Looking for a tech course to make a career switch? Here we will review Udacity and its programs or nanodegrees, which are worth your attention if you are ready for learning online.
Price might be too high but the quality is high as well.
- High quality of the content
- Learning based on real-world projects
- Technical mentor and constant feedback
- Students community
- High price
- Support is often unhelpful
What is Udacity?
Udacity is a MOOC (massive open online courses) platform for learning tech skills. This Silicon Valley-based company offers various courses with a focus on programming, data science, and business. In a nutshell, the company has over 300 courses, free and paid.
How Udacity Works
This provider offers a list of tech programs called nanodegrees that are project-based; this means that you gain the skills by practicing on real cases from existing businesses. To see what the program includes, proceed on the course page itself and read the syllabus. Each program takes about 3-4 months of learning with about 5-7 hours per week on average.
All Udacity courses are pre-recorded and students learn on their own schedule. Each nanodegree student gets a technical mentor who gives feedback on the projects or answers questions related to the subject.
To get started, you choose the program and pay for it. You can pay on a monthly basis or upfront which is cheaper. After the payment, you got about 3-5-month access to all the course content–so you need to finish all the assignments by this time.
You can access Udacity’s courses using your laptop or mobile but via a browser only. It doesn’t have an app. The company has stopped supporting its apps since 2019.
Is Udacity accredited?
Udacity is a private online education provider and not accredited as an educational institution. However, their certification is recognized by popular companies and it also partners with tech corporations to create the courses and programs.
What is a Udacity course like?
A Udacity course typically includes a theoretical video on the topic and often there are interviews with instructors and industry experts. After the video, there are quizzes and after the lessons, there are also exercises. You can rewatch videos and retake quizzes and exercises as many times as you need.
A course on Udacity also includes one or a few projects where you need to apply your skills. Such projects can be added to your portfolio.
Who Is Udacity for?
Udacity can be a good e-learning provider for different groups of people, but it works the best for those who want to become experts in a given field, switch to a new career, or just find their first job in the field. As a fact, many of Udacity’s graduates have already landed to new jobs in big tech companies after completing one of the programs. You should be really motivated and have a clear goal when enrolling in a nanodegree.
If you just want to learn some additional skills for your current job or learn something just as a hobby, there are good more affordable alternatives like DataCamp which also don’t require so much time to put in.
The company’s pricing model is built on the monthly payment base which is $399 per month. As a result, the total cost of Udacity’s nanodegree programs is equal to $399 * the course duration ($399 * 3 months = $1197). However, Udacity offers 15% discount if you pay upfront.
So, the company has two pricing options. The first is “pay as you go” when you pay $399 per month and get monthly access; this way, you will need to pay each month to continue through your program. The second option is to pay upfront for 4 months. This will cost $1356 which includes a 15% discount.
Be aware that in case of monthly payments, you’ll be charged automatically until you cancel.
There’s no separate pricing page on Udacity, but you can see the pricing options at the bottom of each nanodegree’s page.
To illustrate Udacity’s cost, here are prices for some of the most popular programs.
|Nanodegree||Estimated duration||Upfront||Per month|
|Data Scientist||4 months||$1356||$399|
|Digital Marketing||3 months||$1017||$399|
|UX Designer||3 months||$1017||$399|
|Security Analyst||4 months||$1356||$399|
|Full Stack Web Developer||4 months||$1356||$399|
|Robotics Software Engineer||4 months||$1356||$399|
Also, Udacity offers almost 200 free courses on its website.
In a nutshell, the company has two types of courses, free and paid. Paid courses are deep ones, and they are called ‘nanodegree programs.’ Free courses are some topics covered that are parts of nanodegree programs.
Udacity has a section with unique courses that are presented only by this company. Among such are Deep Learning, Robotics Software Engineer, and Self-Driving Car Engineer programs.
Moreover, the company has devided its clients on the three main groups: Individuals, Enterprises, and Goverment. You can see this already from the main Udacity’s menu.
When you think about Udacity, nanodegree is one of the first things that come to one’s mind. Nanodegree is an online certification program that teaches in-demand skills quickly and hence, it’s a shorter and easier alternative to a traditional degree. On average, it takes about half of a year to complete such a nanodegree and get a certificate after.
Here is what Udacity Nanodegree includes:
- After you choose a program, you have to pay tuition fees.
- Then, you go through the lessons and take quizzes.
- Next, you need to complete graded projects.
- After, you get a certificate and get career services.
Udacity’s Nanodegree programs are grouped into 8 main categories (called “school” by Udacity) with a number of subcategories.
- Data Science. It covers such nanodegree programs as Data Architect, Data Product Manager, SQL, Data Analyst, Predictive Analytics for Business, Data Scientist, Data Engineer, Business Analytics.
- Cybersecurity that includes such programs as Security Analyst, Security Engineer, Enterprise Security, Ethical Hacker, etc.
- Programming and Development. It includes such programs as Security Engineer, Java Web Developer, Full-Stack Web Developer, C++ Developer, Blockchain Developer, iOS Developer, etc.
- Cloud Computing with programs like Hybrid Cloud Engineer, Cloud Developer, Cloud DevOps Engineer.
- Artificial Intelligence. This category includes programs like Machine Learning Engineer for Microsoft Azure, AI for Healthcare, Machine Learning Engineer, AI Programming with Python, Deep Learning, Data Structures and Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence for Trading, Natural Language Processing.
- Autonomous Systems. This one is quite a unique program, exclusively offered by Udacity with such nanodegrees as Self Driving Car Engineer, Robotics Software Engineer, Flying Car and Autonomous Flight Engineer, Sensor Fusion Engineer.
- Business category which includes programs like Activation and Retention Strategy, Agile Software Development, Monetization StrategyData Product Manager, SQL, Product Manager, Predictive Analytics for Business, Digital Marketing, Marketing Analytics, UX Designer.
- Product Management with nanodegrees like Product Manager, Agile Software Development and others.
Also, on the page of each nanodegree, you can find its duration, price, syllabus, the due time to enroll and prerequisites, the skills that you should have in order to get the best outcome. Moreover, you can watch a video presentation of each program, which is useful to do before making up your decision.
Udacity Data Science Review
Udacity offers Data Science school that includes a list of data-related programs like Data Scientist, Data Visualization, Programming for Data Science with Python, and a lot more. This option helps students to gain skills in running data pipelines, building models, creating and analyzing A/B test results. As the final task, you will be required to design your own open-ended Data Science project.
Overall, the program requires you to spend about 10 hrs/week for 4 months and costs $1356.
Udacity Deep Learning Review
This program is a unique feature by Udacity where a person can gain knowledge in artificial intelligence and learn to build deep neural networks. Those skills would be helpful for image recognition and generation, building models, conducting time-series prediction and more similar tasks. During the program, the PyTorch framework will be used.
The program takes 4 months to complete and costs $1356. Among the instructors are the Machine Learning Engineer who previously has worked in Google, graduates from Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley, and others.
Notice that before enrolling, you should have basic working knowledge of Python.
Udacity Machine Learning
Udacity offers AWS Machine Learning Engineer progam to gain knowledge in building trained models and testing them. To polish your skills, you will have a project where you will work with Amazon SageMaker models.
Among the instructors are Google’s former Machine Learning Engineer, Data Scientist at Nerd Wallet, the graduate from Yale and others.
The course lasts 3 months and costs $1017.
Udacity Python Review
If you are interested in programming with Python, there are several options on Udacity. The most popular is Programming for Data Science with Python. This nonodegree program is focused on using Python for data-related tasks while also covering SQL, Command Line, and Git.
For the beginners, there is a also the free course Introduction to Python Programming which takes about 5 weeks to finish. It includes five lessons with a theoretical part and quizzes. This course is included in Data Analyst, a nanodegree program.
This Data Analyst program requires you to have Python and SQL skills and lasts 4 months with approximately 10 hours per week with a student’s active participation. The price is $1356 for the course. During this program, you will learn how to work with complex datasets using Python libraries like NumPy and Pandas.
Here are some more programming courses.
Udacity Java is designed to provide a student within 4 months with the main concepts of back-end development with this language as well as the most-used Java frameworks and other tools like Spring Boot, Rest API, MySQL, MongoDB.
One of the most popular programs is C++, where you can learn all from the basics to concepts such as object-oriented programming, memory management, and concurrency. In the end, you will need to build your own application using C++.
There is also a broader program like Full Stack Web Development where you can grasp both front- and back-end development skills in 4 months.
Udacity Cybersecurity Review
This is a school by Udacity that includes 7 programs: Introduction to Cybersecurity, Security Analyst, Security Engineer, Enterprise Security, Security Architect, Ethical Hacker, and Data Privacy.
Introduction to Cybersecurity is a nanodegree program that allows diving into the foundation of Cybersecurity and get prepared for a career in this field. Its duration is 4 months and it requires about 10 hours/week of active learning. The topics covered are Defending and Securing Systems, Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Incident Response, and Governance, Risk, and Compliance. The program includes real-world projects and technical mentorship. The price is $1356.
Udacity Digital Marketing Review
If you are not feeling like programming is what you need, there are also a number of programs related to business. Among them is Marketing.
The first one starts from the basics and helps you gain skills in different digital marketing directions, from Social Media and SEO to basic Marketing Analytics.
The second program will show you how to work with marketing data and work with such tools as Excel, Tableau, Google Analytics, and Data Studio.
The duration of both programs is 3 months (with approximately 5 to 10 hours per week) and they both cost $1017.
Here are the top 10 free Udacity courses
- Intro to Algorithms (4 months / intermediate skill level)
- Intro to Artificial Intelligence (4 months / intermediate)
- Artificial Intelligence for Robotics (2 months / advanced)
- Design of Computer Programs (2 months / advanced)
- Self-Driving Fundamentals: Featuring Apollo (1 month / beginner)
- Software Testing (1 month / intermediate)
- Software Debugging (2 months / intermediate)
- Interactive 3D Graphics (2 months / intermediate)
- Applied Cryptography (2 months / advanced)
Udacity’s instructors come from a variety of professional backgrounds and many of them do not have any teaching experience. However, Udacity requires a candidate to have over 5 years of field expertise and most current instructors have a full-time job in the industry.
Each candidate needs to submit a pre-recorded lesson to evaluate for teaching skills.
Mentors are people who support students with their projects during the study process. Each student gets a technical mentor whom they can address all the technical questions related to the subject of the chosen nanodgree.
All in all, there are over 1400 mentors on Udacity and as the company claims, only 1 in 22 candidates become a Udacity mentor. To become a mentor, a candidate needs to take a technical assessment and pass projects in the nanodegree they’ve applied for.
A lot of Udacity mentors are former Udacity graduates.
Udacity is rated 4.8/5 on Trustpilot and 4.4/5 on G2 with the majority of positive or netral reviews However, you can find a higher number of negative reviews on Reddit.
Positive Udacity reviews highlight that the content is well-structured, projects and mentors are helpful. Meanwhile, the negative ones complaint about high pricing and some courses being outdated. Also, you can find different mentors on Udacity: some of them really want to improve your progress, and some are not so helpful.
Here are some of the Udacity’s reviews from their students.
“The projects are the best. They are challenging, and when completed result in a great sense of accomplishment. The quality of the lessons are also great. It’s great that the sequence of projects allow one to vreate a portfolio that could be used for interviews. But getting help is often challenging. There needs to be oversight of the mento comments. “
“I liked the way Udacity gave me insightful feedback on the assessments which I submitted. The effort the reviewers put into it was more than detailed and I had the chance to go beyond the expectations.”
“Great contents, slow progress. So you need to pay for extra months (i.e., after your bundle comes the monthly renewal). Also please note, monthly renewal is set as automated. So remember to cancel before.
Some glitches (outdated exercise results) slowed my progress. You need mentors’ help to get going. Some mentors are good, others give you vague answers (it looks like they want to gain time).
If your level of programming is good already, I recommend a Nanodegree with them. If you need to learn you’d be better off to learn from other platforms and get back there just to claim your Nanodegree title.”
[Intro to Machine Learning with PyTorch Nanodegree] “The program is good, although becoming outdated with time. The programming environment with PyTorch is outdated by 3-4 years now, and it’d be nice to update it.”
“Paid $800+ for the Product Manager course. It was so underwhelming that I couldn’t bring myself to finish it even after sinking that amount of money. Given the price of the course and the access to tutors, I would have thought this would be customizable but no.”Review about Product Manager Nanodegree
“The Nanodegree program has being amazing! It has being so detailed and interesting. I have taken so many online courses on Digital Marketing but none compares to Udacity’s. I love the self paced classrooms, connect sessions and the real life world projects. More than ever, I am job ready and looking forward to working in the digital field.”Review about Digital Marketing Nanodegree
“The course was both intriguing and fun. As an experienced product manager, I found it straightforward, and it opened a world of possibilities with regards to ML and AI.”Review about AI Product Manager Nanodegree
“Advanced Data Analysis Nanodegree program is the Best Nanodegree program so far.”
[Learn SQL Nanodegree] Really it’s very important program. Before one month, I didn’t know anything about SQL but for now I can say that I have some experience in SQL queries and subquery and also for SQL Aggregation functions.”Review about Learn SQL Nanodegree
“I hope Udacity puts in place an admission process such as verifying student’s skills with a test to ensure they are capable of finishing the degree. The prerequisites listed for each degree may not be enough as some degrees such as Computer Vision Nanodegree is much more challenging than any other degrees.”
“The interface of the platform is very user friendly, you can easily access all your courses and navigate through the material. Its easy to understand and clean.”
“Udacity’s content is outdated. I attended the Android basic nanodegree. However, I needed to drop out as I found out that their content is 5 years old. Currently, I am taking the Java course.”
Now, it’s time to talk about the alternatives and compare Udacity with companies that offer similar services.
Both companies have a focus on tech courses. However, while DataCamp has only data-related subjects covered, Udacity has also programs covering marketing or business-related topics.
Udacity cost is much higher than by DataCamp but it also has many good features like technical mentorship and help with applying for a new job. Moreover, Udacity is a more intense and long-term option.
Thus, Udacity is better if you need to find a job in a tech field, while DataCamp is better if you just need to improve some skills without putting in so much time.
Check out the full DataCamp review.
The duration and learning path is something both Udacity and Coursera have in common. Also, both companies allow you to enroll in a full program as well as in a single course. Furthermore, those two providers give you a certificate after the completion (but on Coursera you need to pay an extra fee for this).
As for the differences, instructors on Udacity are highlighted as professionals from the business world, while Coursera offers a kind of university courses where instructors work at universities.
As for the price, Coursera offers both course-based and program-based pricing while there is a monthly payment on Udacity that makes the second provider more expensive.
Those providers have differently structured e-learning processes. Udemy offers bunches of courses on almost any topic from different instructors with the duration and course structure that really vary. Meanwhile, Udacity has a limited long-term program list called Nanodegrees.
One more aspect is that Udacity has a focus on practical skills while Udemy often focuses on theoretical skills. Also while Udacity offers many useful perks like mentorship and feedback from professionals (this is not what Udemy offers), it’s much more costly (the price is almost 1000 times higher). One more thing is that Udemy has a one-time payment per course while Udacity requires you to pay each month. However, both providers are built in a way that a student has self-path learning opportunities.
Check out the full Udemy review.
Udacity is quite expensive and is indeed a bit overpriced. However, its well-built curricula, mentorship, graded projects, expert interviews, and free access to paid tools can justify the price. Also, there are regular discounts on Udacity to reduce the cost.
Yes, a lot of students were able to find their first job in their chosen field after Udacity. However, it requires a lot of personal effort and time.
Udacity is a good e-learning provider. Still, there are decent alternatives like Coursera, DataCamp, Codecademy and Udemy.
Is Udacity worth it?
This question is up to every person to answer for themselves. We see no reason, except for the high price, why you should not go for it.
However, from our perspective, Udacity programs seem good if you’re thinking about gaining solid expertise in tech or business-related fields or switching to a new occupation as Udacity lessons are created to provide practical learning that allows you to be able to apply to a job. It’s also a good option if you want to gain knowledge in some less rare areas like deep learning or working on self-driving cars.
If you need some kind of “quick” knowledge or skills, it could be better to buy a course on some websites like DataCamp or Udemy.
Disclosure: Self-Starters team has not received any compensation from Udacity or anyone else associated with the company. However, this review contains affiliate links, which means that, if you click & purchase from these links then, we will receive a small commission. This commission helps us to maintain this website. But you don’t pay anything extra.