Is Udemy Legit? The Truth About Udemy’s Legitimacy

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Is Udemy legit?

Is Udemy legit?” is a question on the minds of many learners venturing into the world of online education.

As one of the most prominent platforms offering a diverse range of video courses, Udemy has attracted learners worldwide.

But with this popularity comes scrutiny and questions about its legitimacy.

In this article, we delve deep into the truth about Udemy’s legitimacy, talking about the platform, its courses, instructors, certificates, and much more to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of what Udemy truly offers in the ever-evolving landscape of online learning.

About Udemy

Udemy stands as a behemoth in the online education space, boasting an incredibly diverse array of courses. 

The platform covers a vast spectrum of subjects, from software development to personal development, and everything in between. 

Categories like business, IT and office productivity, design, marketing, photography, and music are just the tip of the iceberg, offering something for almost every interest and professional need.

The story of Udemy is one of innovation and vision.

It began as a brainchild of Turkish developers Eren Bali and Oktay Caglar

Their vision took a concrete shape when they, along with co-founder Gagan Biyani, brought Udemy to Silicon Valley. 

Officially launched in 2010, Udemy has since evolved into a global educational powerhouse.

While headquartered in San Francisco, California, Udemy’s influence spans across continents, with international offices in Brazil, Ireland, and Turkey. 

This global presence underscores its commitment to making quality education accessible worldwide.

In just over eight years, Udemy has experienced remarkable growth. 

This journey is marked by significant rounds of investor funding, reflecting the confidence and belief in its mission and model. 

Today, Udemy boasts some impressive statistics: over 80,000 courses created by 35,000 instructors, catering to a staggering 24 million students.

The appeal of Udemy lies in its inclusivity and the wide range of skill levels it caters to. 

Whether you are a beginner looking to pick up a new hobby, a professional seeking to upskill, or an expert aiming to share knowledge, Udemy has created a platform where learning and teaching converge seamlessly.

Udemy’s story is one of continual growth and expansion, offering an extensive array of learning opportunities that cater to a diverse and global audience, truly embodying the spirit of democratized education in the digital age.

Is Udemy Legit?

The burning question on many learners’ minds is whether Udemy, as a platform, offers high-quality and worthwhile courses. 

The answer is a resounding yes, but with a caveat.

The key lies in being selective and strategic in course selection.

Udemy operates on a marketplace model, meaning virtually anyone can create and submit a course. This inclusivity is a double-edged sword, creating a diverse range of courses but also necessitating discernment from learners.

Students pay for courses they are interested in, and over time, high-quality courses naturally gain popularity and visibility. 

Conversely, lower-quality offerings tend to fade into the background. 

This market-driven approach underscores the importance of thoroughly examining course reviews.

Udemy’s top-ranked courses typically boast high quality, featuring extensive video content and comprehensive coverage of their subject matter. 

However, the sheer volume of available courses means quality can vary, making thorough review and selection essential.

Course prices range from free to around $200, but Udemy is renowned for its frequent sales, often reducing prices to as low as $10

This pricing flexibility allows learners to access quality content at affordable prices.

To mitigate risk for learners, Udemy offers a 30-day full refund policy on courses that don’t meet expectations. 

This guarantee adds a layer of confidence for users exploring new or unfamiliar subjects.

One of the standout features of Udemy is the lifetime access to purchased courses, including any future updates made by instructors. 

Such policy ensures learners can continually benefit from their investment, accessing the latest content and resources.

What Does Reddit Say About Udemy’s Legitimacy?

Based on various sources, the general consensus about Udemy’s legitimacy is quite positive, though there are some mixed opinions:

  • Positive reviews: Many users on Reddit and other platforms consider Udemy to be a legitimate and valuable online learning platform. Udemy courses, taught by industry experts, are well-regarded for their quality and range of topics. The platform is praised for providing opportunities for both personal growth and professional development. It’s noted for its affordability, with a broad catalog of courses covering diverse subjects. Additionally, Udemy’s 30-day money-back guarantee adds to its legitimacy​​​​​​​​.
  • Negative feedback: Despite the overall positive reviews, there are instances of dissatisfaction among some users. A notable complaint involves issues with refunds, where a customer felt they were scammed by Udemy’s refund policy, receiving a credit instead of a cash refund. This kind of negative experience can affect the perception of Udemy’s credibility and customer service practices​​.

In conclusion, while the majority view Udemy as a legitimate and beneficial educational resource, it’s essential to be aware of the potential issues regarding their refund policy, as reported by some users. 

As with any online platform, individual experiences may vary.

What Does Quora Say About Udemy?

Turning to Quora for more insights, we find a blend of perspectives on Udemy. 

One review on Quora draws attention to potential challenges for Udemy, such as its image as a discount education provider and how it compensates instructors. 

These factors, the review suggests, could affect Udemy’s long-term appeal, especially to top-quality educators, and highlights the importance of a robust credentialing system to uphold the value of its certificates.

Contrastingly, another Quora user shares a more personal and upbeat experience, detailing their journey with 88 courses over three years. 

This user encountered varying levels of course quality but overall did not find them lacking in value, with some courses impressing with their high production quality.

Particularly noteworthy is their positive experience in learning practical skills, like programming and art, which challenges the notion of Udemy being overhyped or not worth the investment.

In essence, Quora’s reviews paint a picture of Udemy as a platform grappling with strategic challenges, yet still offering a wide array of valuable educational content. 

While acknowledging areas needing improvement, such as fair instructor pay and course validation, Udemy is seen as a beneficial resource for self-directed learning in various fields.

What are Udemy Courses Like?

Udemy, committed to providing a consistent and valuable learning experience, has established a set of quality standards for its courses. 

These standards are not just guidelines but prerequisites that ensure each course delivers educational value and a positive user experience.

To be featured on Udemy, a course must meet specific criteria:

  • Duration and Structure: Each course must contain a minimum of 30 minutes of video content, divided into at least 5 separate lectures. This structure is designed to offer comprehensive coverage of the subject matter while maintaining learner engagement.
  • Educational Focus: The content must be primarily educational, with a clear emphasis on student learning. Courses are scrutinized to ensure they prioritize imparting knowledge over any form of personal promotion or marketing.
  • Video Quality Standards: High-definition video quality is non-negotiable. Courses should be either in 720p or 1080p, ensuring clarity and a professional visual experience.
  • Audio Requirements: The audio must be delivered in both channels and properly synced with the video. Clear and non-distracting audio quality is essential for a smooth and uninterrupted learning experience.

These standards are part of Udemy’s commitment to maintaining a high level of quality across its platform. 

They not only enhance the learning experience but also reflect the platform’s dedication to professional and accessible online education.

Can I download Udemy courses?

Udemy acknowledges the need for flexible learning options, including the ability to download courses

However, this feature comes with specific limitations to keep in mind.

For learners on the go, Udemy offers the convenience of downloading entire courses on mobile devices. 

This feature allows users to save courses for offline viewing, making learning possible even without an active internet connection. 

It’s particularly useful for those with limited or unreliable internet access, ensuring that their learning journey is uninterrupted.

On computers, the download options are more restricted.

Unlike mobile devices, users cannot download entire courses. 

The platform allows the download of individual lectures, but this is subject to the instructor’s discretion.

If the instructor enables this option, students can download specific lectures for offline viewing.

Udemy provides clear instructions for users who wish to download courses or lectures. 

These guidelines are easily accessible and user-friendly, ensuring that learners can take advantage of this feature without much hassle.

Are Udemy courses accredited?

Udemy, despite its vast array of courses and learning opportunities, is not an accredited institution

This means that the courses offered on Udemy do not lead to accredited degrees akin to those provided by traditional academic institutions.

While Udemy lacks formal course pathways like those found in conventional education systems, it often features a series of related courses designed by the same instructor. 

These series can provide a comprehensive learning journey in a specific subject area, though they don’t equate to a formal educational progression.

Upon finishing a course on Udemy, learners receive a certificate of completion

It’s important to understand that these certificates while validating the effort and time invested, should not be confused with college credits or formal academic qualifications.

The real value of Udemy courses lies in the practical application of the knowledge and skills acquired. 

While a Udemy course on its own may not be a deciding factor in securing a job, the skills and expertise gained can significantly aid in career development

For job seekers and professionals, leveraging these skills to build projects or portfolios can create a compelling showcase for potential employers.

How Much Do Udemy Courses Cost?

At first glance, Udemy’s courses can seem pricey, typically falling in the $100 to $200 range. 

However, this initial sticker shock is often mitigated by the platform’s approach to special pricing.

One of the key features of Udemy is its frequent offering of courses at significantly reduced prices.

It’s not uncommon to find courses available for as low as $10 to $20 during these special pricing periods, making high-quality education accessible to a broader audience.

Udemy is known for its regular sales, offering substantial discounts on its courses. 

This frequent discounting strategy, while beneficial for cost-conscious learners, has drawn some criticism.

Platforms like Reddit have highlighted debates over Udemy’s pricing strategies, with some questioning the frequency and authenticity of these sales.

For those eyeing a particular course, patience can be a virtue on Udemy. 

If a course isn’t currently on sale, chances are it will be discounted soon

This wait-and-watch approach can lead to significant savings, making it a strategic method for purchasing courses on the platform.

In essence, while Udemy’s pricing may initially seem steep, the platform’s approach to sales and discounts offers an avenue for learners to access a wide range of courses at more affordable prices, provided they are willing to monitor and wait for the right opportunity.

Udemy Instructors: How Qualified Are They?

Udemy’s inclusive approach allows virtually anyone to create and post courses, as long as the content adheres to the platform’s minimum guidelines. 

This openness fosters a diverse range of courses but also means that the instructors’ qualifications can vary significantly.

While many instructors on Udemy are indeed experts and seasoned professionals in their respective fields, it’s crucial to note that Udemy does not specifically screen for expertise or formal qualifications. 

Meaning that the instructor’s experience and knowledge level can range from industry veterans to enthusiastic amateurs.

To learners considering a course, I would advise conducting thorough research on the instructor’s background and credentials. 

This step is essential to ensure that the course is being taught by someone knowledgeable and experienced in the subject matter.

Another valuable resource is the feedback and reviews from previous students. 

These reviews can provide insights into the instructor’s teaching style, effectiveness, and the overall quality of the course. 

They can serve as a crucial gauge in determining whether a course meets your learning needs and expectations.

Does Udemy Always Have Sales?

One of the hallmark features of Udemy is its frequent deep discounts on courses. 

Courses listed at their original prices, often between $100 and $200, are regularly available at significantly reduced rates, making learning more accessible.

Udemy often employs a countdown timer on its website during sales, creating a sense of urgency among potential buyers. 

This marketing strategy is designed to encourage quick purchasing decisions, playing on the time-sensitive nature of the discounts.

The regularity of these sales leads to a perception that the discounted price may effectively be the ‘real’ price of many Udemy courses. 

While instructors have the autonomy to opt out of these promotions, most participate to increase their course’s visibility and student enrollment.

If you’re eyeing for a specific course, patience can pay off. 

If a course isn’t on sale, waiting a few weeks could lead to a significant price drop. 

You can also clear browser cookies or use an Incognito tab, which might trigger discounts for new students. 

Udemy also maintains a dedicated sales page with the latest coupons and deals.

From personal experience, I can attest to the efficacy of waiting for sales on Udemy. 

If you’re patient enough you will rarely pay more than $15 for a course, despite the higher ‘normal’ prices listed. 

Udemy vs Youtube: What’s better for online education?

YouTube is undeniably a treasure trove of educational content, with countless tutorials and lessons available across a multitude of subjects, all for free.

Its accessibility and variety make it a popular go-to resource for learners worldwide.

However, YouTube’s offerings often have limitations as a structured online learning platform

Many tutorials on YouTube tend to function more as previews or brief overviews rather than comprehensive courses. 

While there’s no shortage of high-quality content, it lacks the organized, course-like format that platforms like Udemy provide. 

This can make cohesive learning a challenge, as content is typically not systematically structured for progressive learning.

In contrast, according to perspectives shared by users on platforms like Reddit, Udemy is often viewed as offering a more up-to-date, comprehensive, and cohesive learning experience. 

The platform’s courses are meticulously designed to be thorough and systematic, providing a more in-depth journey through the subject matter. 

Such a structured approach ensures that learners acquire not just fragmented knowledge but a well-rounded understanding of the topic.

Udemy’s courses, unlike the piecemeal approach often found on YouTube, are curated with a clear beginning, middle, and end, ensuring that learners receive a comprehensive understanding of the subject. 

A systematic organization is particularly beneficial if you’re seeking to gain extensive knowledge or professional skills in a specific area.

Udemy Shortcomings

Udemy, like any large marketplace, presents a spectrum of course quality. 

While there are many high-quality courses, the platform also hosts courses that might not meet the same standards

This variability highlights the importance of a judicious selection process before investing in a course.

One key strategy for navigating Udemy’s course offerings is to read reviews thoroughly. 

These can provide invaluable insights into the course’s quality, relevance, and effectiveness. 

Additionally, evaluating the instructor’s credentials and teaching style is crucial. 

A highly skilled educator may still not align with every learner’s preferences, making it important to find a match that resonates with one’s learning style.

In terms of the platform itself, Udemy does not present significant inherent downsides. 

The primary challenge for users lies in the variable quality of courses due to its open marketplace model.

When selecting a course on Udemy, consider the following:

  • Course ratings: Check the overall course ratings for a general assessment of quality.
  • Content freshness: Look at the course’s last update date. This is crucial for fields that are rapidly evolving, ensuring that the content you are learning is current and relevant.
  • Instructor’s teaching style: Sample lectures if available, to gauge if the instructor’s voice and teaching methodology align with your learning preferences. This can greatly impact your engagement and comprehension of the course material.

By following these guidelines, you can enhance your chances of selecting courses that are not only of high quality but also align with your personal learning goals and preferences on Udemy.

Are Udemy Certificates Worth It And Useful?

Udemy certificates offer tangible proof of course completion, serving as evidence of a learner’s dedication and engagement with the course material. 

These certificates are issued only after a course is fully completed, ensuring that they reflect a genuine investment in learning.

The value of Udemy certificates in the job market is a topic of discussion on platforms like Quora and Reddit. 

While there is a general consensus that these certificates hold value, they are typically not regarded on the same level as traditional academic degrees.

Udemy certificates signify personal development and skill acquisition but may not have the same clout as formal qualifications from recognized universities or colleges.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered perceptions regarding online education. 

With the widespread adoption of remote learning, online courses and their resulting certificates have gained increased appreciation and acceptance. 

As of 2024, this shift in perspective has positively impacted the perceived value and utility of Udemy certificates in both professional and educational contexts.

While Udemy certificates might not replace formal education credentials, they can be highly beneficial in showcasing continuous learning and skill enhancement.

They are particularly useful in fields where practical skills and up-to-date knowledge are valued, potentially giving job seekers an edge by demonstrating their commitment to self-improvement and lifelong learning.

Essential Tips on How to Choose Udemy Courses

When choosing Udemy courses, it’s important to consider several factors to ensure the course meets your needs and expectations:

  • Course description and instructor expertise: Read the course description, curriculum, and reviews carefully. Ensure the course aligns with your goals and check if the instructors are experts with positive feedback from past learners​​.
  • Instructor profile and reputation: Analyze the instructor’s profile and reputation for expertise and positive ratings from past students​​.
  • Review course content and outline: Check the comprehensiveness and depth of the course content, including demonstrations, interactive elements, and real-world applications​​.
  • Curriculum quality & course length: Evaluate the number of lectures, practice activities, and overall material coverage. Watch sample videos or take free previews to gauge quality​​.
  • User reviews and ratings: Read through recent reviews and ratings for insights into the course’s quality and effectiveness​​.
  • Preview course content: Udemy offers course previews to understand the teaching style, structure, and material quality​​.
  • Instructor’s credentials: Verify the instructor’s experience and qualifications​​.
  • Course certificates: If enhancing your resume or showcasing skills is a goal, look for courses offering certificates​​.
  • Course duration: Consider the course’s length and whether it fits your schedule​​.
  • Price comparison: Compare prices of similar courses to ensure value for money and look out for discounts​​.

By considering these aspects, you can make a well-informed decision and choose a Udemy course that best suits your learning needs and goals.

Udemy Alternatives

Udemy isn’t the lone player in the online learning arena; Coursera and Skillshare are also key contenders. 

But what sets them apart, and how do you decide which one to choose?

Here’s a quick overview of the other two platforms:


Skillshare is the go-to platform for those keen on exploring creative disciplines. 

It’s perfect for learners drawn to areas like design, illustration, or other artistic ventures.

If your interest lies in technical subjects such as programming, Skillshare might not meet your needs.

One of Skillshare’s standout features is its project-based course structure, which facilitates practical learning and allows learners to apply skills in real-world contexts.


Coursera sets itself apart by offering a wide array of courses and degree programs in partnership with renowned global educational institutions.

Coursera caters to a broad audience with its mix of free and paid courses, accommodating various learning needs and budgets.

While Coursera offers more formal educational content, Udemy tends to be more popular for certain subjects, according to platforms like Reddit.

How to choose the right platform

  • Align with Your Learning Goals: The choice between Skillshare, Udemy, and Coursera should be based on your individual learning objectives.
  • Skillshare for Creative Learning: If your interests are in creative fields, Skillshare is an excellent choice, offering specialized, hands-on courses.
  • Udemy for Diverse Learning Needs: Udemy is ideal if you’re looking for a wide range of course topics, including some areas where it enjoys greater popularity.


Yes, Udemy is generally considered a trusted site for online learning, offering a wide range of courses across various subjects taught by knowledgeable instructors.

Yes, Udemy is safe to use. It is a reputable online learning platform with secure payment methods and a commitment to user privacy and data protection.

Udemy certificates demonstrate personal commitment to learning and can be valuable for personal and professional development. However, they are not formally accredited by educational institutions or industry-specific organizations, so their recognition may vary depending on the employer or professional field.

Is Udemy Legit: Conclusion

In conclusion, the exploration into Udemy’s legitimacy reveals a platform that stands as a robust and credible option in the realm of online learning. 

While it offers a wide array of courses across various disciplines, the key to making the most of Udemy lies in carefully selecting courses, considering instructor expertise, and taking advantage of its frequent sales.

Its non-accredited but skill-focused courses, coupled with a user-friendly platform, make it a valuable resource for those looking to enhance their knowledge or acquire new skills. 

Ultimately, Udemy’s legitimacy is affirmed by its commitment to providing accessible and practical education, making it a worthwhile consideration for anyone looking to expand their learning horizons.

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Written by: Abigail Hoffman

Abigail Hoffman is a proud geek and lifelong learner with an unwavering passion for technology, science fiction, and all things nerdy. As an advocate for accessible education, Ab has dedicated herself to reviewing online educational platforms, using her keen eye for detail and in-depth knowledge of the digital landscape to provide invaluable insights to fellow knowledge-seekers.

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