficult time finding the course that fits their requirements.

5. Questionable Experience and Expertise of Some Course Creators

Expertise is usually in the eye of the beholder. Udemy’s business plan expects that every person can be an expert in some field or subject and that others wish to benefit from that knowledge. Instead of censoring or evaluating the credentials of course makers or the worth of their instruction, Udemy relies upon the open market to determine winners and losers.

This open-door, nondiscriminatory strategy makes sure that a vibrant flow of course offerings and, currently being chased by eBook publishers, has changed the publishing business. Udemy desires to do the same in the packaged video instruction space.

6. Accreditation

Most of the Udemy online training programs aren’t accredited, but you may see a few of them that possess some accreditation. These courses are accepted by smaller institutions or non-profit organizations and not by a recognized university. Normally these courses are non-career oriented.

Even though most of the Udemy certificates aren’t approved or licensed, Udemy courses hold an immense value. Let us understand how Udemy could be useful for you.

Final Word

While lifetime learning is crucial to keeping an employee’s position in the workplace, formal classes are usually unavailable, too expensive, or too theoretical to bring knowledge that actually benefits learners in their professions. Udemy is an interesting and adapting entry into the field of education suppliers. It turns the established view of the educational procedure on its head, focusing on the transfer of knowledge, instead of the attainment of a diploma.

It’s likely that, as self-paced, online instruction becomes more popular, validation of mastery will be seen through independent testing agencies in many subjects. Simultaneously, developing and implementing new and improved skills in the workplace is certain to benefit both employer and employee.

Udemy is a company with a concept whose time has come. While competitors are certain to appear, the company is likely to maintain its lead in the online video instruction industry.

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