Udemy vs Coursera 2021: Which One Is Best & WHY?

Affiliate disclosure: In full transparency – some of the links on our website are affiliate links, if you use them to make a purchase we will earn a commission at no additional cost for you (none whatsoever!).

Do you wish to utilize your time and take up some online courses to hone your skills? Definitely, you would be in a fix, whether to opt for Udemy or Coursera to take up the course, right? This article gives you a detailed comparison of Udemy vs Coursera E-Learning platforms and provides a comparison between the two as well as alternatives to these platforms. 

So, how exactly does Udemy differ from Coursera?

Udemy vs Coursera: Overview

Udemy Overview

Approximately 15 million or more people undertake about 65,000 or more courses that are being offered by Udemy. The instructors register themselves with Udemy, post which they create courses that fall in the area of their expertise. At present, this platform has industry experts, educators as well as enthusiasts creating a wide range of courses.

Udemy or Coursera - Udemy

Every single course is in the video-based format that also has features for PDF attachments, discussions, as well as quizzes. The courses are created to assist and enable students to enhance their skills in a particular area.

Coursera Overview

Coursera is being used by approximately 20 million or more individuals. This platform has about 2,000+ courses. In order to ensure quality in the courses, the company has partnered with various educators as well as universities to get online courses to this educational platform.

Udemy or Coursera - Coursera

The majority of the online courses are quite similar to the courses which are being offered at universities. This indicates that this platform guarantees top-quality education. By making use of the Coursera platform, the students might even get technical certifications or they could also get a Master’s Degree in any subject from an accredited school.

Coursera vs Udemy – The Battle of Pricing

Udemy Pricing

The pricing model of Udemy relies on users who sign up for free. These users hunt through the wide range of courses to select the one which matches their requirement. There is no monthly membership on this platform. Every single course has a fixed price which lies in the range of $20 – $200 which is permitted by Udemy. The price is fixed by the instructor and the price is visible when you check the list.

Udemy or Coursera - Udemy Pricing Plan

You must bear in mind that free courses have no restrictions. In case a course has been listed as a “free” course, the user can access them easily without any extra steps. When it comes to the paid courses on Udemy, the student has to make the necessary payment and once the payment is cleared, they can access the course materials. The materials can be accessed anytime and any number of times, once you have paid for it.

Coursera Pricing:

In Coursera, there is free signup which gives users access to all the free courses. However, once you complete these courses, no graded assignments will be provided nor will you get the completion certificate. You get access to all the material of the course. The platform also has many paid courses wherein there are no limits on the price. This means that you could be paying for graded assignments, the certificates, or even to access the admissions hours in case it is necessary. The details on pricing can be found in the category “Pricing” for every single course on this platform.

So, which platform is affordable? This totally depends on the user and how much he or she intends to learn and the time he or she can devote to an online course every month. Udemy is quite reasonable in case you intend to go for small courses or wish to function at a slow pace. However, if you wish to learn a lot of academic material, Coursera would be quite cost-effective.

Udemy vs Coursera: Commitment in Terms of Time


When you are buying a course viaUdemy, it offers you lifetime access to the course material. This indicates that you can work on this whenever you wish to and at any pace. The courses are self-guided and the completion of the courses totally depends on the user. A few courses in Udemy are quite detailed. Only a few courses have some video lectures as well as written content that you could read, and you can complete this in a day, in case you are an eager learner.


Coursera is quite similar to an online class that you might take from any formal institution or university. The courses in this platform begin and end on certain dates. The courses come with a timeline that has to be followed. You can check out the videos, and you will also have assignments that are peer-reviewed or auto-graded to be completed. There will be discussion forums as well wherein you can have a discussion with your professor or course mates. 

The selection of the platform will totally depend on the learning style of an individual and the course you intend to learn. In case you require pressure as well as the responsibility to complete the lessons, you can opt for a course at Coursera. In case you are quite self-motivated, you can opt for a course at Udemy. Also, if you wish to learn just a particular skill, the best choice would be Udemy. But if you wish to master a specific topic and learn about in detail, the best option would be Coursera.

Is Udemy much better than Coursera or vice versa?

This depends on what you intend to gain from such online platforms. Udemy is a good option for people who are on the lookout for a particular learning requirement and they wish to get a feel for that subject. Udemy is great for students who want to learn a non-academic hobby or want to learn something specific; for instance programming or even yoga. There are a lot of courses which are generally not provided by educational institutions, like eSports or the simple Microsoft Excel.

Udemy vs Courser- Udemy Stats

Another reason behind opting for Udemy is that people can skill up in a specific area where they wish to and they do not have to worry about time as well as work constraints.  The courses on Udemy are pretty affordable in general. A masterclass in a subject like a web development can be done for a low price.

However, in Udemy, the course quality can vary. You can have a look at the course reviews to reduce this risk. Also, low prices and lack of structure could indicate that a lot of students do not complete the courses. When it comes to building up the resume, the completion certificate holds very little value.

Welcome to Udemy Tech Channel!

On the other hand, Coursera focuses on teaching courses that are academic-based which can be found in a college program or in a university, for instance, mathematics, accounting, biology, etc. if you want to understand which platform is better, this will depend on what you intend to gain from this entire experience. Coursera concentrates on teaching as well as learning from various academic courses like accounting or psychology which is similar to that taught in a college program or university.

This platform is for those people who want a structured along with an accredited learning experience and it gives them access to material from top universities as well as instructors. The benefit of this platform is that it is quite cheaper, and you can also avoid the painful application process of colleges.

This indicates that one can avoid the SAT or ACT, application for scholarships as well as save money in terms of college application fees. Some of the courses have been accepted by institutions for academic credit. Once you enroll yourself in a course, you have to be dedicated and you will get limited time to complete it.

Which e-learning platform is the Best For You?

This depends on what you want to gain from the learning experience and your goals. If your aim is to get a legitimate certificate of completion from any academic institution which will hold weightage, then Coursera is ideal for you. In case you wish to learn certain skills, but at a pace suitable to you, without any deadlines, Udemy is the preferred choice. So, you must first give a thought to what you want, post which you can check out the courses and decide on the best platform to learn them.

Udemy vs Coursera – Availability of Courses

It is quite clear that when you opt for Udemy,  you can access all the courses as well as their content at any time. Once you buy any course, it becomes yours forever. On the Coursera platform, a lot of the courses come with a beginning and ending date. They have deadlines to be followed. Some courses provide their materials only for the duration of the course. This will lead to a lot of time spent waiting for the course. 

Udemy or Coursera - Udemy Course Availability

What Are The topics and subjects Taught?

Udemy has a wide range of courses available on anything and everything that you intend to learn. It includes:

– Business

– Arts

– Health and Fitness

– Entrepreneurship

– Games

– Language

– Music

– technology

– Photography

– Yoga

Some of the courses offered are:

– Microsoft Excel – Beginner to Advanced

– Masterclass Illustrator CC 2019

– Digital Marketing Course – includes 12 Courses in 1

– Complete SQL Bootcamp

– Mindfulness Practitioner Course 

– Complete Blender Creator: 3D Modelling for a Beginner

--  Linux Administration

– iPhone photography

The courses in Udemy concentrate on practical and hands-on application of the various topics that are covered. If you want to learn some specific skills, the Udemy courses are god enough to give you detailed instructions to achieve a goal.

Coursera has a lot of courses that are academic-based. They include:

Coursera- Courses Offered By Them

– Arts and Humanities

– Data Science

– Business

– Life Sciences

– Social Sciences

Some of the courses offered are:

– Cloud Computing by University of Illinois 

– Graphic Design by California Institute of Arts

– Data structures, algorithms by California San Diego University

– Science of Well-being by Yale University

– Buddhism & Modern Psychology by Princeton University 

– Optical Engineering by Colorado Boulder University

Udemy vs. Coursera: Who are the course Instructors on these platforms?


Quite a few courses on the Udemy platform are being delivered by the experts and are highly recommended. In Udemy, anybody can develop a course. This indicates that when it comes to the quality of the course, there can be variation. Hence, research must be done to ensure you have signed up for a good and reputed course.

To create a course on Udemy all you need is to create your account and then watch their orientation video on the basic course guidelines.  In Udemy, you could land up with a course that is offered by entrepreneurs, chefs, public speakers, authors or any professional. You might also come across courses that are offered wherein people just collect the data from online sources and create their very own basic course. Due diligence must be conducted prior to taking up any course from Udemy.


In Coursera, check the instructor’s name before you take the course and pay for the same. In case they have their LinkedIn profile which indicates their professional experience and also indicates if they have Lynda courses, which is the sign of some quality courses. Also, Coursera works with universities and colleges very closely, hence the courses are vetted by as well as taught by some experienced instructors. So, you can get access to experts from some of the best colleges and universities from across the world.

Coursera Stats

On a random basis, if you select an instructor from Udemy and Coursera, the one from Coursera would probably have credentials like a Ph.D. that provides them with authority. But, in case you just want to learn some new basic skills, for instance, Microsoft excel, the qualifications of the instructor might not be important, provided they can teach you what you want. In such a scenario, the instructor from Udemy can fulfill your requirements.

Udemy vs Coursera: The Accreditation and Certificates 

If the reason behind opting for an online course is to get a certificate or accreditation, then Coursera will be a better option than Udemy. Though Udemy has some offerings on academics, they cannot give you any accreditation from an academic institution and university which Coursera can offer.  Udemy can just give you a certificate on completing the course. However, the weightage of this certificate is not known.

Coursera programs are structured and have graded assignments, legitimate backing from colleges or universities and provide access to instructors. Due to this, the certificates provided by Coursera have some weightage when they are added to the CV in contrast to the ones from Udemy.

Coursera - MasterTrack™ Certificate

The main reason being, the certificates have names of institutions such as Yale, Princeton, or Cambridge which ensures that the credentials are pretty legitimate. The course, as well as specialization certificates in Coursera, are offered in a format that is digitally sharable. You can print copies of these or even place them on the LinkedIn Profile. If your aim is to enhance the resume, Coursera is way better.

Udemy vs Coursera: Time commitment, Reputation, and Credibility of programs


The courses on Udemy are self-led. They provide the user with lifetime access and the material can be accessed at any point in time. The courses are good if you wish to learn new basic skills, however, they are not quite credible and cannot be added to your CV or your LinkedIn profile.


The courses on Coursera, are very structured. The user will have a syllabus to follow, they also get guidance on the subject, and they can get feedback from the instructors and peers. Every course on Coursera is given a digital certificate that can be added to your CV, website or LinkedIn profile.

Coursera vs Udemy: Pros & Cons

Pros and Cons of Udemy:


  1. Udemy has a wide variety of courses offered
  2. The courses offered are intermediate as well as advanced
  3. Some courses are offered free of cost
  4. Udemy gives lifetime access to the materials of the course you pay for
  5. The courses are offered in about 80 or more languages
  6. Udemy offers regular discounts on the courses
  7. The top courses are of top quality
  8. The courses here are value for money
  9. Basic skills/ interests can be learned here
  10. There is no deadline on completing the course


  1. Anybody can become an instructor, hence the quality of courses is questionable
  2. Some of the courses are very expensive
  3. Tough to opt for many courses simultaneously
  4. The certificate of completion is not from universities/ colleges and hence does not enhance your CV

Pros and Cons of Coursera


  1. The platform offers numerous courses
  2. The courses are offered in collaboration with well known and reputed universities/colleges
  3. It is quite similar to online academic courses with a syllabus, access to instructors, and a deadline
  4. The certificate is legitimate and has names of universities on it which makes it easy to add it on your CV
  5. A few courses offer a verified certificate for a certain fee
  6. Courses are offered in different languages
  7. Courses can be audited for free


  1. The courses may not be available all the time
  2. The full courses cannot be taken free of cost
  3. It might not be apt for those who have time constraints

Alternatives to Udemy and Coursera Platforms 

in case you are on the lookout for some alternative websites providing online education which are quite similar to Coursera, it is quite tough to find any, as there are limited options. One option which can be considered is edX – It provides accredited courses from many prestigious institutions such as MIT, Australian National University, Harvard, and the like. Udacity might be one more platform that might be of interest to you. Udacity offers many nano degree programs on numerous tech-related topics. is a platform which concentrates on topics related to IT and technology. 

On the contrary, if you want some e-learning websites that are not very formal, similar to Udemy, a lot of alternatives are available.

The two platforms recommended are Lynda and Skillshare. Skillshare is quite interesting as you can have unlimited access to about 28,000 or more courses for a certain monthly fee. Lynda is now part of LinkedIn and it offers a lot of courses that are career-focused and related to business, design and software development. If you are a person who loves to keep learning and are passionate about learning, it is worth your money!



 Udemy Vs. Coursera - Udemy Testimonial

Customer Review

 Udemy Vs. Coursera - Udemy Customer Review


Customer Review

 Udemy Vs. Coursera - Udacity Customer Review

Quick Links:

The Final Verdict: Udemy vs Coursera 2021 

When you have to narrow down and choose from Udemy vs Coursera learning platforms, the choice is based on what you need, what you want to get from a course and the experience you need. As you know, Coursera is quite academic and the courses are similar to those you would get when you are in a formal college program or university. It also gives you a certificate from some accredited institutions which can be put on the resume or CV. If this is what you want, then Coursera becomes the obvious courses here need dedication, commitment and the willingness to complete a course in the deadlines provided. The courses will also have graded assignments along with student participation in between. On the contrary, Udemy is perfect if you want to get the feel of a new subject or you want to learn a new skill. 

For instance, if you wish to learn yoga or a musical instrument, or learn about Facebook advertisements, or learn computer programming. Coursera and Udemy are both very effective when it comes to learning and offering a wide range of unique courses. Udemy is good for someone having a relaxed learning style and prefers to complete the course without deadlines and time constraints. Whereas Coursera is offering a traditional course format with timelines and deadlines.

Leave a Comment