Udemy vs Udacity – Side-by-Side Comparison with FAQs

As an online course creator, you can choose to publish your course(s) onto already established learning platforms online. 

Two of the most popular and widely-used online course platforms are Udemy and Udacity. 

In this post, we’ll discuss their strengths and weaknesses to determine which one is more suitable for online course creators. 

Features UdemyUdacity
Potential income4 and a half stars3 and a half stars
Time CommitmentLow to MediumHigh
Risk of failureHighLow (if accepted)
Eligibility CriteriaLowMedium to High
Control over course contentHighMedium

While this table may give you a brief overview of what to expect from each platform, the truth is that they’re both aimed at widely different types of course creators. 

Let’s look at them in detail to determine the best one for you:

Udemy Review – Easy to Use with Full Control

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Udemy has become a widely popular course platform over the past few years with over 32,000 courses available across several categories. 

Most courses available on Udemy cost below $100 and as a course creator publishing their courses on Udemy, it costs you absolutely nothing. 

You can set up your account and publish your online course for free and furthermore, there are no eligibility criteria you need to fulfill to become a course publisher. 

The fact that anyone can join and publish their courses makes Udemy the best online course platform for someone who’s just starting out in this business. 

Pros Cons
Access to coupons and discount codes to drive traffic

Huge community of 30+ million students to market your courses to

Greater control over pricing and course content

Caters to niche subjects and audiences

Completely free to join
Overwhelming amount of competition

Benefits of Udemy

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The first benefit we must reiterate to you is the fact that Udemy is free to join and you can publish courses on the website absolutely free of cost. 

Furthermore, since anyone can create courses on Udemy, it goes without saying that you don’t need a degree or need to be a professional in your respective field to create and publish a course on the platform. 

Since Udemy is an extremely popular online learning platform, you have access to over 30+ million students that you can market your course. That big of a number almost guarantees you’ll find some kind of an audience if you promote your course correctly. 

Additionally, Udemy also gives you access to discounts as well as coupon codes for your courses. You can use these to gather traffic for your course from external sources such as through your social media pages, email campaigns, blogs, etc. 

Udemy courses can be either free or paid as per your needs. You’ll typically create free courses to contribute some value and use these free courses to then upsell your paid courses. It’s a tried-and-true technique that Udemy facilitates perfectly. 

The wide selection of categories also ensures that you’ll definitely find someplace for your niche no matter what you’re creating a course on. 

Finally, Udemy’s interface is highly intuitive and very easy to use. You don’t need a web development degree to create a beautiful and conversion-optimized landing page for your Udemy course. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Udemy

Time Commitment 

Udemy courses do require a hefty time commitment from you but the thing you have to keep in mind is that it’s only temporary.

As we mentioned earlier, anyone can make a course on Udemy so you won’t have to go through any vetting process in order to be accepted as a course creator on the learning platform. 

The majority of your time will be spent creating your course and then, developing marketing campaigns for it. 

Once you have invested enough time and effort into gathering a loyal customer base, you won’t have to spend as much time maintaining your course. 

Once your course becomes popular on the platform, your course ratings, student testimonials, and reviews will do the job for you. 

Passive (and Active) Income

When most people decide to become an online course provider, they’re usually looking for a source of passive income. 

With Udemy, this is definitely possible because as we mentioned above, once you find a loyal customer base and your courses become popular, you’ll keep finding new customers. 

This will keep generating revenue for you even if you’re not actively working to maintain the courses (although, there is a chance your courses may fall into irrelevance if they become outdated). 

Marketing Efforts

Many veteran course creators know that marketing online courses can be just as important, if not more, than actually creating the courses. 

If you create an excellent course but don’t spend any effort promoting it, then there’s a high chance it may not see many sales. 

So, a question you have to ask yourself is “Am I good at marketing?” and if you’re not, are you willing to spend time and effort to learn effective practices to promote your course. 

Because that is definitely something you’ll need if you’re going to be selling online courses on Udemy. 

While Udemy does make an effort to promote online courses on their platform, you’ll have to pull most of the weight when it comes to this. 

Email marketing, social media ad campaigns, redirecting traffic through your blog; These are all practices that you’ll have to familiarize yourself with and spend time on to ensure your Udemy course is successful. 

Eligibility Criteria

As mentioned earlier, anyone can make a course on Udemy. That doesn’t guarantee your course will sell but the fact remains. 

So, even if you don’t have any professional experience in your field or a university degree to back you up, if you create an effective course and market it well, you can be successful on Udemy. 

Risk of Failure

While Udemy courses are easy to get published since anyone can become a course creator on the platform, becoming successful is a whole different story. 

This is because there’s a high level of competition on Udemy. It’s an extremely popular learning platform with over 30+ million students and over 155,000 online courses. 

It’s what you would call a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform and in order to become successful on such a platform, you’re going to have to stand out. 

Thus, you do run the risk of spending time, money, and resources on creating a course that may never sell well. 

What Do the Customers Think?

As you’d probably expect, people love the fact that it’s an open platform that allows anyone to publish online courses. 

It’s an approach to online learning that is much more inclusive and thus, very popular among course creators. 

That being said, the level of competition and lack of marketing assistance is something that rubs many course creators the wrong way. 

Students are also sometimes discouraged by the overwhelming disparity in course quality on the platform. 

Here are some reviews we found online: 

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Best Beginner-Friendly Platform for Online Courses

The fact that the platform allows anyone to publish courses on it makes it perfect for someone who’s just starting out with course creation. You don’t need authority, prominence or credentials to get started with selling courses on Udemy.

Udacity Review – Reliable with Tons of Benefits

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Udacity takes a more traditional approach when it comes to online education compared to Udemy. 

Rather than earning money based on how popular your courses are, you’re paid based on your expertise, skillset and authority. That’s what we mean when we say “traditional”. It’s more aligned with how colleges in real life pay their lecturers and professors. 

While it may seem unfair that you’re not compensated based on the popularity of Udacity courses, the truth of the matter is that income you generate from Udacity is much more reliable

This is because you will be paid regardless of how popular your courses are. Thus, if you are accepted into Udacity, you can always expect a steady stream of income. 

However, it’s important to note that, unlike Udemy, not everyone is qualified to publish and sell courses on Udacity. 

You can have free courses on Udacity but the free courses are not the bread-and-butter of the platform. The Udacity Nanodegree programs start at $399 per month with prices and duration varying for every course. 

Pros Cons
Wide selection of tools to help you with course creation

Helpful customer support

Reliable source of income since you’ll be paid based on expertise

Udacity takes care of marketing and sales of your online courses

Access to Udacity’s content team for help with course creation
Difficult to qualify

You may not earn as much as Udemy if you have highly popular courses

Benefits of Udacity

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As far as online learning platforms go, Udacity is far more curated and polished than its competitors. 

Udacity offers you a wide array of tools to help you create your course and you even get access to a content team that can help you improve and refine your course as well. 

Furthermore, you don’t have to put nearly as much effort into marketing and promoting your course as you do on Udemy. This is because the platform handles the majority of that for you. 

Since Udacity is more geared towards students that are on focused career paths, you’ll get to work with highly talented students that are willing to learn. 

You’ll also get to collaborate with knowledgeable Udacity instructors that you could learn from and network with. It can be a great opportunity to increase your influence and widen your reach. 

You have many more resources at your disposal to create, market, and maintain your course on Udacity as you would on Udemy. 

One example of such a resource is Udacity Mentors. This is a team of mentors that you can contact for hands-on help to both you as well as your students. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Udacity

Time Commitment 

When we’re talking strictly Udemy vs Udacity, the time commitment required for the latter is much higher than that of the former. 

With Udemy, you’ll mostly spend time creating and marketing your course. Once that’s successful, you’ll more or less be done. Whereas with Udacity, you’ll be expected to spend at least 7 to 10 each week even after you’re done with course creation and marketing. 

This time will be spent by you helping students with queries and making progress as they go through your course. 

Passive (and Active) Income

If you’re looking to get into the e-learning business in order to create a source of passive income for yourself, then Udacity is definitely not the platform you should be going for. 

This is because as we mentioned earlier, Udacity expects you to spend at least 7 to 10 hours every week as long as you’re part of their program. 

Thus, if you want to keep earning using Udacity, you’ll have to devote time and effort throughout. 

That being said, building and promoting a course online to where it becomes a reliable source of passive income on Udemy is quite difficult. 
On the other hand, while you do have to spend 7 to 10 hours a week on Udacity, once you’re accepted into their program, you’re guaranteed a regular stream of income each month. 

Marketing Efforts

As we stated earlier, the marketing for online courses can often be much more of a deciding factor for whether it sells well than the actual course content. 

Thus, if you’re not confident with your marketing skills or just don’t have the time and resources to develop an effective marketing campaign, then Udacity is definitely the better option. 

This is because their team handles most of the marketing and sales of your courses for you. 

This leaves you to focus on course content and helping your students out with their progress.

Eligibility Criteria

Unlike Udemy which is an open platform that allows anyone to publish courses, Udacity looks only for experts in their respective fields. 

Not only do you need to have a certain amount of experience within your field but you also have to back up your expertise and authority with proof. 

This could be in the form of credible publications you may have written, successful businesses you may have started, etc. 

If you don’t fit the bill of an expert in your field, you will most likely not get past the application for Udacity. 

Risk of Failure

While it’s much more difficult to get accepted as a course creator on Udacity, if you do get accepted, the risk of failure is pretty much non-existent. 

This is because regardless of the popularity of your courses, you can expect a regular income stream each month.

The average Udacity instructor earns about $91,630 per year. 

So, while you may be missing out on higher revenue if your courses are popular, if they aren’t, you’ll still be compensated a decent amount per year. 

Comparing that to Udemy, the risk is very low because, with Udemy, you could spend time and resources to create a course that does not sell at all. 

What Do the Customers Think?

Since the content available on Udacity is highly curated, people love the fact that the course quality for nearly all available courses is impeccable. 

You can have video lectures and instructors love the fact that they don’t have to spend time and effort promoting their course to potential audiences. 

Finally, instructors also love the reliability of the platform. Your livelihood does not hinge on the fact that whether your course is popular or not. 

As long as you’re providing knowledge effectively, you will get paid. 

Here are some reviews of Udacity we found online: 

many courses
social proof

Best Reliable Platform for Online Learning

The best reliable platform for online learning is Udacity thanks to its guaranteed stream of income promised to its instructors. You won’t have to worry about revenue in case your online courses are not as popular as you expected them to be. 

For first-time course creators, it’s a good option to post your course onto an already established platform rather than hosting it on your own website. 

Some well-known platforms are Codeacademy, Datacamp, and Coursera.

Udemy vs Udacity – Buyers’ Guide

udemy vs udacity

Choosing the best course platform for yourself is definitely confusing and can cost you a whole lot of revenue if you make the wrong choice. 

In this section, we’ll go over some aspects and questions you can ask yourself to determine what type of e-learning platform would be best for you: 

Time Commitment 

As a course creator that’s just delving into the world of course selling and creation, it’s quite likely that you may have other ventures you may be working on as well. 

Different platforms offer different features which can mean that you may have to spend less time on a certain platform than you would if you chose some other one. 

For example, you won’t have to spend much time at all marketing your course if you choose Udacity. However, you will have to spend time helping your students out even if you’ve found a customer base. 
This is not something that’s essential on Udemy but you have to spend much more time with marketing on Udemy. 

Thus, before opting for a certain platform, consider how many hours a week you’re willing to spend and for how long. 

Passive (and Active) Income 

Many people venture into the world of course selling online because they want to create a source of passive income. 

While platforms like Udemy definitely allow you to achieve this with casual courses as well as advanced ones, platforms like Udacity don’t give you this liberty. 

Thus, if you’re seeking to generate passive income, look into whether or not the platform you’re choosing actually allows for that or not. 

Marketing Efforts

Are you good at marketing? And if you aren’t, are you willing to spend a hefty amount of time, effort and money to learn? 

Because marketing is a huge part of selling courses online and if you don’t do this effectively, no matter how great of a course you’ve made, it’s not going to find an audience. 

Thus, depending on whether you want control over how you market your product or if you just want someone else to take care of it for you, check out what different platforms offer. 

Do they offer to market your courses for you? Do you get access to coupon codes and discounts so you can promote your course on your own social media? 

All of these are things you’ll have to consider to ensure the success of your course. 

Eligibility Criteria

If you’re new to the business of course creation and don’t have expertise in your field, you may not be eligible to publish courses on many online platforms. 

This is because many of them are looking for experts and professionals within their respective fields. 

Thus, platforms such as these may not be for you if you don’t have an academic degree or a distinguished background in your specific niche. 

In this case, you can choose a platform that is open and allows anyone to publish courses on it.

While creating and selling online courses can be very profitable, it’s not easy. Take a look at our guide to help you go through each step.

Udacity Courses vs Udemy Courses – Final Verdict

This brings us to the end of our comparison post for Udemy vs Udacity. 

Both platforms provide courses in several categories such as computer science, lifestyle, data science, general sciences,  design, marketing, personal development, etc. 

While Udemy is more geared towards casual creators, Udacity is aimed towards professionals and industry experts. 

In the end, we feel that if you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of authority, then Udemy is a better option. 

However, if you have expertise and authority in your field which you can prove, then Udacity is definitely worth going for. 

Which platform do you think is better? Let us know in the comments below.