Udemy is an online learning platform featuring 65,000+ video courses taught by expert instructors. Take courses in anything from programming languages like Python and Java, to personal development classes like design, drawing, writing, and yoga.
Why We Love Them: While the Udemy site itself has some mixed reviews which are mostly related to technical issues, i.e., instructors experiencing frustrations with their upload processes, customers unable to get their downloads to work, etc., our experiences with them have been positive and highly valuable. The hands on approach taken by the instructors (in the coding categories particularly) has been monumentally beneficial to easily consume confusing topics (other courses and books failed to help me completely grasp the concepts). Udemy is especially good at keeping people relevant in their industries as they are constantly putting out new classes for the latest and greatest technologies.
How it Works: Find a class you are interested in and examine the course requirements to make sure you meet these first. We suggest reading through the reviews as well as the instructor profile to see if the subject matter and expertise level matches your expectations. Pick classes that have a good amount of positive reviews as the class and teacher quality fluctuates greatly. Once you purchase the class it should be available forever – although some of the customer complaints were that a class was taken down and switched out with a different one in its place, so be aware that can happen. Throughout the class your instructor will recommend programs or tools you need to download (all free) to use for that part of the tutorial. The only exception to the free tools are some classes which are relevant to a purchased product (like Photoshop) where you would have to have this purchased before starting the class, but that’s probably why you were looking into that class in the first place.
Tips & Tricks: These classes always seem to be on sale and if they are not at the time you look, they will be at some point soon. Unless you are in a huge rush to take something specific, add items to your wishlist and signup for promotional emails. Download your classes if possible as the site itself has not ironed out its technical problems and a lot of the classes need to be restarted from the beginning of the section you are on, frequently.
– Classes are well put together
– Provides a lot of valuable information
– Teachers are industry experts & tenured professionals
– Learn at your own pace
– Frequently offered sale prices
– Free classes available
– Reported issues with downloads
– Strong accents from some teachers are hard to understand
– Course information refreshes and you need to rewatch
– Customer service complaints
– Teacher Q&A is hit or miss on responsiveness
– Streaming player frequently restarts