Udemy is one of the giants of the online education space; we all know their name well, and most of us have visited their site in the past or taken a course.
If you haven’t heard of Treehouse yet, it’s because they’re a small, 50K+ student operation (in comparison to Udemy, that’s quite a bit).
Treehouse has fewer niches to choose from, but a bigger emphasis on structure and quality over everything else. Depending on what skill you want to learn, one of these will become the clear winner for you in no time.
It’s time for the great debate of Treehouse vs Udemy. Will you choose quality, dense courses on the skills you want most, or do you need the sea of options to really satiate your appetite for education?
- Treehouse and Udemy Compared
- What Courses do They Offer?
- Who Teaches the Courses?
- Teaching Methods of Treehouse
- Teaching Methods of Udemy
- Treehouse Pros and Cons
- Udemy Pros and Cons
- Who has the Better App: Treehouse or Udemy?
- Is One Better for a Specific Skill?
- Quality vs Quantity: What Would You Rather Have in Front of You?
Treehouse and Udemy Compared
Treehouse is a monthly subscription service for access to coding and language learning courses, while Udemy is a la carte, meaning you buy courses as you need and at your own pace.
We’re here today to see which one is actually better than the other for a life of coding.
What is Treehouse?
Treehouse is an interactive online education platform designed by and for coders, programmers, and anyone who’s interested in UX design.
Built with in-depth courses that cover tons of information, Treehouse is an educational service that aims to make you job-ready by the end of using them.
They offer multiple ways to pay, interactive modules, and put a heavy focus on making sure you have the necessary skills to enter the workforce with your new skill(s).
What is Udemy?
Udemy is an online learning platform centered around the idea that you get to control your education, your pacing, and learn whatever you want. They offer a total of 130,000+ courses that are expanding by the day, designed to expand on multiple skills, subjects, and hobbies.
With Udemy, you can learn how to play guitar, code a website, learn about mental health, practice digital marketing, and more.
This platform has user-generated courses to teach you about a range of topics that can help advance your career. Udemy puts power in the hands of creators to make one of the most diverse learning platforms on the planet.
What Courses do They Offer?
Udemy offers similar courses, but they may not be as comprehensive or clear as Treehouse.
Who Teaches the Courses?
With Udemy, courses are taught by independent instructors that design the courses.
They have an intimate working knowledge of every piece of the course since they designed it, so you get a very intimate series of lessons and understanding of the topic.
With Treehouse, professionals teach the course. There is no user-generated content here. While some courses may be taught live, most are pre-recorded.
Treehouse definitely has a high standard of who can teach courses, and they are all checked out and gauged by the Treehouse team beforehand so you know you’re getting words from an expert every single time.
The only major difference is that Treehouse designs the courses, not users.
You can’t get started unless you know what it costs.
While Udemy has such a wide range of options, Treehouse is specifically about coding, so we’re going to make these pricing assessments based on what different coding courses that Udemy has as the contender.
Treehouse is a cool $29 per month for full access to just about every feature that they offer.
In three months to a year, you’ll basically be ready to hit the ground running with your new skill.
This is a far cry from the way that Udemy structures their pricing systems, so you’ll run into one extreme or the other: the cost-effective monthly solution for over 300 courses, or $199 per month for one ongoing course, albeit it an in-depth one that will have you job-ready by the end. It’s up to you.
Udemy charges you by the individual course. There are no subscription plans available, so you don’t have to plan on having X amount of money handy in your bank account at the start of each month.
This pricing structure allows for a couple of different things.
You can learn on your own time, which is what Udemy is all about. They want you to take it at your own pace so that you don’t get overwhelmed, and this pricing structure surely helps with that.
On top of that, there’s no pressure or being upsold (apart from “flash sales” that are always going on), so you don’t have to get a different subscription just to enjoy a certain feature.
However, this means that course creators can price their courses however they please. That’s good for their valuation, but some courses can hit the maximum ceiling of $199, which is steep when it’s just one course.
The good thing is that you get access to a course for life, and there’s plenty of room to shop around. You don’t have to be confined to one course thanks to pricing and pacing.
Feature-rich platforms help immerse you in the learning experience, but not all platforms have the best features to bring that atmosphere.
This is what Treehouse and Udemy offer to help bring that educational feeling to their platforms.
Treehouse offers excellent features, and the focus here is on quality features over a quantity of features. Where they service coding specifically, you don’t need as many bells and whistles.
- Interactive learning modules
- In-demand topics
- On-demand video courses led by experts
- Segmented learning tracks
- 58+ hour courses for comprehensive knowledge
- Low pricing
- Monthly subscription
- TechDegree to make you job-ready with these skills
The thing is, Treehouse may only offer about 300 courses or so, but they’re all in-depth, well thought-out courses, so their features stretch to every single course you can take on their platform.
While Udemy doesn’t offer the most features out of all the learning platforms, this is what they can offer you.
- Video lectures
- Audio lectures
- Text-based lectures (articles)
- Coding exercises
- Post reviews
- Direct message with instructor
- Downloadable certificates of completion
Compare these features against what Treehouse gives you, so long as you keep in mind that we’re just on one area of skill. In our findings, Treehouse usually hit the mark for features that coders want to use more than Udemy did, but neither did poorly in this regard.
Teaching Methods of Treehouse
The main method of teaching is absolutely video courses, just like you’re going to find on Udemy, Skillshare, and the lot of them. The thing is, this evolves as you progress.
Eventually, modules become interactive so that you can actually acquire some hands-on experience. While they also drop in quizzes in between modules, they’re mostly useless, so taking notes is also going to be a big part of your education (which they encourage).
Teaching Methods of Udemy
Udemy courses list everything that they include right from the sales page. This generally includes a list of video courses, articles, downloadable resources, as well as exercises (interactive elements), certificates of completion, and more.
Throughout all of this, you’re learning through a linear teaching method. You work on one module at a time until you understand its content.
Listen to the lectures, and view the videos, and when you’re ready, take any content with you that you need and go to the next module. This process repeats as your knowledge and skill increases and helps you master one topic at a time.
Treehouse Pros and Cons
- Affordable Monthly Price: At just $29 per month, you get access to gamified learning tracks, everything that Treehouse has to offer, and more. Forums, workspaces, and self-paced learning experiences with 10+ hour courses at a reasonable rate; that’s the big draw to Treehouse.
- Expert-Level Knowledge: Treehouse really knows their stuff. Every one of their 300+ courses are chock full of content, and while every course maker has the tendency to get carried away and get wordy, they keep things nice and short. You’re learning effectively, so 10 hours of video content actually gives you 10 hours worth of educational input.
- Not Comprehensive (Yet): Treehouse is still figuring things out, and with coding, people tend to learn from more than one source. That being said, Treehouse still has a way to go to make these modules more comprehensive and minimize the amount of time you need to spend off-site to get answers to certain coding questions.
- Quizzes Are Useless: You may endure 40 minutes of video content and then be met with 3 quiz questions. These questions are very easy, even for beginners, and don’t really add much to the course. The problem is you have to finish them to continue, so many of the quizzes (not all of them) feel like they’re just getting in the way instead of helping.
Udemy Pros and Cons
- Inexpensive Option: You don’t have to spend a ton of money or even shell out the cash for monthly subscription costs. With Udemy, it’s a la carte—pay for and consume content as you go, and do it at your own pace. The entire point of Udemy is to learn at your own pace, and that mantra can be found all over their site. Courses are generally wildly inexpensive with tens of thousands of past reviews and students.
- Purchase for Life: When you buy a course on Udemy, you’ll find that 99% of them offer lifetime access. That means if ten years down the road you want to brush up on your skills, and the course is still relevant, it’s there for you to take a peek at. It doesn’t end with a subscription on a month-to-month basis, and that’s valuable.
- Comprehensive Courses: When it comes to coding and programming, which is why we’re all on this guide, Udemy actually knocked this one out of the park. They offer courses with 30, 40, or 50+ hours worth of video content, not to mention all the inclusive downloadable items that come with courses. The value and comprehensive nature of the courses is immense.
- Coding Courses Can Run High: Coding is an in-demand skill everywhere you look, and the rules of supply and demand dictate that if you’re going to learn this skill, you can expect some Udemy courses to be expensive. The only good side here is that most of the time there are promotions or flash sales going on and you can find them discounted, but there are definitely expensive coding courses on Udemy.
- Not a Complete Plan: Udemy is a course-by-course system, and while that’s good, it also means you’re not on a clear path. If you find super comprehensive courses that offer an all-in-one experience (some of which will be in that $199 range we mentioned before), then that’s great. But after that, where do you go? You need to know how to find the next applicable course or skill and learn it, because they won’t hold your hand through the process.
Neither Udemy or Treehouse have accreditation. However, that’s not a bad thing. There are very few online institutions in this range that have accreditation (and if you look at the likes of Shaw Academy, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re a good online school).
However, it’s not all about the certificate at the end or college credits. Both Treehouse and Udemy can take you from being completely new in one given field (such as coding), and turn you from amateur to superstar in a healthy amount of time. That’s basically what college is all about, but on a more expensive, time-inclusive scale.
Entrepreneurs and business owners are looking for skill and ability over certification. Elon Musk definitely popularized this mindset when he said he didn’t even care if someone graduated high school, he just wanted them to know how to do the work and do it well.
The skills you learn at Udemy or Treehouse, provided that they are applicable (which they are), could be even better than a college level of understanding. That’s where the value is, not in a certificate or degree.
Who has the Better App: Treehouse or Udemy?
Well, this one has a clear winner. Treehouse discontinued their app in 2018 because, according to their own sources, it no longer met their standards for delivering educational content to its students.
There’s humility in that; they saw it wasn’t working the way they intended, and wanted to keep quality in the forefront of their business.
Treehouse isn’t planning on releasing an app anytime soon, so you need a laptop or PC to continue learning through their platform, which isn’t the end of the world.
Is One Better for a Specific Skill?
It’s a slippery slope, because when you look at the costs, it’s a different story.
We would say that overall, Treehouse is better for more coding and language learning, but that Udemy is by no means a weak contender in this field. There are plenty of experts with their own points of view and teaching methods on Udemy, whereas on Treehouse, it’s all regulated by one team.
The main difference is TechDegree, which is offered by Treehouse, and it’s definitely more comprehensive than what Udemy offers, but it’s also more expensive. Those courses run for up to a year (three months if you dedicate yourself) at $199 per month.
Quality vs Quantity: What Would You Rather Have in Front of You?
Is it about options, or is it about limited choice with across-the-board high quality? That’s basically how you can look at the debate between Treehouse and Udemy.
Udemy undoubtedly has more options, but because their content is pretty much all user-generated and they have a lot of instructors and entrepreneurs on their site, there’s no short supply of fresh content and quality courses all the time.
Treehouse takes a more structured approach, and for some, the ability to choose quality and cut out search time for finding the right course is a better option. What will you pick for your next skill learning session?