Udacity review  - Is is the right platform for you?
Find out if Udacity is the right online learning platform for you with this in-depth review.
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Last updated on September 26th 2022
Getting into technology and starting a career in this field has become an ever-growing trend, and platforms like Udacity are there to help you achieve it! But is the price justified? And how good are the courses on Udacity exactly?
Let's find out in this full Udacity review!
What is Udacity?
Founded by Sebastian Thrun, David Stavens and Mike Sokolsky in 2011, Udacity is a platform focused on helping you develop digital technology skills like software development, data science & cybersecurity. With more than 15,000 hours of content and 97 technology-focused Nanodegree programs, it's one of the most popular learning destination trusted by individuals, companies and governments.
Let's see what they have to offer!
Udacity's main offering are their so-called "Nanodegrees". These are programs which usually take 2-6 months to complete and help you prepare for a job in digital technology, like software development, data science, cybersecurity, autonomous driving, design & many more. Nanodegrees are designed to help you profit from them directly, giving you the ability to change your career, get a raise or start a new career path entirely.
They also offer a couple "Executive programs", which are essentially Nanodegrees, but with a focus on business leaders that don't want to dive deep into the technical aspects of a particular topic, but instead want to get a birds-eye view of the technology and how it can impact business decisions.
A nice bonus of Udacity is that they offer lots of career services that help you find a job after your Udacity Nanodegree. This includes services like:
Resume review (including templates)
GitHub review (review of your technical portfolio)
You also get access to job postings from Udacity and its customers, which you can apply to. All of these services combined make it much easier for you to land your dream job!
Pro & Cons
Who is Udacity for?
Udacity's platform is great for:
Professionals going for a new career
Students that want to emerse themselves in a new digital technology
Anyone else that wants to learn a new skill
Obviously Udacity only offers courses on digital technology, so if that's not what you want to learn, you might rather want to look at platforms like Udemy.
Udacity offers a selection of nearly 200 free courses to help you get started in the digital technology industry.
Udacity Nanodegrees and Executive programs on the other hand require you to pay a monthly access fee. Usually, there is a discounted option available that will give you access to the program for a certain amount of months, based on the average time to complete the program you want to take.
Here's an example of a typical program and its pricing:
You can obviously finish the program in less or more time than the recommended time. It's just the amount of time the average Udacity student takes to finish. Here's an overview of the different program lengths and how much money you can potentially save by going for the upfront payment.
Udacity refund policy
Udacity gives you a 2-day refund period after your purchase. This obviously isn't much time to decide if you want to stick with the program, but that's just how it is unfortunately. If you're an EU-resident, you do get a 14-day refund period, as it's mandatory by law.
Access content after completion
Students that actually complete a paid course, a Nanodegree program or an Executive program get lifetime access to the static content of their programs. This means that you will be able to watch any video materials, and you can read Q&As, but you won't have access to technical mentoring & support anymore.
If you don't fully complete your program, your access to the content will expire 12 months after your last monthly payment.
Udacity for businesses
Udacity offers a business plan, but there's not much public information on how it works. It meant for enterprise customers, so you have to contact Udacity to get a demo and to negotiate pricing for your company.
Udacity for students
Currently, Udacity doesn't offer a dedicated plan for students. If you can't afford the Nanodegrees, you could instead look into applying for an Udacity scholarship. Alternatively, check out Udemy - a platform well known for its great value, with courses usually costing $9.99 - $19.99.
Learning & Customer support
Udacity offers a standard self-serve knowledge base for questions about your account. They also have a support community, where you can ask questions directly and get help by community moderators. As a bonus, they also have support via a chatbot. All in all, these are already pretty decent support options you can access even if you're not enrolled in a Nanodegree or Executive program.
If you are part of a premium program, you will get even more support. You have the opportunity to get all of your projects professionally reviewed by an expert, so you know exactly what you can improve on. You also have access to technical mentors that can help you out with any technical questions you might have!
This support is 24/7 and on average, you get a question response within one hour!
Once you complete a paid course, a Nanodegree or an executive program, you will receive a certificate of completion from Udacity. You can add it to your LinkedIn profile, show it to your employer, or use it in any other way you want. Below is what it looks like:
Be aware that this is by no means an official certification. The certificates you receive from Udacity are not recognized by universities and might also not be recognized by your employer. Still, they can be a great help in landing your next dream job!
Create an account
To create an Udacity account, click on the "Sign In" button, and then navigate to "Sign up". There you can enter in your email and password, and then you're good to go!
Popular courses on Udacity
Introduction to Programming Nanodegree
Learn to code and launch your career in IT with this Nanodegree. Join more than 5500 graduates from close to 100 countries and learn from instructors like Karl Krueger, a former Google Engineer or Julia Van Cleve, a former math teacher.
Deep Learning Nanodegree
Get to know deep learning with this Nanodegree taught by about 10 deep learning experts, ranging from PhD. mathematicians to experienced machine learning engineers. Join a course that got an average 4.7/5 rating by 3297 graduates!
C++ Developer Nanodegree
Learn the language that powers autonomous driving, games, servers, browsers and much more. With 1071 reviews at an average rating of 4.5/5, this program can help you launch your software development career. Teachers like Stephen Welch, an engineer with a Ph.D. in mathematics and David Silver, the head of curriculum at Udacity and a former research engineer on the autonomous vehicle team at Ford are there to help you out!
Overall, instructors on Udacity are highly-respected professionals. In order to qualify as an Udacity instructor, you need to go through an application process. Some of the requirements for instructors are:
5+ years of demonstrated field expertise
1+ years of education or teaching experience
Ability to build intentional, engaging, effective and relevant course content
Available to work 15-20 hours per week
Potential instructors then go through a 5-step hiring process. In total, only 4.5% of the applicants are accepted into Udacity's network of 1400+ experts. Experts are also required to complete a Nanodegree themselves. This ensures that the quality standards on Udacity are high. You won't find any courses created by amateurs. All courses have been carefully planned by professional educators and industry experts.
One example of these instructors is Abhinav Singh. He was the founding Engineer of Amazon Web Services Strategic Security Transformation team and achieved this mostly by teaching himself cybersecurity research and development. Then he went on to create the System Security course, which is part of the Security Engineer Nanodegree program on Udacity.
Frequently asked questions
Is Udacity legit?
Yes! With close to 5 million monthly visitors, more than 15 million users and close to 200,000 Nanodegrees issued, Udacity is one of the most recognized and trusted online learning platforms. They work together with top global companies and lots of governments around the world to bring digital technology skills to a broader audience.
Is Udacity free?
No, Udacity is not free, but they offer a selection of free courses. The majority of their programs (called Nanodegrees) require you to pay a monthly fee, though.
Does Udacity offer scholarships?
Yes, Udacity has a scholarship program. There are different scholarships available, and you can apply for them, depending on your life situation. You can learn more on their scholarship page.
Does DataCamp offer a student discount?
No, DataCamp doesn't currently offer student discounts.
Which languages does Udacity offer?
Currently, Udacity programs are only available in English.
Are Udacity courses accredited & recognized?
No, Udacity courses are not formally accredited. In Udacity words: "Udacity is not an accredited university, and we don't confer traditional degrees". This means that Nanodegrees on Udacity will not be recognized by universities.
Summary: Is Udacity worth it?
If you're looking to launch a career in digital technology, Udacity is definitely a platform you should check out. What I like most about Udacity is the technical mentorship and the project reviews you get, because I think things like this can help you enormously when learning about new technology.
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