Photo of a review of Udacity as a tech education tool

A review of Udacity as a tech educational tool

What does Udacity do?

The mission of Udacity is to democratize education by offering higher education opportunities that are accessible, flexible, and economical. Udacity offers aspiring learners across the globe the opportunity to participate in—and contribute to—some of the most exciting and innovative fields in the world.

Their classes range from introductory level to advanced and they also have recently added career services. Udacity is perhaps most well known for their nanodegree programs, which they offer in artificial intelligence, programming, data science, autonomous systems, and business. These are project and skills-based educational credential programs.

Who is Udacity for?

People with a commitment to learning thrive in Udacity classes. Their unique learning model enables them to engage with their students more than a lot of other online classes. Udacity students’ goals range from learning a new hobby to advancing their skills to changing the type of work that they do.

What does Udacity cost? How much work is involved?

Udacity provides a lot of free resources, usually the introduction classes to most of their tracks can be accessed by just giving them your email address. But, they are typically pushing their students towards the nanodegree programs so that they can get the full content. These programs range in cost from $599 to $1,199, which can be paid in monthly installments.

The nanodegree programs require students to work 10-15 hours per week on their courses. The length varies from 3 months on the low end to 7 months on the high end. Students who sign up for Udacity courses, especially in the nanodegree programs, should be ready to put in work and spend a fair amount of time on the work, similar to a Master’s program.

Most of these degree programs require some sort of background knowledge in order for students to be successful, but students do not need to apply or show that they have this before joining the program.

Ratings and reviews

Many of the reviews online explain that Udacity used to be a really strong program but since they have grown, some of that quality has diminished. Some of the complaints are concerning the courses, which they say did not provide extra value than anything that could have been found online. In terms of the assignments, they had some issues with the grading and the lack of support that they received from the mentors. Students wished for more 1-on-1 time with their mentors and the ability to contact their instructors more easily.

Positive reviews compliment Udacity’s project-based learning and the real-world style experience that students receive from working on these projects. In addition, the instructors are industry experts and they have unique courses that are often not found in other online classes.

Alternatives to Udacity

As an educational program, there are a fair number of alternatives to Udacity.

  • Students can check out Springboard, which is a similar online learning platform that hosts thousands of courses on a variety of subjects. Learn more about Springboard in our review.
  • Codeacademy teaches courses in computer science and coding for free and also offers membership that are around $20-$40 per month.
  • Similarly, there is Coursera, Treehouse, Interaction Design Foundation, and Pluralsight, which provide a large variety of courses for low costs.
  • Udemy is an online learning platform with over 100,000 online video courses in a wide variety of topics. Udemy students can pick & choose the classes, often paying around $10 per class.
  • edX has a lot of courses from accredited universities that students can choose from.
  • Free online resources, SoloLearn and the Mode tutorials have tracks in SQL, as well as other programming languages.
  • One of the most well known bootcamps is General Assembly, which offers full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics like software engineering, data science, UX design, digital marketing, product management, and more. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • Students can also consider Kenzie Academy, a full-time tech bootcamp that offers in-person and online courses in 2 tracks: software engineering & UX design and front-end engineering. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • Aspiring designers can consider Designlab, an online bootcamp that teaches the necessary skills to land a job as a UX designer. Read more about Designlab in our review.
  • Students interested in taking online self-guided or instructor-led product design courses can check out DesignerUp. Learn more about DesignerUp in our review.
  • GrowthX Academy is an online bootcamp with courses in growth marketing, UX design, and sales and business development. Learn more about GrowthX Academy in our review of the program.
  • If you are looking for a free online digital marketing resource, check out the short courses offered by SEMrush Academy, QuickSprout, Facebook Blueprint, or HubSpot Academy.
  • Lambda School and Coding Dojo are well known bootcamps where students can learn fundamentals of software engineering and data science.
  • You can also check out General Assembly, Flatiron School, andBrainStation, which offers a variety of courses on similar topics.
  • If you are looking for extra help before a bootcamp, First Step Coding has a software engineering prep course.
  • The Tech Academy is an online and onsite bootcamp that helps people learn the technical skills necessary to land a job as a (junior) software developer or data scientist.
  • Codesmith and Actualize are software engineering bootcamps with online and on-campus options. Codesmith focuses on preparing people for mid-to-senior level software engineering roles.
  • For people with an interest in data science, Metis has part-time introduction courses as well as onsite and online bootcamp options. Learn more about Metis in our review.
  • DataCamp, Dataquest, Promotable, and Data Science Dojo are also options for current and aspiring data scientists. They offer individual courses, as well as in-depth tracks.
  • Hack Reactor is a software engineering bootcamp with online and onsite options.
  • Current and aspiring project managers can benefit from taking the product management bootcamp at Product School or the courses at Product Academia.
  • HackDesign is a free online newsletter with lessons for aspiring and current designers.
  • Students located in the Bay Area or looking to work in Silicon Valley can check out Tradecraft, which has tracks in product design, growth marketing, engineering, and sales.

We created a list of the best resources to learn software engineering and data science, so you can decide what the best option is for you. You can also check out our list of 93 software engineering interview questions from top tech companies to practice.

How does Udacity compare to Pathrise?

Udacity is an educational tool, with classes for technical skill building and advancement. At Pathrise, our fellows should already have a background in the field they are interested in and our technical workshops provide more specific learnings based on what they will see in their interviews.

Some of the Udacity nanodegrees come with career support, including resume help and networking opportunities, but often the students do not get to speak with their coaches right away. Pathrise provides fellows with flexible 1-on-1 sessions that focus on anything that the fellow needs help with at that moment in their job search. This includes: resume & profile optimization, reverse recruiting, advanced sourcing, email templates, interview prep, and negotiation.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and young professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With our tips and guidance, we’ve seen our fellows interview performance scores double.

If you want to work with any of our advisors 1-on-1 to get help with your technical and behavioral interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow.

Apply today.

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