Udacity Vs. Coursera – A Detailed Comparison
You’ve likely comes across both Udacity and Coursera while surfing the web. They have both attracted a lot of attention thanks to their content and additional features. It also helps that the world has been dealing with a global pandemic for over a year, driving up the interest in online learning. While both online academies are praised across the web, they are far from the same. Udacity is geared to IT while Coursera offers courses from all topics.
If you’re itching to learn something new and not sure which academy to choose, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve put both academies head-to-head, comparing and contrasting some of their most important features. You’ll get a side-by-side look at things like cost, content, and learner satisfaction, able to decide which academy is right for you. Is there a clear winner between the two? Let’s find out.
What They Have to Offer
Udacity is an online academy based out of the epicenter of IT, Silicon Valley. They offer a massive number of online courses, some of which come with a certification (Nanodegree). The majority of their certification courses are developed in collaboration with top names like Google, Uber, and Facebook, creating attractive and up-to-date courses. Udacity offers learners a long list of extras that come with enrollment and even score help breaking into the field and landing their first career. From free short courses to in-depth nanodegrees, you can find a bit of everything IT at Udacity.
Coursera is an online platform that focuses on higher education. Lessons are created with help from accredited institutions like Yale, Johns Hopkins, and Rice. Lessons are taught by A-class instructors. Learners can choose any topic under the sun and enjoy on-demand lectures from top instructors. Plus, they can choose from a variety of ways to learn, including individual instruction, specializations, and even degrees.
Learning Style and Pace
All courses from Udacity are video lectures meant to present learners with useful material. There are a few ways that learners can access information including free courses and nanodegrees. Though all courses are self-paced and allow learners to log in when they like, they come at different costs. Take the free courses for example. These have zero deadlines and students can take as long as they like without having to pay a dime. Nanodegrees, on the other hand, comes with a cost that goes up the longer learners have access. These degrees have strict deadlines for projects and have little leeway to change.
Coursera also gives learners choices when it comes to type and cost of course. Within the archive of courses, Coursera has free, individual, and subscription-based. All of them are self-paced however the cost varies, with the individual coming with the highest one-time cost. Subscriptions depend on how long it takes you to complete the course but, also comes with access to other courses as you pay, unlike Udacity. Learners get access to mostly video lectures, supplemented by manuals and other course content.
When you visit the Udacity website, one of the first things you’ll find is that you can navigate with ease. It comes with a sharp design with blue and white colorings and eye-catching images. There is a search bar at the top that allows potential students to browse their courses, each one coming with detailed explanations of lessons and content. From looking up the cost to digging into lessons, Udacity’s website is super simple to navigate and easy on the eyes.
The professional design of the Coursera website is supplemented by collaborating accredited university badges. Search for specific courses, browse through free courses, or just take a look around and learn about what they have to offer. Once you find the topic you’re looking for, you can choose your style of learning or sign up for a monthly fee and enjoy course after course if you’re up for it.
Udacity is known for its nanodegree extras. These include career preparation, real-world projects, updated content, a technical mentor, and self-paced learning. In addition, nanodegrees come with a certificate of completion and even help hunting for IT jobs. Free courses from Udacity come with the ability to learn at any time and from anywhere plus, include up-to-date content. No matter which route you choose with Udacity, you’ll have support 24/7 and access to only the newest and most current information and techniques for technical topics.
One of the top extras that come with every Coursera degree is personalized recommendations. Instead of sifting through the thousands of courses alone, this step helps learners better understand what best suits their long-term goals. Another extra that past students rave about is the recognition that comes along with the completion of a course, as Coursera collaborates with some of the top universities around. Landing a job after learning with Coursera comes easy. Of course, they are always there to help if learners are in a bind, with access to student support around the clock.
When it comes to paying for courses with Udacity, learners have a few options. They can either pay month to month, paying for access however long the course takes. The pay-as-you-go method from Udacity is great for flexibility but, can add up if learners take too long. Each month comes with a price tag of $359 and includes all of the Udacity extras. For the most cost-effective option, learners can choose to bundle and save, paying for the entire course upfront. To come up with the final amount, Udacity estimates the total time to complete the course will take and, adds a 15% discount. The cost of each course varies based on the time it takes and the number of content users need to get through.
The cost of Coursera varies, mostly depending on the type of course. Individual courses have different prices, set by the duration, content, and professor. Individual courses can run anywhere from $30 to $100. Apart from the individual courses, Coursera offers a subscription plan, which comes with access to several different courses. These range between $30 and $80 a month. Learners can choose a specialization and gain access to courses within a particular realm or, choose from a long list of courses that are included with each subscription. With Coursera, learners have a ton of options to choose from. Some pricing work better for learners depending on their goals.
Across the web, previous students from a number of tech topics have nothing but positive things to say. You’ll find that, overall, Udacity has a positive rating and no outstanding complaints. Below, you’ll see what a few students had to say.
“I was as happy as aver after taking courses with Udacity! At first, I was scared of the huge pricing, but in the end, it was all worth it! recommend programming courses to anyone who’s reading this and thinking of pursuing a career in this field!” – Hamid W.
“I spend a good half a year working my brain off with Udacity… and it worked! I mastered cloud computing and now I successfully applied for a job in the US! Surely if it worked for me, it can work for you too!” – Aubrey D.
“This nanodegree is a must do for everyone interested in learning the quirks and little details about data science. Working on the projects not only reinforced the concepts seen in the lessons but it taught me so many more things that they don’t teach you in most courses and are a must know if you wish to work on the field.” – Annie P.
Coursera has a solid reputation, mostly renowned for its powerful connections and collaborations. Students of all levels with an interest in a number of topics have praised the online academy, mostly due to in-depth content. Here is what a few former students had to say:
“Their platform is above the standard for those who seek online learning for job opportunities . They have interactive classes along with online labs to test our practical skills on what we learned. Many Tech giants including Google , IBM and Intel etc.. provides topics on relevant topics and provide certificate on successful completion.
I completed some of them and added to my Coursera profile. It was fun and easy to learn and their website and mobile app is super smooth . I liked their hassle free entertaining classes and assessments through which we can learn new skills without no lags.” – John C.
“It offers great comprehensive courses on almost everything, taught by the best instructors to get deep knowledge about that topic.” – Mandy B.
“I have nothing but good things to say about my experience with Coursera. I have loved the learning I have been able to do and look forward to taking many more classes with them.” – Denise M.
Positives and Negatives
|· Easy to use website with a number of courses that highlight the most in-demand topics of IT
|· Most courses come packed with content and could take a while to complete
|· Each course is taught by A-list instructors with both academic and professional experience
|· Some of the projects can be challenging and put learners to the test
|· Nanodegrees come with a number of extras that make them attractive to learners and IT companies
|· The cost increases with the time it takes to complete a course, which could result in a large total
|· You can learn for free with Udacity or pay your way to a certification with a Nanodegree
|· Udacity covers topics within IT and doesn’t offer courses on other topics
|· Learners have options to pay to find the best pricing that suits their budget
|· Most Nanodegree courses require background knowledge for their success
|· Course content is created in collaboration with top industry names and updated often to stay current
|· Coursera has a bit of everything, featuring courses from a variety of topics
|· Though professors hold the proper titles, there are some that are not great on camera
|· Learners will find a long list of options to pay, helping to suit budgets of all sorts
|· Some individual or subscriptions courses can turn out expensive
|· Courses are developed and taught by professionals and credits are accepted at accredited universities
|· Most courses are lecture-based and don’t come with hands-on practice
|· Some courses offer Master’s degrees and specializations
|· Certifications come with a fee, even if the course is free
|· Courses are updated frequently to stay current with all the latest techniques and information
|· There is a lack of forums for students, which is great for connecting learners interested in the same topics
|· Learners can take their time to complete courses and learn at their own pace
|· Some courses come with strict dates and deadlines for sign up
And the Winner Is…
Udacity and Coursera are both online academies but, with different ways of doing things. From the types of courses they offer, to their payment options they have key features that set them apart and make them more (or less) attractive to different learners. Is there a clear winner? Well, that depends on a few things. It’s no doubt that learners interested in IT should choose Udacity, voted as one of the top IT online academies on the web. On the other hand, Coursera is best for learners that want to dabble in other topics outside of IT.
For learners that already have a specialization and are looking to gain more knowledge or experience with their title, Coursera is the best way to go. Udacity does offer a few advanced courses but, as mentioned above, only within the realm of IT. In the end, choosing the best online academy and courses for your interests is up two things: you and your budget. Either way, you go, both Udacity and Coursera are recognized across the web for a reason, renowned for their excellent and updated content that is taught by academic and professional A-listers.