But it also has a number of potential drawbacks that may send you looking for alternatives to Udemy.
In this article, I’ll go over 11 of the best sites like Udemy for online learning.
There are a bunch of different factors you should consider, including price, quality of content, the subjects that each platform specializes in, whether you receive a certificate upon completion, and other things as well.
Table of Contents
Skillshare is probably the most similar to Udemy out of all the e learning platforms.
Skillshare offers hundreds of free courses and also a fairly low cost premium membership which opens up access to thousands more courses and video lessons.
Skillshare courses are taught by industry professionals and tend to be very practical in terms of their material.
There is a huge focus on learning by doing, instead of merely watching and absorbing theory like with some other e-learning sites.
In my opinion, Skillshare is best for creatives.
Whereas other elearning sites like LinkedIn Learning place an emphasis on business, Skillshare’s course catalog has more of a focus on the arts and creative topics.
So if you’re looking to learn about animation, music, photography, or other creative topics, then Skillshare is a great choice.
I’d recommend checking out a free course on a topic that you’re interested in.
Then you can get an idea of whether it’s worth signing up for a paid membership for you or not.
Right now, Skillshare is even offering 2 weeks free unlimited access to all their courses, so you can check the platform out in detail for nothing!
If you’re looking for an e-learning site that offers a monthly subscription giving you access to thousands of course for one price, and with less of a focus on business and marketing topics, then Skillshare is worth considering.
To understand the similarities and differences between Udemy and Skillshare in more detail, check out my article Udemy vs Skillshare.
Coursera is a unique site like Udemy, in that it partners with top universities and other organizations to deliver a truly world-class online education.
Although Coursera offers less courses than Udemy overall, the subject matter of their courses is much more in-depth and will be hard to beat.
They are taught by some of the top university lecturers and professionals that the world has to offer.
Like other sites like Udemy, Coursera has a large library of courses on topics like business, computer science, arts and humanities, social sciences, and more.
Many of Coursera’s courses are available completely free. However, they also offer some paid courses where students receive a certificate upon completion.
These premium courses are paid for individually, much like courses on Udemy.
Often even Coursera’s paid courses are completely free, except for the option to pay for a certificate at the end. So if credentials are less important to you, you can pick up a lot of free knowledge through their programs.
If you really want the best that Coursera has to offer, you can even enroll in a full-time bachelor’s degree or master’s program through various educational institutes through the platform.
If you’re looking for course quality over quantity, and place a high value on the qualifications of your instructors, Coursera is most definitely the online learning platform for you.
For more info, I have another article where I’ve compared Coursera vs Udemy’s main differences, prices and courses.
Imagine getting a cooking lesson from Gordon Ramsay. A basketball lesson from Stephen Curry, or a tennis lesson from Serena Williams. Or a chance to learn creative writing directly from Margaret Atwood.
That’s the type of unique learning opportunities that Masterclass presents. It gives you a chance to learn directly from famous celebrities and industry leaders. People who are world-class at what they do.
Masterclass offers various courses for $90 each. Or you can pay $180 per year for a subscription to get access to their entire library of courses.
If you think you may be interested in more than one topic, I’d definitely recommend paying for the subscription.
Masterclass has far less courses available than what’s offered by some other platforms like Skillshare or Linkedin Learning.
But for the price, I think it offers an exceptional value.
Sure, you could learn about a topic from a professor or a random instructor.
But imagine how much more engaged and invested you would be when you’re able to learn directly from a hero or role model of yours.
It’s really an e-learning experience that you’ll have trouble finding anywhere else, and the production quality of the lessons is really special. It feel less like online learning and more like binge-watching Netflix!
LinkedIn Learning uses a monthly subscription model.
This is unlike the other sites like Udemy that I’ve covered so far, which either offer free courses or require you to pay per course.
Premium access to the platform costs $30 per month, or you can get a discount when signing up for an annual subscription.
The downside of this model is that none of their material is available for free. But for people who love to learn, I think you’ll really get your money’s worth from their subscription model.
Your monthly fee gets you unlimited access to their extensive library of course material, so you’re free to learn as much as you like.
LinkedIn Learning is mostly aimed at working professionals, and offers video-based lectures aimed to provide you with real practical skills to improve your everyday job performance.
A lot of the topics are business-oriented lessons that you’d expect. Like mastering Microsoft Excel, employee relations, customer service, social media marketing for small businesses, and similar topics.
However, the platform also offers thousands of courses on other topics like graphic design, software development, photography, web development, and more.
While LinkedIn Learning lacks some of the more quirky personal interest topics that Udemy offers, it excels at providing you with unlimited access to material that can improve your employability and job performance.
Here you can read my comparison between Lynda vs Udemy.
Udacity and Udemy have similar names, but their offerings are quite different. So be sure not to confuse the two!
Udacity offers a mix of free and paid programs. Right now, they offer nearly 200 free courses to choose from.
But Udacity’s main claim to fame is their paid nano degree programs. These programs teach a specific set of skills, normally in a timeframe of one to four months.
Udacity used to offer courses for around $199 each. However, it seems like their courses have dramatically increased in price within the past year or two, and many of their paid programs now cost around $500 per month.
Understandably, with these prices, Udacity may scare off many potential students who are looking for the most cost-effective alternatives.
But they do have a place, particularly for technical training in the areas of artificial intelligence, cloud computing, programming, data science, and similar topics.
So I would mostly recommend Udacity for students who are already working in the tech industry and are looking to improve their existing knowledge and skills.
To learn more about Udacity and how it compares to Udemy check out my article Udemy vs Udacity.
As the name might suggest, Codecademy is your go-to e-learning platform when you want to learn programming or coding.
Codecademy offers free lessons in 12 of the main programming languages. Including C++, Java, Python, Ruby, SQL, PHP, and others. Plus markup languages like HTML and CSS.
No matter whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced coder, Codecademy has something to teach you about programming. It’s a reputable platform that’s even supported by the US government.
To keep lessons from getting dry, Codecademy uses gamification to keep students engaged and having fun, as well as educated.
Optionally, you can pay $199 to get a certificate at the end of more advanced courses.
If you’re looking to break into the world of programming and technology, Codecademy is the platform I’d recommend to learn everything you need.
edX is another e-learning platform that offers a huge number of free courses. Learn about all kinds of different topics like languages, business, management, humanities, engineering, languages, data science, and more.
Much like Coursera, edX collaborates with organizations and distinguished universities to bring you some of the best training that’s available online.
There are also some paid courses offered on edX, which can range from $50 to $300 or more each.
Upon completion of these premium courses, you’ll get certifications from the university or institution that is associated with the course.
If you’re looking for impressive certifications from MIT, Harvard, or other organizations that you can put on a resume or CV when you’re done, edX is a great way to go.
Unlike some other e-learning platforms, edX offers a lot of two-way dialogue.
You can get feedback from your instructors on assignments, and even communicate with other students. So it’s a much more interactive learning environment compared to Udemy and some other sites.
Pluralsight is another site like Udemy that’s worth considering when you’re evaluating different online learning platforms.
Like Udacity or Codecademy, Pluralsight’s course content is mostly focused on IT and other computer-related subjects.
They do have some courses aimed at business and creative professionals, but the platform is most well-known for its technology courses.
Like most online learning platforms, they cover topics ranging from beginners all the way up to advanced levels.
Pluralsight requires a subscription of $29 per month or $299 per year. There are no free courses available, although Pluralsight is unique since it lets you look at courses for free before you decide to pay.
As with most subscription-based platforms, you can take as many courses as you want.
Learn the main differences between Udemy and Pluralsight.
Khan Academy offers a world-class education. Its courses make use of a combination of video and text formats, with a large number of topics to choose from.
The courses even provide you with assignments and tasks as part of your lessons. This allows you to get a practical understanding of the courses you’re studying, besides just focusing on theory.
Most lessons are very short and specific, so they’re easy to digest. These mini-lessons can often be more engaging than what you’d find on other e-learning sites like Udemy.
You can choose from a large variety of topics including various mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, electrical engineering, computer programming, history, economics, entrepreneurship, and more.
Khan Academy also offers test prep for SATs, LSATs, and more.
Courses are available in 20 different languages. They even have a separate Khan Academy Kids website, which is specifically tailored for teaching kids.
It’s a great resource for parents and includes activities, coloring books, educational videos, and books.
Best of all, Khan Academy is a non-profit organization and all of its courses are completely free.
Iversity is often described as the European equivalent of Coursera.
Coursera focuses on partnerships with North American universities and institutions like Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, and Stanford.
Iversity has European partners like University of Buckingham, Jacobs University, the European University Institute, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, and others.
Much like Coursera, Iversity offers a wide range of completely free programs. Students are only charged upon completion of a course if they wish to receive an official certificate.
A unique feature of Iversity is that it approaches online learning in the form of a social network. You can receive peer review of your work, in addition to automatic instant feedback on some tasks and assignments.
If you live in Europe, I’d recommend looking into Iversity as an alternative to Coursera.
The certifications it offers may seem more relevant or applicable on your CV or resume compared to receiving certificates from American institutions.
Instead of using sites like Udemy or similar online platforms, you may choose to go directly to the source. Many universities around the world are now offering large amounts of their course material online for free.
Learn from Stanford University about aeronautics or engineering. Brush up on some chemistry, geology, or history from Yale. Or choose from hundreds of full recorded lectures on MIT’s OpenCourseWare Youtube channel.
Most of these universities offer high-quality downloadable materials, suggested readings, video lectures, and even exams and problem sets to test what you’ve learned.
This material may be a bit more dry and academic compared to what you find on some other sites like Udemy.
But don’t underestimate how much amazing free information is being offered online by some of the world’s best educational institutions.
If you’re looking to go the academic route, one final honorable mention that I’ll give is for a platform called Academic Earth.
This site like Udemy has partnered with dozens of different universities and offers a wide range of online college courses. The best part is that they’re all available completely free.
If you aren’t sure or don’t mind which institution you take online courses from, Academic Earth is great at matching you up with the course you’re after.
Udemy ranks in the top results when you search for lots of online courses.
That’s no surprise, seeing as they offer over 100,000 courses in total. Many of them are free, or there are often Udemy sales promotions running which means you can access a lot of low cost online learning on the platform.
However, Udemy isn’t without its own problems. Since anybody can create and publish a course on Udemy, the quality can vary greatly.
While the best Udemy courses are fantastic resources taught by world renowned experts in their field, others are not so thorough or in-depth.
Since Udemy’s courses are inexpensive or even free, many of them are obviously used by authors to upsell more expensive products.
At their worst, some of the courses can feel more like an advertisement than a class.
Udemy courses also don’t provide any kind of certification to go along with their training.
Luckily there are many other great sites like Udemy for online learning.
They offer many of the same features and level of quality that you’d expect from Udemy. Sometimes they can even far exceed what Udemy offers.
Sure, Udemy is one of the most well known learning platforms out there, but it’s hardly your only option by any means.
And many Udemy courses do have occasional drawbacks to them, so it’s only due diligence to investigate what’s on offer elsewhere before deciding which learning platform might be the right one for you.
One of the more major threats to Udemy is Coursera.
As a general rule, Coursera courses tend to carry more weight with prospective employers than Udemy courses do, because they are thoroughly vetted by academics and are frequently taught by top universities and professors.
Another threat to Udemy, but for very different reasons, is Skillshare.
This is because Skillshare offers hundreds of free courses and also a fairly low cost premium membership which opens up access to thousands more courses and lessons.
We would argue that Skillshare is the best learning platform for creative topics like animation, music, and photography.
Another great threat to Udemy is Masterclass, because it gives you a chance to learn directly from famous celebrities and industry leaders – people who are world-class at what they do.
So, the name of the platform does exactly what it says on the tin, and you get a true masterclass in your chosen subject.
To learn more about Udemy competitors, please scroll back up through the article, where we discuss other Udemy competitors such as LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda), Udacity, Codecademy, edX, Pluralsight, Khan Academy, Iversity.
The beauty of the Lynda learning platform, which is now known as LinkedIn Learning, is that it’s mostly aimed at working professionals, and offers video-based lectures aimed to provide you with real practical skills to improve your everyday job performance.
In one of our other articles, we directly compare Lynda and Udemy, it’s available on this link. In short, either platform can be a great choice.
But where Lynda trumps Udemy is that the subscription fee gives you access to their entire course library at no additional cost.
Coursera and Udemy each have their pros and cons…
The most obvious advantages that Udemy has over competitors such as Coursera is the sheer number of courses on offer.
This means that not only do you get more chance of finding a very specific course in a niche field, but also that you get more of a chance of finding one at your particular level of expertise.
The next main advantage of Udemy is the significant affordability of their courses.
Udemy has frequent sales on it’s most popular courses, and it also has a very wide range of free courses that you can take advantage of.
But, where Udemy tends to let itself down, and where Coursera really shines, is that Coursera courses are thoroughly vetted by academics and are frequently taught by top universities and professors.
And it is for this reason that Coursera courses are more likely to impress future prospective employers, following completion of the course.
A Coursera certificate holds more weight and is more indicative of applied knowledge, whereas many Udemy courses are simply video lessons that don’t test the student’s knowledge or skills.
A key drawback to Coursera courses compared with Udemy courses is that they tend to cost more money, whereas Udemy courses are very often free or very cheap.
Udemy is a UK based online learning platform with a particularly vast range of courses on offer.
Unacademy on the other hand is an Indian-based platform designed to prepare students for things like government exams and Professional exams.
So if you are looking for a job in India, for example, in a bank, on a railway, or in defense, then Unacademy is your best option.
If you’re eager to learn online, Udemy can be a great choice.
But nowadays there are a bunch of other sites like Udemy that you should also consider as well.
Quality of course material, price, and topics offered can vary widely from one platform to another. So it’s worth spending at least an hour or two to go over your options.
A little research will ensure that you’re happy with your chosen e-learning platform for months or years to come.
Some courses specialize in a certain area of interest or topics. So one platform I’ve discussed above may be better for you than another depending if you want to learn about business, creative arts, programming, or other topics.
While sites like Udemy that offer individual courses for sale are great, I’d also highly recommend checking out sites that offer you a one-time annual or monthly subscription to access their full catalog of courses.
If you’re an avid learner, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth.
Finally, if you don’t have much money to spend on online learning, definitely prioritize platforms that offer high-quality free courses as well.
Jacob has a background in finance and engineering. Outside of his day job, he is a lifelong learner, who enjoys reading, taking online courses, and writing about what he's learned.
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