Udacity Vs upGrad – A Detailed Comparison

Udacity Vs upGrad – A Detailed Comparison
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Students out there that are looking for more knowledge to soak up now have several online learning options. It seems like every day there is a new online academy, claiming to be the best. However, as most of us know, some online portals are not all they are cracked up to be. That’s why we’re here, taking a look at two of the top-rated online academies, Udacity, and upGrad. Both have a solid reputation and are supported by universities but, does that mean that they are good for you?


In this review of the two, we’ll outline all of the important stuff, including the content, the cost, and the value. By the end, you’ll have all you need to make a choice and start working your way toward more skills, knowledge, and the career of your dreams. Before we get to the comparisons, we’ll start with a quick intro to each of the academies, highlighting their rise to fame.


A Bit About the Academies



Udacity started as an experiment that turned out to be a huge success. Their first course offered was free of charge and, at the end of the enrollment period, interested over 160,000 students from around the world. That kind of response inspired them to move forward, developing several courses that piqued the interest of IT enthusiasts. As their popularity grew, they captured the attention of several big names in IT, collaborating with them in the creating of new and improved content. Now, they offer courses that tackle advanced topics with integrated projects developed by top names like Google, Uber, and Facebook.


upGrad started with the idea of keeping professionals current with their skills. They realized how quickly the industry changed, creating a need for fast and convenient ways of learning that could support full-time work schedules. Now, upGrad is considered one of the most successful online learning portals in India. They offer up-to-date content and courses covering Information and Technology (IT), Business Management, and Marketing, mostly in the form of Postgrad Diplomas. All courses are in a video-lecture format, taught by some of the top professors in the field.


Course Options



Udacity offers both free and for-pay courses, all of which are in video lecture format. The nanodegree courses are created with content supplemented with quizzes plus, projects on the side that help learners apply the new knowledge that they just learned. All courses are taught by instructors that have both professional and academic backgrounds in IT and teaching plus, most are created in collaboration with top names in the industry. Free courses are generally shorter, coming with specific information on a topic. No matter what the cost of the course, learners at Udacity are guaranteed the most current techniques and practices in the field of IT.



With upGrad, all courses are video lectures as well. However, all courses are taught by certified professors that have experience teaching at a university level. Most courses are about 12 months, meant to give learners actual certifications and credits that they can apply to their transcript. Apart from that, learners have a way that they can earn postgraduate credit and take the skills they learned in their undergrad up a notch.





When you visit the Udacity home page, you’ll notice a clean, sharp, and user-friendly interface. Even if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for, you can type it into the search bar and find it, getting an idea about the courses that they offer and the options that you have. You won’t find anything hidden as they put everything out there including the prices, the content, the projects, and the professors. You can browse Udacity’s free courses, take a walk around their nanodegrees, or even chat with an advisor that can help you decide what is best for you.



upGrad has a fairly simple layout and web design. From the home page, you can explore the course, read up on their blog, and even check out the universities that they collaborate with. In addition to paid course and degree programs, they also offer a number of free courses, all of which you can check out from the home page. Browse content from the home page and search different topics if you’re not sure about what you’d like to take. Plus, right on-site, you can chat with a guidance counselor about your career goals that will help you find the perfect match for the career you want.


Technical Support



Udacity has someone on the line all day and night. You can get ahold of a technical support agent 24/7 all year around. As far as we could find, there are no outstanding complaints or things that have not been resolved, with many previous learners giving technical support a positive review.



upGrad offers a few options to get in touch with them when needed but, not all of them work around the clock. When you give them a ring, they will only pick up from 7 am to 11 pm. If you need to get in touch with an agent at a different hour than those mentioned, you’ll have to turn to email. Sending them an email will take at least one full day to get a response, so you might have to let patience be your guide and wait until their business hours if you run into an issue later on at night.


Extra Features



Udacity is known for its extra features. While a few of them come with both paid and free courses, it’s those that come with the nanodegree courses that get them the most attention. Udacity’s extra features include a technical mentor, career services with resume cleanup, flexible learning, real-world projects, and access to a community of learners. Apart from that, learners that complete a nanodegree will likely join the many other successful students that went on to land a job in their preferred field with a top-tier company in the IT industry.



upGrad doesn’t offer as many extra features as Udacity but, those that they do make all the difference. One of the best is mock interviews, meant to prepare new graduates for their first interview with a professional company. In addition, students get the opportunity to learn at an advanced level and enjoy the freedom to log in and learn whenever they would like and wherever they would like. Even if students are working full time, they can finish the course on their own time.





Udacity offers students a few ways to pay when they choose to take the nanodegree. The total cost of the course that students are interested in corresponds to the time it takes to complete. That’s because the cost is determined by access, where Udacity charges per month. To make it a bit more affordable, Udacity estimates the amount of time a course will take to complete and estimates a price that students can pay in full before the course begins to take advantage of a discount. If deciding to pay per month, the cost is $359 per month, charged to continue access.



Before we dive into the prices, keep in mind that upGrad offers real college credit. We say that because it can seem a bit pricey without considering the quality of content. The price of courses depends on the type of degree it is and the amount of time it takes. The post-graduate programs are separated into 5 months and can go up to 2 years. The master of arts takes 2 years as well, coming with a price tag accordingly. So, for the 5-month course, you’re looking at dropping about $1400 and the 5 years about $14000.


Student Testimonials


“I love Udacity because it is very useful to strengthen our knowledge and train us and learn new things on a daily basis, offering wonderful free courses, with really charming material, in a totally new and simple way for our learning, I am fascinated by the explanatory videos, with the opportunity offered by this platform to obtain a certificate signed by the instructors who accredit the training for free.” – Lautario M.


“Udacity’s courses are really interesting and informative. The instructors’ voices in the courses are also very clear. If someone wants to learn about technology or some tool then Udacity is the best E-learning Platform.” – Gargi V.


“I liked that Udacity covers a wide range of topics in the self-driving car technologies such as computer vision, deep learning, localization & path planning. The content was quite broad, but would still go to some depth in each of the topics. This helped me develop an interest in autonomous driving, and eventually led me to start a career in this space.” – Shareq R.



“BIGGEST BENEFIT: NETWORKING!!! The biggest benefit I have received is being able to collaborate with so many other students who are industry professionals at different stages of the course. Numerous opportunities are given to interact with this diverse group of people such as working in groups on numerous case studies, meeting them at basecamps arranged by UpGrad and lot of us can meet up at campus library if you are from Bangalore.” -Aswin Pillai


“Overall the content is good and is mostly easy to understand. Like Lynda or Udemy, they have recorded videos by good instructors from industry and academia but are mostly limited to the Indian context. Industry BigWigs from various funded companies share their experience in prerecorded videos as well. They also have events you can attend to network and occasional Q&A sessions via Google hangouts.” – Deepak K.


“All in all it was a good learning experience for me at UpGrad. I was successful enough to make a career transition from a Testing Engineer to a Deep Learning Engineer. Right from the beginning, my priority was set for the machine/deep learning track and I mainly focused on it. Placements was one main reason for me to join UpGrad but eventually, I was successful enough to make a self-transition. Once you have the right skills and projects in your resume, you wouldn’t have to rely on anyone to excel.” -Syed A.


Pros and Cons




Pros Cons
  • Content is created in collaboration with top names in the IT industry
  • Access to nanodegrees is expensive and increases each month that students use it
  • Each nanodegree course is supplemented with a number of hands-on projects meant to apply knowledge learned
  • Some projects are difficult and take time, which means more money in this case
  • Instructors have experience both academically and professionally
  • Nanodegrees come with a ton of extra features that make them worthwhile
  • Students can enjoy career service including help with portfolios and resumes




Pros Cons
  • Actual college-level courses are offered, some of which come with diplomas and certifications
  • Courses are long and mimic a true semester
  • Students are the top priority at upGrad and can get the help of mentors to guide them along the way
  • Cost is high, almost as much as an on-campus degree
  • Students have access to mock interviews and interview prep
  • The curriculum closely follows that of top universities
  • Courses are self-paced and allow students to work or study as they complete them


The Final Verdict?


Both Udacity and upGrad are educational platforms meant to help students take their skills up a notch. While they are structured differently and work differently in terms of pricing, they both have a little something to offer students. If you’re looking for a way to take up some extra IT skills, perhaps Udacity is the better choice. You can complete more than one course in the same time it would take to complete one from upGrad. However, upGrad offers credit and diplomas, which can go a long way when searching for a job.


So, which one should you choose? Well, it’s up to you at the end of the day and depends a lot on your goals. Whatever you choose, know that you’re learning with some of the best of the best when it comes to online learning platforms.


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