Udemy is one of the most popular online course platform for both instructors and students. Anyone can become an instructor and start teaching students from the world over. It allows instructors to offer their courses for free or onetime price. Similarly, students can learn about various subjects and specialities. As students complete a course, they get a completion certificate. Udemy is home to top class instructors with outstanding courses but without proper accreditation and quality control. So is it better compared to learning on other learning platforms like YouTube or Khan Academy, which are completely free?
Is Udemy actually legit?
Udemy is a reputable online platform for course creation and learning. Top class instructors on Udemy post in-depth explanations compared to, say, their YouTube videos. Students also get a community to discuss with themselves and instructors. However, they have tiny irregularities. They have a notorious marketing ploy where most of their courses are on sale throughout the year. A new visitor sees a huge discount, but the regular price is exaggerated, making the sale tempting. They manipulate visitors into believing they are getting a good deal.
While legit, it comes with many shortcomings
Poor Quality Instructors
While everyone can create and upload their course, most aren’t intriguing, creative or contain good content. Some Instructors just upload slides and auto generated audio. Others have courses on marketing and artificial intelligence merely reviewing related sites by navigating to their front page — without even experimenting with their main features. Some give away 100% free coupons for their paid courses, which are an advertisement for their other paid content.
Udemy does very little quality control on courses and mischievous instructors. After all, they are a for-profit business, not an educational institute. It’s up to the customer to research the instructors and agencies. It includes being able to notice fake reviews, outrageous claims, and checking preview of the content.
Fake reviews are widespread in Udemy. Registration is easy, with a simple form to fill up. They restrict registration with temporary email addresses, but getting new emails on well-known providers isn’t that hard. Temporary phone numbers are easily accessible to anyone on the internet. You can use your own domain for unlimited emails with email routing. Instructors use this loophole to create multiple fake profiles to write positive reviews. You might think this doesn’t affect paid courses on Udemy, but it does.
For paid courses, instructors can generate discount coupons and use them to distribute course will full discount. The discount coupons give them the ability to create positive reviews for their paid content with fake accounts. Udemy has recently limited the usage of coupons, but not by much.
If you do your research about the instructors and go through reviews elsewhere, Udemy will legit help you gain the skills you need.
Not perfect for every subject
While learning on Udemy is great for general topics, it’s not perfect for technical topics like programming, designing and engineering. Its limited quiz feature isn’t suitable to test coding or design assignments. You can follow along a course without ever touching the tools in the course. They don’t even have a native desktop application, preventing offline download. So you cannot continue your course on your laptop when you’re offline. However, Udemy allows offline access to lessons on their mobile apps. Mobile and tablets aren’t always suitable for courses you have to code along. You can use a third party software like Udeler to download udemy courses for offline viewing on your computer?
Is Udemy accredited?
However, since Udemy is not an educational institution certified by a government, it does not run formal standardized tests with proper supervision and continuous assessment. Therefore, you cannot get formally accredited by Udemy. The certificate you get at the end of the course is merely a completion verification document generated by Udemy. You can get this certificate by merely marking all lessons as “watched”.
The certificate isn’t valid as an indication of graduation or skill mastery. Take it as a participation certificate. If you take a proper course, complete it thoroughly without taking shortcuts. Your take aways are skills and projects you’ve built along the course.
So Is Udemy worth it?
There are a lot of world class instructors in Udemy and you can learn something new or hone your skills for your professional future. Udemy courses of similar quality and content are a lot cheaper than joining educational institutes or even schools. You can also get 100% off udemy coupon for many courses if you are on a shoe string budget. However, Udemy certification is supplementary to the accreditation you already have. I would not dare mention it on my CV. Your real world achievements and projects you’ve built along the way are more valuable to make your CV stand out than a participation certificate from Udemy.