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Dec 14

Coursera vs Edx – Which Is Better?

By Jeremy Kallowitz | Course Wars

The saying goes that an old dog can’t learn new tricks, but that point of view is being challenged as online platforms for education continue to evolve.

Online learning is no longer limited to simply downloading materials, going through them, and taking tests or demonstrating proof of understanding and application.

There are now more dynamic and interactive methods being used for these platforms, with apps, audio and video, online discussion venues, ebooks, and more.

A classroom is no longer defined by a room, desk, lecturer, or even a set schedule. Students can now go online to learn at one’s own pace from reliable and exclusive institutions.

And now for the showdown - edX vs. Coursera

edX and Coursera are two preferred platforms for online learning, offering courses from recognized schools from around the world. Their certifications range from skills accreditation to diplomas to full out masters degrees.

Classes and programs run during a specific period, from a month to an entire semester, but students can check in and work at their own convenience any time during the day.

Coursera, in particular, gives a breakdown of recommended time to work on the week’s worth of assigned materials.

Coursera

Coursera designs their offerings according to course, specialization, professional certificate, master track certificate, and a degree.

A course is equivalent to a workshop class, where you pick up skills from expert instructors versus a specialization or professional certificate which offer accreditation for career-related purposes.

A master track certificate, on the other hand, offers subjects for academic credit recognized by select institutions.

EdX

edX offers similar programs, with MicroMasters Program (subjects for school credit), Professional Certificate for skills certification, and X-Series or short classes for new skills.

They also have online degree programs, and a first year college program through the Global Freshman Academy by Arizona State University. Payments to edX do more than fund their own platform, part of its proceeds help their foundation to fund free education for those in-need.

Common offerings

Both sites’ courses and course materials are accessible through mobile apps, or from one’s web browser, and have options for free online “view-ins” (as opposed to traditional sit-ins)  and paid certifications.

View-ins may access course materials and videos, though they are not be able to participate in discussions or activities.

While view-ins are allowed to follow the course to the end, no certificate or credit is given, as users are encouraged to sign up to fully maximize their course’s offerings.

There are different prices for each course however, depending on the length and certification offered at the end. edX’s classes start at US$49.00, while Coursera offers monthly subscriptions for access to the site starting from US$39.00 per month.

Courses on both platforms aren’t even limited to hard skills. Whether it’s programming language, another country’s language, math, or even arts and humanities, the course catalog for both sites are rich and offer something for  everyone.

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Dec 14

Codecademy Review – Is it worth it?

By Jeremy Kallowitz | Course Provider Reviews

Who wouldn’t want to expand their talents to include computer coding?

With a heavy reliance on computer technology, coding has become a valuable skill that prospective employers are looking for.

This has led to many online services dedicated specifically to offering coding lessons for those who want to make themselves more employable.

One of the most well-known coding education services around is Codecademy, with courses teaching a dozen major programming languages. In this Codecademy review, we’ll answer the question “is Codecademy any good?” and compare the platform to another popular coding education platform, Treehouse. In the end, we’ll decide which online tech school is the best.

What is Codecademy? 

Codecademy and Treehouse are both code learning services offered via the internet to users all over the world. They offer a variety of services, including training in HTML, CSS, Python, Java, SQL, and more depending on the type of coding the customer wishes to learn.

However, the Codecademy catalog is a bit confusing to pick through unless the customer is 100% sure of what they would like to learn. They offer lengthy descriptions of the products that require a prior knowledge of terms and jargon in order to understand what one is signing up for. Treehouse, on the other hand, offers simple descriptions that provide users what they would like to learn in easy-to-read paragraphs.

Codecademy and Treehouse have around the same number of users, about fifty thousand plus, utilizing their products, and both services boast students who work with big-name companies such as Google and IBM.

There are plenty of positive Code academy reviews out there, but to get a better idea of its quality compared with Treehouse, let’s compare their pricing, support communities, user-friendliness, and overall quality.

Pricing

As far as payment goes, the two companies offer different options. Codecademy also has a three-tier system, including Free, Pro, and Intensive.

  • The Free Plan gives users access to course videos, and not much else.
  • The Pro Plan, for $19.99 per month, adds quizzes, projects, and progress tracking.
  • Finally, the Intensive Plan is a $199 in-depth course that adds Slack community support, and 1-3 cumulative projects that are reviewed by professional developers.

Codecademy does not offer a free trial of its Pro and Intensive plans. Treehouse, on the other hand, gives a seven-day free trial for those wanting to try out their paid service.

After that, the service is $25 dollars a month. Their system is divided into two plans – Basic and Pro.

  • The Basic Plan, which offers all their video content, as well as interactive tools, and a support community, and the Pro Plan, which includes all the features of the basic plan as well as extra bonuses like a Code Challenge engine and downloading videos for offline learning.
  • The Pro Plan is only $49 dollars a month after the seven-day trial, but it offers a plethora of extra incentives to spend the little amount of extra cash. There is also a team option to utilize Treehouse in a work setting. This service is customizable to each team.

Support Community 

Both services boast a wide circle of colleagues, teachers, and mentors who are willing to help students keep track of, review, and improve on materials.

On Codecademy, everything support related is placed onto their community page website. They have a wide range of forums, from beginning welcome boards, to specific programming language boards. Access to the community information can come without a log-in, however, if clients want specific questions answered they must create an account and pay for a lesson program. The navigation of their community page is a bit hard to get through, broad categories all lumped together with no explanation as to their function. Again, using their community page requires a prior knowledge of coding jargon.

Treehouse, on the other hand, offers a GitHub account and tutorial for their clients. GitHub is an extremely popular coding repository service where users can store their coding and get it peer reviewed, another service Treehouse offers.

There is also an exclusive Slack channel for users, which provides all the benefits of organization as well as giving the user control of what content they do and do not what to see. The ability to navigate Slack is another valuable skill to have, since many employers are using the program to connect with their remote employees or to work on projects together as a group.

There is no way to preview the Slack channel or GitHub account before signing up for a free trial, but with no strings attached, the seven-day trial allows users the freedom to explore these websites and determine whether or not it is right for them.

User Friendliness 

Upfront, Codecademy is very user-friendly. It’s easy to sign up and dive right in, and the lessons are easy for coding newbies to digest.

But as friendly as it is to beginners, multiple Codecademy reviews note that it is not a great option for intermediate and advanced coders who already know the basics and want to hone their skills. To get to the more advanced courses, you have to get through the slow, hand-holding courses first.

Treehouse, on the other hand, allows users to skip to whatever lesson they want – so whether you barely know HTML or know it like a second language, you can jump right to whatever suits your needs. Their on-demand coding courses are easy to navigate and come back to whenever you have the time.

Additional Resources

Finally, both websites have a link to blogs, where users and experts post articles relating to different fields.

The Codecademy blog is simple and not very unique. They only have two categories of articles, insights and updates, and everything is jumbled into them haphazardly. The graphics are also extremely basic and offer no clues as to what the article contents will be.

Treehouse has a more easily navigated blog, starting off the top with a slideshow highlighting their most popular articles. They a wide variety of categories and each article shows a picture pertaining directly to the contents written, making them easy for beginners to understand and access.

Quick Comparison

  • Curriculum Structure: Treehouse offers a more flexible option for those with a busy work or life schedule while Codecademy keeps a strict timeline for students to follow.
  • Quizzes & Review Material: Quizzes are available with Codecademy Pro, which is priced at $19.99 – with Treehouse, quizzes are offered in their $25 per month plan.
  • Time: Codecademy courses take at least 11 hours to complete, on a deadline, while Treehouse offers the ability to save progress in the middle of a lesson and come back at a later date.
  • Support Community: Both websites offer an online community of other students, Treehouse utilizing the website Slack and Codecademy opting to create their own distinctive online community website.
  • Pricing: Codecademy’s course videos are free for anyone to access, and their full service is $19.99 per month. However, Treehouse offers a free trial for those still on the fence about purchasing their full service, while Codecademy does not.

Pros & Cons 

Now that we’ve compared the features of Codecademy with Treehouse, let’s wrap up our Code Academy review with some pros and cons of each online learning platform.

Pros of Codecademy:

  • Free videos
  • Network of community members to support studies
  • A variety of lessons offered in 12 programming languages
  • Beginner-friendly lessons

Cons of Codecademy:

  • Difficult to navigate through tabs and lessons
  • Can’t skip lessons
  • No free-trial of paid plans

Pros of Treehouse:

  • Simple navigation with a tutorial of how to use their website
  • Flexibility to start, stop, or skip lessons to fit any schedule
  • Clean design that emphasizes the points they are trying to make
  • Affordable, with the seven-day free trial and different plans available
  • Network of community members to support studies

Cons of Treehouse:

  • Paid monthly plan is more expensive
  • Complete list of courses and materials isn’t on their website yet

Verdict: Is Codecademy Worth It?

Whether you are completely dedicated to learning to code for a future career, or just want to pick up a new hobby, Codecademy falls just short of offering a comprehensive service.

Is Codecademy any good? Of course it is, but while its free courses make it a good gateway for beginners, it doesn’t do much to take users beyond those basic skills. Even the paid version isn’t very robust, leaving users to do much of the learning on their own.  

Treehouse, by contrast, offers customers laid out details of their payment plans, as well as the flexibility to choose when, how, and where they will be learning. While yes, their monthly plan is priced slightly higher than Codecademy, they make up for it by offering additional features such as workshops and comprehensive community support.

Even after reading countless Treehouse and Codecademy reviews, there’s only one way to know which coding education program is best for you – try them out. Explore Codecademy’s free videos or sign up for Treehouse’s free trial today to get a feel for each site and decide what really works!  

Nov 28

Coursera Review – Is It Worth It?

By Jeremy Kallowitz | Course Provider Reviews

Every person is different, and every career path is different, so it follows that every educational experience is different. If that’s the case, then why are all students expected to progress through university in the same way?

Coursera believes that there should more than just one way to attend a university. That’s why they’ve partnered with universities from around the world to offer entirely online-based degree programs. But is Coursera worth it, or is an affordable online bachelor’s degree just too good to be true?

In this Coursera review, we’ll decide if the platform is worth your time and money and answer the question, “Is a Coursera certificate is worth it?”

What Courses & Degrees Does Coursera Offer?

As you’ll see in most Coursera reviews, Coursera works by partnering with universities from around the world, including the University of London, the University of Michigan, and Arizona State University, to provide real college courses that are entirely online.

With interactive educational elements, each course is able to teach the material through quizzes, informational videos, and even project assignments. You can even speak with other students who are taking the same class in order to build community and learn together.

There are several forms of courses and programs that can be helpful depending on what you need or want to get out of it. They vary in price and intensity, and allow students to choose a form of education that will benefit them and their career goals best.

Single Courses

For certifications to perhaps fill a job requirement, or if you want to continue to learn but don’t have the time to be a full-time student, taking a 4-6 week course might be the best option.

These courses are incredibly affordable, being priced $29-$99, and end with a course certificate.

Specialization Courses

If you are attempting to bulk up your resume or your skill set in regards to a specific ability, a specialization program is the perfect fit. This is a series of courses that include hands-on projects and real-world practice.

At the end of the course, which typically lasts between 4 and 6 months, you receive a Specialization Certificate. One of the most appealing parts of the specialization is that it is also impressively affordable, costing only $39-$79 per month.

A specialization looks great on a resume when the skills acquired during the align with job duties or expectations, so we would say that a specialization certificate from Coursera is worth it for the price.

Online Degrees

One of the biggest pitfalls of the education system is how impossible it is for working people to obtain the degree they need to kick-start the career they deserve. Coursera’s accessible online degree program is trying to change that by allowing students to earn their bachelor’s or master’s degree in a way that works for them.

The master’s program is 100% online, meaning that students do not need to deal with the hassle of commuting to a campus, even for testing. Past students have lauded Coursera for creating a program that doesn’t force them to put the rest of their life on hold.

For 1-3 years of study, a student will pay between $15,000 and $25,000 for their accredited master’s degree. Admission is also required in order to participate in this program, but Coursera also offers Financial Aid for those who qualify.

Master’s Programs

With four programs of study for an accredited masters degree including business, computer science, data science, and public health, Coursera is constantly expanding and growing with the number of educational services it is providing. This is all in order to make high-quality education more accessible to a wide range of students all over the world.

Specializations especially are incredibly varied, and can vary in terms of how many classes they include, meaning students can focus their studies on exactly what they need for their career. Coursera offers comprehensive courses of study in the form of specializations in business analytics, applied data science, machine learning, and digital marketing.

Business Analytics

This course of study is in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania and provides a comprehensive look at big data analytics. One of the benefits of this highly rated program is that it is great for business professionals of all experience levels.

This specialization only takes about four months, with approximately five hours each week. It is a low-commitment way to improve or develop new skills without needing to put your life on hold to do it.

Applied Data Science with Python

Along with some of the best faculty from the University of Michigan, this program teaches the Python programming language and allows students to move through a full introduction to the subject matter.

This specialization is perfect for individuals have already learned the basics and want to get into applied data science. Students utilize python toolkits like scikit-learn, networkx, pandas, nltk, and matplotlib. One of the great things about this specialization is that it can be completed in as little as five months, even though it only requires about six hours a week of work.

This is a great intermediate level class for individuals who want to expand on a skill without having to go back through all of the basics. Anyone who may feel like they’re wasting money on university classes that require basic prerequisites that teach you what you already know will enjoy moving through this intermediate program.

Machine Learning

This course partners with Stanford to offer students a comprehensive understanding of how mechanisms like self-driving cars, web search, and practical speech recognition work, and how to make these mechanisms and computers work without explicitly programming them to do each action.

This specialization only takes about 53 hours in total, with only 7 per week, meaning it is doable especially for those with full-time jobs that want to expand their skill set in order to advance in their career.

Digital Marketing

This is one of the most popular specializations, and has been rated in INC Magazine on the list of The 10 Hottest Online Classes for Professionals in 2015. These high ratings make it in high demand among students, and is one of the main reasons people choose to learn through Coursera as opposed to other programs.9

In working with the University of Illinois Masters of Business Administration program, the Digital Marketing specialization covers a wide range of important topics that industry professionals seek to deepen their understanding of. These topics include 3D printing, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and digital marketing analytics.

This specialization not only grants its graduates a certificate, it also earns students credits toward a full Masters of Business Administration (iMBA). This means students can save time and money and can earn a specialization certificate on their way to a master’s degree, meaning that their resume is growing even before they receive their degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Individual Courses 

Beyond specializations, there are even individual courses that students can take advantage of for incredibly low cost without having to commit to a several month long program. These programs can run from six to eight weeks and allow students to really specialize their education by focusing on specifically the skills that they want to develop or the topics they need to learn about to advance themselves professionally.

Some of the individual classes offered by Coursera online include:

Digital Product Management: Modern Fundamentals

This course is specifically for individuals who want to become a product manager or improve their skills.

This course can be completed in as little as four weeks, which is one of the benefits of taking a singular course rather than following a longer program of study like a specialization or a degree.

The only downside of some courses is that their language options are less than many specializations and degree programs. This course only comes in English.

Learning How to Learn: Powerful Mental Tools to Help You Master Tough Subjects

Offered through McMaster University and University of California San Diego, this course focuses on learning techniques for individuals who want to improve the way that they learn. This is perfect for those wanting to maximize their learning strategies in the future and make their knowledge and experience gathering more efficient overall.

This course is offered in a particularly wide range of languages including Portuguese, Greek, Italian, Vietnamese, Dutch, German, Russian, Thai, Spanish, English, and many more.

The full duration of this course is only about eleven hours in total, and is broken down into videos, exercises, and bonus material. It can help individuals to study and learn about art, literature, science, sports, math, and other subjects.

Pros

  • Language Accessibility: Coursera utilizes sophisticated translations from experts in the field in order to offer their courses and programs in a variety of languages including English, Chinese (Simplified), Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Hebrew, Hindi, Mongolian, and Japanese. There are over thirty languages offered depending on the specific course, specialization, or degree.
  • Attendance: Because the courses are 100% online, students don’t need to be able to get themselves to campus for testing or to waste money commuting to and from classes or tests. You can schedule your classwork to fit around your work schedule so that nothing has to be cut short or rushed. Being able to work on your own time is part of what makes Coursera worth it.
  • Affordability: The average cost of a single credit hour at an American university ranges from $100 to $500. For a 3-credit course, you’re looking at anything from $300 to $1500. Coursera offers the same knowledge for as little as $30.  

Cons

  • Low Intensity Level: For individuals who would like to do more work each week and complete a specialization, course, or degree in less time, this may not be the program for you. The suggested amount of time to spend per week is best for those who work or are busy full or at least part-time, who would like to devote between five and seven hours each week to the program. Those who want to study full time might be better suited to a different program.
  • Certifications Don’t Mean Much: When it comes down to it, putting your Coursera certification down on your resume probably isn’t going to wow a potential employer. Is a Coursera certificate worth it? Not always. But is the knowledge you gain from the course for such a low price worth it? Absolutely. The skills and practical knowledge you gain from these courses is worth so much more than a digital certificate.
  • Web Development Program: While their web development program has been well-reviewed by past and current students, Treehouse is perhaps a better option for students who want to get the most out of the program.

Is Paying for Coursera Worth it?

Finding an online program of study that fits your needs specifically can be hard, especially when you don’t communicate directly with faculty or visit a campus on a daily basis. It can also be difficult to know which programs are trustworthy and which are not. So is paying for Coursera worth it?

One of the benefits of working through Coursera is that they work with a large number of highly credible universities. An online program can be hard to trust when you’re an employer, but one that is through a top university in the United States is easy to put your faith in.

This is not just another online program; it is an accessible, affordable education with some of the most lauded, experienced professors who are also experts in their field. Graduates of this program go on to start successful companies, work for major corporations, or create new and innovative technologies.

If you are a working or busy professional who wants to advance their career in a productive, time and cost-effective way, Coursera can get you where you need to be. Former students say that taking courses at Coursera, and completing specialization and degree programs with their talented faculty was one of the best things they could have done to get them where they are today in their career.

This educational system is perfect for individuals of all skill levels, economic status’, career choices, and time commitments, which is why it has become in such high demand in the past few years among business professionals looking to improve their skills and expand their resume’s.

Sign Up Today!

Enrolling in classes is easy and inexpensive, and can be done relatively quickly depending on the program. Courses and specializations do not require admission to the program. Anyone can enroll in these courses by simply creating an account and logging in. Courses charge a flat rate, while specializations charge per month of the program.

 Coursera  work with a large number of highly credible universities.

Get high demand in the past few years among business professionals looking to improve their skills

For masters degree programs, admission to the university is required. There are contact forms available on the Coursera website that allow users to submit their email and phone number in order to receive more detailed information about specific programs that they may be interested in.

One of the other benefits of this program specifically is that mobile learning is possible. Class material can be accessed easily by utilizing apps for iOS or Android. Enrolling in classes is something that can be tedious and difficult at big universities, but with Coursera, enrolling is as easy as the click of a button.

Nov 28

Udemy Review – Is It Worth It?

By Jeremy Kallowitz | Course Provider Reviews

Anyone interested in taking online courses to strengthen their knowledge in a specialty area knows that there are hundreds of online platforms to choose from.  Users can expand language learning, computer programming, or knowledge of web design without leaving their house. Of course, each program comes with benefits, drawbacks, and ultimately some variation of a price tag.

However, some programs make themselves extremely accessible by offering their services free of charge. It’s hard to believe that online courses could be given to users at no cost, but this is how Udemy has attracted a loyal following and user base. Udemy offers online classes in a plethora of categories without an expensive monthly fee.

What makes Udemy even more special is that users can teach as well as partake in Udemy’s classes. Sounds like a strange setup? We’ll get into that. Let’s break down what exactly Udemy is and what it has to offer.

If you have a serious interest in taking online classes to acquire a special skill, chances are you’ve already learned about Udemy by browsing through several user Udemy reviews trying to figure out, “Is Udemy worth it?” Or it’s possible this is your first time hearing about Udemy and would like to learn more.

Either way, this udemy.com review is intended to be the ultimate guide to the website, with a complete tour of its features as well as pros and cons. Instead of searching on several review sites and forums for clues wondering whether Udemy courses are worth it, trust that you’ll find all the information you need to know here in this complete udemy.com review.

What Is Udemy?

Udemy is a non-traditional online education platform in which courses are created, taught, and owned by instructors who are also Udemy users and professionals in their field. Instructors create lectures, which includes videos, assignments, practice tests, and quizzes. Udemy’s mission is to offer a wide variety of classes to those with time and financial limitations, which is why the site has over 80,000 courses available.

Inclusive to All Students 

One of the great qualities about Udemy is its accessibility to any interested users. Unlike universities, colleges, and community colleges, there are no transcripts, resumes, skillsets, or degrees necessary to enroll. This allows for people of all education backgrounds to partake in courses. Udemy is not exclusive to a select group of people; rather it is the most accessible education possible for those looking to expand their capabilities.

Wide-Ranging and Popular Categories

Popular categories include business and entrepreneurship, programming, the arts, language, music, health and fitness, and technology. Interested users simply sign up, choose a course, and are free to go through the curriculum according to their schedule.

Easy Accessibility

Courses can be accessed through the internet or the Udemy app for iOS or Android. Udemy courses can even be streamed through the Apple TV app. Udemy strives to make their content available on all platforms so users can access their courses whenever they feel like working.

Enriching and Rewarding for the Hardworking

Udemy is proud to make learning more accessible to its users, but the site does not guarantee mastery over its tasks. It’s up to the student to dedicate the time and energy required to be present for lectures, complete assignments, and additional practice necessary.

However, because of its traditional structure of lecture, assignment, test, which is proven and executed among institutions worldwide, Udemy does reward serious students.

Is It Similar to Taking a University Course?

While Udemy courses are thorough and include and structured like a traditional ​​​​class, this method of learning is still not quite like sitting in a real classroom lecture. For most learners, this is beneficial because instead of required attendance and a fixed schedule, Udemy allows the user to work independently.

However, this also means that the student has to stay with their curriculum for its entire duration or else they will lack the skills they’re trying to obtain.


Online Learning Experience

Some teachers will facilitate their classroom through via discussion posts, while others will simply provide the presentations and answer questions as necessary. You’ll only interact with a professor through the Udemy site, so this experience really separates this format of learning from in-person classes.

However, Udemy isn’t very different from an online class that might be taught at a standard university. If the online class set-up works well for you, or if self-paced courses sound appealing, then Udemy will be a perfect way for you to acquire new skills without a deathly tuition fee.

Accredited Affiliations

Some courses are actually taught through an accredited university, such as University of Michigan’s “Python for Everybody” specialization. Other institutions that offer classes through Udemy are Northwestern University, Georgia Tech, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Udemy’s partnership with accredited institutions really shows their commitment to providing students with a great education that’s more financially accessible.   

Certifications Upon Successful Completion

Similar to a college or university, students receive a certificate upon completion. While this is not the same as a real diploma from an accredited institution, this document can be shared on career networking sites such as LinkedIn or on a personal website.

 This certification will give future employers proof that you are knowledgeable about a specific skill, and therefore more qualified for certain positions. For example, if you work in web design but were previously unskilled at programming, you can now show evidence that you have advanced your skills, which alone might make Udemy worth it.

What Are Some Examples of Cool or Popular Courses Available?

Several of Udemy’s courses sound so enticing that it’s impossible not to at least read their descriptions when scrolling through the site. While many courses are intended to provide users with strict knowledge of a specific program or task, other instructors have designed courses meant to give students an advantage in their field by focusing on the development of creativity and practical thinking skills.

Some examples of this are “How to Start a Business: Business Ideas to Success,” which takes a creative approach towards business brainstorming, and “Leadership, Management and Entrepreneurship in the 21st century,” a class focused on contemporary culture that will help students make smart business decisions in the new millennium.  

Those interested in breaking into the arts or culinary world through Udemy can take “Basic Food Photography,” while those interested in health can check out “Become a SuperHuman: Naturally and Safely Boost Testosterone.”

There are many classes that focus on specific health issues such as “Sleep Hacking: Have More Energy, Spend Less Time in Bed” and “Best Way to Quit Smoking,” which is a unique extremely well-reviewed course.

For those interested in app development, a great access point is “Make iPhone and iPad Apps in 1 Hour Without any Programming.” This is a popular course that strategically puts less emphasis on lecture and more importance on practice.

How Do I Become an Instructor?

Instructors must create their own course and dedicate enough time to consistently making themselves available for students if they have questions or concerns. Before a course becomes official, potential instructors must complete the Udemy Course Quality Checklist, which is Udemy’s official way of checking that the proposed course meets their high standards of quality. Students want to feel like they are being taught by the best, so it’s important to make sure that you’re capable of providing a quality course.

Udemy Instructors also need to be able to create their own video content, which most commonly comes in the form of video essays or lectures. Video content should be intelligible, so if you do not have adequate equipment necessary to record yourself speaking at a clear volume, then you will need to invest in videography gear. You will also be responsible for editing your content and maintaining your class page, forums, messages, etc.

Instructing an Udemy class is a big responsibility, but worthwhile financially if you are able to build a following of eager students attracted to your style of teaching.

Is It Really Free?


As we continue to answer the commonly asked “Is Udemy any good?”, it’s important that we discuss its cost. Many of Udemy’s courses are free, but upon browsing the site, you’ll see there are several that are not. These free classes are extremely popular because they are known for their quality, and classes taught through universities are sure to cost a fee.

However, some of these schools make Udemy students eligible for financial aid, which reinforces Udemy’s commitment to getting non-college students engaged in accessible learning. More information about financial aid can be found through the Udemy site.

Udemy Course Enrollment and Set-Up

Let’s dive into a few particulars of enrolling and signing up for Udemy courses, and an analysis of the course library in general to determine the efficiency of this particular online program.

Selecting a Course

Udemy makes browsing for a course easy through their online course directory. This allows you to search for a specific class or keyword. Users can also browse courses by category, which Udemy neatly presents through their site’s interface.

The attractive grid separates courses from one another, so users can compare similar options in one category. For example, this allows a student to easily determine whether they will choose University of Pennsylvania’s English for Business and Entrepreneurship, or Arizona State University’s Business English. The category layout really helps students determine which class will best suit their needs.

Users can also filter classes by skills offered in the classes available, job title, skill level, language, and creator. Picking through 80,000 courses is a daunting prospect, but Udemy’s filtering features minimize choices tailored towards an individual’s goals.

When you click on a course, you will be given a course description as well as financial information and enrollment due date. Additionally, you can also browse the course syllabus to further assess the course’s curriculum. Looking through the syllabus is highly recommended, because it is the best way to see what your class will offer and how difficult it will be.  

Enrolling in a Course

Once you’ve selected a course, you will need to formally enroll. If you haven’t officially signed up, a window will greet you that will allow you to enter your information manually or sign up through Facebook.

Upon official registration, you will receive financial information about how much the course costs and how to qualify for financial aid. If you decide to remove yourself from a course because of financial restrictions or dissatisfaction, you can request a full refund within 30 days of purchase. This way, there’s less pressure to commit to one course if you have second thoughts.

Beginning a Course

Once you have paid for your course, you are free to begin whenever you choose! Udemy will supply you with a link that brings you to the course homepage. This serves as an overview of the course’s information and is where you can access lectures and forums. Udemy breaks down lectures by numbers, so it is clear where you left off and how far you still need to go to complete.

Udemy also supplies a notepad feature for students to take notes with. Typing with this device will be easier than using a pen and paper to record and can be accessed at any point while using Udemy.

Udemy Courses Reviews

From brief experience as a Udemy student, the courses supplied by the site seem to be very informative and at a collegiate, professional level.

Ancient Greek Religion

This professional quality even applies to the free courses, such as Ancient Greek Religion. This course has been backed by many positive user reviews. The course is taught by Professor Robert Garland, who is a professor at Colgate University and qualifies as an industry professional.

Students watch his self-made videos, which are recorded via quality webcam for about 20 minutes at a time. He speaks at a great pace for both beginners and intermediate level learners on this subject. His introduction ensures that those who know nothing about Ancient Greece can easily follow his speech.

It is worth noting that his lecture setup is very simple. This is not as beneficial for students who learn best from highly visual presentations, such as video essays with graphics. Professor Garland operates his course from a very traditional and simplistic standpoint and expects his students to be satisfied by just listening to him speak. If this might be boring for students, they should make sure to find a class that will stimulate them visually before committing to a class like Professor Garland’s.

Microsoft Excel Formula Design

This course is taught by a highly rated and popular Udemy instructor, Jed Guinto, who has engineered over twenty courses on the site. This class is the complete opposite experience of Ancient Greek Religion. Rather than using uploaded webcam videos that are 20 minutes in length, Guinto uses screencasts to create non-scripted 2-3 minute webinars.

These lectures are more exciting than Garland’s, and better suited for users with limited time to complete lectures or short attention spans. The 2-3 minute lecture format makes learning possible in brief pockets of time during the day like during a lunch break.

Are Udemy Courses Worth It?

To determine the answer to this hefty question, let’s go over some pro’s and con’s based on both the unbiased Udemy course reviews and the reviews by real students.

Pros

  • A huge selection of over 80,000 courses available in hundreds of categories, all of which are provided by industry professionals and University professors.
  • Courses are accessible from all streaming devices and suitable for both iOS and Android.
  • Easy sign up, registration, and course access.
  • A navigable site with courses separated by categories and filters.
  • Many classes are free, and students are eligible for financial aid.
  • Udemy offers students an opportunity to also become instructors if they qualify.

Cons

  • Many popular and highly rated classes cost a fee.
  • With each instructor come aspects of their teaching style that are unavoidable and might not align with a student’s preferences.
  • Not every instructor supplies closed captions for their videos.

In Summary

Udemy is not the only learning option on the web. Highly specialized courses such as Data Science Specialization are taught through Coursera, and a better Learning Web Development course is taught through Team Treehouse. However, Udemy is a really good option. Students can mix-and-match courses based on their career goals, interests, and budgets.

Users can expand their knowledge Here

Udemy has the potential to expand your skillset,bring new career opportunities and change your life better

While each course is entirely dependent on the instructor, all the courses are approved by Udemy and taught by industry professionals and Universities. As such, Udemy’s curriculum is trustworthy and the content of the classes should not disappoint. Always read extensively about a course’s offerings before enrolling to ensure that the class will satisfy your needs.

Are Udemy courses worth it? It’s impossible to decide whether Udemy, and online learning as a whole, is right for every individual. Based on this review, and potentially other udemy.com reviews, it will be up to you to take this preliminary information, research courses, and decide whether Udemy is right for you. However, with commitment, Udemy has the potential to expand your skillset, bring new career opportunities, instigate a higher self-esteem and feeling of intelligence, and change your life for the better. Purchase a Udemy course today.

Nov 13

Team Treehouse Review – Is It Worth It?

By Jeremy Kallowitz | Course Provider Reviews

Everyone dreams of learning an entirely new skill set, especially if this will lead to a higher paying employment opportunity in the future.

However, most programs that teach new skills are expensive, time-consuming, or really just not that effective. This is why Team Treehouse seems too good to be true. With over 1,000 videos that feature tutorials ranging from programming to web design, adjustable 30-minute lessons and no need to purchase additional materials, there must be a catch to Team Treehouse’s impressive education model.

Is TeamTreehouse worth it? Let’s break down everything you need to know in this TeamTreehouse review.

Why It’s Important

Because our abilities to communicate and develop the world through the internet are constantly expanding, more job opportunities are opening up for those with programming and expert computer skills. There will be 1 million programming jobs available in 2020, a fact that should key you into the promise of job opportunity in this growing field.

Society leads us to believe that we need to attend a four-year university and earn a master’s degree to be qualified for programming jobs, but Team Treehouse challenges the stigma that only certain people can be programmers. By following tutorials that are flexible, and with a little hard work, Team Treehouse makes it possible to expand a skill set or learn an entirely new field from scratch.

Since its inception in 2011, 172,000 people in over 190 countries seeking web and game design, coding, and programming knowledge, have viewed Team Treehouse’s videos. Businesses have even caught onto Team Treehouse’s efficiency, and have shown their videos to their own employees. This widespread viewership has led to thousands of positive TeamTreehouse reviews and “Is Treehouse good?” inquiries on search engines. Let’s go through how their site specifically works.

Sign Up For A Free Trial

Find out for yourself if Team Treehouse is worth it

How Team Treehouse Works

After signing up, a new user selects what program they want to learn from a variety of design and programming subcategories. Each subject is broken down into stages to make learning the information more digestible and to disrupt cramming, like chapters in a book.

Industry professionals teach all lessons offered on Team Treehouse and demonstrate their expertise through their personal tutorials. As opposed to other programs that are narrated by a robot or software, Team Treehouse echoes an online class with their lecture format, which feels more personal than learning from a computer.

Team Treehouse is also always expanding their library of tutorial topics. On top of their already massive subject list, they release new videos weekly to keep even the most advanced learners actively engaged in tutorials and learning new information. Team Treehouse specifically focuses on subjects that are always developing, which keeps their existing content up to date with contemporary technology and trends, as well as their content library always expanding. Users can find out about new weekly videos by signing up for email updates. This is also accessible on their website under the Content Roadmap section.

If you’re interested in a new skill, it’s likely you’ve already googled “TeamTreehouse reviews”, and researched other similar services. Let’s discuss how Team Treehouse separates itself from competitors in this detailed Treehouse coding review.

How Is Team Treehouse Different Than Other Sites?

Unlike other sites that follow a strict order, Team Treehouse tutorials can be viewed individually and out of order. This way, if an intermediate coder wants to learn advanced skills, they can save time and skip through beginner videos. However, those learning a new skillset are encouraged to begin at the first video, which is the beginning of a track. A track is the order that Team Treehouse aligns the videos for the best learning experience.

Through the track, Team Treehouse offers quizzes and interactive challenges that are designed to help you practice the content of each lesson. High scores on each quiz earn badges, which can be publicly shown on social media networks and to employers.

Team Treehouse guarantees speedy learning with a proven track structure that works and will set up users for success. The site claims that most often, users will learn how to build websites after a month, or about 45 hours of lesson time.

That being said, users are encouraged to take notes and do additional research. Otherwise, they might not retain the information without active participation and outside practice. While Team Treehouse offers the tools to learn, the site doesn’t grant automatic learning by just watching the videos. It still takes time and mental energy to learn a skill like programming: Team Treehouse just makes it easier.

One amazing Team Treehouse feature is the community network of other users that can assist each other if stuck on a lesson. Treehouse encourages users to reach out to a community member with questions, and also help others with their own concerns. This network of active users makes Treehouse a secure space of members that help each other, which makes learning even easier.

How Much Does It Cost?

We’ve finally landed on a topic that brings Team Treehouse out of the “too good to be true” category, which really would only be achievable if it were free. Instead, this service is provided at a minimum of $25/mo for the basic plan. This gives you access to the entire video library, as well as quizzes, Code Challenge Engine, and members-only forums.

The Pro Plan, at $49/mo, supplies everything in the Basic Plan as well as additional bonus content such as exclusive video talks from industry professionals. The most rewarding feature with a Pro Plan is the ability to download videos, which is convenient when in a location without quality internet access.

While even the Basic Plan is a substantial cost, it matches the commitment needed to learn skills. This price matches the vast library of over 300+ courses and 278 workshops, as well as the overall professionalism of the content, making it the best bang for your buck.

Despite which plan you’re considering, each new membership comes with a 14-day free trial, which gives you access to everything Team Treehouse offers and automatically rolls over into a paid subscription. However, this can be cancelled at any time free of charge because of Team Treehouse’s contract-less system.

To account for the cost of membership, Team Treehouse supplies users with a 90-day free trial to FreshBooks, which is small business accounting software for efficient billing. They also offer 40% at WooRanks, which is a website review tool and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) checker that is useful for any website. Additionally, a 60-day AWeber trial is included, a personalized email marketing automation service.

Team Treehouse offers many useful tools for web designers and site owners to take advantage of through their subscription, which add as an additional perk for signing up.

Treehouse’s Techdegree

Treehouse also operates a sister program called Techdegree, which offers users a more intense, immersive course for a higher price that’s designed with the intensity of a university course.

Web Development, iOS Development with Swift, Full Stack JavaScript, and Front End Web Development programs are available for those looking for a larger commitment and immediate career change.

Get Access To Team Treehouse's Tech Degree

Get A Free Trial Today

A Personal Trip Through Team Treehouse

Now that an overview assessment is done with, let’s navigate through each stage of the site to provide you with the most detailed TeamTreehouse review possible.

Signing Up

Upon arrival at the homepage, you are automatically greeted with a window to sign up and begin a free trial. The homepage is beautifully designed with a tech-savvy set up that’s not overwhelming with information. A user will encounter the standard information for sign up - full name, email address, and password.

Choosing A Track

After navigating the homepage and entering in my information for the trial, a window appears with specific questions designed to gauge the users existing skill level. Team Treehouse will ask about your coding skill level and your purpose for using the site to determine which track is best for you.

This is extremely helpful and saves time determining which program would be best for me, and instead automatically sets me up for immediate learning. After you are recommended a track, a green “Get Started” button waits to be clicked, and your lessons finally begin.

Learning About Your New Account

If you approach this section but aren’t ready to immediately begin lessons, Team Treehouse makes it possible to navigate away from this window and return when ready. This way you can check out other features on the site and learn how to take advantage of the features that come with your account before tutorials.

The Tree button on the toolbar at the top of the webpages is designated as the home button. By clicking this, a user can exit out of a tutorial and access their account information or the site’s other features at any time.

At the homepage, you’re greeted with an encouraging message with updates of your progress, and a link back to the tutorial you were last watching. The homepage also lists all tracks in progress, in case you’re juggling one or two other topics at once.

A Bookmarks tab allows users to access completed coursework easily in case they want to review specific subjects.

There’s also a profile icon in the upper right-hand corner where users can access a profile page. Here they can upload a profile picture, track their progress, and share earned badges. There is also a link here to jump back into the unfinished track, so you don’t have to navigate back to a previous page to continue progress.

On the opposite upper left-hand side is a link to the Team Treehouse tutorial library. Here, you can access the entire Team Treehouse library, separated by organized categories. On this same side is also an icon to access message boards and community help as well as a personal workspace, which is a separate online station for users to practice coding.

Overall, the site layout for Team Treehouse is simple and organized. All of the icons represent the pages well and make navigating this site easy. With links to a track on most pages, it easy to alternate between using Treehouse’s site features and completing tutorials. It might seem like a constant juggle back and forth, but the fact that Treehouse allows users to pick up right where they left off is extremely helpful and an intelligent feature that not all sites with media have.

Experiencing the Tutorials

Before you begin learning about any subject in a track, you must watch an introduction video, which gives students a broad idea of what they can expect from each lesson. In each tutorial, the instructor will start with basic concepts and work up to help viewers tie together loose ends. Tutorial videos last between about 7-9 minutes. Team Treehouse intentional breaks down their content into smaller scale videos to keep viewers feeling like they are making progress.

20-minute videos or longer make viewers feel like they have to dedicate more time to learning, but the shorter tutorials make viewers feel like they’re learning quicker and this gives them more drive. It shouldn’t really matter how long a video is to a viewer, they’re still going to learn the same information, but I think this model makes learning more approachable for others and therefore is a good idea. The broken up video structure also makes it more possible for stop at the end of the video as opposed to in the middle of a tutorial.

The lectures in the videos are delivered slow enough that a beginner could stay focused, but fast enough that the tutorial wouldn’t be a drag for those already familiar with the tutorial’s concepts. The pacing dynamic is one of the most important aspects of a tutorial video, and Team Treehouse seems to have nailed it down. If a user becomes bored by information they already know about and try to skim ahead, they risk missing important information, but Team Treehouse knowingly avoids this through a moderately paced format.

While taking lessons, there is a blue bar near the top of the screen that shows how many videos are left in a lesson. After a video is completed, a check mark occupies the former play button, and users will feel closer to their daily completion goal. The blue navigation bar also signals when a user will take a quiz, so users can prepare for questions ahead of time. This navigation bar also can be clicked on to bring a user back to a previously watched video for a refresher.

After completing a lesson, you can return to your profile page to see how many points or badges you acquired from your work. It is rewarding to accumulate several points from one lecture, and this stimulates drive towards doing more work.

Learning With Team Treehouse Review: 

After signing up, navigating the homepage, and experiencing a few lessons, is Treehouse worth it? Let’s review the site’s quality features as well as some of its weaknesses.

Pros: 

As most Tree House reviews point out, the amount of content is difficult to beat. The site really offers tracks for pretty much every area of web development, programming, and design, and it’s hard to imagine a competitor being able to keep up with such a large library of courses.

  • Easy To Use: The courses really are easy to complete. After a few hours completing lessons, it is possible to immediately learn small skills that can eventually grow with more time and effort. The more hours you dedicate to lessons, the more skills you will learn. This is the model that Team Treehouse is based on, and it really works for their structure.
  • Professional Quality: There’s no question that the teachers are real experts and working professionals in the field. The briefness of each video makes learning feel faster, matched with a pace that is suited for both beginner and intermediate users. Teachers are friendly, charismatic, and authentic even though they’re prerecorded, which makes the tutorial watching experience less stiff and more personable.
  • User-Friendly Site: The entire site is well-organized and easy to find your way around. You are able to sign up, navigate to all features, and easily return to videos. You don’t have to constantly flip back and forth to access the features like the workspace, which is a problem on other sites. This allows you to practice while you watch as opposed to taking time after each video to play with coding, or waste time writing on paper. The workspace saves your notes and they can be accessed anytime you log into an account.
  • Progress Feels Rewarding: The points and badges system keeps users motivated. It can be easy to log off and stop committing to tutorials if you lose sight of your initial goal, but the point system and positive messages from the site give encouragement to persevere.
  • Helpful Community: The community of Team Treehouse is one aspect that really makes this skill building site a preferable choice. The ability to reach out to other users with questions, advice, and other knowledge shows Treehouse’s dedication to not only providing accessible information to its users, but also a sense of community that’s shared internationally. This tool can also be used for networking and connecting with others in a specific field.
  • Free Trial: With a 14-day trial, you can try Treehouse’s video tutorial lessons risk-free. Everyone learns differently, so by taking advantage of the free trial period you can see if you like the teachers, the pacing of the lessons, and whether or not you’d be a good fit in the Treehouse community.

Cons

While this site functions well and is impressive in its design, opportunity, and accessibility, there are some small things to consider that could be improved.

  • Price: The site’s cost per month matches with the benefits provided, and Team Treehouse extends its offerings with bonus discounts and free trials off handy services. However, this expense might be off-putting for those not used to paying a monthly subscription this high, or who already pay several monthly subscriptions for other services. There is no student plan available for university students looking to expand their skills outside their current curriculum, which would attract a younger audience that could use additional skills before entering the workforce.
  • Advanced Topics: At moments, some specific industry language and terms that might be known to intermediate and advanced users are used without much explanation, which will go over a beginner’s head. Beginners will have to be patient and know that everything will make sense the more they watch tutorials, or pause the video to look up specific words.
  • No Recaps: One picky note with the tutorial layout, if you encounter a quiz and fail, you are able to retake it. However, even if you go back and re-watch an entire lesson to review information before a retake, you still will probably have questions or misunderstand what was in the lesson. Turning to the community boards can take time, and there’s not a recap program at the end of each lesson to prepare users for a quiz retake. This feature would be helpful and save users the time of reviewing an entire lesson or waiting for another user on a message board for help.

Treehouse Tutorials Are A Great Beginning to Advanced Learning

From reading this treehouse review, hopefully you feel able to decide whether you want to choose this site specifically to learn a new computer programming or design skill. From personal experience, this site is a quality investment that is likely to keep your attention and uses efficient ways to maintain your drive towards learning.

While no site can give you automatic results at optimal quality for free, Team Treehouse will provide you with the necessary tools to learn a new skill, make yourself a candidate for new job opportunities, and prepare you for a career that incorporates a skill learned on their site. Your education is an investment in your future, and compared with college tuition, $25 per month isn’t asking for much. If you're interested in another similar type of course but with a wider variety of technologies, check out our Pluralsight review.

Sign up for a Team Treehouse free trial today, choose a plan that’s right for you, and see where your new skillset takes you.

Nov 03

Linkedin Learning Review – Is It Worth It?

By Jeremy Kallowitz | Course Provider Reviews

Has the job hunt gotten you down? Do you find yourself in need of some stellar resume boosters? Are you interested in learning, but not spending hours upon hours in a cramped classroom?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you might want to consider an e-learning environment. Many companies and individuals are utilizing online learning facilities to gain pivotal skills in the marketplace. One of the most recent e-learning institutions to hit the market is LinkedIn Learning.

After acquiring the teaching platform Lynda, LinkedIn Learning was established in September 2016. Since then, they’ve been offering comprehensive professional courses to individuals and businesses alike. Their online platform offers nearly 10,000 classes, with new video content being released weekly.

Yet, is LinkedIn Learning worth it? More importantly, are their services the right choice for you? The following LinkedIn Learning review should help you make that decision!

How It Works

Once you register, the process is simple and incredibly user-friendly. There is no mandatory wait to see if you’ve been accepted or not. As soon as you register, you’re good to go!

Finding Your Course

The LL website offers 10,000+ professionally lead courses. With such a wide course load, it would be easy to be overwhelmed by the broad spectrum. Luckily, LinkedIn Learning helps you narrow down this large grouping through several discovery methods.

These methods include:

  • A brief survey which matches your desired skills to a fitted course selection.
  • An organized field of interest that you can actively discover and search within.
  • A list of the most liked topics and classes.
  • An aggregate list of the trending courses.

Here is an exploration of these discovery methods.

✓ Course Matching

Course matching is the process by which LL connects you with applicable classes. After finishing registration, you will be directed to the skills page. Here you will choose the skills that interest you, or that you would like to work on. These include social media marketing, working effectively on a team, public speaking, etc.

After you select your desired skills, LinkedIn Learning reviews your answers and their algorithm matches you with qualified classes. This process cuts through the arduous process of searching through hundreds of classes for the right match. It simply groups what you’re searching for, and delivers you the result with no fuss. You’re left to focus on what matters most: bolstering your resume and getting your education!

✓ Fields of Interest

LL can also help you narrow down your options through specific fields of interest. These are separated into three categories: business, technology, and creative. After selecting one of these three, you are free to explore within that field. If you consider yourself an exploratory learner, then this feature is perfect for you! The categories are specific; yet, they still give you the power to meander and choose within your selected field.

✓ Top Liked and Trending Courses

If you want to follow the instincts of your peers, LinkedIn Learning allows you to do so through their top liked/trending options. Here you can see what classes are enthusing your fellow learners; you can also join in on the latest learning trend!

Find the Path to Your Career Goals

It would be remiss to do a LinkedIn Learning review without mentioning their one-of-a-kind learning direction system. This system is akin to a guidance counselor: it compiles classwork into a path that would best suit your career goals. These paths can be picked from three separate guidelines: learning paths, subject, and software.

✓ Choose Your Learning Path

When you go to college, you choose a major. Similarly, when you use LL, you choose your learning path! These are playlists of connected video courses which relate to a specific career track. LinkedIn has over 70 different learning paths for skill development. Thus, you have a broad spectrum of possibilities that can lead you to your final goal.

✓ Choose Your Subject

If you have a specific subject that you are interested in exploring, then LL can guide you within that category. For example, if you were interested in photography, the website has dozens of relevant topics which will lead you to becoming an accomplished photographer!

✓ Choose Your Software 

In the modern workplace, it’s imperative to be up to date on the most technological advancements. There are many jobs that require proficiency in Microsoft, Apple, and even internet applications! Luckily, LL provides a multitude of video courses catered to those who are in need of a technological education. Whether you’re trying to up your Excel game, or learn the ins and outs of Dropbox, LL has the right course for you!

Receive Comprehensive Video Tutorials from Skilled Professionals 

LinkedIn Learning sets itself apart from other e-learning websites through its comprehensive video content. While other educational institutions rely solely on text, LL knows that there is much to be gained by having an active teacher dispensing the lessons. This is why they offer their classes in video format.

For students who would prefer a more text-based medium, LinkedIn Learning reviews every course and uploads a transcript of the class. This way, multiple learning styles are accommodated, and students have the ability to dictate their own educational experience.

Explore Learning at Your Own Pace

As humans, we are all different learners. We all have disparate strengths, weaknesses, and methods for dealing with both. We all learn at a different pace. While live classroom settings will force you to learn at the same schedule as everyone else, LinkedIn Learning allows you to establish your own timing.

With e-learning, you can take the time to truly digest your lessons. Should you need to go back and relearn something, that option is always there. If you would rather binge your lessons within weeks, you can do that as well! The video even features an adjustable speed tool. This way, fast learners can speed up their instructors. Thus, they can experience an accelerated learning methodology!

Skilled Professionals 

When it comes to learning, even the most interesting material can be mired down by a subpar teacher. If an instructor is not well versed in their craft, or ungifted in the tools of teaching, then the student will not succeed. This is why LinkedIn Learning only employs qualified and expert individuals. These experts are titans within their field, with the tools and knowledge to dispense their craft to their students.

Taking the Classroom Offline and Into the World

Although LinkedIn Learning is accessed through the internet, it is not confined by an internet connection. This is one of the biggest perks of the website. Any student can download their content onto their device. This allows for offline viewing. Thus, students will not lose access to their classes, should they enter a dead zone! This emphasis on accessibility proves to be a large deciding factor to the quandary of ‘is LinkedIn Learning worth it?

Accessibility for all Walks of Technology

In our modern era, nearly everyone is using a different form of technology. Smartphones span different carriers, manufacturers, and formats. LinkedIn Learning accounts for this diversity and lets it work to their advantage, making their services accessible on multiple platforms. These include Android, iOS, and Windows devices.

A Small Price to Pay for Access to an Entire World of Learning

Many other LinkedIn Learning reviews agree, their pricing is incredibly competitive. It offers all +10,000 classes, the course selection process, and the offline viewing for $29.99 a month. That means, for less than $30 a month, customers have access to unlimited learning possibilities!

For those that think the pricing is a little high, it’s important to look at it in perspective. According to The Collegeboard, the average private four-year college is $32,410 USD. This means that students are spending at least $8,102 a year on tuition costs alone. This translates to a monthly price of $675. In comparison to LinkedIn, that’s a 2,250% increase in cost!

LinkedIn Learning is clearly a cost-effective conduit for higher learning. To sweeten the deal, if you decide to choose annually, they will lower the price to 24.99 a month. This will save you time and money in the long run!

No Hassle Trial Period

This is another great facet of the LinkedIn Learning experience. They offer their first month entirely free of charge. Akin to auditing a class, LinkedIn allows you an entire month to audit their services.

After your trial period has ended, you can decide whether or not you want to continue with the classes. There are no gotcha fees or convoluted exit roadblocks. If their service is not for you, you can leave absolutely free of charge!

Pros & Cons 

To summarize our LinkedIn Learning review, let’s quickly review the pros and cons of this online learning program:

LinkedIn Learning is clearly a cost-effective conduit for higher learning.

 Boosting your career through an effective and high-quality learning experience,

Pros: 

  • +10,000 Courses
  • Comprehensive Video Lessons from Real Professors
  • High Accessibility (Windows, iOS, Android)
  • Learn at Your Own Pace
  • Highly Affordable Compared with College Tuition
  • No-hassle Trial Period

Cons:

  • No Degrees or Certificates
  • Some Video Lectures are Dry

In Conclusion

LinkedIn Learning may have only entered the e-learning scene in 2016, but it has established itself as a leading e-learning platform. If you are interested in boosting your career through an effective and high-quality learning experience, then LinkedIn Learning might be for you!

Yet, as with all things, only you can answer the question “is LinkedIn learning worth it?” So, sign up for their free 30-day trial and decide whether LinkedIn Learning is right for you!

Oct 22

Udemy vs Lynda

By Jeremy Kallowitz | Course Wars

How convenient would it be to bring the classroom environment into the comfort of your home?

Udemy and Lynda (recently absorbed into LinkedIn Learning) are online providers that take common learning techniques such as lectures and practice exercises out of the classroom to people globally via the internet. These classes can be accessed anywhere internet is available, making it possible for a student to learn at home, work, or even a coffee shop if they wanted!

Lynda and Udemy specifically focus their content towards adult aged people who already have experience in the working world. It allows customers to educate themselves on their own time and invest as much or as little money they feel necessary.

These two online learning courses each have their own benefits, leading to the question: Which is better? This Udemy vs Lynda review will go over the basic offerings of each, so you can get a good idea of what will best enhance your instruction and educational development.

Udemy: Description & Review 

This learning site is primarily focused on providing a platform for people to teach and learn about a topic of their choice. Going against other websites that offer classes online, Udemy uses a different technique. Instead of selling college courses, they allow people to sign up and make a course themselves to then sell for a profit. This also differs from massive open online courses because you do not receive college credit for completing a class.

Here are some of the features of Udemy that stood out in this Udemy vs Lynda review:

Lifetime Access

When buying a class, the student does not have to commit to a certain time frame to complete it in. Once a course is paid for, the buyer has lifetime access to those recourses. This allows people to learn at a pace and time that is most convenient for them.

Eliminating timelines and added pressure will make this information more likely to sink in and provide a better learning experience. It is Udemy’s goal to offer a service that ensures unlimited learning potential in a much more accessible way.  They have an app for both iPhone and Android users in order for twenty percent of their customers to access their content on the go.

Business Development Opportunities

Another service that is offered by this company is Udemy for Business. This allows businesses to pay for their employees to take certain classes that will improve overall success.

These companies can select from over 2,500 courses, ranging on topics from technology to design. Giving employers an opportunity to customize a course plan can guarantee their workers are learning the exact skills they need and in a consistent manner.

Udemy also has the capability for the bosses of these companies to see how well their employees are doing on the courses. Having access to these learning patterns is crucial in making sure the content is understood.

Subject Matter Experts and Certifications

Udemy’s courses are taught by subject matter experts and some classes can give the student credit towards a technical certification. Dependent on the teacher, some classes may be cheaper or even free.

Diverse Course Selection

One of the great things about Udemy is the wide variety of class options there are. For instance, many businesses and individuals nowadays recognize that an important precursor to succeeding at work is a healthy lifestyle. If you want to start living healthier to improve your life in all aspects, there is a course offered called “Nutrition Masterclass: Build Your Perfect Diet & Meal Plan.” As busy as life can be in the working world, it is imperative to keep your body healthy which will make your mind healthy, too.

This company offers courses that will improve your life in more ways than just work.

Udemy Program Specifications

  • Over 14 categories of classes to choose from
  • Price dependent on specific course
  • PowerPoints, live classes, and discussion boards are among available resources
  • Customizable based on needs/wants

Pros

  • Over 80,000 course options
  • Customizable business options
  • Lifetime access
  • No reoccurring fees
  •  Mobile accessibility

Cons

  • No free trial option
  • Only technical certification credit options, not college credit

Lynda (LinkedIn Learning): Description & Review 

Lynda is a website that focuses on offering mostly software, business, creative skill and technology courses. It is also an online resource for learning that is not college-based content. For many years, Lynda was a site for its founder Lynda Weinman’s students to have access to her teachings and books. As the website progressed, it started offering multiple courses focused on producing creative leaders and entrepreneurs.

A review of Lynda vs Udemy brought out these interesting differences:

Customizable Learning Platform

Lynda was eventually bought by LinkedIn and incorporated into a customizable learning site. By combining the job portfolio aspect of LinkedIn and the teaching platform from Lynda, a website was born that can suggest courses based on your work experience and current employment.

One of the biggest differences noted in this Lynda vs Udemy is the customized recommended content based on current job and experience. When linking these two accounts together, LinkedIn Learning can generate recommended classes based on the customer’s skill level and interests. They also suggest classes that other professionals in related fields are taking. This gives the buyer an extremely customized list of the best options to better themselves in the environment they work in.

Extensive Networking Options

Another premium feature this company offers is the ability to contact people one may not be connected with already on LinkedIn.

This allows the opportunity for workers to reach out to other people who might have insight on a certain job or to receive professional advice. It also allows the buyer to see who has looked at their profile in the past ninety days and gives them more information on potential competition for jobs they are interested in or have applied for.

Downloadable Courses for Ease of Access

One of the ways this company caters to its customers is by offering a downloadable option for all classes. Lynda knows people do not always have access to the internet when they want or need it.

By allowing people to download content on their mobile app, it guarantees wherever they are, students have the ability to spend time on their coursework. This further extends the opportunities to promote education passed school age.

Team Development Opportunities

They also offer classes for not only personal improvement but team developing as well. They promote assigning classes to employees to keep them productive and up to date on new skills or technology that might be newly implemented in the workplace.

With technology constantly changing, Lynda offers courses that can help keep people up to date. It can also prepare potential promoting employees stay on the upward movement by giving them the skills they need for proper leadership and management.

Monthly Subscription—with a Free 30-Day Trial

One thing to note in this Lynda vs Udemy review is the difference in payment options. With Udemy, enrollment is a one-time purchase. LinkedIn Learning is a monthly, subscription-based company. They offer a thirty-day free trial for anyone interested to try it out.

Within that monthly subscription, a customer has access to over 12,000 courses in five different languages. These languages include English, Spanish, French, German and Japanese. There is no limit on how many courses a subscriber can watch. With new classes being added every week, this gives the customers access to many different options and unlimited skill learning potential.

Videos for Personal Development and Success

In any job, it is important to know your strengths and weaknesses. A highly viewed and to the point class called “Discovering Your Strengths” is available on LinkedIn Learning. If you find out that one area where you need further development is productivity, a course called “Enhancing Your Productivity” is also available.

Find new elements in Udemy and Lynda

The more you promote the more you will earn in these websites 

These general skill-improving videos take you back to the basics when it comes to how important self-awareness is in being successful.

Lynda (LinkedIn Learning): Program Specifications 

  • Business, Tech, software and creative skill categories
  • Monthly or annual subscription
  • Combines teachings with LinkedIn account
  • No limit on class amounts
  • Quizzes and practice sheets available

Pros

  • Over 12,000 courses and more added every week
  • Unlimited access to classes
  • Recommended and customized options
  • Offline accessibility
  • Premium LinkedIn perks

Cons

  • Monthly cost in order to receive unlimited access
  • Non-refundable but able to cancel subscription at any time

Verdict - How Can I Try Online Learning?

As has been seen with this Udemy vs Lynda review, both online learning initiatives have a lot to offer, and each one is beneficial in its own ways. This may not be a learning style that is for everyone, but it is worth a try. For anyone that is on the go or enjoys learning on their own time, you would be a great candidate to try out these new educational systems.

If continuously learning about yourself and new skills is appealing to you, a subscription to Lynda is a smart investment. The benefits of a personalized list of suggests and unlimited class selection are worth the money.

Best of all, you can sign up for a LinkedIn Learning 30-day free trial. If improving your professional skills is something you are thinking about trying out, there’s no better way than a free trial. It is given as an option for customers to feel out the waters. The extremely knowledgeable teachers will undoubtedly pass on useful information, and the many resources will ensure an easy learning process.

For someone already aware of the areas and skills that they need to work on improving, purchasing an Udemy class on that subject is a beneficial move. It is the quickest way to purchase only what you need and gives you the opportunity to take your time and soak in the information the experts will teach you.

Oct 17

Cognitive Class (Previously Big Data University) Review

By Jeremy Kallowitz | Course Provider Reviews

Cognitive Class is an online school offering courses which teach data science, AI, and computing. As a prior student who's completed multiple courses I would like to share my experience with potential newcomers.

Perhaps you're interested in Cognitive Class for its data science curriculum. Especially, because they're formerly known as Big Data University", so data science is what they really specialize in.

The reason for the companies name change was to appeal to a broader audience. However since the companies founding Data Science has been their main priority and still is. I took their DS course and will breakdown its pros and cons with you.

Course Material - 9/10

Ranked #2 best free online data science course by Forbes. Receiving an average of 4.5 stars from over 3,000 reviewers. The course is a smash hit and users everywhere are recommending others to Cognitive Class.

You can learn python for data science and machine learning. Students agree its the complete data science course with hands on programming. Each course will take on average 22 hours to finish. After completion you are rewarded with a badge/certificate

.Users who have had previous computer science experience will have an easier time than beginners. From my experience it was very beginner friendly but still advanced enough to challenge a computer science major like myself.

IBM is one of the largest technology companies in the United States. They founded <em>Big Data University</em> and then rebranded the company to its new name Cognitive Class. So the courses are made by one of the most credible and massive corporations in America.

Customer Service - 8/10​


Unfortunately the customer service is not really there. There's only an email for support. Without a phone number or chat box it makes immediate solution for simple problems seem impossible.

There is a huge community of students and open forum board to post in. Most questions posted on this community board are usually resolved very quickly. In case you wanted to try something aside from email support.

Pricing - 10/10​


Save money with Cognititve Class, actually save all your money! It's completely free. That's as good as it gets which is why the pricing receives a 10 rating. You should sign up for a free membership now and start learning today.

The customer service may not offer phone support but that's because it's a completely free to use website. Most free to use things don't have premiere features like incredible customer support and that's ok! We're perfectly happy with its quality and being free.

Conclusion

If you want to take your data science learning to the next level there is a more advanced course. As a beginner I really liked the Cognitive Class data science course. However I learned more later on from th​is coursera course.

Starting a new career in IT making 100k a year is possible. You just need to prove you have the skills to be hired. Sign up for the Cognitive Class courses which are completely free. Once you've earned your badges then go learn from coursera to complete your curriculum. Afterwards you can look for work programming if you've truly mastered the skill.

Learn about cognitive class and its features

Interested in Cognitive Class for its data science curriculum then dive into this website

Oct 10

Skillshare Review | Is It Worth It?

By Jeremy Kallowitz | Course Provider Reviews

Thanks to the internet, people can gain knowledge from sources beyond universities and school. Online education is becoming increasingly more important as aspects of our society shift. Learning in this manner is easily accessible. Anyone from around the globe can learn new things.

The first wave of online education mimicked the more traditional ways of teaching. Like teaching someone face-to-face, these early incarnations had the same form and content. Teachers would deliver lectures via audio files or slides, and students would listen. But recent developments allow these lessons to be more interactive, and they fulfill the potential that their digital status offers.

Skillshare Logo

Skillshare has developed out of this online education revolution.  When it was established in 2012, the platform offered only 15 courses. Today, it’s grown into so much more. The website is now an international e-learning environment that has over 15,000 courses and 2 million students signed up for their services. They even have some well-known influencers enrolled such as Gary Vaynerchuk (social media), Marc Ecko (branding), Guy Kawasaki (business), and Seth Godin (entrepreneurship). 

In this Skillshare review, you’ll learn all you need to know about what the platform offers. You’ll also have some common concerns answered, like “Is Skillshare a scam?” and “Is Skillshare worth it?” You’ll also learn how it’s different from other services that offer the same or similar opportunities. Through all of this, you’ll get an accurate sense of whether it’s something that’s worth checking out.

What Is Skillshare?

Skillshare is a community that is completely based on the internet. It’s designed for teachers to pass on real-world skills to students. These skills can be discovered on the platform by simply browsing through specific categories. Students learn these skills with the help of classes that are project-based.

The way the site is set up allows students and teachers an opportunity to access courses, content, and presentation related to almost any subject they’re interested in. These subjects vary and include business, cooking, crafts, design, DIY, gaming, fashion, film, marketing, music, photography, technology, and more. 

Professionals seeking to teach other tricks of their trade can utilize this site as well. They can do this simply by creating and publishing a class.

This platform’s entire mission is to empower both students and teachers. It gives users a way to improve their lives, perform their passion, and excel in their career. Skillshare is an online learning community that guarantees that their users will have access to high-quality learning.

What It Has to Offer

Skillshare homepage

As of today, you will find that Skillshare has more than 23,000 classes that are dedicated to developing skills. Of these courses, many of them focus on well-known and useful topics. Topics are dedicated to the arts, business, graphic design, cinematography, motion graphics, technology, and a vast number of other topics. Many of these subjects are either extremely useful to today’s job market or are expensive to pursue in traditional education spaces.

With over 2 million students from around the world connected through this online learning and teaching platform, you have access to so many different perspectives. On Skillshare, you can find all different types of interactive lectures. They’re presented in the English language and very easy for most people to grasp.

Those looking to teach on the platform have the opportunity to earn a big boost to their overall income. They also offer a premium membership for their platform that allows people to access an unlimited number of items from their library.

The Benefits of Skillshares

Flexible to Diverse Learning Objectives

Skillshare is a tool that is very useful to students who have different learning needs or objectives. It’s a platform that has a robust amount of content. The courses and classes that they have are aimed to improve, enhance, or expand your set of skills.

Whether you’re looking to add some useful tools to your belt or are wanting a refresher on a topic you’re familiar with, Skillshare has courses that can help you.

Shared Learning Experiences

When you use Skillshare, you’ll see that they don’t offer classes that are just one-on-one. Some people will see this as a disadvantage. However, this focus on a shared learning experience allows students to share their insights and perspective with each other.

This not only gives students a chance to learn unique skills but also allows them to widen their worldview. This setup is also useful as students can offer each other support and gain networking opportunities in fields they’re interested in.

The platform is specifically designed to enhance and promote creativity. Their use of video lessons and project creation helps students unlock this creativity.

Community and Networking for Teachers

Skillshare isn’t designed to just help students looking for a unique learning environment. The platform makes it easy for teachers to join their network. Those looking to teach can simply create a class, add a class description, and publish their creation.

The tools that Skillshare provides for teachers makes creating their classes an easy process. The site also gives instructors a step-by-step guide to creating and publishing their content and allows you to promote it by building a channel.

Lucrative for Professional Development

Additionally, the platform helps creators, entrepreneurs, and professionals earn extra money. Skillshare offers compensation for instructors when students enroll in their courses and watch their instructive videos lessons. They can also earn some extra money by referring students to the premium subscription membership.

Membership Benefits

If students take advantage of this membership, they gain access to the complete catalog of premium courses. They can also view classes offline if they opt for the premium membership. However, offline classes can only be viewed through the Skillshare mobile app. Those not interested in paying the premium price can easily access the free courses that Skillshare offers.

Notable Features

Skillshare has a number of features that both students and teachers can utilize. These features include the aforementioned referral program, class creation and publication tools, building channels, free classes, networking opportunities, a shared learning experience, and offline viewing for premium students. Other features that have been around for a while are the high-quality learning materials they offer and their catalog of premium classes.

While the features listed above have been a part of the platform for a while, Skillshare has recently introduced quite a few new features. These features include helpful tools that make broadcasting and finding courses easier and that offer the ability to attach files. These additions and more help make the process of creating courses and experiencing the course easier than ever. 

  • Skill Tags. As an instructor, you can use skills tags when you create or edit a course. You can add up 5 of these tags. The purpose for teachers is to increase the discoverability of the course. As a student, this new feature can now narrow down your search to what you specifically want. Students can also follow these tags to help personalize the classes they’re recommended from the platform. 
  • Upload Video Lessons. Instructors are now able to upload their video lesson directly from their desktop to Skillshare. This means that your courses are hosted on the website, and exclusive to only your students on the platform.
  • Interactive Project Steps. The platform is specifically project-based, which makes the project step an integral part in teaching and learning on the site. Skillshare has recently stepped up this feature by allowing teachers to expand what they include in each step. Instructors can also determine how students interact with each project step.
  • The process is easy. Teachers can add rich text and attach photos directly from a computer for every step in the project. This gives teachers the ability to display information exactly how they want in each step.   
  • When students take a class, they can now expand and collapse each of these steps. They can now check off the steps they’ve completed and even mark off an entire unit when they’re done. This makes tracking their progress with lessons extremely easy.
  • Attach Files to Videos, Steps, & Resources. If for some reason, an instructor is unable to fit all the information they want into a course, they can now attach documents and files. This includes extra information about a specific project step, a slideshow, or a .psd that a teacher may find essential for students to have.

Who Is Skillshare for?

If you feel that there are areas or skills that you want to learn or expand to improve your life, then this Skillshare review is for you. The courses offered can improve your performance in business and your personal life.

Many of the classes they offer also give you the tools you need to grow professionally. They grow your business skills so that you can pursue your passion as a career. It doesn’t matter if that area of interest is in a certain field or is freelancing. Skillshare’s ultimate goal is to assist people to improve all aspects of their life.  

Who Is It Not for?

If you feel that you know everything there is to know about your field and your skills are perfect, then Skillshare may not be the best fit. If you find that you’re being judgemental of the courses offered in your area of expertise or reluctant to take them, this platform isn’t for you. This space is best for those who are open-minded and eager to learn.

How Much Does It Cost?

With so many features, you might think that a subscription to such a service will come with a hefty price. However, Skillshare is pretty affordable, and it has a few options for you to choose from.

 If you want, you can just become a free member. As a free member, you can browse and participate in a lot of courses at no cost to you whatsoever. Sometimes, instructors will provide links to free premium content to promote their classes.

Another option is for you to pay monthly. The monthly cost is $12 and gives you unlimited access to every course. This is virtually the same price as a Netflix subscription and way more affordable than taking a class at university or college.

If you want, you can pay for the whole year. With this subscription, you either pay $8 monthly or you pay out one payment of $96 per year. If you end up loving the service, this subscription will save you 33 percent each year.

For those struggling financially, Skillshare is still an option for you. If you want to use Skillshare but can’t afford it, then you can apply for a scholarship. Skillshare offers scholarships that can take 50 to 100 percent off their price. Be sure to read their terms of service before applying to ensure that you’re eligible. To test whether Skillshare is right for you, you can also sign up for a free one-month trial.

Pros & Cons

While Skillshare has many advantages and pros, it’s not completely free of issues and mistakes. The following is a look into the pros and cons of the platform.

Pros:

  • There are a wide number of teachers on Skillshare who offer insight that is invaluable and put a real focus on interactive teaching and learning.
  • It’s super easy to use; anyone can upload a standardized class on the platform.
  • The video quality of even their free video content is of high-quality, especially when compared to the majority of YouTube videos.
  • Once you’ve finished your course, you can share what you’ve completed with the community members on Skillshare.
  • The design of the platform is well-developed, straightforward, and engaging so users can easily navigate their way around.
  • The price is a lot more affordable than traditional classes and popular online learning platforms.

Cons:

Courses that aren’t as focused on creative pursuits don’t quite have that high-quality standard. Plus, these courses have lectures that tend to be a bit shorter.

The selection of courses that are creativity-driven is slim.

Skillshare doesn’t put a restriction on video length. With no standard, you can find videos that are 10 minutes and videos that are a few hours.

The learning process, while interactive, might not be for everyone. If you learn better by just listening to lectures or reading materials, you might struggle with the website’s setup.

A Look at Courses Offered

Intro to Surface Pattern Design: Learn Adobe Illustrator | Create Patterns. Artists and graphic designers can find numerous courses similar to this one. This course provides aspiring designers and artists some tips and tricks to learning Adobe Illustrator, a valuable tool in both job fields. The course focuses on the creation of repeating patterns, which can be used by freelancers and entrepreneurs to advance their career. This class starts with the very basics and builds up to more advanced techniques to give you the knowledge you need to begin designing.   

Context Is Key: Social Media Strategy in a Noisy Online World. Mastery of social media is essential for those looking to start their own business. Companies use social media to tell their story and build their brand. This course teaches you how to develop a social media platform that will develop results. The instructor promises to break down how to utilize all the major platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr. The teacher for this course is an expert in his field, working for brands like PepsiCo and GE.

This course promises to teach you how to build long-term relationships with your customers. It gives you the skills to customize your content so that it’s appealing to your specific audience. It offers real-world examples of social media accounts that work and ones that don’t so that you can apply them to your own campaigns. 

Context is Key encourages students to create their own platform while going through this course. If you don’t have your own brand, you can try to create a social media strategy for your favorite brand.

Introduction to SEO: Tactics and Strategy for Entrepreneurs. This course on Skillshare is focused on helping those interested in entrepreneurship. It teaches students tactics and insights that they can apply to their content. These tricks optimize your content and show you how you can organically raise your online presence. This class is advertised as offering bite-sized lessons that are easy-to-follow.

This class will work for everyone. SEO is a marketing strategy that doesn’t change across industries. The fundamentals gone over in this course can be applied universally.

At the end of instruction, students are invited to work on a project to put their new skills to the test. They’re encouraged to share their own SEO method by optimizing a blog post based on keyword research.

Is It a Scam?

Skillshare offers interested users a 1-month free trial to help you answer the question: Is Skillshare worth it? It’s a good offer that many subscription services have.

People who do sign up for this free month but don’t enjoy their experience sometimes find that after that month is up they get charged for the next month. This isn’t a scam like many people claim. It’s just that to get the free trial you have to sign up for a subscription. If you don’t cancel that subscription, you’re going to get charged like you would any other service.

Why There Are Complaints

If you look at other Skillshare reviews and feedback, you’ll see that there are a few complaints. You’ll also find that many of the articles question the validity of the platform. With a closer look at these complaints, however, you’ll notice that there are easy solutions.

Here are a few complaints you might run into when looking at other feedback and Skillshare review and the solution to them. 

  • The most common complaint is that a person forgot to cancel their subscription after their free trial. They expect the platform to remind them, but that’s not a common practice for any subscription service. When you cancel your subscription at least a few days before the trial ends, you’ll avoid all disputes and charges. You can cancel by going to your payment settings and do so.
  • Another complaint also deals with money. Quite a few people don’t feel comfortable giving out their credit card information for the free trial. As a legitimate business entity, the company has a physical location with real employees. However, it is based online, so payment information has to be collected this way. Collecting this information when you sign up for the free trial allows you to easily transition to the actual subscription when you’ve decided that Skillshare is right for you. It also filters out people who try to take advantage of the system by signing up using multiple email address.
  • Users who have tried Skillshare sometimes say that they never had the time to take any classes. This is understandable. Skillshare can actually help with that issue. They offer courses on time management. This will help you prioritize what you want to do, including taking other Skillshare classes.
  • A less common complaint is that people can’t find a course that they’re interested in, even though the platform has a wide range of topics. However, if you feel they might not have what you’re looking for, you can always browse their course before signing up. This will let you know if there are classes that you’re actually interested in. 
  • An outdated complaint in itself, people use to complain that there was no way to see if a class was outdated. The site has actually tackled this problem. You can now browse through the course and filter them by their date of creation. You can also filter classes by how popular they are and which ones are trending.

How It Compares to YouTube

When you compare Skillshare to other online learning platforms, it beats them in almost every category thanks to the low price and high-quality content. But, how does it compare to a completely free service like YouTube?

When you look at both the production quality and the quality of the content, Skillshare comes out on top. While some YouTube videos have good production quality, they often lack organization and structure. The professionals teaching at Skillshare ensure that their video content has both. Also, Skillshare doesn’t pester its students with advertisements or other unrelated videos.

Skillshare is an online learning community that guarantees high quality education

This platform have the opportunity to earn a big boost to their overall income

Skillshare also offers you an incentive to really learn. Since YouTube is free, you’re less likely to stay committed to learning what you want. The $12 that comes out of your bank account every month is a great reminder that you should be bettering yourself.

The most crucial feature that Skillshare has over YouTube is that it puts what you’re learning into practice. You’re given tasks to complete to ensure that you’re using what you’re taught. This practice helps create the neurological pathways needed to really cement these new skills into your brain. With YouTube, you’re left struggling to remember what was said.

Is Skillshare Worth It?

Skillshare is a social and casual alternative to traditional learning methods. It focuses on the details that really make learning stick so that students can apply what they’re taught in the real world.

While Skillshare provides you with all you need to succeed, it’s your decision to figure out whether or not it’s worth it for you. Do some extra research. Read some more Skillshare reviews and give the free trial a whirl. Discover for yourself how the valuable information provided by industry professionals is what you’re looking for.

Oct 02

Udacity vs Coursera: Which Is Better?

By Jeremy Kallowitz | Course Wars

The development of the internet has resulted in exponentially more options that were not available before. Its accessibility has changed lives in every way imaginable, and while this often means an influx of available goods and services to choose from when one is in need, it also refers to a highly available access to education that has never been seen before.

There are plenty of online courses programmed that assist people of all grade levels and various understandings to learn new concepts. These range from crash courses and semester-long courses to online colleges and universities.

I myself have experienced this range of educational platforms, having tried both Udacity and Coursera, which led me to ask by the time I was done: Which is better between the two? 

Of course, they would have to be deconstructed in objective advantages and disadvantages as well as the various needs of its potential clientele, but I had my own things to say about these establishments. In this Udacity vs Coursera review, I’ll give you the overviews and insider insights for which of these online programs educational platforms works best.

Udacity

Coursera

Course Variety:

6/10

9/10

Course Quality:

5/10

9/10

Course Affordability:

6/10

9/10

Impact On Resume/CV:

6/10

8/10

Sign Up:

Udacity

Udacity is a platform that was founded by Stanford instructors with the purpose of making education accessible and affordable for an extensive range of individuals via artificial intelligence. It has seemed to achieve just that through its various available programs and hiring partners, with a heavy concentration on developing advanced technology.

They offer five different schools for its studies:

It has a wide multitude of available paths as well, including but not limited to Machine Learning, Robotics, Virtual or Augmented Reality, and Mobile and Web Development.

Within these schools, Udacity offers a wide assortment of subjects that can be rare and difficult to find among other institutions, such as Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, Flying Cars & Autonomous Flight, Self-Driving Car Engineering (see our review of their self driving car nanodegree here), and more. It is a highly specified institution that promotes accessibility to technology-based degrees and research regardless of one’s personal background.

These were some of my thoughts on the platform:

Pros

  • Developed with the deliberate intention of being accessible, affordable, and doable.
  • At least sixteen career paths available in pursuing their studies.
  • Offers about thirty different kinds of nanodegrees.
  • Provides career services such as resume review, practice interviews for technical job opportunities, and career consultations.
  • Partnered with big names such as AT&T, BMW, IBM, Mercedes-Benz, Uber ATG, and many more.

Cons

  • Strictly offers courses relating to science and business, discouraging potential individuals who want to partake in the fine arts, liberal arts, medicine, etc.
  • Only offers up to a nanodegree in terms of educational certification, which many people are not looking for when seeking out online courses.
  • Not extremely affordable considering the certification, as nanodegrees can cost up to $999, or $84 a month when signing up with Affirm, but sometimes as low as $599 as a one-time payment, or $50 a month with Affirm.

Coursera

Established in 2012, Coursera is an online education platform that caters to a wide range of individuals and their needs in intellectual spaces. They also excel in technology-based education, but offer courses in many different subjects. They award degrees ranging from a course certification to university-level authentication.

Its most highly regarded courses include but are not limited to:

  • Coursera Data Science Specialization (Check out our review here)
  • Algorithms, Part II, courtesy of Princeton University
  • Econometrics, courtesy of the National Research University of Higher School of Economics
  • Programming Languages, Part A and B, courtesy of the University of Washington.

In addition to these, Coursera also has popular courses such as Learning How to Learn, Programming for Everybody, and Neural Networks and Deep Learning.

As you’ll notice in this Udacity vs Coursera review, accessibility is a major factor in how well a school ranks. Coursera, not unlike Udacity, was developed with the idea of accessibility very much in mind. The courses offered, the levels of degree offered, and the many different platforms that Coursera adheres to in order to better serve their students are all very indicative of the school’s values and desire to help as many individuals as they can.

Regardless of the looming “Coursera vs Udacity” comparison, here was what I had to say on the institution itself:

Pros

  • Can be initially joined for free.
  • Largely affordable, as courses are $29-$99 for a 4-6 week period, specializations are $39-$79 per month for a 4-6 month period, and degrees range from $15,000-$25,000 for a period of 1-3 years of study.
  • Partners with a large number of prestigious schools and enterprises, such as Columbia University, the University of London, University of Copenhagen, the Museum of Modern Art, Google AR & VR, National Geographic Society, and many more that can be easily found on their website.
  • Offers course certificates, specialization certificates, professional certificates, Master Track™ certificates, and degrees.
  • Structures classes a vast assortment of ways (video examples, community discussion pages, etc.) to facilitate everyone’s different intellectual needs as well as strengthen one’s understanding by expressing it in various mediums.
  • Has correlating apps for both Android and iOS to optimize the learning experience.
  • Offers video subtitles in over thirty global languages.
  • A generally diverse institute, with students from 95 different countries.
  • Its website is extensive and provides a large amount of information on the school to better inform its readers and potential students.

Cons

  • While the courses are vast, the degrees and certificates are mostly limited to science and business subjects, making this institute not ideal for those who do not want to pursue said career paths.
  • Pricing varies, and while at times it can be very affordable, it can also skyrocket depending on the certification and/or degree you choose to pursue (specifically a university-level degree).

Comparing Udacity and Coursera

Affordability

When considering the two educational institutions, and acknowledging the many aspects that separate Coursera vs Udacity, I certainly felt that Coursera was the right platform for me. It had more course variety than Udacity, and ended up being more affordable for the route that I wanted to take.

Certificate and Degree Level Attainment

I also wanted to attain a certificate or degree over what Udacity can offer its students. I have a better idea of how the professional world views a variety of certificates or university-level degree than how it views the nanodegree that Udacity provides.

Because of the familiarity that Coursera was able to offer in regards to certificate and degree level, I was more comfortable pursuing my studies with them and knowing exactly what I was going to get out of it.

Range of Specializations

Additionally, I liked the fact that Coursera had specializations while still providing classes that maybe did not fall into said subjects, like their humanities and arts courses. That made me feel as though even if Coursera had its area of expertise, just as Udacity does, it can still offer a wide range of knowledge that I can take advantage of if I so please.

Coursera also offers a degree for public health, which Udacity does not. The two both have hints of business education, however.

Reputable Partnerships and School Credibility

I felt that Coursera had a stronger foundation of partners than Udacity did, which in the end made it seem like a more credible institution.

Udacity had strong names associated with it as far as former students who were hired once they received their education, but Coursera is affiliated with both universities and companies that are universally known and renowned. They also appeared to be a much more worldwide school, serving students of many different backgrounds and thus being revered in return.

In the end, I thought that Coursera was significantly more competitive than Udacity was in terms of not only my education, but the companies that would be more willing to hire me once I received my certificate or degree. I was more impressed by the way Coursera treated its students and its brand as an educational institution when it came down to it.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, what I took from my experience with the two online schools is that the wiser decision would be to sign up for Coursera. They simply offer a wider range of courses, a wider range of ways to access the courses that better align with one’s personal needs, and their certification and degree options (as well as the pricing that came with them) was just a better deal for me.

I was impressed by Coursera’s commitment to accessibility, diversity, and of course, knowledge. Their affordability encouraged me to take the next step, especially because of their association with top rated, world class universities and institutions. I knew that Coursera was the right choice for me very early on, and I was not disappointed.

For those considering online courses and degrees, I highly recommend looking into what Coursera has to offer. Like I mentioned, it is initially free to join, and if you are pursuing technology, business, or public health, Coursera likely offers something you would be interested in with the degree or certification you would most prefer.

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The first step for the rest of your life starts now, and I feel confident that Coursera will be a part of it. It is never too late nor too soon to pursue a degree or certification, and Coursera will more than likely meet the needs you seek.

If you're looking for a monthly solution to online education, I highly encourage you to check our Pluralsight review and if programming is your main interest you may want to check out our comparison of Pluralsight vs Treehouse.