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The internet has become a great place to learn virtually anything that you want. There are many platforms that you can use to learn and to share your knowledge via online courses. However, with that many platforms out there, it may be hard for you to choose one that fits you the best.
In this article, we compare Udemy vs. EdX – two of the most popular online course platforms -to see which one fits your needs the best.
Can’t Wait? Here’s Our Verdict
Both sites are great for learning online. However, Udemy offers a more intuitive user experience, as well as discounts that make the offer more attractive for new students. EdX is excellent if you want to get a completion certificate that is validated by top institutes around the world. It really does depend on what you’re after.
Udemy is an online course platform created in 2009. Its main goal is to provide students a platform to learn from a wide variety of topics available and also to provide people who want to share their knowledge a space where they can upload their content.
Udemy currently has over 100,000 available courses, which are categorized in experience level, available language, and length. Udemy is not seen as an accredited institution, so it’s not recommended for people who want to use certificates to apply for a job.
EdX is a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) platform founded in 2012 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. This platform specializes in university-level courses, and it’s partnered with some big, accredited corporations.
Currently, EdX has a catalog of over 2650 online courses created by top universities and other important institutions around the world. This platform is excellent is you’re looking for university-level courses and completion certificates issued by important institutions.
If you want to see how EdX stacks up against the competition, see: EdX vs Coursera
Courses on Offer
Udemy has over 100,000 available courses on its platform. You have a wide variety of free or paid courses on any topic that can help you boost or learn skills.
Udemy has a search engine that can help you look for a specific course. You can look them up by name or by category. The list of available categories is the one below:
- Finance & Accounting
- IT & Software
- Office Productivity
- Personal Development
- Health & Fitness
- Teaching & Academics
While Udemy has many categories to choose from, the platform is popular because of its programming courses. You can find over 80,000 courses under the programming categories. These courses range from beginner level to advanced level.
Udemy offers content in six different formats: audio, video, text, presentations, documents, and a mashup of everything. However, not every instructor offers their content in the same format.
You have to look at the landing page of the course you’re interested in to see what delivery methods they use for their content.
EdX currently has over 2650 courses divided into 23 categories. To browse for any course, you can select a specific category or topic and search from there. You can also choose a course based on the participating university or institution.
EdX provides a forum and a discussion group for students and instructors. In there, you can discuss with other users about specific courses. This is an excellent tool if you want to know if a course you want to enroll in is worth it.
The categories currently available in EdX are the following:
- Art & Culture
- Biology & Life Sciences
- Business & Management
- Computer Science
- Data Analysis & Statistics
- Economics & Finance
- Education & Teacher Training
- Energy & Earth Sciences
- Environmental Studies
- Food & Nutrition
- Health & Safety
- Philosophy & Ethics
- Social Sciences
When you look up a course, you are redirected to its landing page. In there, you can check information about the course, such as a promotional video, the course’s code number, the date the course starts, the participating institutes, the time required to complete the course, and other requirements.
EdX offers six different types of programs; each of them is aimed at specific people:
- One-Off Courses: You can take this course however you want, without many requirements.
- MicroMasters Program: This program helps professionals enhance their skills with specific-aimed courses.
- Professional Certificates: This program trains people to stand out in their work field.
- Global Freshmen Academy: This program is aimed at students that are starting their university studies.
- XSeries Program: This program helps people get more in-depth information about a specific subject.
EdX is the winner in this section. While Udemy has a massive number of online courses available, EdX offers a broader list of topics to choose from.
Udemy is straightforward with its platform. When you go into the site, you can see a promotional banner, a list of some available courses, and user reviews. If you’re registering for the first time, the site may offer you a discount on some of its courses.
When you look into a specific course’s landing page, you can see a promotional video, title, description, course requirements, information about the author, and user reviews.
To pay for a course, you only have to add the course to your cart, sign in with your account, and choose a payment method. Navigating Udemy is not something out of the ordinary, but it’s easy to operate for users.
EdX offers a clean-looking page that is easy to use. The platform has the essential features that you need to start looking for an online course.
After you register, you can automatically check the available courses, participating institutions, and many more. You can go to the ‘Course’ tab on the site to start looking for courses, or you can look up EdX’s programs and degrees to see which one fits you the best.
When you get into a course’s landing page, you can see general information such as title, description, length, price, etc. One thing that makes the page uncomfortable is that many courses have a huge chunk of text for its description.
The review section is also filled with a text-only style, which can be dull for a lot of people who want to check reviews for a specific course. It also doesn’t specify anything about the reviewer; it only says ‘Learner’ at the end of the review, which can make users wonder if the reviews are legit.
The winner, in this case, is Udemy. It offers an intuitive and basic user interface that makes it easy for users to browse online courses. EdX’s platform is also easy to use, but the massive amount of text on the course pages can be annoying for some users.
Anyone can be an instructor on Udemy. To apply to host an online course on its platform, you only have to upload it and get it approved by the Udemy team.
While there are many excellent instructors on Udemy’s platform, there are also awful ones. The best way to determine if the online course is worth it, or if you’re wasting your time, you have to look at the ‘Reviews’ section of the online course page.
However, the fact that anyone can be an instructor on the site doesn’t mean that their courses are automatically bad. Some new instructors offer quality content consistently.
The instructor team on EdX is composed of accredited professionals and institutes around the world. Each instructor is thoroughly trained in their field, so you can expect to get content from someone who has a lot of experience.
To be entirely sure of the instructor’s reputation, you can check the ‘Reviews’ section at the end of the online course page to see what other people have to say about the instructors and their content.
The winner here is EdX because all of its instructors are highly-trained professionals in a particular field, whereas, in Udemy, anyone can upload their online course, regardless of experience.
There are mixed opinions on the quality of Udemy’s online courses. While there is a considerable number of available courses, which makes it impossible to check them all, the quality of the content depends solely on the instructor.
Many people say that the majority of the courses on Udemy are decent. However, you may also find people who despise Udemy’s courses. There is not a quality-check filter on every single course, so you have to check for reviews to determine if the content is worth it.
There is no grey area while talking of EdX’s quality; people either love the courses or hate them. Most of the negative reviews come from the technical difficulties of the platform itself. This makes the experience a lot more annoying.
While EdX has a lot of high-quality courses and study programs, you may also find some courses with difficulties to access it, grammar mistakes, and poor feedback.
There is no way to determine whether all courses are good or bad. You have to check for yourself to see if it’s worth it.
The winner here is EdX. While Udemy has some high-quality courses, there’s too wide-a-range. All EdX courses are quality.
Flexibility and Time Commitment
Every course on Udemy guarantees that you can complete them at your own pace. There is no expiration date, and you get to keep the course for as long as Udemy has a license to host the content.
Every course has a certain length, so you can evaluate how much time you can take. Regardless, you’re free to complete it whenever you want.
EdX offers two types for completing its online courses: self-paced and instructor-paced.
On the Self-paced option, you get to finish the course whenever you want. There is not a fixed schedule, so you have everything available to you as soon as the online course starts.
On the instructor-paced option, you have to complete the course within a set period, which is typically from eight to 12 weeks.
Keep in mind that to get a verified completion certificate, some courses require that you finish the course before a specified date.
Udemy is the winner here. EdX has two decent options for completing a course, but you don’t get to choose which one. The type of schedule that you get on an EdX course depends on the instructor. With Udemy, you can complete every single course whenever you want.
Udemy’s online courses range from $9 to $200. However, the platform offers many discounts throughout the year, so you may end up getting a $200 course for only $10.
Udemy is famous for always getting out discounts, so it’s likely that you don’t ever pay full price for an online course.
You don’t have to purchase a membership to go into Udemy; you just have to register, select a course that you like, and pay for it.
EdX courses generally cost from $25 to $300. You can choose to ‘audit’ an online course, which means that you can get the course for free, but you can’t get a completion certificate.
You can also apply for financial aid, and if you qualify, you can get up to a 90% discount on the platform’s courses.
The winner here is Udemy. While both sites offer similar pricing ranges, Udemy is continuously giving out discounts, which make it more appealing to new students.
Udemy – 3
EdX – 3
While both sites are excellent to learn from a lot of topics, Udemy offers the friendliest user interface, along with more accessible pricing options for people who can’t afford very expensive courses. However, if you want a completion certificate that is accepted by employers, your best choice may be EdX.
The best option for you is to check both sites out to determine which one appeals more to you and your needs.