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Written by:
Layla Acharya
Last Updated:
Coursera vs Udemy: Freelance Or Academic – What Is Your Style?

Coursera vs Udemy 2023: Which Is Better?

Unlike how once perceived, remote learning is a serious commitment. It involves investing time and money into something new that you want to learn.

This learning can range from academic to professional and personal level learning. Numerous online learning platforms can help you acquire a new skill or learn to try a new hobby.

But the two options worth considering are Coursera vs Udemy. These online learning platforms offer excellent services, whether you are looking forward to mastering a new skill or acquiring a certificate or degree.

However, one of the biggest concerns remains whether to go for Udemy, the global marketplace for endless massive open online courses, or Coursera, an online course platform that connects you to the world’s best educational institutions.

And in this ongoing debate of Udemy vs Coursera, the question is not about which learning platform is better. More precisely, it is about which remote learning platform best serves your needs.

In this guide, you will find out answers about which online learning forum best meets your learning needs and style. We are hopeful that by the end of this post, you will be in a better position to decide whether to go for Udemy or Coursera. 

Difference Between Coursera vs Udemy

Difference Between Coursera vs Udemy

Before we get into the differences between Coursera and Udemy, let’s first start with an overview of each learning website.

What is Udemy?

Udemy is one of the most widely used online learning platforms around the world. It allows you to create courses in endless categories ranging from marketing to business, design, and development as an instructor.

You can create a Udemy course on the subject that you have expertise on. Each course has a video-based format that includes descriptions and explanations of content followed by features for discussions.

Apart from the video-based content, the instructor also needs to provide PDF attachments related to course content and quizzes. And the best part for instructors is that you can make money simply by creating paid courses on this forum. 

Udemy is not just heaven for course instructors, but it is also a great learning place for students.

It is an online learning platform that offers more than 100,000 courses to 24 million students worldwide. It provides a relaxed learning environment for students and focuses more on shorter high-quality courses featuring personal and skill development.  

What is Coursera?

Coursera course is another great online learning platform that collaborates with renowned universities around the world and offers MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

The learning experience on Coursera closely resembles typical online learning characterized by pre-recorded video lectures that students can access at convenience. 

Offering over 2,500 courses, Coursera partners with 150 distinguished universities worldwide and is used by over 20 million students globally.

One key feature of this online learning platform is the high-quality learning that closely resembles the partner universities’ on-campus experience. By registering on Coursera, you can earn a certification or even a degree from some of the world’s most prestigious schools.

Anyone Can Anyone Create Make a Udemy Course or Can They?

As mentioned earlier, anyone can create a video-based course on Udemy, and the topics can range from personal development such as yoga to more advanced skill development such as web design.

And since the course instructors are not necessarily industry experts, the average prices for a course are relatively lower, ranging between $19 and $199.

For each course that is offered at Udemy, the website charges 30% of the earnings. The average online classes size is around 500 students, with some college courses attracting as many as a few thousand students.

As a course instructors, we can earn with all types of courses; however, the most highly rewarded ones are more technical courses such as Python, entrepreneurship, and business education.

Moreover, highly qualified industry experts who put up more informative and practical content can make more money on Udemy. And lastly, once you create a course, you will continue to earn for as long as the course is being offered on the website. 

Coursera’s Professional Educators

If you compare Coursera with Udemy, the two websites are exact opposites in terms of who can teach the course.

At Coursera, only professional educators or industry experts can teach a course. Moreover, since most of the courses offered at Coursera are partnered with accredited universities, attending a course here is more similar to attending a traditional college.

So if you take up a course with Coursera, rest assured that some of the best people in the industry are teaching your content that they really know. 

Differences Between The Two Platforms

Based on the overview provided above, it is simple to identify some of the main differences between Udemy and Coursera.

  • At Udemy, you can find endless course options like data science,computer science, and machine learning courses compared to Coursera which offers limited courses. 
  • Anyone can teach at Udemy but only professional sound professors from some of the top educational institutions offer a course at Coursera. 
  • Courses offered at Udemy are more unstructured and allow the student to complete the course at their own pace, but Coursera offers a more structured approach to coursework that is often fairly intensive.
  • While both Udemy and Coursera offer online learning, Courserarequires on-time submission of assignments and quizzes, something that is not a feature of courses offered by Udemy. 
  • Upon completion, Udemy offers a certificate of completion (CoC); however, Coursera provides a certificate or degree that adds more value to your resume compared to the CoC that is offered by Udemy.  

Now that you are aware of the differences between Udemy and Coursera, let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of both online course platforms. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Udemy

Advantages and Disadvantages of Udemy

Udemy Pros

Allows You to Buy Courses Individually with a lifetime access

At Udemy, you can buy courses individually, and each course comes with lifetime access. Once you pay the fee (or monthly subscription), there are no deadlines that you need to stick to.

Moreover, since the courses are not specialized degree programs, you can purchase access to the course that you enjoy the most. And since there is lifetime access, there is flexibility and a low level of commitment so you can complete the course at your own pace.

Udemy is Inexpensive 

Courses that are offered at Udemy are generally inexpensive. Moreover, you will almost always find further discounts.

It is not uncommon to find a course with a price of $200 discounted to as low as $15. And since each course comes with lifetime access, you can easily buy a course at a discounted price that you may intend to take up in the near future.

And even if you don’t use the content, there is very little that you will lose. Moreover, you can also find some free courses on the website. 

Huge Variety of Courses to Choose from

Udemy has a huge variety of courses. Since it allows anyone to create a course, there are over 100,000 courses that over 24 million students refer to.

So whether you want to learn about music and art computer programming or graphic designing, there is something for everyone. 

Udemy Cons

Courses are Not Accredited

As you complete a course at Udemy, the website offers a Certificate of Complete (CoC); however, this certificate is not accredited by potential employers.

Even though the courses add a lot to your existing skill set, since a professionally accredited institution does not back them, there is little credit you get for completing them. CoC adds little value to your resume.  

Quality of Courses Vary 

As mentioned earlier, anyone can create a course at Udemy and this is exactly why the quality of courses can vary significantly.

A specific course on a certain topic may be very thorough and detailed while another course on the same topic may not be as thorough and you might be left with little or no learning.

Therefore, every time you search for a course on Udemy, make sure you do some research about the course instructor, their industry experience, and reviews by their previous students. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Coursera

Advantages and Disadvantages of Coursera

Coursera Pros

A Typical Classroom Experience 

When you take up a course at Coursera, you know that your course will be taught by some of the most well-respected educators around the world that come from some of the best universities, including MIT, Yale, and Stanford.

So you end up getting a typical classroom experience without any question about the quality of education that you get. 


At Coursera, you get professional certificates that add value to your resume.

Since the courses offered at Coursera are backed by some of the prestigious institutions around the world, potential employers and your LinkedIn connections view it as a highly regarded addition to your skill set and qualifications. 

More Structured Learning 

When you enroll in a course offered by Coursera, you sign up for more structured learning.

There are deadlines that you need to meet. Moreover, there are tasks and assignments that you have to submit on time. If you are up for a structured online course that provides more accountability, Coursera is the place for you.

Wide language selection

Coursera offers courses from accredited universities and renowned organizations from all over the world so regardless of the language you speak, there is something for everyone.

Moreover, if you want, there is a large variety of courses that offer transcriptions in various other languages.