Udemy vs Coursera – Which One Comes on Top?

Updated on July 10, 2022

Thinking about taking online courses but can’t decide between Udemy vs Coursera? Can’t determine which one is more suitable for the kind of courses you’re looking for, your budget, and your needs?

No worries, this article will provide you with an in-depth comparison of these two widely-known online learning platforms. So, let’s dig deeper!

Udemy
Rating: 4.5/5

Verdict

With over 52 million students, more than 185,000 courses, and 70,000 instructors, it’s safe to say that Udemy is one of the leading online learning platforms out there. Udemy courses have a price range from $12.99 to $199.99, and most of the them are offered on a discount.

Read the full review.
Coursera
Rating: 4.9/5

Verdict

Coursera is one of the best online learning platforms with 77 million students, more than 5100 accredited and certified courses, and top quality instructors. The platform has many pricing options depending on the type of course you want to take including special discount promotions.

Read the full review.
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Udemy vs Coursera: Functionality and Interface

When it comes to choosing the right online learning platform, there’s no doubt that ease-of-use and interface play an enormous role in making the decision. Indeed, the chances that you continue using a platform that’s chaotic and difficult to navigate around are pretty low. Hence, here’s a brief comparison and overview of the functionality and interface of these two popular e-learning platforms.

Design

When you first visit a website, you are either attracted or repelled by the design of the homepage. That said, we can say that the design and layout also play an essential role when selecting your preferred platform for taking online courses.

Udemy has a pretty straightforward front page featuring a promotional banner, a list of courses, and what students are currently viewing, their top categories. As you scroll down, you will see some user reviews at the bottom of the page. Overall, the layout and design are pretty good and well-organized, without any confusing elements.

When it comes to Coursera, it also has a simplistic design without any unnecessary banners or pop-ups. Instead, the homepage provides information about what Coursera is, why it stands out from the rest of the online learning platforms, the universities and institutions it cooperates with, what does it offer, the benefits it provides, and some user reviews. Simple, right?

Registration

Namely, you can tell how easy a platform is to use right from the registration process. If creating an account with the online learning provider is challenging, the overall functionality is probably poor. Luckily, registering at both Udemy and Coursera is really straightforward, with some differences.

To register at Udemy, you simply have to enter your email address, password, and name, and you will receive a confirmation email. On the other hand, to register with Coursera, you can choose if you’d like to register using your Apple or Facebook account or enter your email and create a password. That’s it!

Ease of Use

However, after you have registered, it’s time you see how easy it is to navigate around and browse for courses. At Udemy, the interface is easy to navigate around, and you can browse all available courses from the Categories drop-down menu. Here you will find all the categories and subcategories, as well as popular topics.

But, that’s not all! There’s also a nice feature that provides you with some personalized recommendations after answering a couple of questions. This is especially useful for those who don’t know where to start as Udemy offers a great range of courses on numerous topics.

And, speaking of Coursera, we can definitely say that it is equally easy to navigate around, allowing you to browse all available courses from the Explore drop-down menu that presents you with the different subjects it covers. Plus, you can also take a look at its 200+ partners and dig deeper into the courses and specializations they offer.

Conclusion: Based on the above, we can tell that both platforms are easy to use and navigate. However, Udemy has a slightly cleaner design compared to Coursera, which may sometimes overwhelm users with too much information. Thus, our first point goes to Udemy.

Udemy vs Coursera Features: Full Comparison

In this section, we're comparing the main features of Udemy and Coursera, side by side. The table gives the reader a good idea of what each of the platforms offers to their customers. This is perfect opportunity to look over what the platforms offer and how that fits your needs or criteria.

Note: If any of the rows has exclamation point (!) it means that the factor is not applicable.

PlatformFor BusinessCertificationCourse Previews24/7 SupportFree CoursesFree TrialMobile AppOffline UsePromotionsRefunds
Udemy
Coursera

Udemy vs Coursera: Courses

As courses are the critical element of any online learning platform, this section will focus on comparing Udemy and Coursera courses. Here’s what you need to know:

Free and Paid Courses

Luckily, both Udemy and Coursera offer free courses you can take to try out the platform and learn, of course. But, Udemy reduced the number of courses at no charge from thousands to just under 600 courses. Whereas Coursera offers close to 2,000 courses users can audit for free.

The new Udemy free courses offer less than 2 hours of video content. And there’s no option to directly message or ask the teachers questions or earn a certificate of completion. Instead, the simple aim of the free courses now is to get to know the topic and the instructor before students decide whether or not they want to make a financial commitment.

Like Udemy, Coursera free courses don’t include:

  • Instructor or peer-to-peer grading options.
  • Quizzes to evaluate knowledge.
  • Certificate of completion.
  • College credit towards a college degree.

Still, once students financially commit to a platform, they get many other advantages and perks. For example, at Udemy, they have to pay for courses individually to get lifetime access to the course. Plus, learners can access the course via the Udemy mobile app and earn a certificate upon completion after successfully finishing the course.

On the other hand, Coursera is one of the few online learning platforms offering a pretty diverse range of learning options and programs. To be more precise, the platform offers individual online courses, specialization programs, MasterTrack programs, online degrees, and professional certificates programs. Each of these provides a distinctive learning experience based on the learners’ needs.

Course Information

Now, let’s learn some generalities about Udemy and Coursera courses.

With over 185,000 courses divided into 13 categories (and dozens of subcategories), Udemy is certainly one of the top online learning platforms when it comes to a variety of content. There really is no limit to what you can learn with the great diversity of Udemy courses, everything from knitting to biology. Plus, it has one of the most advanced search filters allowing users to filter out courses by price, level, language, duration, and students’ feedback. The user reviews are also pretty straightforward, using a classic star grading system from 0 to 5.

Compared to Udemy, Coursera offers a more limited number of courses that all take a more formal and educational approach. Namely, there are 5,100+ Coursera courses and specializations broken down into 11 topic areas with dozens of subtopics guaranteeing a university-quality level. And, once you select a topic, you can use a helpful search filter system to get more specific results. What’s more, the user reviews are also well displayed so that you can quickly learn what others are saying about the courses.

Conclusion: It’s true that Udemy offers a lot more courses and has a more advanced filtering system, but Coursera offers university-quality courses and numerous learning options. Thus, they both deserve to get one point for their courses.

Udemy vs Coursera Stats Comparison

In this section, we're comparing Udemy and Coursera stats.

Platform
Students
Courses
Categories
Languages
Udemy52M185K1365
Coursera100M7K1112

Udemy vs Coursera: Courses Quality and Instructors

A platform may offer courses on the topic you like to learn. Still, content quality is vital for your learning success, as well as the instructors teaching the courses as, generally, they are the ones keeping you motivated and engaged.

With that in mind, as anyone can create and teach a course on Udemy, the quality of instructors and content varies a lot. And, although Udemy conducts quality control of its courses, we cannot expect it to be a thorough one as there are thousands of courses available. So, ensure you read the about instructor section on the course page and check their experience and credentials.

Here’s where Coursera rocks. Probably the number one advantage of Coursera is that all of its courses are fully accredited and have university-level quality. The platform has partnered with 200+ top universities and industry leaders, remember? With instructors from world-class universities like Stanford, Berklee, Duke, Pennsylvania State, Yale, Imperial College London, as well as big companies like IBM, CalTech, Google, Honeywell, Cisco, you can rest assured that any course you purchase has a university-level quality which isn’t the case with other online learning platforms competitors, like Udemy, for example.

Conclusion: This was an easy one. Our point goes to Coursera for its high-quality instructors and courses.

Udemy vs Coursera: Online Courses Categories

As already noted, Udemy and Coursera take a different approach and kind of target a diverse audience. But, precisely speaking, Udemy courses focus on more practical and hands-on applications of the categories covered, whereas Coursera has a more academic focus on their subjects.

That is, if you are looking to learn a new skill, Udemy would be a great fit. But, if you are in need of more in-depth academic knowledge, you should opt for Coursera.

Here’s a list of the 13 categories Udemy offers:

  • Development
  • Business
  • Finance & Accounting
  • It & Software
  • Office Productivity
  • Personal Development
  • Design
  • Marketing
  • Lifestyle
  • Photography & Video
  • Health & Fitness
  • Music
  • Teaching & Academics

And, here’s a list of the 11 categories Coursera offers:

  • Data Science
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology
  • Language Learning
  • Health
  • Personal Development
  • Physical Science and Engineering
  • Social Sciences
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Math and Logic

Conclusion: All in all, both Udemy and Coursera offer a decent number of categories to choose from. Therefore, they each get one point.

Udemy vs Coursera: Certification

Ask any recruiter, and they will all agree that online course certificates are a valuable addition to your CV. And, when speaking of Udemy and Coursera, they both provide learners with a certificate of completion after successfully finishing one of their paid courses. Still, there’s one massive difference between these two. So, let’s see what it is.

With Udemy, learners can get a completion certificate after completing a course. But, to get a formal validated certificate, they would have to upgrade to a verified certificate that will cost a fee. Yet, even if they upgrade, the certificate they will get is not accredited as Udemy hasn’t partnered with any educational institution.

On the contrary, once learners complete a course with Coursera, they receive a verified and fully accredited certification by the partner institution. The certificates include the course name, instructor’s signature, the logo of the partner institution, verification URL, and a statement that the platform has confirmed the learner’s identity.

Even more importantly, getting an accredited certification will help further your career as employers consider university-backed certifications trustworthy.

Conclusion: This point must go to Coursera since the platform does provide accredited certificates, unlike Udemy.

Udemy vs Coursera: Languages Available

Here’s yet another aspect we should evaluate as people from all over the globe can take online courses at Udemy or Coursera, provided that they have an internet connection and speak the language the course is taught.

Udemy offers courses in 65 languages. So, if you don’t speak English, you can filter out courses based on your preferred language. Some of the languages available include English, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Arabic, Turkish, Japanese, Mandarin, and Bahasa Indonesian.

Coursera also offers a great range of languages you can choose from in the filter system, although not in such a vast number as Udemy. Some of the languages available at Coursera include English, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Russian.

Conclusion: With a whopping number of 65 languages supported, Udemy wins this point.

Udemy vs Coursera: Customer Support

Sometimes, users might have certain doubts or face issues. Then, to keep using a platform, they have to get help from its customer support team.

Udemy has a good support system and an immensely helpful FAQ section that users can access from the footer of the website. In case you don’t find your answer there, you can send an email at support@udemy.com and wait for them to contact you.

Coursera, on the other hand, has an excellent support system offering users different ways to seek help. One way to do so is by entering a specific topic in the search bar included on the Help Center page. Then, you can check out the popular topics and find an adequate solution. Furthermore, you can also ask specific questions via live chat, which is highly convenient.

Conclusion: Thanks to offering a live chat beside the other forms of help, Coursera wins this point.

Which One Is Best for Business: Udemy or Coursera?

Nowadays, more and more businesses are using online learning platforms to upskill and train employees. Being one of the world’s most popular platforms, both Udemy and Coursera offer special plans for businesses.

Udemy for Business has two separate plans available. First, the Enterprise plan is for 21 or more users and applies a custom pricing model as it offers custom content and career paths. Second, the Team plan, which is for 5 to 20 users and costs $360 per user per year, offers employees more than 130,000 Udemy courses.

Coursera for Business also has two plans available. The Coursera for Enterprise plan is suitable for larger organizations and has custom pricing depending on the company’s size and training needs. The Coursera for Teams plan, which costs $399 per user per year, is suitable for smaller organizations and teams. Both plans offer access to over 4,000 courses, and many special perks are included in the more expensive one.

Conclusion: Both Udemy and Coursera offer excellent business plans which are pretty similar. Therefore, they will both get a point.

Udemy vs Coursera: Pricing Plans

Last but not least, here’s a brief overview of yet another key aspect to consider when making your decision – pricing.

Udemy has a wide range in prices. For example, you can purchase an individual course starting at $12.99 and going up to $199.99. Namely, courses on more complex subjects, with more information, and longer run time, will be more expensive than shorter courses on a simple topic. What’s more, the instructor’s reputation also plays a huge role in setting the price. As they are the ones determining the prices, not Udemy.

Nonetheless, Coursera offers an even more diverse range of pricing as there are various learning options and programs. Precisely speaking, individual courses cost $29 to $99, specialization programs cost $39 to $89 per month, MasterTrack certificate programs cost from $2,000 and up, whereas online degrees cost from $15,000 to $42,000.

Coursera Plus is the yearly subscription plan offered by Coursera. This pricing model allows students unlimited access to 3,000+ courses, specializations, and professional certificates, for $399 a year or $59 a month.

Refund

Fortunately, both Udemy and Coursera offer a generous money-back guarantee if, for whatever reason, you aren’t satisfied with your purchase.

Udemy, for example, offers a 30-day refund policy. Just navigate to your purchase history, find the course you want to refund, and click on the ‘Request Refund’ button. Then, you can choose to have the refund returned via the original payment method or to receive Udemy Credits instead.

And, based on the subscription chosen, the refund policy at Coursera differs too. For instance, the Coursera Plus, Individual courses, Specialization programs, and Coursera for Team offer a two-week refund policy. But, on the other hand, the month-to-month subscription model doesn’t provide any refunds. And, when it comes to the Degree and MasterTrack programs, it is up to the university offering the course.

To request a refund at Coursera, open your My Purchases page, find the course or subscription you want to refund, and click on Get Refund. That’s it.

Conclusion: This was a close one, but as there are different payment options at Coursera, apart from individual courses, the point has to go to them.

Verdict

When choosing between Udemy and Coursera, it is really up to your needs and what you’re looking to get out of online learning.

Udemy is more suitable for those looking to pick up some particular skills on a great variety of subjects. At the same time, Coursera is best for those looking for a highly educational and academic value.

I hope you found this Udemy vs Coursera comparison useful and made your mind up!