When your time, money, and education is on the line, “just ok” isn’t enough.
Some things don’t have to be the best to work for you. You probably don’t need artisanal bread to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You don’t need calligraphy pens to write reminder notes. Those older sweatpants are still perfectly suitable for you to go running in. But when it comes to your learning and your future, you want something that’s more than suitable.
When it comes to online learning, you want to know which site is more than just ok—you want to know which one is best. But most reviews can’t help you with this. Those reviews will tell you the good and bad parts of all the sites—but you aren’t using all the sites. You need to know which one is best for you; so we’re here to help you do that.
Today, we’re going to dig into two of the biggest personal-learning sites: LinkedIn Learning, previously known as Lynda, and Udemy. But we’re not going to just review them—we’re going to compare them to each other. We’ll see how they compare in price, quality, and which one may be better suited to different learners. You want to learn, but you want to learn from the best; so today, we’re going to see what site earns that title. Let’s jump into our review of Udemy vs. LinkedIn Learning.
LinkedIn Learning And Udemy
This site got it’s start in 1995, under the name “Lynda Learning.” It was acquired by LinkedIn in 2015, keeping all of its original courses, and expanding exponentially to meet the needs of LinkedIn users. This online-courses library features mainly business-related skills, from Project Management to Leadership Skills to Design to Coding Languages.
They aim to help “anyone learn business, software, technology, and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals.” With courses in five languages (English, French, Japanese, German, and Spanish), and partnering with over 10,000 organizations, they are truly accessible for most anyone.
LinkedIn Learning is a subscription-based site, where a monthly payment gives you access to all of their courses. Courses are spit into 5-10-minute videos, with homework and downloadable files included. Once you complete the course, you’ll earn a certificate demonstrating your learning—that you can then include on your LinkedIn profile.
Udemy’s motto is to “improve lives through learning”—and it’s a motto deeply tied to their founder’s story. He grew up in a remote Turkish village, began learning advanced mathematics online, and was able to create a better life through his knowledge. Udemy seeks to help anyone learn anything, and so offers videos on over 3,000 topics, and in 65 languages.
Because Udemy’s goal is to help “anyone learn anything” they have a wide range of topics, from Technology to Beauty to Art. You purchase courses individually, and each course is made up of 5-10-minute videos and quizzes. Once you complete a course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion.
Ease Of Use
The first thing you’ll notice about any site is its ease of use. You have limited time, and you don’t want to waste it scrolling through pages and pages of nice-but-irrelevant information, just to find the one thing you need. There are also few things as frustrating as waiting for a video to stream. If you’re not careful, you may spend more of your time looking at a loading bar than learning. How do our two contenders compare in this respect?
To open a LinkedIn Learning account does take one more step than expected—you have to complete a phone verification. However, this simple text message is quickly sent; and if you already have a LinkedIn account, you can sidestep the process entirely.
LinkedIn Learning makes it easy to get started—you can get a 1-month free access trial, so there’s less commitment to join. When you create your account, you can list skills you’re interested in, and Linked in will automatically suggest courses for you.
As you browse courses, you can filter them by level (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) or length, so you have the freedom to learn exactly what you want with as much time as you have. LinkedIn Learning also offers apps for almost all devices, so you can take your learning on the go.
The videos for LinkedIn Learning are easy to use. You can turn on continuous playback, allowing each video to start right after each other, as well as speed up the playback speed, or turn on closed captioning.
As soon as you open Udemy, the whole library of courses lies there for you. You can scroll through most popular ones, search for keywords, or browse their categories. They have several large categories, each with individual sub-categories. As you scroll, you can see the ratings of each course, along with how many users have taken that course.
While ratings can be useful, they can also be deceiving, as Udemy asks for the first review about twenty minutes into the course—which is far too short a time to judge the quality of the entire course.
Additionally, when choosing a course it’s important to remember that you pay per course. Udemy does offer exclusive discounts, though, which you can check out here.
Because Udemy’s lessons are divided into 2-10-minute videos, they’re easy to learn in between other tasks. They also offer an app, and videos are downloadable, so you can learn on your commute or on your plane ride.
Their video player offers an array of useful features as well. You can adjust the playback speed of any video, or simply read the transcript given. You can skip ahead to future lessons if you’d like, and come back to older ones when you wish. Udemy makes the process simple to start, so you don’t have to be caught up in anything other than learning.
Conclusion: LinkedIn Learning VS Udemy Ease Of Use
Both Udemy and LinkedIn Learning make it simple to use their sites—just search and start. While LinkedIn Learning does offer the ease of a free trial, they do require more steps to sign up, which balances it out.
When it comes down to it, this is the most important part of any learning site. If you’re spending money, you want to be sure you have the best. Is their teaching accurate? Are the videos well made? Is it worth the time and money I’m spending? Let’s see whether LinkedIn Learning or Udemy is more worthy of your investment.
Easily visible in each course is the name of the instructor, which you can click to be taken to their LinkedIn profile. Here you can see if they practice what they preach. Where do they work? What experience do they have? What success have they had with the methods they’re teaching? This is an easy way to check for yourself the quality of the course.
LinkedIn Learning also actively pursues having up-to-date material. The release updates to already-made courses, and regularly release new courses with the newest information. This is important for programs like Adobe or Bootstrap, that may have completely different features in the latest release.
LinkedIn Learning’s quality is also proven by the companies that use them. Trusted by organizations like Patagonia and NBC, being attached to the LinkedIn company means they strive for the highest level of learning.
On Udemy, to help anyone learn anything, they’ve allowed anyone to teach—which can bring problems. While this does allow for hundreds of lessons on any subject, there’s no vetting process for either instructors or video courses. Because of this, there’s no quality control. This also means that certificates of completion from Udemy are not worth much on your resume.
Some users have complained of poorly-made videos, or barely-understandable audio. There have also been reports of unethical and scamming methods taught in these online courses. Even if the instructor is attempting to do their best, often the information can be out-of-date, especially when working with technology or design fields.
Udemy’s rating system is intended to help weed out these poor courses, and does often allow the high-quality courses to rise to the top. However, reviews can be misleading, as responses are submitted after only 20 minutes of instruction, and users may not even know that the information being taught is incorrect.
Conclusion: LinkedIn Learning VS Udemy Quality
LinkedIn Learning pulls ahead here, as their industry professionals and connections to large companies ensures that you get up-to-date information. Their videos are generally well made, and you have the ability to vet instructors yourself.
While both Udemy and LinkedIn Learning offer simple, straight-forward courses, LinkedIn Learning has another option as well. It offers Learning paths, several courses bundled together to give you a thorough understanding on a topic. These paths have one focus, such as creating a blog. Though it would have different courses, such as how to design a site on WordPress, or use WooCommerce, they’d all lead you to that desired destination of having a beautiful, polished site.
Which Is Priced Better?
The price tag can make or break a site. It doesn’t matter how high-quality it is, or how many useful tools it offers—if you can’t afford it, you can’t learn from it. How do LinkedIn Learning and Udemy compare?
LinkedIn Learning works on a subscription-based format. If you pay each month, it costs $29.99. If you choose to pay for an entire year at once, it costs $220 (equaling $19.99/month). This is on the higher end of online learning prices, but you can get a free 30-day trial of LinkedIn Learning here to see if it is worth the cost.
However, there may be some options for you to access LinkedIn Learning for free. Many libraries offer it as a free resource, and some colleges do as well. While you might have to search a bit to find out if your library offers it (Googling your library’s name and Lynda.com together, or searching through the library’s resource page), often all it requires to access is your library card’s number. Once you’ve logged in using that, you can access all of LinkedIn Learning’s library on any of your devices.
College accounts work much the same way—simply sign in using your university’s name in the organization segment of LinkedIn Learning’s page.
While many of Udemy’s course have a list price of $100-$250, in reality, almost-constant sales put their price more commonly at $15-$25 per course. See what discounts Udemy is offering here. As long as you’re taking only two or less courses per month, this is cheaper than LinkedIn Learning’s price.
While there is no option to watch courses for free, Udemy does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee—a useful tool to help lessen the problem of possible low-quality courses. Some instructors offer discounts on their courses as well—so be sure to check out their profile and any social media before you purchase a course, to see if you can get a discounted rate.
Conclusion: Udemy VS LinkedIn Learning Price
Which site is better for you will depend on your situation. If you only plan on taking one course a month, go with Udemy—the price will be far cheaper. However, if you are a college student or have access to a library partnership with LinkedIn Learning, then that is by far the better price. After all, nothing is cheaper than free!
Is Either Better Suited For Different Learners?
Not everyone approaches online learning in the same way. Maybe there’s one specific topic you want to master. Maybe you want to dive into anything that strikes your fancy. Whether you’re curious for learning’s sake or wanting to further your career will affect what you need from your learning site.
LinkedIn Learning is geared toward the professional learner—someone who is learning to further their career, or to train themselves for business success. Because of this, there’s less playful pursuits, and more focus on efficiency and seriousness.
Udemy is much the opposite—it operates under the premise that anyone can learn anything—and offers most anything anyone could want to learn. Udemy is for the curious, those who want to learn for personal reasons, or to learn how to do a hobby or activity. Thus, they offer courses like Beauty and Makeup, Food and Cooking, Yoga, Pet Care, and hundreds more.
Which Is Better: LinkedIn Learning Or Udemy?
Though it’s close, LinkedIn Learning edges out in front here. If you’re seeking to further your career or learn professional skills, then LinkedIn Learning’s high-quality, easily-usable courses are for you. If you are a college student or have a local library card, LinkedIn Learning may also be free for you to use. If you want to know more about LinkedIn, you can read our full review of LinkedIn Learning here.
If you’re less interested in buffing up your resume than in learning things for curiosity’s sake, you can read our full review of Udemy here, and see if it’s right for you!