Udemy 2020 Review – The reason you should check out alternatives
All of the most successful people I know are continually honing their skills, and online courses are a great way to do just that.
Udemy offers a wide variety of online courses, both for fun and for developing practical skills that can help advance your career.
And while there are some instances where Udemy is the best platform for you, there are a few reasons why another online course platform might be better.
I regularly take online courses for fun and to learn new professional skills. Coursera, Udemy, Fiverr Learn, edX, you’re calling out the names of the online course platforms I’ve used. So I think I know enough to point out the main positives and negatives of Udemy.
Before committing time or money to a course on Udemy, read through this Udemy review to make sure you know what you’re about to get into.
What is Udemy, and how is it different?
Udemy aims to be an online course platform where you can learn about just about anything.
There are over 100,000 courses on Udemy. Some focus on specialized skills, while others focus on exploring interests (even learning how to play video games).
Employers have access to Udemy’s most popular courses for their employees to encourage them to learn.
It turns out that some giants like Adidas, Pinterest, and Eventbrite have taken advantage of this as well.
To cover such a wide range of subjects, Udemy allows anyone to publish a course. This is why you won’t find classes on topics like tree care on other course platforms.
Allowing anyone to teach is both a good and a bad thing. It will enable people to share their expertise, even if they don’t have the full certification to support them. Many of the Udemy course creators are graduates or professionals who are genuinely proficient in their field.
What about bad points? Because Udemy was so open, it didn’t have many renowned faculty or university professors. They prefer teaching on more prestigious platforms like Coursera.
Second, some of the courses are pretty bad. If I want to publish a semantic approach tomorrow, I can always do it.
However, the likelihood that it will get a bad rating by anyone taking that course is very high, so you should try to stick to top-rated classes to avoid wasting your time. But Udemy’s review system also has some significant issues that we’ll be looking at shortly.
Types of courses offered on Udemy
You can browse through courses by searching for a keyword or by navigating through categories.
Each of the main categories (e.g., design, finance, photography, health and fitness, etc.) has several subcategories to choose from.
Each category page has a mix of trending and popular courses to choose from.
Most courses cost between $ 25 and $ 200 if you buy them at full price. However, you can usually buy them for a discount, maybe even for free with a discount code.
Want to get endowed on some new knowledge? The discounts on Udemy are constant, but they change based on the course you’re interested in. In the end, it depends on the course creator whether or not they want a discount.
My course experience: Behind the scenes
I have taken three courses over the past three years on Udemy, but I have just signed up for a new system to do this review, to be sure that Udemy hasn’t changed much.
I’ll show you what taking a course on Udemy looks like and point out its good and bad points.
I took a WordPress training course because I know WordPress well and feel like I can fairly judge this tutorial’s quality.
The course is taught by David Murray, a longtime web programmer on behalf of an SEO consulting and training group.
The purchase of courses is straightforward. After creating a Udemy account, you click the purchase button on the course page, and it will take you to a payment form.
You can pay with any popular credit card or PayPal, and without any hidden costs.
The course is divided into sections (i.e., lectures), which are also divided into mini videos.
These small segments are significant if you only have a few minutes to take the course here and there. It’s also mentally easier than having to handle an hour-long (or more) video all at once.
The software itself is very smooth, and the video player comes with a few cool features that allow you to:
- Change playback speed
- Fast forward or backward five seconds
- Turn on subtitles
- Record view (shown in the right panel)
Another nice feature is the “Q&A” section below the video player.
You can ask questions if you don’t understand something, and the course instructor or other participants can answer. There is a separate FAQ section for each video in the course.
This is probably a great feature that some platforms like Fiverr Learn don’t offer.
Unfortunately, it’s not always helpful. In the courses I have attended, the instructors are not very active in the FAQs. And since only people who are having difficulty understanding a video go to these categories, the other students can also help.
Key points about the course overall
After going through the lectures, there are a few things that I found outstanding in the quality of the courses:
- Good video and audio quality. It’s easy to hear and understand the instructor, and the video is of high enough quality to see everything on the screen.
- Good paced. This course is for beginners, and I feel the content reflects that well. Each subset of a feature is presented within a reasonable amount of time.
- Not very updated. This course was released in 2018. Since then, WordPress has made several significant updates. Most importantly, this course doesn’t discuss the new Gutenberg editor, which is terrifying for many beginners and should be in the system.
Do I think this course is worth the full cost of $ 200? No problem.
But at $ 12, I find it reasonable. You can find similar, free tutorials on YouTube, but they won’t be broken down into well-structured segments that can be very helpful.
Is there a money-back guarantee for courses on Udemy?
One of the best things about signing up for a course on Udemy is that every Udemy course comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Past the 30 day deadline, you will not be able to get your money back.
However, there are a few rules that are set up to ensure the system is not misused. If you download all the course content, you may not be eligible for a refund. If you regularly request a refund from courses, you may even be suspended.
In terms of refund requests, it’s pretty straightforward. When signing in to any course that you have purchased, you can choose to “request a refund” from the drop-down menu in the top right corner.
Then you need to fill in the refund request ticket, and you’re done.
Things I like about Udemy
Let’s talk a little bit about the significant advantages of Udemy.
While not a perfect platform, it has many things you’ll love.
The first is the incredible variety of courses available. No online course platform offers so many times on so many topics.
You can find excellent courses on topics from dog training to makeup, video editing.
In terms of taking interest courses, I think Udemy is the best choice.
Also, the course software itself works just fine. Smooth and intuitive course player and course navigation. I never encountered an error or could not find what I was looking for.
Finally, you can take courses at your own pace. On platforms like edX, you have to wait a while to sign up if there’s a specific course you want to take. On Udemy, there’s no rush or deadline to complete the time, and you have lifetime access to it.
Things I don’t like about Udemy.
I made it clear from the start that the platform has some problems. There are three major flaws I don’t like about Udemy.
The biggest downside is the deviation rating system.
You see a course with a rating of 4.8 out of 5, and it makes sense to think it must be a good one. Sometimes it is, but sometimes it is not.
The reason for this lies in the enormous discounts. Course creators usually discount their course by 90% + or even give it away to early sign-ups (for a new system).
That’s the problem. Because if I write a review for a product for which I paid $ 10, I would have very different expectations than when I paid $ 200.
While the reviews help filter out bad courses, I don’t always find them accurate when it comes to critically acclaimed terms.
This also leads to many differences in video and audio quality. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s terrible.
Finally, after a course has received several hundred good reviews, it will be attached to the top of its catalog. Many catalog pages are filled with courses taken many years ago, and at least partially outdated.
While the courses may have been updated, not always, they may have deserved a five-star rating in the past, but not now.
Will Udemy help you in your career?
If you are interest in taking online courses to advance your career, you should know that Udemy will not help too much.
You get a Udemy certificate after completing a course, but they don’t have too much weight for most employers in my experience.
I definitely wouldn’t want to include it on my resume in most cases. But you can develop skills from courses that allow you to do your job better, which can get you a raise or a promotion.
I wouldn’t take a course on Udemy to advance in my career, but it doesn’t hurt either, and it might help.
Udemy compared to other online course websites.
Udemy’s two biggest rivals are Coursera and edX.
In my opinion, you’d better choose edX or Coursera when you want to learn specialist skills.
But Udemy has a much broader category of courses and is the only platform of the three offering interest-based courses. If there is a specific skill or topic you are trying to learn again that cannot be found on the other two course websites, then Udemy is your best choice.
Is Udemy worth it?
Unlike other Udemy reviews, I will not paint my opinion on the platform.
I will never buy a course on Udemy at full price. When systems offer a ridiculous 90% + discount, they offer a good value in terms of the cost.
To learn about interests, I think Udemy is a great choice, but for academic or professional topics, I prefer other platforms like edX and Coursera. You might like this comparative review of Fiverr Learn vs. Udemy vs. Coursera.
However, you can always try a course on Udemy yourself and get out with a money-back guarantee if it doesn’t meet your expectations.