Udemy vs Coursera Detailed Comparison

Udemy and Coursera seem to be the biggest players in the online learning industry. Both deserve they leadership but for potential clients, it might be hard to choose between these two companies. Thus, in this comparison let’s find out what to choose between Udemy vs Coursera.

Which is better, Coursera or Udemy?

Our verdict
Our answer is Coursera as you get access to courses created by top institutions and companies. They are created to a high standard and bring real value. Coursera is good for those people who want structured learning with deadlines and feedback. Its courses are recognized among employees and have value on a resume or Linkedin profile. Udemy is a good option for people who want to take a very affordable course but that might be of poor quality.
Bottom Line
Plenty of cheap courses
Go to Udemy
Bottom Line
Good option to have a huge choice of really affordable courses.
Udemy offers a wide variety of courses of different levels (very basic to advanced) – the list is larger than Coursera offers

Udemy provides lifetime access to the course materials you pay for

Regular sales and low price

There is no deadline to complete the course.
Anyone can become an instructor, so the quality of the courses is questionable.

Certificates have no value
Courses by top institutions and instructors
Go to Coursera
Bottom Line
Good for getting courses with recognized certificates.
The platform offers numerous high-quality courses

Courses are offered in collaboration with well-known and reputed universities and colleges

It is quite similar to online academic courses with a syllabus, instructor guidance, and deadlines

You get feedback from an instructor and peers

A lot of free courses
Confusing pricing model and some courses are much more eexpensive

Quick summary of Udemy vs Coursera

Main featuresHigh number of courses that are affordable and that anyone can uploadCourses from top institutions, lots of free content, and online degrees
Most popular subjectsProgramming (Python and web development)
Data Science
Computer Science and Data Science
Social Science
Coursesover 210,000 coursesover 7,000 courses
Categories12 categories10 categories
InstructorsAnyone can create a course and be an instructorProfessionals from recognized universities and companies 
PriceCourses from $12.99.
Monthly subscription $29.99
Many individual course types from $49.99
Monthly subscription $59 (annual is $399)
Free content500+ courses2,500+ courses
Accredited certificatesNoYes
Mobile appYesYes
Best for anyone who:Wants access to a wide variety of content (from work-related to fun and creative)
Is not seeking formal certification
Is a business owner/manager looking to upskill teams
Values accredited certification
Is looking for promotion or a career change
Prefers a more structured academic approach to learning

About Udemy and Coursera


Coursera offers courses from around 200 leading universities like Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Yale, MIT, Columbia, UC Berkeley, or the University of Michigan. There are over 7000 courses in almost 40 languages with the majority being in English and approximately 70 million users.

Coursera offers both short courses and long programs on a variety of subjects. Most content is built around such subjects as Business and Computer Science, Social Sciences, and Health.

Read more in this recent Coursera review.


Udemy is a popular worldwide platform with over 200K online courses and 50 million students. The content is available in over 60 languages. The most popular subjects are Design, Software Development, and Marketing.

Udemy courses are created by instructors from various areas of expertise but there is no moderation before becoming an instructor.

Read more about this company in our in-depth Udemy review.

Main differences between Udemy and Coursera

Let’s see what are the main differences between the two popular e-learning companies.

  • Anyone can create and offer a course on Udemy, while all Coursera courses are standardized and usually offered by an institution.
  • Udemy offers single courses only, whereas Coursera has a lot of course formats, from single courses to online degrees.
  • On Udemy, you pay for each course separately, whereas on Coursera you usually pay per month.
  • Coursera offers a lot of free courses, especially if you don’t need a certificate. All Udemy courses come at a cost, although being cheap.
  • Unlike Udemy, Coursera has deadlines and assignments to be completed by the due date.
  • All Coursera courses include quizzes after each lesson, whereas Udemy’s courses often don’t have practice included.

Coursera vs Udemy Courses

Course Subjects

Coursera provides access to over 7000 courses. The course subjects you can find on Coursera vary from Business, Computer Science and Engineering to Social Science, Personal Development, Health, Art and Language Learning. The most popular course categories are Computer Science, Business, Social Sciences, Health.

Udemy has a wide range of courses (over 200K) on almost every subject you might want to learn. Udemy covers a lot more different subjects including the same as Coursera but also Lifestyle and Productivity, Teaching, Photography and Music, and many more.

All in all, there’s Udemy a higher chance you will find the needed topic on Udemy than on Coursers. But Coursera’s courses usually are of better quality.

Course Format

Udemy courses are self-pathed and are good if you want to learn new basic skills. The company provides the user with lifetime access and the material can be accessed at any time. Some courses are very short and basic while some are really detailed–the course quality really varies and is completely dependent on the instructor (the courses are not moderated by Udemy itself).

Each course mainly consists of video lectures and an optional assignment afterward. Also, each course might include written content, PDFs attached or links to useful resources.

Coursera offers 6 types of programs (from 2-hour short courses to 2-3-year online degrees) and is quite similar to an online class that you can take at any formal college or university. The courses usually have a start and end date as well as deadlines to follow.

The courses on Coursera are well-structured. The user will have a syllabus to follow, also get guidance on the topic as well as can get feedback from instructors and peers. You need to watch videos or read the content provided and you will also have assignments that will be peer-reviewed or automatically graded after completion. Coursera also has discussion forums where you can chat with your professor or fellow students.

Udemy vs Coursera: Pricing

Udemy is quite reasonably priced in case you want to take a random courses–but there is no quality guarantee. However, if you want to learn a subject deeper and get content from leading institutions, Coursera would be quite a cost-effective choice.


Udemy’s pricing model is course-based. This means you pay a fixed price per course and there is no membership on this platform. Udemy has a fixed per-course price and it’s the same for a 2-hour course or a course that takes a few months to complete. After the payment is completed, course materials are available for you at any time and you get lifetime access to that course.

The price varies as it is set by the instructor. The price can be in the range of $20 to $200. However, Udemy has sales very often so you usually don’t need to pay a full price, ending up paying $15-25 for a course. Moreover, Udemy has a monthly subscription for unlimited learning but it’s not available for all users.

There is also a list of free classes available on Udemy.


Coursera offers both free courses with some limitations and paid ones. Free courses give you a full access to all course content but there’s no access to graded assignments, no instructor feedback as well as no certificate of completion. As for the paid courses, the cost starts from $9.99 for guided projects and can be as high as $4,500 per long-term program. The regular Coursera price is $49/month.

You can also switch to monthly payments with unlimited content access with the subscription, Coursera Plus, that costs $59 per month ($399 annually).

Udemy vs Coursera: Instructors

On Udemy, anyone can build a course and upload it there. Udemy has both courses offered by professionals in their fields and amateurs who have simply collected data from online sources and put it together in a course. This means the quality can be poor and you need to double-check the course and its instructor before purchasing it.

Coursera offers mostly courses created by professionals in their field. Coursera works closely with universities and corporations; thus, the courses are vetted and taught by some experienced instructors. This way with Coursera, you get access to experts from some of the best colleges, universities, and private companies around the world.

So, if you randomly select an instructor from Udemy and Coursera, the one from Coursera probably has credentials like a Ph.D. and relation to a recognized institution. Thus, Coursera is a better option here.

Udemy vs Coursera: Accreditation and Certificates

If the reason for opting for an online course is to get a certificate or accreditation, Coursera will be a better option than Udemy. Although Udemy has some academic offerings, they cannot give you any accreditation from an academic institution and university that Coursera can. Udemy can only give you a certificate upon completion of the course. However, such a certificate has little value.

Coursera programs are structured and have graded assignments, legitimate college or university endorsements, and provide access to instructors. Because of this, certificates provided by Coursera carry some weight when added to the CV in contrast to those from Udemy.

Alternatives to Udemy and Coursera

There are some good alternatives to Coursera and Udemy out there. Among them are edX (it offers accredited courses from many prestigious institutions such as Harvard, MIT, Australian National University, etc), FutureLearn (a lot of good free courses) and Linkedin Learning (a huge list of courses on different topics and affordable prices). If you are looking for some technology-related topics, DataCamp or Udacity is a good option.

Stacey M.
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply