Are Udemy Courses Actually Good?

David Brown (Senior Developer) Updated April 27, 2024
Are Udemy Courses Actually Good?

In our technologically advanced, fast-paced world, we’re surrounded by e-learning platforms that promise the best online teacher-student experience, and one of those platforms is Udemy.

With this platform, you can learn hundreds, if not thousands, of new skills, but you may be wondering:

How good are Udemy courses?

Udemy courses can be good and worth time and money. The experience will depend on what a user finds useful. If you’re looking for academic-style lectures, then Udemy won’t help you. However, if you want to learn new skills through video lessons, then Udemy is excellent for that. 

In this article, I’ll discuss exactly why Udemy courses are worth your time and money and mention some negative aspects you should avoid. I’ll also discuss the varying prices for courses on Udemy.

When Are Udemy Courses Worth It?

udemy mooc numbers

According to Udemy, they offer more than 204 thousand courses in 75 languages for more than 54 million learners. Those are some impressive numbers! 

For starters, there are courses for everything on Udemy – from learning to keep your personal space to web design and programming. So, everyone can find at least one course that suits their needs. The unbelievably huge number of courses offered are grouped in 13 categories (which contain further sub-categories.)

Some of the most popular courses are in the development, business, IT & software, and design categories

Udemy courses are extremely good for gaining knowledge and developing skills for your personal needs or fulfillment.

That’s because Udemy isn’t accredited and the courses you buy aren’t recognized or valid for college credit, for example. However, the skills you get from those courses mean a better experience and a chance to get recognized. 

For paid courses, you can get a certificate of completion, which some companies might accept, but those certificates generally don’t mean much.

The main reason Udemy courses are good is the “relaxed atmosphere” in almost every course. Once you enroll in a course, you have lessons in a video format you can watch whenever and as many times as you want. As a matter of fact, once you pay for a course, you have access to the material forever. 

Apart from the video lectures, you usually get additional material like articles, the material you can download, and exercises. 

Some courses even offer practice tests or exams. Apart from that, the review option is visible to everyone, so you can quickly learn if that particular course is right for you. There’s also a “Q&A” section for every course where students can send questions directly to the lecturer. 

Speaking of lecturers on Udemy, everyone can become one; no diploma or certificate is required. This has its problems, as you can imagine. Some lecturers are too young and inexperienced, but they are often tech-savvy and more active on the platform for their students.

The number of hours and lectures for an Udemy course is another good indication of the quality of that course. Usually, more hours means better quality of courses. However, this isn’t always true, but when a course lasts for more hours and has more lectures, it usually means that the topic in question was covered in more detail. 

If you look at the Programming Languages subcategory (found in Development), most courses last from 6 to 17 hours, but the first two most popular courses there last for 22 and 80 hours in total. 

Another great thing about Udemy is they offer free courses. So, if you can’t afford to pay for lectures, there are hundreds of free ones. Again, the quality may reflect the price tag (or the lack of one). Let’s compare them. 

This time I’m looking at the Web Developer subcategory. The most popular free course on this topic lasts for 2,5 hours and has 19 lectures. However, the most popular paid course lasts 64 hours and has 615 lectures. So, if you’re developing your skill for a future career, you might want to spend a few dollars on that course. 

Here’s When Udemy Courses Aren’t Worth It

So, there are some instances when Udemy courses are simply not that good or useful to us. Let’s look at some of those situations: 

  • Lectures Are Fast-Paced and Hard to Follow: Everyone learns at their own pace, and if the lectures are difficult to follow, then they might not be the right course for you. 
  • A Course Is Too Expensive: Okay, some lecturers are good, but not that good. Some courses on Udemy can cost $300. You might rethink paying that much, considering Udemy courses aren’t accredited.
  • A Course Is Outdated: Many Udemy courses weren’t updated for years, and for certain fields, like programming languages, that’s a problem. No one should pay for outdated material.
  • Lecturers Are Non-responsive: Although there’s a “Q&A” section that’s meant to connect lecturers and students, some lecturers don’t actually use them. You shouldn’t buy a course that’s ultimately just video lectures without further explanation.

Ultimately, you should look at the reviews when picking a course on Udemy, top rated courses are usually very good value.

Are Udemy Courses Worth the Price?

Udemy’s courses vary in price exponentially, and nobody’s really sure why. There are courses worth $20, $80, or $150, and all discuss the same topic. Sure, there’s the number of hours and lectures involved. Still, the difference in price range doesn’t make sense. 

Luckily, Udemy has all these great sales all the time (roughly every month), so you can get really good, high-quality courses worth $80 for $9.99, for example. It’s an excellent investment in yourself. 

As I also mentioned, you always have the option to enroll in free courses, the quality may not be the best, but you’re still gaining some knowledge. Plus, you can always unenroll. Even if you paid for a course and you don’t like it, Udemy offers a 30-day refund option

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Udemy can be an amazing e-learning platform where you can learn many new and different skills. On the other hand, it can also be a time-wasting place of sheer frustration. 

However, there are some great courses that’ll always make you come back to this platform. Just remember that money doesn’t mean quality, and those skills you gain don’t come with valid accreditation.


David Brown
About the author

David is a self-taught senior developer who lives in San Diego. He has over 10 years of experience in the software development industry and has worked on a variety of projects. He has a passion for coding, and a keen interest in the latest online education technology.

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