Udacity Review: Are Udacity Courses Worth Your Time and Money?

Udacity Review 2020

Udacity is an online learning platform that focuses on tech courses to help you improve your career prospects. Here is our comprehensive review of this online learning platform.

The world of digital technology is becoming more and more important as the 21st century unfolds. Udacity has a unique concept. Instead of opting for the traditional university idea, people can sign up and learn valuable tech skills online at their convenience. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with going to the university, a tech-focused education may be an excellent fit for folks who want to get to work right on.

Udacity has created a practical online platform for folks who are looking to learn crucial skills that can help them succeed in the real world. It is not the same as going to an institution that offers degrees, but it offers certification for folks who are looking for something to show potential employers.

So, what is Udacity?

Udacity was founded by Sebastian Thrun, David Stavens, and Mike Sokolsky as a for-profit organization that provides online high-tech courses for learners from all over the world.

Udacity describes itself as MOOC-based online learning platform. It is an online learning platform that specializes in offering tech related skills.

While Udacity’s concept was initially university-style courses for learners, the platform is now offering online education by providing practical skills that you can turn into a livelihood.

What does Udacity offer?

Most of Udacity’s online learning programs are designed for the tech sector’s specific needs so the information and knowledge they provide is quite relevant to the workforce.

Instead of learning ancient history, Udacity provides learners with the skills they need to make a living as tech experts. 

 Udacity programs come with what you would expect from standard technical university education like online evaluations, online forums, and video conferencing. Most important, you can log into your dashboard and learn from any location, and at your pace.

Currently, Udacity has the following faculties or schools:

  1. School of Cloud Computing
  2. School of Artificial Intelligence
  3. School of Business
  4. School of Data Science
  5. School of Programming and Web Development
  6. School of Autonomous Systems

Udacity at a glance

The contents of Udacity courses are created by industry experts. Learners will have a chance to learn through completing real projects and approach various aspects of a task, all with under the guidance of a professional mentor.

The tutors in Udacity are highly knowledgeable and qualified experts with years of experience in their relevant fields. That is the key factor that makes Udacity one of the leading online learning platforms in the world.

Why make Udacity your go-to online tech learning platform?

Truth is, a lot of pressure comes with getting a 4-year university degree. Besides, university education may not be the best idea for everyone. Most tech jobs emphasize on a person’s capability, now where they spent four years of their academic life.

Again, there is nothing wrong with going to the university. However, it is quite expensive and will put you at a financial disadvantage compared to folks who gained pretty much the same set of skills at cut-rate prices, and then started making a living off their skills.

If you have an inclination to working with a code, it is definitely a good idea to sign up for online coding classes. Opting for university education will cost you a lot of money, and may turn out to be a waste of both time and money in the end.

Getting to Know Udacity

Udacity platform is quite simple and user friendly. The homepage is visually simple, quite generic-looking and informative. The platform focuses in delivering skills to its learners, not creating a flashy website.

Udacity’s design is a little similar to Khan Academy, another popular online learning platform. Udacity creates and manages its own contents. Plus, unlike Khan Academy, Udacity works closely with corporate partners to create courses that are relevant to the job market.

Udacity interface provides everything you need to know about the platform as well as a list of partners and other supplementary information. It is quite simple to sign up for the platform’s courses, or simply browse through the FAQs in order to learn how to get going in the tech industry.

Udacity offers both free and paid courses. Every student has specific needs, and Udacity is in business to help learners find programs that will make them valuable in the marketplace.

Course Catalog

Currently, Udacity offers 60+ online courses in the subjects of Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Programming and Development, Autonomous Systems, and Business. If you are looking to learn something outside of cutting edge technology, then Udacity is definitely not the ideal online learning platform for you.

Udacity, just like other online learning platforms, offer a large number of courses. However, one of the things that set this platform apart from the rest is their focus on specific industries that are predicted to be in high demand areas of employment. That said, Udacity is a perfect online learning platform for intermediate learners with relevant experience.

Udacity programs classified as intermediates are probably 50 percent of the catalog. There are also courses for Beginners as well as Advanced learners. In other words, Udacity has a course for pretty much everyone.

Getting in Touch

Each Udacity course is broken into several topics with video lectures with closed captioning. The video tutorials are accompanied with interactive quizzes to enable learners reinforce ideas and understand concepts. Students are also provided with follow-up homework.

Programming courses utilize Python language and programming projects are assessed using automated grading programs on the Udacity servers.

Udacity works with corporations in a number of ways: as recruiting partners, marketing partners, and in some instances directly as a corporate training partner. You will probably see the company make frequent announcements from time to time.

Udacity also partners with corporations in the area of scholarships. Corporations will occasionally offer scholarships to specific geographic regions. This is an excellent way to learn more about a specific tech industry, and also perhaps land a job as you directly train for the sponsoring company.

Udacity features

Udacity have tons of features that are worth checking out. The platform had a rich catalogue of free as well as paid courses. However, the open courses have since been replaced by Udacity’s Nanodegree programs. The platform then released the Nanodegree Plus program, which helps learners after completing the initial educational program.

Udacity Nanodegree program

Udacity introduced the Nanodegree program in 2014 after eliminating its free certificate courses. This program allows you to access a particular course for around 6-12 months. You will receive a certification after completing your desired course.

The Nanodegree programs cost $200 each month and you get to learn at your own pace.

It is recommended that you set aside at least 10 hours every week to follow through with your course as Udacity refunds half of the fees if you complete your Nanodegree within 12 months. Udacity became the first MOOCA provider to achieve profitability thanks to its Nanodegree program.

In 2017, Udacity introduced new Nanodegrees in the following subjects: Introduction to Self Driving Cars, Robotics Flying Car, Data Foundations, React JS, Digital Marketing, Google Adwords, Design Sprint Foundations, and Learn ArKIT. 

Recently, Udacity effected some changes in the pricing and content of its Nanodegrees. More Nanodegrees have been introduced while a few programs have been removed.

Udacity has also transformed its approach to creating its Nanodegree programs by focusing on short and leaner contents. This way, they are able to create Nanodegrees faster. This streamlined course creation process has helped Udacity speed up the launch of its Nanodegrees.

By signing up for a Nanodegree program, you are setting yourself up for a new career path. Keep in mind that it is not the company or the position that you are following, but your self-development. At the end of your Nanodegree program, you should be able to compile a few areas of expertise and kick-start your career in the real world.

Udacity Nanodegree Plus

Basically, this is a level-up of the Nanodegree program. It comes with a job guarantee. This special program enables learners to get real jobs after completing the Nanodegree program within 6 months.

Udacity Nanodegree costs $300/month and is eligible for four Nanodegrees: “Machine Learning Engineer, Android Developer, iOS Developer, and Senior Web Developer.

Udacity Nanodegree Plus is not the first online learning program that guarantees a job upon successful completion. However, such services tend to be more costly and are often quite difficult to gain entry into. What makes the Nanodegree Plus so distinctive is the lack of the application process. Once you have successfully completed the program, you will acquire a skill, receive your certification, and have a portfolio that demonstrates your skill.

The benefits that learners can get from this program are immense. Unfortunately, Udacity announced a gradual removal of the program’s guaranteed job feature in 2017. In its place, they have decided to include a new Career section to the course catalog. While this could be a huge drawback for Udacity, on the bright side, learners are trained and prepared with useful tools and resources before attending interviews or seeking new job offers with the newly added section.

Udacity Pricing

The Fee is definitely one of major concerns for learners who are shopping for the ideal online learning platform. There is no standard when it comes to course features and price. Different platforms have their unique fee plans.

Paid Udacity courses

Udacity’s programs have no fixed fee structure. Each Nanodegree program comes with a completely unique price that largely depends on the course’s format, demand, and start and end dates.

Prices range from $169 to $3,000. Most Nanodegrees are offered on a monthly subscription basis. Some Nanodegrees, however, have a fixed pricing and completion term. A few of the longer programs are divided into multiple terms.

Most Nanodegree programs take 6-12 months to complete. However, if you are unable to complete the course within the prescribed time frame, you will get one-month extension to complete the course. After the expiry of the extension period, you will lose access to the course content and will be required to register for a brand new term. However, if you complete the program within the prescribed time frame, you will maintain access to the content and be able to review it anytime you wish.

Udacity’s Free Courses

Udacity provides nearly 200 free courses for learners. You can create your account on the platform and start learning right away. Free Udacity courses have very little interaction between learners, or between learners and tutors. They are ideal if you want to test the waters before getting into the full platform.

Besides, since its launch, the number of Udacity’s free courses has declined significantly. This sharp decline is a testament that the platform’s paid courses set it apart as one of the best online learning platforms out there.

Udacity Pros and Cons

Like any online learning platform, Udacity is not going to be the perfect fit for everyone. The platform is dedicated to offering high-quality tech education, and nothing else. It is definitely not the right fit for learners seeking to study liberal arts.

Udacity Pros

  • Course content quality: The importance of quality course content cannot be overstated; and this is one area where Udacity shines. Udacity tailors its courses to meet its learners’ needs. The programs are splendid and well-structured in an easy to follow format for passionate learners.
  • Mentor Quality – Udacity guarantees that every learner enjoys a positive learning experience from industry experts. The tutors are knowledgeable and engaging and will keep you going on your learning path. In addition, the learning materials are developed by experts from big names like Amazon, Facebook, and Github.
  • Project-based Approach – At Udacity, you learn through real projects. This gives you the feeling that you are working in a real industry environment. Udacity mentors provide dedicated assistance with the projects by directing you on what to do in a step-by-step format. Eventually, these projects can be an important portfolio that you can use when pitching to potential employers.
  • Partnership – Udacity’s high-tech courses are developed in partnership with world’s leading tech corporations like Facebook, Google, WorldQuant, and Mercedes Benz. All the courses are enriched with a one-on-one academic mentoring and real-world projects.
  • Career section – This newly added feature offers crucial career preparation. In every step of your job-hunting process, there are tons of supportive resources like resume creation tools, practice interviews, cover letter editors, and specific interview questions. In some instances, a 1-on-1 session will be set for you to interact with your mentor.

Udacity cons

  • Price – Udacity’s course prices are not really cheap compared to what other online learning platforms offer. Thus, Udacity courses are mostly for employees or entrepreneurs who are seeking to expand their skills and knowledge rather than hobbyists and beginners.
  • Highly focused – The relevance of Udacity’s course contents is a double-edged sword. The platform offers very specific tools and resources. If you are not sure what you want in life, Udacity is definitely not the ideal online learning platform for you.
  • Certificate – The certificates provided by Udacity look quite simple. In fact, they are very easy to fake. This is something the company needs to look into given the costs involved for learners.

Udacity Review 2020: Conclusion

Udacity is without doubt on the expensive side when it comes to online learning platforms. However, it is still a steal when compared to the cost of obtaining a traditional university degree. Students have access to tens of quality online courses on the platform, and they do not have to learn on a full-time basis. If you are looking to add to your tech skills, Udacity is definitely the platform to consider. 

Ready to kickstart your online education with Udacity? Learn the latest tech skills and advance your career with Udacity. Enroll now to receive $50 off your Nanodegree Program!

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