As the post title suggests, I am going to review Udemy and provide you with an unbiased opinion about the platform and what you can expect from it. In this Udemy Review, I am going to answer any questions and clarify the unknown. In general, I’m going to cover these areas:
- Is it just another online learning platform and is it any good?
- What is Udemy all about?
- Is it worth anything?
- Are Udemy courses worth it?
- Will I be able to get the skills I want on this platform?
I am pretty sure there are a whole lot more questions to ask and to answer, but I hope I will be able to answer all the essential questions about Udemy, why is it worth it and more, stay tuned.
What is Udemy and what does it stand for
Udemy is the world’s largest learning platform, where you can find online courses on pretty much any topic. Often, these courses contain not only video material but PDFs, links and whatever moves your knowledge further. This is what you can read about the Udemy on Wikipedia:
Udemy.com is the world’s largest online learning platform. It is aimed at professional adults and students.
Udemy has more than 30 million students and 50,000 instructors teaching courses in over 60 languages. There have been over 245 million course enrollments. Students and instructors come from 190+ countries and 2/3 of students are located outside of the U.S. Udemy also has over 4,000 enterprise customers and 80% of Fortune 100 companies use Udemy for employee upskilling (Udemy for Business). Students take courses largely as a means of improving job-related skills. Some courses generate credit toward technical certification. Udemy has made a special effort to attract corporate trainers seeking to create coursework for employees of their company.
I couldn’t agree more with all that, but also, I’d like to add something to the previous quotation: Udemy is not only aiming at professional adults and students but at anyone willing to learn for whatever reason:
- Some may want to get promoted in a current job
- Someone may want to get into a new industry
- Someone is just looking to learn something new as a hobby activity
- Someone is creating something and wants to learn new skills along the way
You may also wonder what does Udemy stand for, and this is what I was wondering myself too, after a little bit of googling I came across with this term: Universal Academy, and to be fair, it would make sense to call it like this as it has got so many courses on various topics (not only technology) and in so many different languages. Although it is not an official naming, I am not surprised that some people still call it a Universal Academy.
Later in this Udemy Review, I will discuss the prices and the quality of the courses in general, based on my own and other people’s experiences. Udemy allows anyone (including you) to become an instructor and release their online courses (more about the cons and pros of this option later in the article).
Is Udemy legit and it safe to pay
It is completely legit. Even portals like Forbes has mentioned Udemy in multiple articles, like Closing The Skills Gap: How Udemy Is Helping Anyone Learn Anything or The Best Udemy Courses For Entrepreneurs or Udemy and the Empire of Skills. Millions of people all over the world are using Udemy as well as their main skills-learning platform.
Is Udemy safe to pay? Well, if Udemy wasn’t safe to pay, then there wouldn’t be millions of happy customers. If you are concerned if Udemy is safe to pay, which is a reasonable question, I can guarantee you that it is safe to pay and there shouldn’t be any doubts about that. If you are still not convinced about the safety on this platform, I guess the only way to check is to buy some courses on your own. Of course, if your computer itself isn’t safe and has been infected by viruses or something like that, it is not recommended to buy online at all.
Is Udemy accredited
It is not the right platform if you are looking for an accredited institution which would provide you with courses, which on completion would count toward college credit or even continuing education units (CEUs). Udemy is a commercial platform that enables anyone to upload and sell their courses for profit, which leads to the point where non-qualified instructors can (or not fully qualified instructors) also release courses, thus Udemy can’t be accredited.
Although you won’t earn some sort of world-wide renowned diploma for completing courses on Udemy, you will still be able to learn great skills and become a professional in many different areas, and ultimately, be recognized as a professional with solid skill baggage. To plot and plan your skill learning plan is not an easy task and if you are on your own, please make sure you pay a lot of attention to the reviews under each course. If you only enroll in the most expensive courses it doesn’t mean they will be of the best quality and the best value to you as a learner.
Are Udemy reviews fake and how to spot fake ones
Udemy is a commercial platform, which allows anyone to upload courses and sell for profit. Unfortunately, I am not able to know how much shady stuff is being done on the platform by its sellers, but I do not doubt that some sellers are trying to get as many good reviews as possible in some way. The reason for this non-fair activity could be because the best-reviewed courses are more visible and higher ranked in the search results than those without reviews (or with the bad feedback from the customers).
Some people on the Internet, who are also instructors on Udemy, recommend looking at the course information to see how many students have enrolled in the course and then if there’s over 5% of reviews from the number of students, these reviews might be suspicious.
Another thing about Udemy course reviews, which can make the reviews and the course rating not accurate, is that the Udemy kindly ask to leave a review about the whole course very early in the course. For example, if a course consists of 100 videos and then you get asked to leave a review after completing the first 5 videos, there’s no way you could already give an honest review and evaluate whether this whole course was great or not.
So how do you guys spot fake Udemy course reviews? Well, you should be looking at how thorough is the review itself. If a review says something like: ‘Very good’ or ‘Useful’ or ‘Great course’ – this is just a general review which could be written just because of laziness and time saving which is not reflecting the real value of the course.
I know that reviews are a powerful way to prove that something’s legit or worthwhile. However, I would never rely only on the reviews of the course, I would also utilize some other methods to find out whether the course is promising and of great value. This is discussed in the later section of this Udemy Review.
Course quality – are Udemy courses worth anything
I have to admit, that not every single course on Udemy is worth buying, not even close. That is also true for the most expensive courses as well, so if you are thinking that the more expensive the better – I’ll have to stop you right there. My advice would be for you to be as careful as possible when choosing the right courses for you, even if you can’t find any other course anywhere online on your specific topic. The reality is, that it is really difficult to choose the right one when you have so many options available out there and they all seem to be better one over another. The main problem here is that literally, everyone can create and upload courses onto Udemy, but not everyone is a real expert in the field.
If you guys know how to do proper research about the course and its author, and you have time enough to do so, then that’s great, just be very careful. Most of the time, reading through the description and the table of contents is just not enough. Even reviews can be (are) inaccurate. I have already discussed that earlier in this Udemy Review.
So, if you bought a Udemy course – congratulations! You have probably chosen it wisely. These pearls exist out there and they are worthy of your little investment. Why do I say ‘little’? Well, it’s because it’s a relatively small amount that you can invest in self-education. You should never stop doing so.
How to choose a Udemy course that’s right for you
I simply wouldn’t have to have a section like this if Udemy was nothing but pure gold. Unfortunately, not everything’s easy. There are some tips for you guys to have a look at when choosing a course on Udemy.
- Read reviews. Look for informative reviews of any star rating. I would ignore those which reads: ‘Good’, ‘Great’, ‘very informative’, etc. These reviews might be fake and not accurate.
- Read 1-star reviews (if any). They will usually give you an idea of what very disappointed users are saying about the course. This is where you can find out relevant information that comes from users that have very strong critical thinking (some of them, of course, are not very smart!). Reading 1-star reviews will give you a real sense of what is wrong with the course.
- Read 2-3 star reviews. Nothing is perfect, these reviews are usually the most honest.
- Do not rely only on 5-star reviews. The 5-star reviews are (can be) the most captivating, but do not reflect the reality.
- Do your research about the author. Actually, this is the most important aspect when looking for a really good course. In the ideal situation, the author will renowned and respected amongst other people who are using the same technology. Good authors are usually public speakers as well. Read and learn about them and their achievements.
Knowing how to choose great courses on Udemy leads us to the next section.
Can Udemy courses get you a job
It sounds surreal, doesn’t it? For example, how come one can become a surgeon after watching a series of courses on Udemy? Of course in cases like this, it sounds like a fantasy, or I should rather say a horrific thing to even think about. Nowadays, lots of jobs do not require you to have a degree from a university kind of institution, lots of them are looking for your experience and whether you are willing to learn and gain your knowledge further.
Now, talking about technology types of jobs, you will often find that employers require previous experience. But the good thing is that they are often seeking a junior level of professionals too. Also, people who simply want to re-qualify have really big chances to land a job they want.
So, how do you get a job after you’ve watched tens or hundreds of courses on Udemy? Well, it’s not that simple, to be fair. It’s not enough just to watch courses without getting your hands on the stuff you watch about. You’ll need to create a portfolio of projects that you will be able to show to your potential employer. From my own experience, your attitude is as important as your skills’ baggage. You should have a ‘can-do’ attitude.
Please go and grab some courses that interests you, do some projects and move further. For those who might think that Udemy seems to be all about technology, I can advise you guys, that it isn’t. You will be surprised about the course diversity!
Do Udemy courses expire
Once you bought some courses on Udemy, you will have lifetime access to them, unless Udemy decides to remove them if they are pirated or violates Udemy rules in any other way. This can happen, though not very often. I haven’t had such an experience before, but I know some people had, so just beware of that and choose courses wisely.
Although you’ll have lifetime access to the courses you bought, the content in these courses will get out-dated. Course authors do not always upgrade their courses, because they can simply release another version instead, which you will make you buy again (or not). To be honest, I can understand all authors, they deserve to get paid for what they do. It must be really hard to create or maintain existing courses as it requires lots of time and effort.
Can Udemy courses be downloaded or watched offline
You can watch courses in offline mode as we do not always have access to the Internet. This is achievable by using mobile apps. A different thing from an offline mode is to be able to download the lectures as multimedia files. Which sometimes may be useful, but far more often it would cause an unwanted illegal course distribution through P2P networks, such as torrents, so the authors wouldn’t earn anything, hence the authors keep this option disabled. Although lecture downloading is available as an option on the platform, it is not enabled by default. If you see some course that doesn’t allow downloading lectures, you can always message the author and ask to enable it, but honestly, I wouldn’t put too much hope into this.
On the other hand, we have an option to watch courses in offline mode through mobile apps. However, there are some restrictions to it:
Please note, however, that practice activities like quizzes and practice tests, etc. cannot be downloaded and completed offline.
Here you can find tutorials on how to download courses for your Android or iOS devices:
Downloading courses on iOS devices
Downloading courses on Android devices
Can Udemy course be shared
Officially, it is against the terms and conditions, so you should save your account for yourself only as you may be banned from using the platform in the future. However, it must be difficult to find out whether you’re sharing your account with other people or not. People are using many different devices these days with varying IP addresses and so on, which makes it difficult to distinguish an account sharing activity. I haven’t seen/heard of anyone banned for this. Ultimately, I would respect instructors’ work as they have dedicated so much effort and hours into creating courses for us.
Can you make money teaching on Udemy
In this age of information, millions and millions of people are knowledge-hungry and so many other people passionate about teaching. Udemy allows anyone to become an online instructor and earn a full-time income by creating and uploading courses onto the platform. You can earn way more than the full-time income that you are earning in the 9-5 kind of job. I must admit, this isn’t an easy task, so you must be very good at what you teach other people about, and also, you must be a good and engaging teacher too so your courses are full of goodness! In my humble opinion, this isn’t for everyone.
Please watch this YouTube video to get a grasp of what can you expect from being an instructor on Udemy.
Why Udemy is good
Being one of the largest online learning platforms means there are a lot of courses available to choose from. Udemy is not only good at providing a huge selection of courses, but most of them are affordable for everyone. Price usually varies from FREE to $5 to $199.
Udemy is not only about teaching technology. On Udemy, you can learn pretty much anything, just give it a try and choose a course that’s right for you. Please read some tips above before choosing a course to not give your money away for a crap course.
This whole website is not about judging which online learning platform is better than the other. All platforms discussed here in this website are worth your attention. You can’t make a bad choice when talking about self-education. The thing here is that you usually want to learn something as efficient as possible and you want to get quality information. To do that, you’ll need to use multiple online learning platforms. Udemy has got plenty of great courses, consisting of various media files, such as videos, PDFs, URLs, Word documents – whatever it takes to teach you some skill.
Why Udemy is bad
As mentioned earlier in this Udemy Review, there are lots of courses that can be uploaded by anyone who is just seeking for profits, but have no passion about teaching other people, or simply are not real professionals and with limited knowledge.
Every time I am searching for some courses on Udemy I find myself spending a fair amount of time investigating which courses are good and which ones are bad. There’s a good degree of overlap in courses because it seems it’s not controlled or could be put more effort to reduce the overlapping. Because I mainly work in, more or less, the same area, I know my favorite instructors and I try to use their courses, but oftentimes I need to search for missing courses amongst other authors. And this is where I waste a good amount of time researching these new authors to kind of gain some trust in them that they create only quality courses.
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Ultimately, I think Udemy is a great platform, just allocate some time to do some research about the authors you’re planning to buy courses from.