edX vs Udemy: Prices, topics, and details

Hi, I’m Olga! I have years of experience in data science, most recently at eBayNow I work as an industry mentor at Pathrise, helping data scientists land a great role through technical workshops and 1-on-1s. Check out my article where I compare edX vs Udemy.

Similarities and differences between edX and Udemy

edX and Udemy both offer courses in UX design, data science, software engineering, product management, digital marketing, sales, data analytics, and many more tech topics.


  • Both programs are remote and self-paced.
  • Their platforms host 2k+ courses on a huge variety of tech and non-tech topics.
  • Courses are open to anyone with no admissions process required.
  • edX and Udemy grads get a certificate upon completion. 


  • edX is a non-profit with financial aid for students. Udemy is a for-profit business.
  • Udemy offers lifetime access to their courses, but edX courses expire after a set amount of weeks, requiring payment for continued access.
  • edX courses can fill up fast. Udemy courses stay open longer with no enrollment cap.
  • Udemy courses are shorter, usually only 15-70+ hours long. Students in edX courses have to work 4-6 hours every week and courses can last 3-12+ months.
  • Udemy’s courses are uploaded by individual experts and teachers. edX hosts courses from top universities and big tech companies like Google

Courses offered by edX and Udemy

Both edX and Udemy offer courses that cover the following topics and many more:

  • UX design
  • Web development
  • Data science
  • Machine learning
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Software engineering 
  • Product management
  • Digital marketing
  • Business analytics
  • Data analytics

Prices for edX and Udemy

edX hosts 3000+ courses from top universities with both free and paid options. Their certificate courses range from free to $400+, but even free certificate courses require students to pay an added fee to get a formal certificate. These certificate courses last 1-7 months with about 2-5 hours of work each week.

The XSeries programs take a deep dive into a specific topic for $130-$500. They usually contain many smaller courses that last 1-8 months and require 5-10 hours of work each week per course.

edX also offers accredited online master’s programs. These master’s programs are similar in cost and workload to a formal on-campus master’s, with tuition ranging from $10k to $25k+. While edX’s full master’s programs generally take 1-4 years to complete, they also offer shorter MicroMasters programs that last 3 months to 1 year. These MicroMasters courses are also cheaper, typically costing $1k-$2k.

Udemy hosts even more online courses. They have over 100k classes and almost 600 of them are free. Paid courses range from about $10 to $300, though most of them can be purchased with a coupon code at prices below $50. No prior experience is required for their 500+ “all levels” programs, but intermediate and expert level classes are designed for learners with some background in the subject. However, there is no admissions process, so anyone can technically enroll in any level. While the curriculum sometimes includes demos for projects and assignments, Udemy mostly hosts recorded lecture videos. Courses are at least 30 minutes long with at least 5 lectures or learning modules. But since anyone can upload on Udemy and they have over 57,000 instructors, the curriculum and teaching style can vary.

Ratings and reviews of edX and Udemy

While reviews of Udemy are overwhelmingly positive, Udemy hosts 130,000+ courses taught by 57,000+ different instructors, meaning course quality can vary. The platform holds a 4.5/5 star rating on Switchup. Some students described course offerings as a “mixed bag” with lots of good courses but “some not so good” courses as well. A few Quora reviewers worried that the new course uploads are lowering the quality. Some Udemy reviewers also had issues with course support. Students reported missing discounts and issues with refunds. On the whole, grads were impressed with Udemy’s courses and instructors. 

edX holds similarly positive reviews. Many students were impressed by the platform’s well-known partner universities and companies, which they felt gave their certificates credibility. One grad liked that courses allowed students to “post, view, and comment on classmates’ work” with opportunities for collaboration and hands-on practice.

Alternatives to edX and Udemy

If you decide not to enroll in edX or Udemy, you might want to look into one of the alternative resources and bootcamps listed below instead:

  • Another online program that hosts courses taught by professors from accredited universities is Coursera. Their online courses feature recorded lectures, hands-on assignments, and community discussion, with both free and paid options.
  • The massive online learning platform Udacity also hosts free and paid courses on dozens of tech topics. Like edX, they collaborate with top tech companies like IBM on courses to keep the curriculum practical. Students in their nanodegree programs get 1-on-1 mentoring with both a career coach and a technical mentor. Learn more about Udacity in our review.
  • Springboard also offers self-paced learning with mentoring. Students in their tech career tracks build 14 portfolio projects with weekly mentorship meetings. If students don’t land a great job within 6 months of graduating, they get a full refund. Learn more about Springboard in our review.
  • Another popular online learning platform with self-paced courses is Skillshare. They host 19,000+ free and paid courses in a wide variety of tech topics, including web dev, UX/UI design, business analytics, and more.
  • One of the most well known bootcamps is General Assembly. They offer 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.
  • Aspiring software engineers and UX designers can look into Kenzie Academy, a full-time tech bootcamp that offers in-person and online courses. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review. 
  • For students seeking remote courses on a budget, Simplilearn, Treehouse, and Pluralsight could be worth considering. Like both edX and Udemy, these online platforms host hundreds of self-paced and flexible tech courses to help people launch their careers.
More alternatives
  • The self-paced coding bootcamp CodeX Academy helps people launch new careers in software engineering and web development. Their career services include 1-on-1 mentoring. Learn more about CodeX Academy in our review.
  • You can also check out Bubble no-code bootcamps to learn how to make products without coding. Learn more about Bubble in our review.
  • Students seeking digital marketing, UX design, sales, or business development courses can also check out GrowthX Academy. Their SaaS program includes 1-on-1 mentoring with lots of hands-on, practical assignments.
  • People who want 1-on-1 mentoring can check out Thinkful and BrainStation. These bootcamps teach courses in data science, software, and more. Their programs feature personalized career coaching and projects that students can feature in their tech portfolios.
  • Similarly, Rithm School, Codesmith, and The Software Guild are all popular software engineering bootcamps. While these programs may be more intensive than most Udemy courses and even edX’s XSeries programs, students in these bootcamps learn software skills very quickly with more instructor and TA support.
  • Likewise, Codecademy is one of the most popular coding programs online. They provide free courses on many different programming languages. They also offer membership options ranging from $20 to $40 per month for more course options and greater support. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
Even more alternatives
  • Metis has part-time introduction courses as well as onsite and online bootcamp options. Learn more about Metis in our review.
  • For those interested in self-paced data science learning, Data Science Dream Job offers remote, flexible courses for aspiring data analysts and data scientists.
  • The popular online data resource DataCamp has over 300 short courses on data science subjects. Like Udemy and edX, their courses are short and flexible, only about 4 hours each.
  • If you’re interested in a product design program with both instructor-led and self-guided options, consider DesignerUp. Like both edX and Udemy, their courses include video lectures, quizzes, and even 1-on-1 mentoring opportunities for students in their mastercourse. Read more about DesignerUp to see if it’s right for your goals.
  • Similarly, the online bootcamp Designlab teaches the skills people need to land an entry-level UX design job. Read our review of Designlab for more details.

How do Udemy and edX compare to Pathrise?

edX and Udemy host online courses that teach people the skills they need to launch or accelerate a tech career. While both programs offer part-time and self-paced courses in UX design, software engineering, machine learning, digital marketing, and data science, Udemy covers a much wider range of subjects, with over 100K courses.

Although both edX and Udemy host courses that teach job-search skills, neither offer career services. As a full service organization, Pathrise helps with every phase of the job search. Our mentors work 1-on-1 with fellows on their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, portfolios, reverse recruiting and cold emailing strategies, behavioral and technical interview prep, salary negotiation, and much more. Our mentors have already helped 1,000+ students and professionals land great tech jobs, with most fellows finding a job in just 3-5 months.

While edX and Udemy courses are open to anyone, fellows in the Pathrise program should have some background in their chosen field so that they can get the most out of our technical interview workshops. We have tracks in software engineering, product design, data science, digital marketing, sales, product management, strategy, and ops. We also offer an income share agreement (ISA) so fellows don’t pay until they land a great tech job.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that helps people land their dream job in tech. With our tips and guidance, fellows can see their interview scores double and their application responses triple. If you want to optimize your job search by working 1-on-1 with a mentor, become a Pathrise fellow. 

Apply today.

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