If you have a hectic schedule or are juggling too many things at once, then online classes are one of the best options for you to learn.
Not only are they flexible, but they give you the opportunity to set your own schedule and learn at your own pace.
The bonus is that you get to learn without having to invest the extra time and money traveling to your workplace, making learning simple and also more affordable.
However, it’s important to remember when taking up online courses that you want a website that will offer you the best options.
In the following guide, we are going to discuss two very popular websites, namely, Treehouse and Udacity, and which of these online courses are better for you, based on their features and individual specifications.
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When it comes to pricing, Treehouse offers a basic plan for $25 a month, and this includes access to student forums, learning videos as well as coding challenges that test your skills.
Treehouse does also offer a Techdegree plan at $199 per month for those who want to get a certification. The Techdegree plan includes a custom curriculum, an exclusive Slack channel, real-world projects, peer reviews, and a proctored final exam. Each of these plans offers a seven-day trial.
Additionally, the $49 a month is without a trial, and it includes video talks from industry leaders and other instructor created material.
So in the event that you need to pause your subscription because you are not able to log in and participate in classes for an extended period of time due to work restraints or perhaps going on vacation, this is a great option for you.
When your subscription is paused, you do not pay until you return or resume classes. And based on the fact that Treehouse bills users monthly, this is a nice option to have.
Students who have a valid ID and other documentation also qualify for a discount, and group pricing for businesses and schools are also available on request.
If you’d like to save money, you can invite friends to Treehouse, and once five of your friends have signed up and are using their membership, your account becomes free of charge as long as they remain enrolled.
Udacity offers a variety of 200 courses that are all completely free.
However, none of these courses offer a certificate. Udacity’s Nanodegrees, however, are completely paid. They cost around $399 a month, or you can pay for several months in advance for a discount on the total amount.
If you cancel your course within seven days of signing up, you will likely be eligible for a full refund. Here is a complete list of Nanodegrees with the pricing. For those that cannot afford the cost, Udacity does offer a limited number of scholarships for particular Nanodegrees.
Here is some information about Udacity’s scholarships. Once you decide on the program you would like to take; it’s time to subscribe. There are various payment options, such as PayPal and credit cards. However, if you don’t want to pay, then you can make use of the free online classes.
Udacity’s courses are not cheap, and that’s for sure, so make sure that you make the best of it. Invest as much time and effort into the curriculums as you can so you get your money’s worth.
People know tech has become highly sought, and this is due to the increase in the use of technology in everyday tasks.
These sought-after top professionals include developers, coders, app developers, analysts, and other roles from the field.
Companies are constantly on the lookout for brilliant techies who are able to build amazing products and consequently ready to pay attractive compensations for their skills.
If you want to stay relevant in this industry, you will need to up your game by getting a popular degree from a reputable institution. Ultimately, it may just be what you need to jump ahead of the competition.
Thankfully, that’s what we are going to take a look at. Traditional education systems don’t do much when it comes to equipping and teaching them real-world skills when it comes to the tech world.
Consequently, most engineers learn on their own or through experience. Regular college degrees do little to prepare students or graduates to keep up with the demands of the industry, and this is a basic foundation.
To eliminate this gap, the best online courses that allow people to learn new skills and upgrade their resumes. These online course platforms are able to do all of this while being effective, reputable, and highly flexible at the same time.
Treehouse tech degrees are structured programs that help to build your skills in a way that you are ready to work as a professional in the tech industry.
While there different programs under this platform, they are all for a stipulated time period and teach in-demand skills. Tech degrees are offered in the following domains:
In each course, there are approximately 9 to 12 projects that will give you hands-on experience on the subject.
The bonus is that these projects are submitted for review and feedback from industry experts that help in the process of building a great portfolio towards the end of your course.
The program also offers access to a robust community of students and teachers as well as treehouse staff that help you become job-ready.
The experts at Treehouse will walk you through the entire program via a step-by-step process, including quizzes, classes, tutorials, and other interactive sessions.
The benefits of the Treehouse tech degree program include:
The Treehouse tech degree has excellent reviews and is ideal for those looking to make the switch to a new profile or finding a job in a particular technology.
There is also an exclusive Slack community where you can ask all the questions you want and interact with other students. There are no hard deadlines in this course, and the entire structure of the course is designed to work around your schedule, and this makes it extremely convenient.
Udacity allows students to apply for a scholarship for the Nano degree program.
This program is offered via intel, and the platform also offers a needs-based scholarship and two tech-based scholarship programs.
You will also need to look at individual courses in order to find out the cost. Naturally, the price is only revealed after clicking enrol now. However, you can go back.
You’ll be supplied with the total cost as well as the duration of the program. The time period is the specified length of access that you have to complete the course.
You may pay upfront or choose a monthly payment plan. Some of the most popular programs on the Nano degree scholarships include:
Android basics, Intro to machine learning, and Artificial intelligence, which is three-month access for $1200 or $90 a month.
Front end web development is four-month access for $1500 or $120 a month. So as you can see, most courses range from $1000-$1500. So both of these courses can be rather expensive.
When it comes to Treehouse, students are able to get a discount quite easily by using their email support.
The community is quite supportive, and the company is convincingly more interested in your positive referrals than in your subscription.
The timely progress of students is always actively encouraged, aside from recognition and gamification. They even have employer monitored sections with suggestions of how to meet goals with related skills.
Students can share courses that are successfully completed when applying for the job. Therefore after completing the courses, you should have a solid understanding of the given technology.
Treehouse is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, making it easy and convenient to use. The cost and the intentions of Treehouse are immediately transparent. If you are stuck with any task at hand, you can easily get assistance on the student forum.
Lots of topics are visited by hundreds of students each and every day, and replies are turned in within minutes or seconds. So in case, a question cannot be answered by a community member, then it is pushed to the recommended members or staff experts for prompt responses.
Treehouse constantly adds new material. They release multiple new courses each and every month on a variety of different topics. They also do a great job of keeping pace with the changing industry.
With Treehouse, you can build projects as you learn. They offer you the ability to build interesting real-world videos that make a fun and innovative way to learn how to apply what you’ve already learned.
The bonus with Treehouse is that you don’t have to install anything on your PC, and you are free to learn from anywhere by logging in to their workspaces. This tool is highly effective.
Instructors preface courses with installation guides to set up popular environments and the workspaces allow you to jump right in, work on your project, and experiment with tangent thoughts. You may even complete parallel courses simultaneously. The execution is fast, and the space is ample.
It’s a pretty frustrating process to figure out what language or tool to learn. Treehouse groups their courses into learning tracks, so you have more guidance based on what type of development you want to do.
There are various videos showing you how to build an app step by step in real-time. The videos are short and digestible yet fully illustrative making it relevant.
The materials are well constructed, and you can get started with the technology as fast as possible. It’s quite hard to find tutorials that are made quite as well and are so easy to understand.
With Treehouse, nothing is skipped or assumed without reference to courses within that which was recommended earlier. So if you ever forget the basics, this site becomes an efficient review resource.
The presentation of the material is also quite good, and their animations and screen shares supplement the instruction. Overall it gives it a good all-around learning experience.
The course formats are flexible enough so that instructors are able to demonstrate their own style as long as exercises are offered at consistent intervals, and students’ progress is measurable. The instructors are able to communicate in a clear and very approachable manner.
Treehouse is not considered an in-depth source. The courses are mainly geared towards beginners, and this makes it necessary to use other resources in order to gain a deeper understanding of the language you are learning.
The treehouse forum also lacks conversation and engagement. Although, it provides a platform for students to have discussions, almost all posts are of students looking for answers to the quizzes and challenges. So any general discussions about business, learning programming, job seeking are unanswered, and they often go without replies.
Sadly the number of bugs has gradually increased to the point where the platform may be more frustrating to use rather than beneficial for some users.
Although engineers are doing their best to stay on top of things, the bugs appear to be occurring faster than they are able to fix them. Some bugs require you to refresh the page multiple times before getting the content displayed.
Another disadvantage of Treehouse is that they charge your credit card before the trial expires. Although they do offer a free trial and this is always nice to have on hand, you still need to add a payment method in order to be able to use it.
What’s worse, if you cancel the paid subscription before the trial ends, then you lose all access to the free trial. So ultimately what happens is that you need to pay a subscription fee for you to access the free trial that you should’ve had in the first place.
Ultimately, this policy sounds quite shady when it comes to best business practice.
The quantity is also inconsistent amongst courses. While there are multiple teachers in order to provide a variety of content, they lack consistency with teaching styles.
Some courses provide content that is explained properly and goes at a reasonable pace, while others are quite hard to follow. The challenge is also inconsistent as some are easy to follow, and others don’t reinforce much of the material learned.
Treehouse is also way too expensive when compared to other alternative options. Most of the advanced materials are locked away and labelled pro/bonus.
When applying for a 14-day free trial, you’ll still need a credit card to sign up for it.
Regular participation is essential. This is not a good place to skip ahead and work backwards from a specific need. Skipping sections you have mastered can also be risky since the condensed material relies heavily on past examples.
It is believed that Udcity’s language is easy to understand. Courses are super easy to follow even for super dummies.
You also receive actual feedback regarding projects. Actual feedback from developers on your codings are received, and this is extremely useful.
While having your site and apps work is supposed to be important to your success, receiving feedback to learn best practices, industry standards and other tricks of the trade are much harder on your own.
Udacity also offers Nanodegrees which provides access to various courses, coaching support and project reviews for approximately $399 a month.
The courses are also taught by industry professionals. All courses are self-paced and always made available, which means there is no waiting for the specific course you want to learn. So you can work with courses as fast or as slowly as you want to.
If you want to do a Nanodegree, then Udacity is quite expensive for specific courses priced at approximately $399 a month.
Only technical courses are available, such as designing and development
No discount for long term membership
The courses are designed in such a way that it must be learned within a specific period of time. So it’s difficult to juggle skills or jobs while learning. Udacity is mainly intended for serious-minded students who want to be challenged.
Udacity requires an application to get in since it is comparatively competitive.
The certificates offered by Udacity are pretty simple and also very easy to fake. This is something that the company still needs to address, especially given the costs involved for students.
The relevance of the material is also a double-edged sword. The subjects and tools offered by the platform are very specific, and if you don’t know exactly what you want to do in life, then this definitely is not the place for you.
So we mentioned before that Udacity’s prices are sky-high, so it’s not a cheap online learning platform. Therefore it’s only suitable for entrepreneurs or employees who want to expand their skills and knowledge rather than hobbyists and beginners.
Treehouse does appear to have a good customer support system.
They have quite a few questions and answers in their FAQ section, and the customer service department can be contacted via email as well.
It clearly states on this site that the support team works fastest between all 4.00 p.m. to 12 a.m. UTC Monday through Friday. It also states that any support questions that are submitted outside those times may receive a delayed response.
Udacity’s customer support system can be contacted by email and postal mail as well.
Ultimately, with Udacity, you can receive responses to questions via the help center, from the knowledge base, or you can submit a ticket and expect a speedy response.
When it comes to the layout of Treehouse, it’s not to everyone’s liking.
When you visit the home page, there is no way to gain access to the course library to look at what they offer.
So basically, the homepage’s main goal is to get users to sign up for the free trial or enrol in the Techdegree. So, in order to find the course library, you need to Google “Team Treehouse courses.”
Once in the course library, you can search for courses by sorting through old and new courses, by alphabetical order, difficulty, or newest to oldest.
There is, however, no option to sort by popularity as individual courses don’t have a built-in rating or review system.
Also, something else that you’ll notice is that thumbnails for course are more or less the same within the library.
So there are no design elements or images to distinguish them from one another, and it’s hard to tell what the content will be like unless you click on each individual course.
So what you can basically see from the library is a partial description, a few tags indicating difficulty and topic, as well as the course title. You can also search through tracks that are created collections of courses that come together to teach one topic in depth.
However, you can only browse through tracks by topic and only see the three most popular at the top page.
To start learning, all you need to do is sign up for the free trial, choose your plan, and then enter some basic information, provide payment details, and start going through the process.
It’s a well-known fact that people often judge an e-Learning platform or any other website for that matter on how easy it is to use.
After some time, the criteria for a good or bad site become much more specific and in-depth, but first impressions still matter a great deal. So let’s take a look at Udacity’s platform from a user-friendly point of view.
The front page of Udacity is quite genetic; however, it is still informative and quite neat. It’s somewhat different from other online education based platforms; nonetheless, the page offers lots of basic information and is quite simply designed.
So it doesn’t have any outstanding features that make it stand out from other websites. This is not really a bad thing since most platforms choose to keep it simple when it comes to the visual side of things.
The page offers some general information explaining what Udacity is, provides a partner list, and a couple of other pieces of information. There are not a lot of reviews on Udacity’s Nanodegrees Plus, and the overall layout of the site is actually comfortable and quite easy to navigate.
The color palette is also easy on the eyes, and all of the functions that we would expect are there. So from that point of view, the interface is quite intuitive and also fun to use.
Overall, Udacity offers a pretty solid performance. The course page is also Ok; however, far from being spectacular. This also adds to the success of the entire design but still feels like a poor choice. The upper part of the page, however, is cool and the content is not too long or too short.
Treehouse courses are immediately displayed on the site’s homepage, and this makes it extremely user-friendly and convenient.
On the other hand, Udacity also displays their program catalog on their homepage, and you can easily find courses you are interested in by searching specific keywords. This makes the site even more user-friendly than Treehouse.
Some of the courses offered by Treehouse are as follows:
Udacity also offers a list of free courses and some their most popular ones are as follows:
When it comes to site design and customization, Treehouse is very intuitive and easy to use.
While all of the courses may not be displayed on the homepage as easily as it is on Udacity’s homepage, the site is still highly interactive.
Treehouse offers many workshops, practice sessions, code challenges, quizzes, and much more following each course. They do also offer a free 14-day trial, and you have the option to play lessons at reduced speeds.
Auto-generated captions are also made available to those who don’t speak English as a first language. You can also download videos offline and join an exclusive Slack community.
Udacity, on the other hand, also has a couple of unique features, such as the Udacity Nanodegrees and Nanodegrees Plus. The Nanodegree allows you to make a payment each month and study a specific course or subject for between 6 to 12 months.
Thereafter, you will receive a certificate of completion. Whether or not the Nanodegree certificates are worth it is a question that still remains.
However, to receive lots of information and get the ability to learn a particular IT skill is quite valuable. However, this also depends on your preferences and expectations.
Udacity also guarantees that you’ll get a job, or they will refund you the full price of the course. Ultimately, the site is quite user-friendly but still not as user-friendly as Treehouse.
While both Treehouse and Udacity do offer a variety of free courses, which you can use to learn and educate yourself, these courses do not offer any forms of certification.
However, both the Treehouse and Udacity platforms offer a certificate of completion upon completing The Treehouse Techdegree or Udacity’s Nanodegree courses.
As technology continues to impact and shape our lives, you can be sure that competitors are a dime a dozen.
Coding is one such skill that plays a huge role in technological advancements. After all, it is the way that computers solve problems and communicate with each other.
So due to this, lots of online learning platforms have come up in recent years. Treehouse is one such platform that gives just about anyone the opportunity to learn to code. However, it does have its competition, and here are some of them:
Coursera is an online learning platform that partners with several reputable institutions like the University of science and technology of China and the University of Michigan.
They offer a variety of courses in information technology, development, computer science, and more.
Codecademy believes that if you can read, you can code.
So it’s quite a powerful statement, and like Treehouse, they are dedicated to assisting people with little or no coding experience to learn new skills and take their careers to the next level.
Some of the courses include programming, web development, data science, computer science, and more.
Pluralsight was initially known as code school and is another subscription-based service that offers online learning for a variety of technology topics.
However, what sets them apart from the rest of the competition is that they offer guidance to those who don’t know where to start.
So the Pluralsight IQ includes 20 questions that you should answer, and then the software is able to understand your strengths and knowledge gaps. The results will determine a path that is right for you.
edX is one of Udacity’s competitors. According to lots of reviewers, it is much more of a reputable educational platform than Udacity.
Udacity is sadly often surrounded by several controversies regarding their online community and customer support. edX, on the other hand, reaches a wide range of lesson topics while Udacity has a little over 200 classes.
It also has plenty of free courses as well as affordable professional education classes. edX has also created a well-thought financial assistance program, whereas Udacity doesn’ offer any type of financial aid to its students.
Udemy courses are considered reputable since they are taught by professionals or experts, and Udacity courses can be taught by any person.
So if you’d like short-term courses, it also allows you to choose a wide range of courses. There are a limited number of classes on both learning platforms; however, Udemy has more in-depth course descriptions, and for beginners and hobbyists, this is an advantage.
So if you want short-term courses, then Udemy is a great option. Udacity, on the other hand, is only a great option for entrepreneurs and employees since it is very expensive, and not really for beginners or those who are still trying to figure out what they want.
One of the main differences between Udacity and Datacamp is that Datacamp is an online education company that provides interactive courses specific to data science, while Udacity provides more extended Nanodegrees in collaboration with a learning organization that focuses on technology-oriented topics.
Datacamp is more specifically designed for students that are learning data science and programming in general. There are a total of 325 courses on a variety of topics, including database visualization, probability, and statistics as well as data engineering.
With Datacamp, you can take as many classes as you want with a yearly subscription.
So after weighing the pros and cons of each of these learning websites, side by side, Treehouse does seem to offer more features when it comes to learning.
They allow hands-on practice, weekly updated content as well as a seven-day free trial. This is why we believe it is one of the best online learning tools that you can get your hands on. And if that’s not enough, they also have the option to sign up for a month after the seven-day trial without any obligation.
So if you want to learn from one of the best learning sites on the internet, then don’t miss your chance to sign up for the seven-day free trial with Treehouse.
Likewise, you need to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Understand what you need to work on or what you want to learn, and this should give you a little bit of guidance.
Whether you choose Treehouse or Udacity to suit your requirements, both of them have their own unique and thought-provoking points. There’s a large scope of learning courses on both these sites that help you to explore various fields.
So either way, it is Treehouse or Udacity that you choose, know that they have a lot in common, but they also have some differences, and one of the main differences being the courses that they offer.
So if you are a beginner, newbie, or hobbyist, we would recommend that you go with Treehouse as it is more suited to your needs.
Alternatively, if you already have some knowledge of the topic you want to learn, are an entrepreneur or employee, and don’t mind paying the hefty price of using Udacity, then, by all means, choose this option. Just bear in mind that the right option for someone else may not be right for you.
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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