Udacity Versus Coursera: Which Is the Best Learning Platform?

With employers seeking skilled workers, more and more people are turning to online education. 

Are you looking to integrate school into a busy life or gain skills to boost your career? Online learning platforms like Coursera and Udacity offer access to learning and certifications. You can learn anything right from the comfort of your home.

But which one is better? Udacity or Coursera?

Popular eLearning platforms that have remained on top of the market are:

  • Udacity
  • Udemy
  • Coursera
  • Edx
  • Code academy
  • Shaw Academy

However, there has been an age-long challenge among online learners about Udacity Vs Coursera. To help you avoid wasting time and money, we dug deep to find out the pros and cons of both online learning platforms.

Let’s dive in!

Udacity Vs Coursera

Specification Comparison and Reviews

Is Udacity Better than Coursera?

Both Udacity and Coursera are leading providers of Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs). Like other similar MOOCs platforms, they offer study courses available on the internet for a large number of people. 

Udacity Courses

Udacity offers fewer courses than Coursera. However, these courses are specialized. The educational enterprise’s mission is to empower careers through tech education in the Udacity boot camp. The company partners with leading technology companies to teach critical tech skills that companies are looking for in their workforce.

Udacity offers a wide range of tech-related Nanodegrees and short courses at the beginner, intermediate, and expert levels. 

Udacity courses are categorized into six schools:

  • School of Artificial Intelligence
  • School of Data Science
  • School of Cloud Computing
  • School of Programming and Development
  • School of Autonomous Systems
  • School of Business

If you are looking to get in-demand tech skills either for personal development or to accelerate your career, Udacity’s got you covered.  The Nanodegrees are of a very high standard. Besides, you get one-on-one mentorship. The coding courses even offer reviews from experts.

Coursera Courses

Coursera partners with top universities and organizations to provide universal access to online courses.

There are different categories of programs on Coursera: online courses, certificates, and degrees from 200 top universities and companies, including IBM, Yale, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale. 

Top instructors from world-class universities and companies teach courses on Coursera. People can learn something new anywhere and anytime.

Besides, learners have access to hundreds of free courses and access to on-demand video lectures, community discussion forums, and homework exercises. 

The paid courses offer additional projects and additional quizzes. You also get a sharable course certificate upon completion. Coursera courses features include:

  • About 4 – 6 weeks’ completion timeline
  • Price starting from $29 per month
  • Earn a course certificate

Another option for learners is Coursera Specialization that enables you to master a specific skill and tackle hands-on projects. Coursera Specializations are like Udacity’s Nanodegrees. Learners take a series of rigorous courses at their own pace. On completion, you earn a Specialization Certificate that you can share with your professional network and potential employers. Programs take about 4-6 months to complete, and subscription starts from $29 per month. 

No doubt, Coursera offers more to learners due to its variety of courses and options.

The following are programs offered by Coursera which Udacity does not offer:

Coursera Professional Certificates

Coursera courses comparision

Get job-ready by taking in-demand career professional courses. With Coursera Certificate programs, you can learn at your own pace from top companies and universities.

Coursera partners with organizations, such as Google, IBM, UCI, and SAS, to offer these industry-recognized certifications. Apply your new skills to hands-on projects that showcase your expertise to potential employers and unlock career support resources.

These professional courses offer Professional Certificates on completion. Duration is less than a year, and pricing starts at $29 per month. 

Coursera MasterTrack Certificates

With MasterTrack Certificates, learners take online modules from portions of Master’s programs. You can earn a high-quality university-issued career credential at an affordable price.

Coursera delivers the courses in a flexible, interactive format. Take advantage of the immersive learning experience with live expert instruction and real-world projects.

Besides, your MasterTrack coursework counts towards your degree if you are accepted to the full Master’s program. 

Coursera Degree Courses

If you’re looking to boost your credentials, you can enroll in an online Bachelor or Master’s degree from world-class universities. The modular degree learning experience lets you study on your schedule. You also earn credit as you complete course assignments.

Learners take courses designed by top university instructors and earn an industry-relevant university credential. These flexible programs let you study at your own pace to earn your degree in 1-4 years.

Though these online programs may seem pricey, they are a fraction of the cost of campus-based programs would cost you.

Winner: Coursera

Both platforms have their advantages. Coursera is like a University, while Udacity is a trade school. Udacity focuses only on business and tech-related courses. However, Coursera offers courses in health, marketing, languages, personal development, and more. 

Moreover, Coursera offers both Bachelor’s and Master’s online degree courses from universities.

Certification courses from industry leaders are also available on Coursera. 

Prospective learners interested in in-demand tech courses would, however, find Udacity’s boot camp ideal for their learning needs. You can earn a Nanodegree in a specialized course in a few weeks.

Therefore, whether you go for Udacity or Coursera depends on your learning goals. 

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Pace of Learning Comparision

Both online educational platforms are convenient. They fit into learner’s busy schedules. You can view course materials on the go, watch lectures, and do your assignments anytime.

Udacity’s Pace of Learning

Some of Udacity’s Nanodegrees are subscription-based while some are term-based. For the subscription courses, you can study at your own pace. But for the term-based programs, you have to meet up with set deadlines for all your projects. These hard deadlines could be a disadvantage if you have a busy schedule and not much time for studies.

Pace of Learning on Coursera

Coursera lets you reset your deadlines. Moreover, there are no grade penalties if you miss one. This flexibility could be an advantage if you’re running late on your assignments. Note that with the degree programs, you have to meet deadlines just like any university. 

Winner: Coursera

Though Coursera courses have deadline suggestions for tasks, learners enjoy more flexibility compared to Udacity. The ‘reset deadline’ feature is useful in getting more time to complete tasks if needed. 

However, the hard deadlines of Udacity’s term-based courses could help those who have difficulty committing to an online course. You’ll be motivated to complete tasks on time since you know you won’t be able to submit if you don’t meet up. But if you need a flexible schedule, Coursera’s self-paced courses may be your ideal option. 

Price Comparison of Udacity and Coursera: Which Offers More Value?

How much do Udacity courses cost?

Learners can choose from around 200 free courses (but no certificate, career services, or job assistance). Udacity free courses are like foundation courses or pathways to the Nanodegree programs. 

If you want a certificate, you can opt for Udacity’s Nanodegrees (paid micro-credentials). Each Nanodegree cost $399 per course, while the executive programs cost $799 per month per course.

In Summary, Udacity offers hundreds of short courses for free (no trial or need for payment details). These short courses are like foundations or pathways to the Nanodegrees, which offer a more in-depth learning experience.

The Nanodegrees and Executive programs require a monthly subscription. 

How much do Coursera courses cost?

Coursera offers some free courses. However, you have to pay or subscribe to get certificates in most cases. Specializations and Professional Certificates offer a 7-day free trial (requires payment details for subscription). 

Check out the price breakdown for Coursera courses: 

  • Individual Courses: $29-$99 per month (some are free while some require one-time payment)
  • Specialization Programs: $29-$89 monthly subscription
  • Professional Certificates: $29-$99 monthly subscription
  • Coursera Premium Membership: $399 per year (Access to over 3,000 courses, including Specializations and Professional Certificates; earn as many as certificates as you want once you have subscribed). 
  • Online Degrees: $10000-$25000
  • Master Track Programs: $2000-$4500

Winner:Coursera

Subscriptions for certificate courses start at $29 per month. Also, the Premium Subscription at $399 provides access to hundreds of courses and certificates. However, Udacity’s Nanodegrees start at $399 per course. 

Regarding free courses, Udacity offers about 200 free introductory courses. If you can find your course of choice, the lessons are in-depth and valuable.  Note that these short courses are like a foundation for the more specialized Nanodegrees. 

On the other hand, Coursera offers up to 900 free courses that you can audit. You won’t have access to graded assignments or certificates. But some courses offer peer-reviewed assignments and quizzes. 

Udacity and Coursera Scholarships

Both online learning platforms offer scholarships to learners who cannot pay. But there are differences: 

Udacity Scholarships

Udacity offers a limited number of scholarships for select Nanodegrees. The educational enterprise currently has ten scholarship programs. For instance, top participants in the Intel Edge Scholarship Program may be selected for scholarships. That is, they get one of the 750 follow-up scholarships to the Intel Edge AI for IoT Developers Nanodegree program.

Coursera Scholarships

For most of its courses, Coursera offers scholarships to learners who cannot afford the fees. Unlike Udacity, which has scholarships for select programs, learners can apply for Coursera financial aid for most of the courses on Coursera.

Winner: Coursera

Udacity offers scholarships on a limited number of courses or select courses. However, on Coursera, learners can apply for financial aid for most of its courses.

Udacity Support and Services

Udacity offers various support channels to learners. The help center has many resources where you can get answers to frequently asked questions. You can also find answers in the knowledge base, chat with support, talk to an advisor, or submit a request.

However, Udacity’s main edge over Coursera is its one-on-one service. 

Coursera Support and Services

Coursera has various communities, including a blog and tech blog, where learners can seek answers. Another way to get help on the platform is by reading the platform tutorials available in the Learner Help Center. Alternatively, learners can contact support via the help center. Moreover, you can get help via peer assessments and teacher forums. This could help connect with others who may have a better understanding of the course materials than you do. 

Winner: Udacity

While the peer review and teacher forums on Coursera can be useful, you can’t compare with connecting directly with an educator. Udacity, on the otherhand, provides access to technical mentors for one-on-one chats, learning plans, progress tracking, and advice.

Udacity Talent Program and Career Services

Nanodegree and Executive graduates are eligible to join Udacity’s Talent Program to be connected with innovative companies who are interested in hiring talents. Companies that have joined Udacity’s talent program include Google, AT&T, Mercedes Benz, NVIDIA, LYFT, and IBM Watson.

There are many student’s success stories of a career change and offers from the above-listed companies.

With Udacity’s career services, you can get ready for your dream job by participating in coding practices and hackathons. You can also contribute content for the Open Source and Udacity online communities.  Impress your future employers by showcasing your portfolio to hiring managers and find work opportunities using Udacity’s career resources. Udacity also connects learners with professionals for career advice. Services include:

  • Career coaching
  • Resume Review
  • LinkedIn review
  • GitHub review
Udacity career services

Coursera Career Services

 Coursera does not offer career services. To help its learners, Coursera, in partnership with the University of California, offers the Career Success Specialization.  These series of courses will help you develop and hone the essential skills needed to improve your employability.

Also, if you complete an online degree on Coursera, you can access the career resources available to online students of the particular institution. 

Winner: Udacity

Are you looking to get new opportunities immediately you complete your course?  Udacity covers you from beginning to the end, from access to mentors to personal career coaching services. 

This service is available for free—for all students and graduates. 

Udacity Certificate and Accreditation

Udacity is a private online education provider and, thus, not accredited and does not confer degrees. Also, the Nanodegree programs are not credit-bearing for transfer to other institutions.

Coursera Certificate and Accreditation

Leading global universities and companies accredit many of Coursera courses. For instance, its online degrees and MasterTrack certificates are offered by top universities. They are eligible for credit to the full Master’s program.

Professional Certificates are also provided by IBM, Google, and other industry giants. 

Winner: Coursera

Udacity’s Nanaodegrees are recognized by industry giants, many of whom have partnered with the platform. However, many of Coursera’s courses are designed by top universities. Some of these programs, such as the MasterTrack certificate, are credit-bearing–useful if you’re granted admission to the full Master’s degree program. 

Comparison of Degrees and Certificates: Similarity and Differences

Both educational platforms offer courses online. They also provide free classes and scholarships to learners. However, Udacity offers in-demand tech courses. Udacity Nanodegrees are recognized by industry leaders, many of whom have partnered with Udacity educational enterprise to hire its graduates.

Coursera, on the other hand, offers more variety in terms of available courses, including health, languages, self-development, leadership, and more.

Moreover, with Coursera, you can enroll for online degrees from top Universities, and earn Professional certificates from Industry leaders.

In terms of career services and personalized support, Udacity offers more than Coursera.

Your choice will depend on your educational and career goals, as well as budget, taking into consideration the points listed above. 

Conclusion and Winner

There you have it, Udacity VS Coursera. Both online educational platforms offer courses and certificates to learners from all over the world. You can take classes at your own pace, learn new things, and improve your career prospects from anywhere.

However, Coursera stands out due to its variety of courses, certificates, and online degrees from reputable universities.  

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