Udemy is an online learning platform with a wide array of classes to explore.
- Download courses directly to your phone using the app
- Specialized courses available for business owners
- Courses can be purchased individually
- Huge variety in the courses offered
- Robust search functions
- Quality of courses and teaching styles can vary wildly by instructor
- Onus of creating an academic path is on the student
Whether you want to start a new career, improve your value at your existing occupation, or simply learn a new skill for your own self satisfaction, online learning software provides a much more accessible platform than traditional schools. Udemy has managed to make a name for themselves as one of the most prominent online course catalogs around. Their pricing structure makes them much more affordable than traditional schools, and users are free to learn at their own pace, without having to travel to physical classrooms and rely on the strict demands of teachers or professors. Udemy basically serves as a middle man between aspiring teachers and students, and that serves as both a strength and a weakness. For teachers, this means anyone with a reasonable skill set can help spread their talents without having to go through the hoops that academia requires, and it allows students to pull from a broader selection of instructors in pursuit of their interests. It's a model that's been exceedingly successful for Udemy. Tens of thousands of courses are available on their site, and they cover topics as diverse as computer programming, cooking, and guitar playing. You can find someone to instruct you in practically any talent you want to learn through the Udemy interface. On the down side, the lack of tenure and official support from an accredited school means that instructors have to work hard for exposure. Instructors are paid on the popularity of their classes, and it can become easy to get lost in the shuffle. But for students, this can be a boon. Offering free classes as proof of skill and an entree to more complicated classes is both a great way for instructors to build an audience and for students to try before they buy. But the sheer wealth of materials available may be intimidating to some prospective students. Luckily, Udemy offers tools to help users find what they're looking for. A fully functioning search bar churns out results based on what you type, and the catalog is split up into categories and subcategories that help you browse what's on hand more easily. The front page of Udemy tends to highlight the most popular courses available, but digging deeper can produce satisfying results. Rather than creating a track for courses were the skills from one lead directly into another, students buy courses a la carte. On one hand, this makes it easy to only purchase the courses that interest you. On the other, it can sometimes be difficult to create an academic pathway that mimics the more structured style of traditional academics. Udemy also offers courses for business owners. Covering subjects like design, marketing, and management, these allow companies to get entire teams up to speed and help them develop their skills in more specialized disciplines. Udemy courses can be accessed either through their site or through their mobile app for Android and iOS devices.