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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.
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