Udemy is an online learning platform that promotes the idea of “learning anytime and anywhere” – where students can learn on-demand, on their schedule, and from any device. Udemy’s website says that they have 130,000 online courses available for students. Website users can quickly search, enroll, and begin online courses in a rather seamless and easy way – the question that we will look at here is whether it is a quality platform to learn and upgrade your job skills.
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Before we get into whether I believe Udemy is a quality platform, let’s first look at Udemy and learn a little bit more about their course offerings.
What Types of Courses are Offered on Udemy?
Udemy offers a wide array of courses. You can find courses for both personal and professional development, including hobby courses.
The broad course categories that are available include:
- Finance & Accounting
- IT & Software
- Office Productivity
- Personal Development
- Photography & Video
- Health & Fitness
- Teaching & Academics
From these broad categories, you can drill down further and get precise on the courses offered. Here is an example of what you can find when you drill down within a category.
What’s Included in the Courses Found on Udemy?
Each course is different, but what you will likely find is:
- Access to the online learning program (video)
- Access to articles
- Access to course summaries/outlines
- Access to resources directly related to the content of the course
- Lifetime access
- Certificates of completion
How to Identify Quality Courses?
Before you purchase a course, you should do some due diligence of your own to ensure you are purchasing a quality course.
Examine the course outline (curriculum)
Examine the course outline to get a thorough understanding of what is included in a course and if the curriculum is what you are looking for.
Read reviews and look at the overall course rating
You can read student reviews as well look at the star rating system to see what other people think about the quality of the course. You can also see how many people have taken the course.
When reviewing the stars (rating system), take into consideration that the reviews have been provided by learners purchasing the course at different price points. Someone could have purchased the course at a discounted price, whereas someone else could have paid full pop for it. The expectation for someone spending $199 on a course would be very different than someone buying it for $25.
Look at the additional materials provided
Each course is different in what they offer to substitute the online learning. See what additional materials are included with the course.
Watch the course preview (if available)
From the course page, you can watch a preview to learn more about the course to see if it is right for you. You’ll also be able to see if you feel a connection (and can learn from) the course instructor. Also, in some of the course outlines, instructors have provided modules that you can watch – before purchasing.
Research the instructor before purchasing to learn about their qualifications
Since anyone can create and instruct a course on Udemy, it is worthwhile to quickly research the course instructor. Look them up on LinkedIn, maybe see their employment history, check out what skills they have been endorsed for. Some of the instructors are PhD.s, others have thriving consulting businesses, while others might not. So it’s worth doing your diligence if you are spending a lot of money.
See if the course has been updated
Another thing to consider when taking courses is the date that the course was created and last edited. Some of the instructors do a great job of updating them as required (new technologies, theories, laws, etc.) while others might not.
What’s the Cost of Courses Found on Udemy?
The costs of courses can range quite a bit. There are FREE courses available – that sometimes offer purchase upgrades. You might be able to find courses discounted, but on average I have seen them range between $20 – $199.00.
Are the Courses Accredited?
Unlike traditional institutions, courses on Udemy are not accredited. Although most courses that you take provide you with a certificate (free ones don’t), there isn’t much that you can do with that “certificate” after the fact.
Is Udemy Worth It?
For this review, I took an HR course on Interviewing (for Managers and Hiring Managers). The course itself delivered quality content for individuals who may be new to interviewing and reminded me of stuff I already know and use in the workplace (I have been working in HR for 10+ years). It offered a lot of information that would be valuable to anyone just starting out either in HR or acting as a Hiring Manager. The flow of the course itself was well organized. The Udemy program was user-friendly and easy to navigate. I didn’t experience any technical issues while using the program. So overall, I would say it was a quality course for anyone looking for a refresher, or someone who is new to interviewing.
In an organization I worked for previously, our IT department frequently used Udemy for upskilling employees because it’s a cost-effective means for them to learn new skills quickly with quality content.
Udemy for business is also available and there are a lot of big brands that use Udemy to upskill their employees!
Another great reason to look at courses on Udemy is to see if there is anything that may peek your interest (career-wise). If you are struggling to figure out what to do with your life (career), taking courses on Udemy might be a great opportunity to understand if you find the content interesting. As in… interesting enough to work in a related career.
So are the courses worth their value? I am going to say yes, they are. It really depends on your current level of expertise and also what you are trying to achieve. If you are looking to upgrade your job skills, learn from others within similar industries, looking for a refresher course on a given topic, then yes. Udemy certainly has some great courses that can help you.
Will the Courses Help Me on the Job?
Absolutely, the courses will help you upgrade your job skills. You can obtain specialized and transferable skills (depending on the courses you take) by enrolling in and completing courses on Udemy. In some circumstances, such as learning how to write HTML and CSS, you could be able to practice your new skills immediately to prove the learning outcome, whereas other courses may be a little harder for you to practice, especially if you are taking a soft skills course that may require role play or being put in a specific situation. For example, by taking a course on conflict management or handling difficult conversations, you’ll learn strategies, theory, tactics, but the real test will come to play when you are placed in the situations – either in real life or through role play.
Can I Put These Courses on My Resume?
While I wouldn’t suggest placing the courses you take on Udemy under the “Education and Additional Training” portion of your resume, you can certainly include the skills and knowledge you have obtained in your resume. You can include the knowledge, skills, and abilities learned from your courses within your Professional Profile or list them within the Skills section. Be sure that you can speak to these skills and be able to quantify, speak to them, and answer interview questions when hiring managers are looking to test those skills you claim to have. Learn more about mastering interviews in this blog post! You can also include your continuous drive to learn and upgrade your job skills within your cover letter.
Well, that wraps up my review and personal experience, I hope it helps you decide whether or not to take courses on Udemy!