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Martin Barrett
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What Is Udacity

What Is Udacity? Beginner’s Guide to the Platform

Udacity is a learning platform mainly focused on tech-related subjects. It offers courses on topics ranging from data science to machine learning to computer programming.

Some of the most popular classes include Data Science Foundations, Machine Learning Fundamentals and Software Engineering.

The company launched in 2011 as part of Stanford University’s X PRIZE program, and now operates independently. Its mission is to “democratise education,” according to the company’s site.

In December 2018, Udacity (see also ‘Is Udacity Worth It) announced it had raised $150 million in funding. In July 2019, the company received another round of venture capital funding worth $300 million.

Program costs 

The price structure for Udacity courses varies based on the type of program you choose.

There are five different types of programs — including a free introductory course called Foundations of Computer Science and two executive programs. Each program includes 15 to 20 modules, and some include additional features like quizzes and assessments.

A single paid Udacity computer science course costs $399 for a month. This includes access to the course material and exams.


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If a student chooses to study for six to eight hours every day, it takes approximately three to four months to complete the course.

If a learner enrolls into a nanodegree, he or she is required to spend five to 10 hours weekly studying.

Nanodegrees cost between $1,000 to $1,500, and completion times depend on how many hours are spent studying and the number of lessons completed.

Udacity offers 10 scholarship programs that cover tuition fees. More than 22,000 scholarships worth $2 million have already been awarded.


The company says that the refund policy applies to all enrolled individuals. Learners must complete the required number of lessons in order to earn credit towards a degree.

After completing the course, students can request a refund if they don’t want to continue paying for the class.

Students can find their subscription settings in the account settings under “My Subscriptions.” Under “Your Billing Details,” there is a link to “Refund Policies.”


Udacity is one of the few learning providers that offer professional AI programmes. 

The platform launched its self-driving car engineering nanodegree program (see also ‘What Is A Nanodegree?‘) in January 2020, offering three months of instruction, followed by six months of hands-on practice.

Students upload code to Carla, a self-driving vehicle developed by Udacity, which then performs in-car testing on closed courses.

Prior to the pandemic, students in the self-driving vehicle engineering nanodegree had uploaded code to Carla, which then performed in-vehicle testing on a closed course on campus.

Now, the program has been replaced with a testing simulation, but Udacity plans to get the program back into the in-car phase once the pandemic passes.

Udacity looks ahead to the future with optimism. The platform has seen significant growth over the past few years, and that there are now more than 10 million registered users across 150 countries.

50 percent of the students who said that they enrolled in a nanodesk program to get a raise got a 33 percent pay increase after completing their program.

High quality instructors

Udacity produces its Nanodegree courses in partnership with some of the world’s top tech companies and their Courses feature instructors who are leaders within their fields.

There aren’t many other places online that offer such high quality instruction.

Easy to use 

Easy to use 

Udacity’s courses are just as easy to use as most other e-learning platforms. You can start anywhere, jump around, pause whenever you want, and even repeat sections.

Plus, there’s no pressure to finish things quickly; you can take your time and learn at your own pace.

And while Udacity’s courses are designed to help you become a software engineer, they’re equally useful for anyone looking to gain knowledge in another field. For example, you can complete a Data Analytics degree in less than a month.

Finally, Udacity’s courses offer great value for money. As mentioned above their prices range from $150 to $2,500 per course, depending on how long you want to study, and whether you want to pay monthly or annually.

So whether you’re looking to earn some extra cash or simply improve yourself, Udacity is worth checking out.

Udacity vs. Udemy

The battle over online education is real. This time, it’s the two largest players in the space — Udacity and Udemy — trading blows. While both companies offer similar offerings, there are some key differences between the two. 

Both online learning platforms feature multiple courses for tech-industry professionals. However, Udacity’s nano degree program and interactive, real-life projects stand out among the crowd.

Udemy (see also ‘Is Udemy Accredited?‘) does not offer subscription options, but it does offer flexible payment plans. Depending on the course, the price ranges from $60 to $200 per month.

Among the biggest differences are Udacity’ nanodegree programs, which include a 12-month certificate and a six-month associate degree. A student can earn either one of those degrees without taking any additional classes.

The Nanodegree programs cover topics ranging from introductory programming to deep dives into artificial intelligence and machine learning (see also ‘6 Best Online Course Machine Learning‘).

Students can complete the programs in three to six months, depending on how fast they progress. All the programs include project work and support from Udacity’s career development team.

At the end of each course, students receive a portfolio showcasing their accomplishments along with some professional advice about how to improve their resume, LinkedIn profile, and GitHub portfolio.

In contrast, Udemy (see also ‘What Is Udemy?’) does not offer any nanodegrees. Instead, students choose from a variety of short courses ranging from beginner to intermediate levels.

In addition, Udacity’s programs come with a mentor who helps guide you along the way. Udemy does not provide mentorships. Students must rely on themselves to complete their courses.

Finally, Udacity’s programs require a certain number of hours of work each week. You’ll receive a grade based on how much effort you put into your studies. If you don’t meet the requirements, you won’t pass.

On the flip side, Udemy does not assign grades, nor do you have to commit to a specific amount of work each week. Students can take as many classes as they want, as long as they finish within the specified timeframe.


Online Courses Taught by Experts

  • Get the skills you need
  • Learn at your own pace

"I couldn't be more excited!"

Try Udacity Now


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