The Truth About Udemy: An Honest Review

The Truth About Udemy: An Honest Review

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to master a new skill or advance your career from the comfort of your own home? Online learning platforms like Udemy provide an opportunity to learn virtually anything from expert instructors around the world. However, with so many courses and teachers to choose from, how do you know which classes are worth your time and money? As an avid Udemy student over the past few years, I have experienced the highs and lows of the platform. In this honest review, I provide an objective evaluation of Udemy to help you make an informed decision about whether it’s the right online learning solution for you.

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What Exactly Is Udemy?

Udemy is an online learning platform that offers video courses on a wide range of topics. Founded in 2010, Udemy aims to provide affordable and accessible education to people around the world.

Anyone can create and sell a course on Udemy, so you’ll find both free and paid offerings ranging from highly-polished courses by industry experts to homemade videos by hobbyists. This open model means there are over 100,000 video courses to choose from in topics like programming, design, marketing, photography, and more.

While Udemy courses are largely on-demand and self-paced, some do offer live sessions and the ability to interact with instructors and other students. Udemy is a great option if you’re looking to pick up a new skill or advance in your career on your own schedule.

Quality Can Vary

The open nature of Udemy means quality can vary significantly between courses. Some key things to consider are:

  1. Instructor expertise and experience. Look for instructors with a proven track record of teaching the topic.
  2. Number of reviews and star rating. Courses with many positive reviews are a safer bet.
  3. Video quality. Highly-rated courses usually have professional editing, audio, and overall production quality.
  4. Practice exercises and resources. The best courses provide opportunities to apply what you’re learning through interactive exercises, quizzes, code samples, and downloadable materials.
  5. Community support. Look for courses with active discussion forums and instructors that respond to student questions quickly.
  6. Money-back guarantee. Most paid courses offer a full refund within 30 days if you’re not satisfied. This minimizes the risk of purchasing a course that doesn’t meet your needs.

With some diligence, you can find high-quality, valuable courses on Udemy. And with frequent discounts of up to 90% off, you can get access to great content at an affordable price. For motivated learners, Udemy is a helpful resource for developing skills and staying up-to-date with technology trends.


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The Good: Benefits of Udemy

There are several benefits to using Udemy as a course creator or learner.

First, Udemy offers a wide range of courses on almost any topic. They have over 130,000 video courses taught by expert instructors in many areas of study. Whether you want to learn a new technical skill, hobby, or soft skill, you’ll likely find a course for it on Udemy.

Second, the courses are very affordable. Udemy frequently runs sales that drop course prices to $9.99 or $11.99. Their normal course prices typically range from $20 to $200. Compared to the cost of traditional college courses, Udemy offers a budget-friendly way to learn new skills.

Third, you can learn at your own pace. Udemy courses are on-demand and self-paced. You can start, stop, rewind, and re-watch lessons as needed. There are no deadlines or time commitments required. This flexible learning model works well for people with busy or irregular schedules.

Finally, Udemy offers certification for completing courses. Once you finish a course, you receive a certificate of completion that you can share on LinkedIn and with employers. While Udemy certifications may not carry as much weight as accredited degrees, they demonstrate your ongoing commitment to learning and developing new skills.

In summary, Udemy is an affordable, flexible, and valuable e-learning platform for acquiring new knowledge and skills. The wide selection of courses, low prices, self-paced format, and certification opportunities provide many benefits to both learners and instructors. For those looking to learn without the constraints of a traditional education model, Udemy offers an appealing alternative.


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The Bad: Potential Downsides of Udemy

While Udemy offers many benefits, there are some potential downsides to be aware of before investing your time and money into their courses.

Lack of Quality Control

Udemy allows anyone to create and sell a course on their platform, regardless of their qualifications or teaching ability. This lack of quality control and vetting means there are many low-quality, poorly designed courses available. You have to rely heavily on reviews to determine a course’s value, and even then, there is a chance you may end up dissatisfied with what you purchase.

Overwhelming Choice

With over 150,000 courses on the platform, the sheer volume of choices can feel overwhelming. It may take a significant amount of time to sort through options, read reviews, and determine what courses are reputable and high-quality. This discovery process requires patience and can lead to frustration.

Lack of Interaction

While some instructors do provide opportunities for Q&A and discussion, many courses simply consist of pre-recorded videos with no live interaction. If you get stuck or have a question, you’re left to figure it out yourself or post in the community section hoping the instructor or a classmate responds. For some learning styles, this lack of interaction and accountability can make the material more difficult to grasp.

Hidden Costs

Although many courses are very affordable, some instructors charge high prices for their content. There are also frequently additional costs for workbooks, quizzes, certificates of completion, and other supplemental materials. These hidden fees can add significantly to the total cost, often not realized until after you’ve purchased the course. Be sure to factor in the full price with any extras before buying to avoid budget surprises.

In summary, while Udemy can be a valuable resource for self-education, go in with realistic expectations about the platform’s limitations and potential frustrations. With some caution and discernment, you can find high-quality, affordable courses, but you must be willing to do some digging. If you know what to look out for, Udemy can be a useful tool for lifelong learning. But as the saying goes, let the buyer beware.


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Are Udemy Courses High Quality? The Truth Revealed

Are Udemy courses high quality? This is a common question for those considering enrolling in online courses on the Udemy platform. The truth is, quality can vary significantly between courses. Udemy allows anyone to create and sell courses on their site, so instructors have different backgrounds, experience levels, and motivations.

Some instructors are experts in their field with years of experience, while others may have only surface-level knowledge. Udemy does have a review and approval process for courses, but some lower-quality courses can still slip through the cracks. Udemy ultimately aims to provide a range of courses at different price points to suit all needs.

To determine if a specific Udemy course is high quality, there are a few factors to consider:

Instructor credibility

Evaluate the instructor’s background, experience, credentials, and reviews from previous students. Instructors should have relevant professional experience and expertise in the topic.

Course ratings and reviews

Read through reviews from previous students. Look for courses with an average rating of at least 4 out of 5 stars and a high number of reviews. Pay attention to the content and specifics in the reviews.

Course updates

High-quality courses are updated regularly to provide the latest information. Look for courses that have been updated within the last 6-12 months. Outdated course content is useless.

Course materials

A high-quality course will provide useful materials to supplement the video lectures, such as downloadable resources, assignments, quizzes, coding exercises, and discussion forums. These materials allow for active learning and application of concepts.

Video quality

Evaluate the quality, pacing, and structure of the video lectures. High-quality courses have well-organized content, professional editing, clear explanations, and an engaging teaching style.

Money-back guarantee

Some Udemy courses offer a money-back guarantee, which can provide peace of mind in case you are unsatisfied with the course quality or content. However, the refund policy details can vary between courses, so check carefully.

In summary, while Udemy hosts courses of varying quality, by thoroughly vetting courses and instructors according to the factors above, you can find high-quality, valuable courses on the platform. With an abundance of courses to choose from, you can find Udemy courses to match your needs and budget.


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How Much Do Udemy Courses Cost?

Udemy courses typically range from about $20 to $200, depending on the topic, instructor, length, and depth of the course. However, Udemy also frequently runs sales and promotions where most courses are discounted to $10 to $20. Some courses may even be offered for free on occasion.

Pricing Factors

Several factors determine a course’s price on Udemy:

  • Course topic and subject matter. More specialized, in-demand subjects like programming, design, and personal development typically cost more than general interest topics.
  • Course length and number of lectures. Longer, more comprehensive courses with 20+ hours of video and 50+ lectures will likely cost more than shorter intro courses.
  • Instructor popularity and experience. Courses taught by instructors with a proven track record of high-quality, bestselling courses tend to cost more.
  • Production quality. Courses with polished editing, graphics, interactive elements, workbooks, and other resources may warrant a higher price point.
  • Discounts and promotions. Udemy runs sales and promotions very frequently, so courses often cost significantly less than the list price. The average course can be purchased for under $20.

While Udemy courses aren’t free, the investment can be well worth the money considering the quality education and skills you can gain. And with frequent discounts and a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can try courses at very little risk. Overall, Udemy offers good value for the money compared to other online course platforms. With some patience, you can find high-quality, affordable courses on just about any topic.


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Are Udemy Certificates Worth It?

Udemy offers certification for many of their courses which can provide valuable credentials, but are the certificates worth pursuing? Here are some factors to consider:


Udemy is a reputable online learning platform with over 150,000 courses and 50 million students. However, since anyone can create and sell a course on Udemy,

the quality and credibility of courses can vary. Some highly-rated, well-reviewed courses from industry experts may carry more weight, while others from lesser-known instructors may not. Do some research on the instructor and reviews to determine how much stock to put into a particular certification.


Udemy certificates are not officially accredited or standardized, so recognition will depend on the field and employer. Certificates for technical skills like programming, marketing, or business topics may be viewed positively by some companies. However, for regulated fields like healthcare, education, or finance, official certification or licensing is still typically required. Udemy certificates alone may not adequately prepare or qualify you for those roles.


Udemy certificate courses are very affordable, often less than $20. The low cost means earning a certificate is a low-risk way to gain new skills. However, some employers or clients may perceive lower-cost courses as being less valuable or authoritative. If budget is a concern, start with an inexpensive course, then consider investing in a more premium certification as your experience and needs grow.


Determine why you want the certification and how you intend to use it. If your goal is simply to learn a new skill or topic, a Udemy certificate may adequately validate your achievement. However, if your aim is career advancement or a salary increase, an official certification from an accredited organization may carry more weight with employers. Udemy certificates can be a good start, but should typically be paired with real-world experience.

In summary, Udemy certificates can be useful for building skills and confidence in a topic, but their credibility and recognition will depend significantly on the quality of the course and instructor. For regulated fields or career advancement, official certifications from accredited organizations are still preferable whenever possible. With the right expectations, Udemy certificates absolutely have the potential to be worth the investment.


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Tips for Getting the Most Out of Udemy

To maximize your experience with Udemy, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Choose High-Quality, Engaging Courses

Carefully review course descriptions, outlines, and instructor profiles to select courses that are thorough, professionally produced, and taught by experts in the field. High-quality courses that include interactive elements like discussions, quizzes, and coding exercises will provide the most value. Look for courses with many good reviews that mention how useful and interesting the content is.

Take Advantage of Discounts and Promotions

Udemy frequently offers sales and promotions that drop course prices by up to 90% or more. Buying courses during these promotions is the best way to get the most value for your money. Check the Udemy website regularly or follow them on social media to get notifications about sales.

Learn at Your Own Pace

One of the benefits of online learning is that you can go through courses at your own speed and on your own schedule. While some structure can be useful, don’t feel pressured to stick to a rigid timetable. Take your time and revisit lectures or materials as many times as needed to fully understand all concepts.

Engage with Your Instructors and Fellow Students

High-quality courses on Udemy encourage student discussions and questions. Engage with your instructors and fellow students by posting questions about topics you need clarification on, sharing your insights, and offering encouragement and feedback to others. These interactions can enhance your learning and motivation.

Apply What You Learn

The ultimate way to get the most from any Udemy course is to take what you learn and put it into action. If it’s a technical course, do the coding exercises. If it’s business-related, implement the strategies discussed. Applying the knowledge will reinforce your learning and allow you to gain valuable experience. Discuss how you applied course concepts with your instructor and peers.

Using Udemy to expand your knowledge and skills through an engaging learning experience requires effort and active participation on your part. By choosing high-quality courses and taking advantage of all resources and opportunities for interaction, you can get the maximum benefit from the platform. With an inquisitive and growth-oriented mindset, you’ll find Udemy a useful tool for lifelong learning.


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The Best Udemy Courses: My Top Picks

When evaluating Udemy courses, there are a few highly-rated options that stand out from the crowd. Based on instructor quality, usefulness of content, and student reviews, here are my top recommendations:

The Complete Digital Marketing Course by Daragh Walsh

This popular course provides a comprehensive overview of digital marketing strategies and tools. Over 12 hours of on-demand video content covers social media marketing, content creation, email marketing, analytics, and more. The instructor, Daragh Walsh, is an experienced digital marketer and educator. With over 40,000 students enrolled and a 4.5-star rating, this course offers practical skills and knowledge that can benefit both beginners and seasoned professionals.

The Complete Web Developer in 2021: Zero to Mastery by Andrei Neagoie

For those interested in learning web development, this course is a top choice. The curriculum covers HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, Node.js, MongoDB, and additional technologies. With over 50 hours of video tutorials, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of front-end and back-end web development. Andrei Neagoie, the instructor, is a software engineer and co-founder of Zero To Mastery, a platform for programming courses. The course has a 4.7-star rating and over 100,000 students.

Excel Skills for Business: Essentials by Macquarie University

This popular Excel course provides a comprehensive introduction to data analysis and visualization using Microsoft Excel. Over 6 hours of video content covers Excel formulas, pivot tables, charts, and dashboards. The course is instructed by faculty from Macquarie University, a top global university based in Australia. With a 4.6-star rating and over 200,000 students, this course can benefit individuals at any skill level looking to improve their Excel abilities for professional use.

In summary, Udemy offers some exceptional courses for skills training and professional development. By focusing on highly-rated courses with experienced instructors and useful, practical content, you can find options to advance your knowledge and career. The diversity of course topics means there are opportunities for continuous learning and expanding into new areas of interest.


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Udemy FAQs: Everything You Need to Know

Udemy is a popular online learning platform with over 130,000 video courses taught by expert instructors. If you’re interested in Udemy, you probably have some questions about how it works. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Udemy.

How much do Udemy courses cost?

Udemy courses range in price from free up to $200. Many courses are discounted or on sale for under $20. Udemy frequently runs sales and promotions with courses up to 90% off. The course price depends on the instructor, length, and topic. Some instructors offer coupon codes for their courses as well.

Are Udemy courses accredited?

No, Udemy courses are not accredited since Udemy is not an accredited education institution. However, some courses may count toward continuing education credits required for certain professional certifications or licenses. It is best to check with your organization or licensing body to see if they accept Udemy courses before enrolling.

How long do I have access to a course?

Once you purchase a Udemy course, you have lifetime access to the course materials. You can access video lectures, assignments, quizzes, and other resources at any time. Course content is regularly updated by instructors, so you will receive access to any new or updated materials as well. You can learn at your own pace and revisit course materials as needed.

Do instructors offer certificates of completion?

Some Udemy instructors offer a certificate of completion for their courses. If a course offers a certificate, it will be noted on the course page. Certificates are provided by the instructor at the end of the course to students who meet the requirements, which typically involve watching all video lectures and passing any included quizzes or assignments. Udemy does not provide official certification or accreditation.

Can I get a refund for a course?

Yes, Udemy offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for most courses. If you are unsatisfied with a course for any reason, you can request a full refund within 30 days of your purchase. Refunds are processed promptly, typically within 3 to 5 business days. To request a refund, go to your Udemy account settings and select the option to refund a course. You will receive a refund for the amount you paid for the course.


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As you can see, Udemy has its pros and cons. While the low cost and frequent sales are appealing, the variability in course and instructor quality means you need to do your research to find the gems. The key is to read reviews, check out the instructor’s background and experience, see what materials are included, and make sure the course is a good fit for your needs. If you go in with realistic expectations about what you can achieve with a $10 course, Udemy can be a useful resource for lifelong learning and skill development. However, if you’re looking for an intensive, highly-structured learning experience, you may be better served by other options. With an open mind and critical eye, Udemy has the potential to be a valuable addition to your educational toolkit. The choice is yours.


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