Udemy is an online learning platform for those who want to work on their personal and professional development, pick up a new skill to help them in their careers, or even try out a new hobby.
Read our Udemy review here!
What is Udemy?
Udemy is a MOOC (massive open online course) platform that allows customers to take courses on a wide range of topics.
It was founded in San Francisco in 2010 by Eren Bali, Gagan Binavi, and Oktay Caglar and has offices in Denver, Ireland, Turkey, Brazil, and India.
Udemy has over 155,000 courses taught by over 65,000 instructors, with more than 40 million customers using the platform.
How Does It Work?
To take a course on Udemy, you must first sign up for a free account.
Once you’re an official learner on Udemy, you can browse through the more than 155,000 Udemy courses in 75 languages in order to find one you want to take.
Before signing up for a course, you can look at the reviews for the course and its instructor as well as a brief overview of the topics that will be covered.
You can then pay for the course using a credit card or PayPal before you get started.
Once you’re officially signed up for a course, you can click through the video lectures, slideshows, and documents from the instructor at your own pace.
You can even download the course to your laptop or smartphone to be browsed offline! (Udemy offers an app for both iOS and Android.)
Most Udemy courses have a set of main modules which are broken down further into categories and sub-categories.
You can watch, skip, and jump around on your own time, with no need to keep up with or wait for an instructor in real time.
If you do have trouble understanding something in the course, Udemy offers a message board that allows you to connect with the instructor as well as other students.
Udemy Business is a setup for businesses who want to allow their employees to develop their professional skills.
The Team plan lets your business create profiles for between 5 and 20 employees and gives them access to over 5,000 highly rated Udemy courses.
The Enterprise plan, which is made for businesses with more than 20 employees, gives users access to the same courses and also allows businesses to create custom content for their employees to view.
How Does Udemy Make Money?
Udemy makes money by taking a commission off of what you pay to the Udemy instructors of the courses you take.
Udemy for Business also comes with its own set of fees that are paid straight to Udemy by the business.
Can Udemy Help Me with Personal Finance?
In short, the answer is absolutely. Check out some of their personal finance courses here!
Udemy has an entire category dedicated to Finance & Accounting, with courses in everything from investing basics to cryptocurrency to financial statement analysis.
Some Udemy courses are taught by MBAs, professors, and successful venture capitalists, while others are taught by everyday individuals with a knack for money.
Whatever finance skills you’re looking to learn, Udemy definitely has a course for you!
Want to check out some of Wall Street Survivor’s very own in-house finance courses? Click here!
How Much Does Udemy Cost?
So, Udemy seems like a great platform for receiving education and learning new skills…
…But how much does it cost?
Well, that depends.
The price for paid courses on Udemy is set by the instructor teaching the class, not by Udemy.
An online course on Udemy could cost less than $20, or it could be in the hundreds.
The price for a course will depend on several factors, such as the length of the course, the quality, the Udemy instructor’s credentials, and the instructor’s popularity on Udemy.
This course has a 4.5 star rating from over 18,000 reviews, so you can count on it being worth your money if you’re trying to learn to code.
On the other hand, take a look at this investment banking course:
You could take this course to learn how to build financial models, but it is a bit expensive.
Sitting at $199.99, this course might sound like it’s outside of your budget…
…But if you’re studying to be a financial professional, it might be worth the money!
As you can see, the price of Udemy can vary greatly depending on what you’re looking for and what your budget is.
The point is, Udemy costs whatever you want it to cost!
Does Udemy Offer Free Courses?
Yes, they do!
If you type in “free courses” into the search bar on Udemy, you’ll see pages upon pages of free courses that can help you in almost every aspect of life.
You can also head over to the Udemy Free Resource Center, a section of the website that contains over 150 free courses.
These Udemy courses cover everything from coding to public speaking to painting.
How to Find a Course on Udemy
Let’s say you’ve decided you want to take an investing course on Udemy.
We’ll walk through what you need to do to sign up for an account and find the right investing course for you.
Step 1: Create an Account
The first thing you’ll need to do is sign up for a free Udemy account.
You can sign up for an account by going to the Udemy website and clicking on “Sign Up” in the top right corner.
You’ll then enter your name, email, and create a password.
And then you’re good to go!
Step 2: Navigate to the Correct Category
Once you’re all signed up for Udemy, it’s time to navigate over to the right section of the website.
First, click the categories button in the top left corner of the home page.
Here you’ll see plenty of categories of classes ranging from IT & Software to Teaching & Academics.
But for this particular situation, we’ll want to mouse over the Finance & Accounting Category.
From there, mouse over the Investing & Trading category.
Now, you can click on the Investing category.
Step 3: Narrow Down Your Search
Now that you’re in the Investing Courses section, it’s time to rule out the online courses that don’t meet the criteria you’re looking for.
One quick way to select a course is to choose one of the categories listed above.
The “most popular” section will show you courses that have a high rating based on a high amount of reviews.
The “new” section will show you recently published courses, but you’ll have to do your own research into their credibility and reliability.
The “beginner favorites” section tends to include courses that that have hight ratings and deal with novice topics.
If you want to narrow down your search a little more, you can also use filters and sorting features.
For example, you could sort the courses you see by “most popular” or by “newest.”
Or you can filter out certain courses altogether by selecting which ratings, course lengths, or prices you want to see.
These tools will help you find a smaller amount of courses that fit your interests.
Then, you can look through these and evaluate them one by one.
Step 4: Evaluate the Courses
Now it’s time to decide which of the courses you’re looking at is the best.
You can use criteria such as the course’s rating, the number of reviews, and the credibility of the instructor.
For example, let’s evaluate the course shown above.
Firstly, we can see that this course has a 4.4 star rating based off of over 30,000 reviews. Awesome!
We can also see that the course is taught by an instructor which an MBA, which is a good sign towards his credibility.
The course only costs $28.99 and gives you 14 hours of content.
The course is a bestseller and was updated recently, so we know that the instructor is dedicated to the course and is probably available to help his students.
All in all, this course seems credible, reliable, and worth the money. We’d buy it!
The Pros and Cons of Udemy:
Now let’s talk about what we love about Udemy, as well as what we don’t love.
Pros of Udemy:
Anyone can publish a course.
This can be both a pro and a con, so it is included in the cons section as well.
The good thing about anyone being able to publish a Udemy course is that it lets regular, everyday people with special skills share their knowledge with the world.
Let’s say you want to learn how to play the popular video game League of Legends. Do you think you need (or could even find) a teacher with a PhD to teach you how to play?
There are plenty of individuals out there who are incredible at the game and who built their skills through practice and research.
Udemy may be one of the only places where you can find a course to teach you this skill and skills in many other niche areas.
You Get Lifetime Access to Your Courses.
Once you’ve purchased a course, you can keep coming back to it forever.
You can download courses onto your phone or computer or return to the website or app to access your courses online.
This lifetime access is a huge plus. Why?
Because sometimes we forget things!
Having lifetime access to your course ensures that you’ll always have the knowledge within arm’s reach.
The User Interface is Smooth.
While there have been some complaints about course quality and customer service, students are generally very pleased with the quality of the actual Udemy platform.
The UI seems to be very easy to work with, and almost no bugs in the system have been reported.
It is (Generally) Inexpensive.
Courses on Udemy range from around $15 to around $200.
Udemy is known for its heavy discounts, so if you find a course that you’re interested in but it just costs too much money, you can be almost certain that the price will eventually drop significantly if you keep an eye on it.
There are also over 500 courses you can take for free!
There’s a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee.
If you are unhappy with a course you’re taking on Udemy, you can simply click the “Request a Refund” button to get your money back within 5-10 business days, as long as it’s been less than 30 days since you’ve signed up for the course.
You can’t get a refund for a course you’ve already downloaded for future use.
If you abuse the 30-day money-back guarantee by requesting too many refunds, you might find yourself suspended from Udemy.
This is so students don’t constantly sign up for courses, quickly learn what they need to learn, and try to get their money back.
Cons of Udemy:
Anyone can publish a course.
Now, let’s talk about the downsides of an online learning platform where anyone can be an instructor.
Unfortunately, some instructors on the site just do not have the knowledge they claim to have about the subject material of their courses.
Other instructors may be very knowledgeable but aren’t very good at teaching, so their courses are rigid and difficult to understand.
Still others have plenty of knowledge and are great at teaching, but they have mediocre audio and video equipment that leads to a poorer online learning experience.
The presence of some poor-quality courses may just be the price to pay for an online learning platform that connects students to so many different instructors at low prices.
Just be sure to do a thorough check of the reviews before you enroll in a course; and if you do have a bad experience, take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee!
The Review System Can Be Misleading.
One of your first checks before buying a course should be making sure that it has good reviews.
The problem with reviews on Udemy, though, is you don’t know whether the reviewers purchased the course at a discount or not.
Let’s say you buy a course and find the quality to be very average.
If you bought the course on sale for $15, it was probably worth your money and you would be satisfied.
If the course had cost you $200, your expectations probably weren’t met and you might leave a scathing review.
Be sure to look at not only the reviews for the course, but the reviews for the instructor as well.
The Message Board Isn’t Always Useful.
While the ability to communicate with course instructors and other students is a great feature, it isn’t always used as much as it should be.
Most of the instructors on Udemy have full-time jobs and use Udemy as a side hustle, so responding to students’ questions isn’t their top priority.
Who is Udemy For?
Udemy is a great platform for those who are looking to work on their professional skills, gain new skills to help with their careers, or pick up a new hobby.
With such a large amount of courses covering so many different topics, you’re bound to be able to find a course that fits your needs.
On the other hand, if you are looking to earn an official, professional certification that is required for a job, Udemy may not be the right platform for you.
Udemy is not an officially accredited institution, so it can’t give out professional certifications.
Anyone can create and publish a course on Udemy, so the contents of its courses won’t be recognized by employers looking for official titles.
However, while it may be true that a certificate of completion from a Udemy course won’t get you very far on your resume, the skills you learn from a course can absolutely help you to further your career.
Let’s say you spend a couple of weeks on a Udemy course learning a new coding language and take those skills into your next job interview to demonstrate your knowledge of coding.
While you may not have earned a degree in computer science, you’ve learned the language and are able to complete the tasks required by your job.
While Udemy has proven itself as a leader in the MOOC space, there are plenty of other reasons why it’s a great company to do business with.
Udemy’s values provide a good bit of insight as to why the company has been so successful: they care about learning and about their customers.
Udemy’s Social Impact
Udemy has demonstrated a true focus on changing the world for the better through their partner organizations.
Their partners include companies that give education and aid to human trafficking survivors, refugees, and veterans.
Udemy’s employees located internationally also partner with local organizations and charities to improve access to education for children.
While not every Udemy course is going to be a home run, you simply can’t beat the amount of topics you can learn about or the prices at which you can purchase the courses.
You can find plenty of Udemy courses for hard skills, mental wellness, and professional development.
We hope this Udemy review has inspired your desire to be a lifelong learner, or even teacher!
Next time you want to learn to play an instrument, pick up a new coding language, or even figure out how to solve a Rubik’s cube, sign up for a course on Udemy!