eLearning platform Udemy's most popular courses – and great alternatives – ZDNet


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Udemy offers eLearning courses from photography to IT and software development. But is it worth your time? Read our Udemy review to get some insight.
By | September 17, 2021 | Topic: Education
Udemy offers a wide range of classes on work- and business-related topics. Since 2020, Udemy has seen a 60% increase in enrollment in web development and a 58% increase in registration for data science courses. 
The site also has many courses focusing on hobbies, including cooking and photography. Data shows an astounding 402% rise in Pilates enrollment and 111% for meditation classes since 2020.
But Udemy isn’t the only place to take classes online. This review breaks down what you need to know about how Udemy compares on cost and classes.
Udemy is an online learning platform that offers self-paced, non-degree learning. It doesn’t hold accreditations like a trade school, community college, or university. However, the platform provides over 155,000 Udemy courses to millions of students worldwide.
Costs vary. Some courses are free. For paid courses, learners can purchase each class individually or sign up for a personal subscription with a 7-day free trial. 
Individual subscriptions cost $29.99 per month, giving you access to a curated collection of Udemy’s top 5,000 courses. Included are in-demand professional topics, such as:
Web development
IT certification
Data science
Web design
Digital marketing
Additionally, you’ll find personal development topics such as finance, art, and language learning. Whether you invest your time in Udemy free courses, work on a certificate, or subscribe, there’s probably a Udemy course to fit your needs.
Udemy is for adults who want to learn new skills related to their careers or personal interests.
For example, professionals will find courses to enhance their experience and keep them up to date in their industry. Businesses use Udemy’s online courses as well. A business subscription makes training available to a business’s employees.
Many of the courses can substitute for in-person training and help employees fulfill additional skills requirements.
You can learn soft skills like written communication, problem-solving, and leadership with personal development courses. Udemy also offers classes to advance your hard skills, including web design, video editing, and computer programming.
The platform divides its content into 13 umbrella categories:
Personal development
Health and fitness
Office Productivity
Finance and Accounting
Web development
IT and software
Teaching and academics
Below, you’ll find overviews and prices for some of the platform’s most popular courses. Each class in this Udemy review also comes with a certificate of completion. Udemy promotes sales events that can reduce class prices by over 80%.
The best Udemy courses typically have a 4-star rating or higher. They offer plenty of resources. And they provide a certificate of completion as an incentive to meet your goals in the self-paced course.
Course creator: Code Star Academy
Price: $109.99
Level: Beginner to advanced
Video hours: 20 on-demand
Lectures: 94
Resources: 45 downloads, 10 articles, 2 coding exercises
Rating: 4.4/5
Course creator: Aman Anand
Price: $89.99
Level:  Beginner to advanced
Video hours: 10 on-demand
Lectures: 55
Resources: Course notes
Rating: 4.6/5
Course creator: Kirill Eremenko and others
Price: $89.99
Level: Beginning to intermediate
Video hours: 44 on-demand
Lectures: 320
Resources: 38 downloads, 73 articles
Rating: 4.5/5
Course creator: 365 Careers Team
Price: $94.99
Level: Beginner to advanced
Video hours: 29 on-demand
Lectures: 476
Resources: 501 downloads, 90 articles
Rating: 4.6/5
Course creator: Kyle Pew
Price: $129.99
Level: Beginner to advanced
Video hours: 18 on-demand
Lectures: 215
Resources: 37 downloads, 1 article
Rating: 4.6/5
Course creator: Kirt Kershaw and Certified Microsoft Trainer
Price: $129.99
Level: Beginner to advanced
Video hours: 15.5 on-demand
Lectures: 158
Resources: 6 downloads, 1 article
Rating: 4.7/5 stars
Course creator: Colt Steele 
Price: $149.99
Level: All levels
Video hours: 63.5 on-demand
Lectures: 615
Resources: 122 downloads, 47 articles, 62 coding exercises
Rating: 4.7/5
Course creator: Dr. Angela Yu
Price: $119.99
Level: All levels
Video hours: 55 on-demand
Lectures: 440
Resources: 21 downloads, 80 articles, 8 coding exercises
Rating: 4.7/5
Course creator: Rob Percival and others
Price: $149.99
Level: All levels
Video hours: 22.5 on-demand
Lectures: 246
Resources: 10 downloads, 35 articles
Rating: 4.5/5
Course creator: Robin and Jesper
Price: $129.99
Level: All levels
Video hours: 84 on-demand
Lectures: 624
Resources: 83 downloads, 46 articles
Rating: 4.5 stars
If you’re researching eLearning platforms, you’ll find some focus on a specific industry, such as writing or technology. Others offer personal enrichment classes. And others, like Udemy and Coursera, provide subjects ranging from personal growth to web development.
A Udemy review wouldn’t be complete without discussing alternative eLearning platforms.
Pluralsight Skills is an eLearning platform focused on technology. These courses prepare learners for certifications with hands-on activities, practice tests, and other assessments. 
The subscription pricing structure offers options for individuals and businesses. Individuals can register for a 10-day or 200-minute free trial period.
A standard level subscription for personal use is $299 per year. Subscribers receive the core course library and paths and skill assessments. 
A premium subscription opens the entire library of core courses. It includes more in-depth courses, with exams and projects for hands-on learning. 
Additionally, there are three price levels for companies, ranging from $399-$779 per year. 
Current courses
Courses available from beginner to expert
Practice tests 
The course list can be tough to navigate
Can’t download content to consume offline
LinkedIn is a social networking platform where job seekers connect with businesses and other industry professionals. LinkedIn Learning‘s connection to the learner’s LinkedIn profile adds value. Certificates from LinkedIn Learning show up on your profile page and alert recruiters searching for specific skills.
There are over 17,000 expert-led certificate courses which deploy a combination of video tutorials, project files, and quizzes. Some include assessments along the way.
LinkedIn Learning offers subscription options to individuals and businesses. Subscriptions start at $19.99 per month for individuals. Contact LinkedIn for custom quotes for teams.
Video transcripts 
Variety of relevant courses
Audience can see your certificates
Courses aren’t consistent in testing competencies
There’s a need for more in-depth content
Individuals can’t purchase single courses
Udacity focuses on technology courses and developing in-demand skills. The project-based courses feature a curriculum designed with industry partners, including Google, AWS, IBM, and Microsoft.
Udacity offers courses in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, cloud computing, cybersecurity, programming and development, data science, and project management. The platform’s pricing structure includes individual, business, and government plans. 
Big-name industry partners
Mentors are available 24/7 to answer coding questions 
In-depth courses that get students job-ready
No clear price structure 
Courses may take longer to complete than the time given
Some courses require extensive research outside the classroom
Udemy vs Coursera: the two are more similar than the others on this list. Coursera offers a learning experience equivalent to Udemy, featuring video presentations, downloadable resources, and assessments. The instructors are typically professionals in their field. 
Like Udemy, account creation is free. A Coursera Plus subscription gives you unlimited access to over 3,000 certificate courses with hands-on projects. It costs $59 per month.
There’s also a business-level subscription that requires a custom quote.
Partners with educational institutes
Certificates approved by educational institutes
Some courses are lower-quality
Limited free courses
Some courses need closer monitoring in the forums
While Udemy’s certificates aren’t accredited, the learning is worth it if you pick classes with good ratings and put in the work. Your company could offer handpicked Udemy classes to help employees advance their skills.
Don’t underestimate the value of personal improvement classes. Learning new skills and taking on hobbies can improve your life.
There are some free classes. However, free courses don’t provide as much information. You’ll get more robust courses and certificates of completion with classes that charge a fee. The cost and certificate incentivize finishing what you start.
Although these aren’t accredited classes, the skills you learn may help you land entry-level positions. Udemy courses teach essential skills, including Excel and Microsoft Office. These eLearning classes can also help you be a life-long learner and update your skills.
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