Udacity vs Treehouse – Which One to Pick?

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Learning how to code online is possible today with a wide variety of online learning sites that offer programming courses. 

If you’ve been looking for an online course to learn to code, one of the main challenges is to pick the right platform to learn from. With so many options it can get confusing – Udacity, Treehouse, Udemy, Codecademy? 

In this review, we’re comparing Udacity vs Treehouse after trying both out extensively to see which one would suit you and your learning needs best. 

Which is Better: Udacity vs Treehouse

After trying to learn from both platforms for a couple of hours, this is what we’ve found out.

Udacity is the better choice for you if you want courses that are deeper and are organized like a university class, and you have several months of time to complete the course.

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Treehouse, on the other hand, is cheaper and is better suited for you if you’re a complete beginner and you’ve never written a line of code before, and you just want to learn the basics in a beginner-friendly way.

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We like Udacity’s in-depth courses better and we also prefer its selection of courses (in the form of Nanodegrees), while we prefer Treehouse’s beginner-friendly approach and its relatively affordable pricing (at least when compared to Udacity’s pricing model).

In the end, it boils down to your needs; ask yourself these questions and the answer will present itself to you based on what we’ve written above:

  • What learning level am I at?
  • What types of courses do I prefer? Do I want longer and in-depth courses or short-and-sweet courses?
  • How much am I prepared to spend?
  • What categories am I looking to learn? 

Udacity Overview

The latest digital skills - Udacity

Udacity is a comprehensive online learning website that offers online students a chance to get university-level skills from home without physically attending any classes. It was established in 2011 and since then, it has grown into one of the biggest e-learning sites.

You’ll find the best teachers on Udacity, which results in the highest class of content. The main type of courses that you can get on Udacity are nanodegrees, which are essentially constructed with individual courses about the same topic. 

They’re made in such a way that you progress as you go through the nanodegree with constant feedback and backing from the instructors, which gives Udacity a more personalized feel.

Most courses on Udacity are technology-focused – some dive deeper into a specific topic of learning (for example, Machine Learning Engineer for Microsoft Azure), while others focus mostly on the essentials (Data Analyst course). 

While Udacity is considered to be pretty expensive – the average Nanodegree will cost $1000+ – it is known for its high level of quality and a detail-focused approach. If you’re sure about a specific topic you want to learn about, then there’s probably no better site to use than Udacity.

Who Is Udacity Best For?

Udacity is meant for those students who are able to learn consistently and for several months at a time, which is definitely something to consider when picking between Treehouse and Udacity.

Since the Nanodegrees on Udacity are a bit more expensive, it will be expected of you to stay engaged with the course daily and complete the tasks and quizzes inside. 

This means that Udacity is meant for you if you’re certain that you want to learn about a specific topic and you have the time and the willingness to commit to the course, spend a slightly higher amount, and complete the course.

Udacity Pros

  • In-depth courses with expert instructors
  • A good amount of choice of courses and nanodegrees
  • Support from mentors and the community
  • Some free courses are also available
  • Smooth IDE and elegant interface

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Udacity Cons

  • Expensive (especially nanodegrees)
  • Some courses are more difficult than others
  • Not as many courses here as on other sites (like Coursera)

Treehouse Overview

Front end web development - Treehouse

Treehouse is a beginner-friendly online learning platform with primarily technology-focused courses. Like Udemy, Treehouse was also established in 2011 and is today offered as a monthly subscription service that gives you access to all of the courses on the platform.

The platform is mainly focused on beginners, as it makes it easy for them to track their progress and improve their skills easily. This is done through Tracks, which offers a progression-based style of learning.

Tracks are the most popular way of learning for Treehouse users. They provide you with the progressions needed to learn.

However, you can also opt for Techdegrees. A Techdegree is essentially an online Bootcamp that will provide you with a focused learning platform, no matter your skill level. Inside, you’ll progress through real-life projects, assignments, and quizzes that are provided and curated for you by expert teachers.

Techedgrees are more expensive than Tracks and Treehouse basic ($199 per month for Techdegree and $25 per month for Treehouse), but they’re also more focused and tailored to your needs.

Who is Treehouse Best For?

Treehouse is best for complete beginners that don’t have much previous coding or technology experience, as well as for intermediate learners looking to improve their skills through Techdegrees.

For complete beginners, Treehouse’s basic monthly subscription is probably the best choice. With that subscription, you’ll be able to learn about a variety of topics, and most of them are focused on technology and programming.

So if you’re looking to learn a new programming language from scratch and you don’t have much previous experience, then Treehouse is a great option for you.

Treehouse Pros

  • Free trial for 7 days
  • Cheaper than Udacity
  • Quality and varied courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Easy to use

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Treehouse Cons

  • Not as in-depth as Udacity courses (except for Techdegrees)
  • Not a great selection of courses
  • Treehouse is not accredited

Pricing – How Much Do They Cost?

One of the most important things you might be asking yourself at this point is – how much do both of these platforms cost?

How Much Does Udacity Cost?

Udacity charges its students for each course individually. For a nanodegree, you will have the option to make a one-time payment or pay on a monthly basis as you learn.

Most nanodegrees cost between $1000 and $1300, while some will also be cheaper or expensive, based on the depth of each course. 

If you opt for monthly-based payments for your nanodegrees, expect to pay $300+ per month for each nanodegree.

However, you will also find free courses on Udacity that will allow you to test the waters and see for yourself if the platform is right for you.

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How Much Does Treehouse Cost?

Treehouse’s basic pricing model is $25/month, while the Pro model costs $49/month, which will give you access to all of the tracks and courses on Treehouse. Pro will give you access to additional courses and contents, as well.

Note that you can take advantage of the 7-day free trial to see if the platform is right for you.

Try Treehouse for Free

If you decide to go for a Techedgree, then expect to pay $199/month. A Techdegree can also be tested through the free trial option for 7 days if you wish, which will give you access to all of the materials in your chosen Techdegree.

Courses Offered

What do courses look like on both platforms?

Udacity

Udacity Full Catalog

If you take a closer look at the catalog, you’ll see that most courses on Udacity are tech-focused. There are also some business courses – the most popular course in this category is Digital Marketing.

Once you have signed up with Udacity and picked (or bought) your course, you’ll enter a site called “My Classroom”.

My Classroom Intro to HTML and CSS - Udacity

Here, you’ll be able to manage and see all of the courses and nanodegrees that you own. This will be the main site when it comes to taking your courses.

Now, most of the courses on Udacity are created through a mixture of video-based content, text content, quizzes, assignments, and there’s also a workshop where you’ll be able to put your coding skills to the test.

HTML syntax, Make your first element - Udacity

As you can see, the IDE is built into the platform and you don’t have to open separate windows to launch it, which is a nice thing. The IDE feels responsive and if you feel stuck throughout your learning process, you’ll be able to access the solution that will help you out.

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Most Nanodegrees are very long. These will take anywhere between 3-6 months or perhaps even more, depending on the topic you’re learning about. So if you decide to take a course on Udacity, expect it to be a long-term commitment. 

Treehouse

Content by the topics - Treehouse

The courses and Techdegrees offered at Treehouse are based on technology, coding, and programming. You will be able to learn both basic computing skills as well as more advanced and in-depth skills if you need something specific.

Tracking your progress gets easy with Tracks, which allows you to pick your topic of interest, and you’ll get all the courses arranged nicely into a Track so that you’ll be able to progress with ease.

Most common tracks - Treehouse

These Tracks are focused mostly on general skills and they’re meant for beginners to start learning easily and progress up to a point where they can take more advanced courses like Techdegrees, and you’ll also be able to get the right skills to do a job properly.

Completing a Track will give you a certificate of completion which you can use on your CV or on your social media profiles.

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Udacity Nanodegrees

If you’re a more advanced learner and you want to complete a more comprehensive course, then you might be wondering which one is better: Udacity Nanodegrees or Treehouse Techdegrees?

Let’s start by taking a look at Udacity’s Nanodegrees first.

A nanodegree is essentially a learning path that will help you progress from your current skill level to a higher skill level. They are meant for all types of learners – from beginners to advanced learners.

NanoDegree Program - Udacity

Before you decide to buy a nanodegree, you’ll be able to see the syllabus and decide whether the contents of the nanodegree are right for your needs.

The nanodegree consists of individual courses, and each course is then split into lessons. You can expect to find the following materials:

  • Video and text content
  • Built-in IDE and coding challenges and assignments
  • Quizzes, questions, and other assignments
  • Feedback from teachers
  • Community
  • Other materials based on the type of course you select

The nanodegrees are the closest thing you’ll get to a university class online. However, they’re also quite expensive, as the costs of a nanodegree vary anywhere from $1000 to up to $1500.

Treehouse Techdegrees

How are Treehouse’s techdegrees constructed? Let’s find out.

Tech Degree Treehouse

The essentials of the Treehouse Techdegree are similar to Udacity’s nanodegrees. You will get a guided learning path that is designed for your case specifically. You’ll be able to progress by completing the lessons inside the degree.

This degree will also take several months to complete and as you complete it, you’ll have a nice portfolio that you can share with employers. This is great, especially if you don’t have many projects to show off to employers prior to taking the techdegree.

You’ll also get feedback from the teachers through weekly office hours, where you can discuss various topics with them. There’s also the Treehouse community (although it’s not huge) that you can access on Slack.

All in all, very similar to Udacity and perhaps better suited if you want to first try it out for 7 days for free to see if it’s right for you and the investment is worth it.

Quizzes & Projects

Do you get additional projects and quizzes with both platforms?

Udacity

HTML quiz question - Udacity

Throughout all of the courses and degrees you decide to take on Udacity, you’ll be able to participate in various quizzes and assignments.

In fact, some lessons require you to answer the questions inside the quiz so that you’re able to progress to the next lessons. This type of interactive learning is great if you’re looking to learn more comprehensively and quickly.

As for the projects, they’re also available through workspaces inside the lessons. These workspaces will be built-in and will teach you the practical aspect of learning behind the theory.

Treehouse

HTML quiz question - Treehouse

Quizzes are also available inside Treehouse’s courses and degrees. They usually come after you’ve completed the video and text-based content. They will help you strengthen what you’ve learned throughout the lesson.

As for the projects, they’re only available for Treehouse Pro learners, which means that you’ll have to pay the $49/month to have access to some of these projects.

More comprehensive projects are available for Techdegrees, where you’ll be able to learn through real-life projects to create your portfolio.

Certifications

Are these platforms accredited?

Is Udacity Accredited?

Udacity is not accredited because it is a private learning institution, but you do get certificates when you complete courses and degrees on Udacity.

Sadly, it does not belong to the list of accredited institutions, which means that even if you decide to take a Nanodegree on Udacity, you would still not get the title that you would normally get if you would take a college degree.

However, certificates can be extremely helpful for your career.

These certificates are a nice addition to your CV or your social media profiles like LinkedIn, and they show that you’re willing to learn new skills and upgrade your arsenal of skills any time.

Is Treehouse Accredited?

Treehouse is not accredited in the traditional sense of the word, but it will also provide you with certificates of completion after you’ve completed a course or a degree on the site.

Completing a Treehouse techdegree will take you from your current skill level to the next level. You’ll get applicable skills that you’ll be able to use in your career and also apply it to your job interviews or potential job applications to woo employers and give them a feeling that you’re an avid learner.

To help you with that, Treehouse gives out special certificates that you can add to your CV or social media profiles, where you will be able to show your completed courses or degrees.

Both platforms are similar in this respect: they’re not officially accredited because they’re private online learning institutions. This means that you won’t get the same accreditation as you would get by taking a traditional college.

However, you have to look at it from a practical point of view. It is what you’re getting out of the courses that matters, and you can be certain that with both platforms, you’re getting a lot of skills that you’ll be able to use in your career.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, both Treehouse and Udacity have their pros and cons. Treehouse is better suited for beginners that are looking for an easy way to track their progress and improve their skills.

Udacity, on the other hand, is a bit more expensive, especially its nanodegrees. However, they’re also more in-depth and they go deeper into very specific topics, while Treehouse’s courses are more general.

In the end, you’ll have to look at what you need and especially, how much you’re prepared to spend on an online course. If you’re decided that a very specific topic is right for you and your situation and you’re prepared to spend slightly more, then Udacity brings a better level of quality.

But if you’re looking to learn the basics and you don’t want to overspend, then Treehouse is likely the better option.

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About the author: Hey there! I’m Vince. I’m a trained and practicing teacher with experience in e-learning and course design, along with having an extensive background in building and maintaining websites. I started EduTest Labs to help course creators and students find the best resources (without the BS).