Udemy vs Coursera Comparison (2019) – Who’s the Winner?

Today, the concept of education has changed significantly from what it was a decade ago. We can study anything, anytime, anywhere, and get a certified degree.

Simple ideas can have a huge impact. Online learning platforms like Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare, Lynda, and Edx demonstrated that in a big way.

In the following sections, we’ll take a closer look at two of these big players: Udemy and Coursera. We’ll explore their origins, educational models, their most popular courses, and generally compare their platforms.

Udemy vs. Coursera: Overview

Udemy is an online interactive learning community. They invite professionals to share their expertise by creating online courses. This content is offered on their platform to anyone willing to learn something new or to get certified for knowing a certain skill.

Coursera is more academic in its approach, and its courses are mostly adapted from electives taught at major universities. The online platform lets learners take a virtual seat in these reputable schools, and study the material with college professors.

Udemy Vs. Coursera: Origins

Udemy was founded in 2007 by Eren Bali. He’d discovered at a very young age how hard it was to get a good education or even reach school. He wanted to change this, so he started by building a virtual classroom from his home in Turkey.

Later on, he partnered with Oktay Caglar and Gagan Biyani to expand his project. The name Udemy is short for ‘Your Academy’.

They did well but not enough to garner bank subsidization. Their business grew on a very tight budget but eventually became a huge educational and business entity.

Coursera was born inside the academic world, specifically at Stanford University. It started with an innovative idea from the computer science professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller. First, they offered one course online for a small group of students, and then they wanted to do more.

They had a dream to give the opportunity of studying at a top university to as many people as possible. The project steadily gained traction, and universities like Princeton, Michigan, and Pennsylvania soon joined the platform.

Financial institutions didn’t need much convincing and they subsidized the new idea generously. This helped Coursera in gaining momentum, and for several years they dominated the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) arena.

Other players like Udemy caught up and redefined the business model of e-learning.

This comparison point is important to know the setbacks each platform had to face, I think Udemy shows more resilience in this situation.

Udemy vs. Coursera: Mission Statement

Udemy’s stated mission is “to improve lives through learning”. They offer their courses according to that principle, a skill that can improve a person’s life. This is done either by learning a soft skill for general daily activities, or to increase professional capabilities.

Coursera’s mission is “universal access to the world’s best education”, and so far they’ve stayed true to this goal. Their content is always associated with the best universities in the world.

Udemy and Coursera have a tie here!

Udemy vs. Coursera: Who Are the Teachers

The Udemy platform depends on the engagement of expert teachers, this is clear in the layout of their homepage. This is necessary as they need an increasing number of experts who can teach a skill and a constant influx of courses.

The teachers don’t necessarily hold a Ph.D. in their specialties, they just need to know their field well, and have the ability to share their knowledge.

The teachers in Coursera are mostly college professors from renowned universities. This makes them the winner of this one!

Udemy vs. Coursera: Offered Courses

Udemy offers a huge variety of courses with about 100000 online courses currently offered. Their categories focus on mainstream occupations like design, marketing, photography, health and fitness, test prep, etc.

Their most popular courses include Python, Data Science, and web developer Bootcamp. They also have a business development package for both regular online students and corporate training.

Coursera offers more than 2700 academic courses, 250+ specializations, and 4 degrees. Their categories are arts, science, languages, programming, business studies, and humanities.

Their top-rated courses list includes Medical neuroscience, Machine learning, and Brand new brand.

Declaring a winner here is not as easy as it looks, but I would say that the huge variety of Udemy courses tips the balance.

Udemy vs. Coursera: Pricing

Udemy is true to its mission statement when it comes to money matters. The courses are mostly affordable, especially if they’re studied at a relaxed pace. They offer their courses at reduced prices around $12 most of the time, but the original prices of some courses could reach $200.

Coursera’s fees start at $50 for regular courses to over $25,000 for postgrad degrees. They offer an option to audit the courses for free, but that takes away most of the benefits of the course, like getting a certificate, doing the quizzes, and presenting a peer-reviewed project

That’s easy: Udemy wins!.

Udemy vs. Coursera: Benefits

Udemy is a laid back learning medium that lets people learn a multitude of skills at their own pace. The content is hands-on and most often comes from years of work-related situations. It’s a lot like the advice you get from the nice friendly guy at work.

The academic circles of Coursera are sometimes one step ahead of the curve. The offered courses are often on the cutting edge of the industry. Coursera’s certificates are generally recognized as good quality training, so they look good on a CV.

That’s a tie, it’s whatever suits your needs.

Udemy vs. Coursera: Shortcomings

Udemy courses are sometimes a bit below expectations as it’s hard to control the content. The popularity of the course reflects on its ranking later on.

Coursera’s University electives could be too theoretical at times. The courses lack the practical tips that come only with being in the market for a few years, and they aren’t always available, sometimes you have to wait for more than a year for a course to be re-offered.

Udemy gets my vote here.

Udemy vs. Coursera: Languages

The Udemy platform offers its material in 13 languages. This full customization is the result of the founders’ belief that it’s much easier for people to learn in their native languages.

Coursera’s content is mostly in English with subtitles from over 30 languages. Some courses are given in other languages, but that’s not the norm.

Udemy gets this one easily.

Recap: Udemy vs. Coursera

Both platforms contribute significantly to e-learning and MOOCs. What we hope for is to shed more light on the strong points of each, and how they could serve you best.

We have to say that Coursera is an enhancement to your CV and employers consider its certificate a stamp of approval for the skill you learned with it, but the large variety of Udemy courses, their prices, and the multitude of tuition languages wins.