Udemy vs Coursera 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.

Coursera Overview

Coursera offers courses from around 200 leading universities like Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Yale, MIT, Columbia, UC Berkeley, and the University of Michigan. There are over 4000 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 Overview

Udemy is a popular worldwide platform with about 180K 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.

Coursera vs Udemy Courses

Course Subjects: Coursera

Coursera provides access to over 4000 courses, and here are the course subjects offered by Coursera

  • Business
  • Computer Science, Information Technology and Data Science
  • Math and Logic
  • Physical Science and Engineering
  • Health
  • Personal Development and Social Sciences
  • Arts and Humanities, History, Philosophy
  • Language Learning

Most courses on Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences are offered for free and the technical courses on Computer Science or Business are available for a fee.

The most popular free courses are on such subjects as Social Sciences, Health, and Business and the most popular paid ones are related to Business and Computer Science.

Course Subjects: Udemy

Udemy has a wide range of courses (over 180K) on almost every subject you might want to learn. Here are Udemy course subjects:

  • Business
  • IT and Software
  • Design
  • Marketing
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Lifestyle and Productivity
  • Personal and Career Development
  • Health
  • Teaching
  • Photography and Music

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. The company courses focus on the practical, hands-on skills of the various topics covered and offers resources for gaining various specific skills.

Course Format: Udemy

Udemy courses are self-directed and are good if you want to learn new basic skills. The company provide 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 dependable on the instructor (the courses are not moderated by Udemy itself).

Each course mainly consists of video lectures divided by topics (sections) and quizzes at the end of each section. Additionally, each course might include written content, PDFs attached or links to useful resources. Some courses have additional assignments for practicing.

Course Format: Coursera

Coursera’s course 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 very 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.


Course way of teaching is more directed and gives you better motivation while Udemy courses are completely up to your own motivation.

Udemy vs Coursera: Pricing

Udemy Price

Udemy’s pricing model is course-based. This means you pay a fixed price per course and there is no membership on this platform. 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.

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

Coursera Price

Coursera offers both free courses with some limitations, monthly-paid courses, courses where you need to pay for a certificate, and programs with a fixed one-time price.

Free courses give 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 per course or $59/month for a subscription-based plan.


Udemy is quite reasonably priced in case you want to take small courses with 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 vs Coursera: Instructors

On Udemy, anyone can build a course and upload it there. Udemy has both courses offered by professionals in their fields well as 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.

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.

Coursera vs Udemy: Pros and Cons

Udemy Pros
  • 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
  • Courses are offered in approximately 80+ languages
  • Udemy offers regular discounts on courses.
  • There is no deadline to complete the course.
Udemy Cons
  • Anyone can become an instructor, so the quality of the courses is questionable.
  • Some of the courses are very expensive.
  • Certificates are not recognized
Coursera Pros
  • 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
  • The certificate has value as it has names of universities on it, making it easy to add to your CV
Coursera Cons
  • Courses may not be available all the time.
    Full courses cannot be taken for free.
    May not be suitable for those with time constraints.

What to Choose between Coursera and Udemy?

The answer depends on what you intend to get from such online platforms.

Udemy is a good option for people who are looking for gaining a particular skill or get basic knowledge on a subject. Moreover, Udemy is good for relaxed learning (the learning pace is fully dependent on you, no deadlines) for an affordable price.

However, the quality really varies as some courses provide doubtful information, can have poor structure and poor quality of the recording. So you need to do research before purchasing a course.

On the other hand, Coursera offers courses of high quality from well-known institutions and recognized instructors. You can use it to gain in-depth knowledge or skills or even an online degree. Its courses are recognized among employees and have value on a resume or Linkedin profile. Coursera is good for those people who want structured learning with deadlines and feedback.

However, Coursera might be much more expensive than 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 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.

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