I’ve always loved to learn new things, both for the challenge it presents and the satisfaction it affords. I usually end up with a new marketable skill for my effort, and I see opportunities in areas that I would have missed before. To this end, Udemy is my absolute favorite platform for developing new skills or honing existing ones.
What is Udemy?
In their words: “Udemy is a global marketplace for learning and teaching online where students are mastering new skills and achieving their goals by learning from an extensive library of over 45,000 courses taught by expert instructors.” In my own words, it provides a super-convenient platform for learning almost any kind of marketable skill at an extremely low cost.
Why should I use Udemy?
The variety of coursework and availability of excellent teachers surpasses many competing sites, and the price is hard to beat. If you’re willing to wait for a sale, you can pick up almost any course for $10 or $15 with the right coupon code. Compare that to an average single credit hour at a university. Ouch! I’d much rather learn at my own pace for the price of an Applebee’s dinner.
Coursework mainly consists of video presentations, but often includes quizzes or written material that you can use to help solidify the material. Individual lectures are usually delivered in bite-size pieces—often around 15 minutes. It’s easy to make incremental progress without setting aside a big part of your day. You can go through the coursework at your own pace from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Many courses even allow downloading video material for offline viewing, which is great if you find yourself with a lot of time to kill but no internet connection.
Best of all, every course has a free Q&A forum for interacting with the teacher and other students. This provides great access to an expert in the subject matter. From what I’ve seen, teachers are eager to provide helpful and rapid answers to any questions. It sure beats waiting for a tiny window of office hours on the only day you weren’t already scheduled to be on campus.
Finally, some courses even provide free bonus material as part of the curriculum, such as web hosting or free access to special services that would otherwise cost extra. These bonuses combine with specific and comprehensive instructions to help you hit the ground running.
What kinds of courses are available?
So far, I’ve gone through courses on Xcode/Swift 3 development for iOS mobile apps, Android app development, React web development, Github, test-driven development (TDD), and KiCad PCB/schematic design. I usually look for courses on programming languages or other technical topics, but Udemy provides resources for many different areas, including business, marketing, photography, fitness, music, language, art, teaching, and more. Just take a look at their categories to learn what they have to offer.
While some courses and teachers aren’t incredibly engaging, previous students can rate courses to give you a heads-up about quality. Most have one or two free lectures so you can get a feel for the material and presentation without paying anything. Don’t be afraid to explore courses with relatively few ratings. There are some real gems just waiting to be discovered.
How do I get started?
I go through courses myself on a regular basis, so I have no reservations in promoting their services. I keep this page updated to point you to the URL with the best coupon code automatically built in. Sometimes it’s $10 for everything, sometimes it’s $15 for everything, and occasionally it’s targeted for certain topics or courses. If you don’t see a price you like on the course you want, try again next week!