Online learning offers to teach you in bite-sized chunks—promising to bring you to mastery, with 10-20-minute videos. But can they hold up on this offer? Do they actually teach you the skills you need to further your career? Can these short lessons really launch you into success—especially when it comes to technology?
You want to be sure you’re getting the highest quality. Today, we’re going to dive into two of the top learning sites, Udemy and Treehouse, to see what they offer for technology learners. Technology is an ever-shifting field, and if you don’t keep up, you’ll be left in the dust. But online learning can be a great way to stay ahead of the wave. Let’s see how these two sites measure up in this Udemy Vs Treehouse comparison!
Udemy Vs Treehouse: Meet The Sites
Access to technology learning can change lives—and Udemy knows this from experience. The site’s founder grew up in a remote Turkish village, began learning advanced mathematics online, and was able to create a better life through his knowledge. So Udemy wants to make learning available to anyone, and does that with courses on over 3,000 topics and in 65 languages.
Udemy’s courses are purchased individually—and they offer over 2,000 different classes on coding languages alone, so there’s plenty of technology courses to pick from. Their courses are made up of many 5-10-minute videos, along with quizzes and assignments. If you’re ever stuck, there’s a Q+A section below each video, where you can get input both from other students, and from the instructor. Once you completed all the videos and homework, you’ll receive a certificate that you can display on your resume.
Treehouse was founded in 2011, and seeks to “make tech more accessible through affordable and engaging online tech education.” They have an emphasis on EDI—Equity, Diversion, and Inclusion. They boast 50K students, along with over 300 technology-oriented courses, from “Beginner Python” to “Advanced Android Apps.”
Each course is made up of video instruction, though their coding lessons include a built-in coding environment, “workspace,” to allow you to code and see output while still in your browser. These video lessons are interspersed with quizzes and coding challenges, that help you to cement your knowledge. Treehouse focuses on a more gamified approach to learning, using points and badges to encourage you to keep on studying and learning.
Udemy Vs Treehouse: Ease Of Use
Learning technology skills can be complicated enough—no need to make it harder with a difficult-to-use site or confusing lessons. How easy is it to use these sites? How easy is it to learn how to code? Is it simple to find courses, and to keep on learning? Let’s see how Udemy and treehouse answer these questions.
The last thing you want to do is get stuck at the start—so Udemy makes the runway clear. Once you create an account with your email, all of Udemy’s courses are laid out before you. You can start exploring right away, scrolling through the most popular courses, ones recommend for you, or ones in categories such as Web Development, Mobile Development, IT certification, and more. If you already know exactly what you’re looking for, type in the keyword to have courses appear. Don’t forget that Udemy charges per course, so make sure to check out what discounts they are offering here.
Udemy wants to help you pick the best class among so many—so they offer ratings from users to show you how many people like a course. However, reviews aren’t an error-proof method. Udemy asks learners for reviews twenty minutes into a course—which means the learner hasn’t had much time to judge the quality of the course, or to put the principles into practice yet.
But Udemy does make it simple to learn on the go. Udemy’s app allows you to download any of your courses to your device, so you can watch anywhere. Each lesson is easily digestible as well, coming in short 2-to-10-minute videos.
You can easily customize the learning process as well. You can adjust the speed of the video to your liking, read over the transcript of lessons, or skip ahead to lessons on new information. You can always come back to videos for a refresher, or scan the notes that some courses offer.
Treehouse also starts you off quickly—though you do need to include your payment information as you create your account. But Treehouse does make it easier to test out learning. You can try out Treehouse with a 7-day free trial, to see if it is for you.
As you create your account, you go through an onboarding process, letting Treehouse know why you’re using the site, what you’re interested in learning, and your past experience. This allows Treehouse to offer custom-made suggestions and learning paths for you, so you can learn what really interests you.
Treehouse separates its courses based on topics, grouping together all the courses on Java, Design, Machine Learning, or Security in one place, so they’re easy to find. As you scroll, you’ll be able to see individual courses, as well as tracks. These tracks get you from beginner point A to expert point B, guiding your through several courses to achieve your goal.
Treehouse is also easy to use. Each video has a transcript below it, as well as a question forum where you can receive feedback both from students and from Treehouse staff. You can skip ahead over information you already know, and change the speed of videos. Each course has quizzes scattered throughout, which allow you to easily review past videos if you forget the answers. Engaging graphics and entertaining teaching style makes it simple to remember the material you learn.
Treehouse also wants to make it simple to keep learning—by making it fun. They have a gamified system, where each video watched, quiz taken, and course completed earns you points and badges. By hacking into your subconscious ideas of fun, Treehouse makes it easy to continue learning.
Conclusion: Ease Of Use
While it’s close, Treehouse rises above Udemy. Treehouse’s onboarding process takes learning to a new customized level, and their guidance toward your goals is invaluable. Also, the points, badges, and leaderboards are a nice touch—it can be hard to motivate yourself with just “I have to,” but no one has to force themselves to play a game. Treehouse makes it easy to start and keep on learning.
Udemy Vs Treehouse: Which Has Better Quality?
Quality is the most important part of a site. You are giving a site your time and money—is it worth the price? The level of teaching, the quality of the videos, and the helpfulness of customer service all come together to show whether a site is worth it. How do Udemy and Treehouse compare?
The only way Udemy can offer such a large number of courses is by allowing anyone to teach. Positively, this allows you to find courses on almost any technology topic—but negatively, it offers no quality control. Because of this, certificates from Udemy aren’t worth much on your resume.
The quality of courses differs from instructor to instructor. Some users have reported poorly-made videos, or hard to hear audio. Then comes the question of relevance—is what you’re learning up-to-date? While instructors can go in and update their courses, there’s no way for you to see whether or not they have. This means you may learn information that is out-of-date, without even knowing.
Even if the information is correct, you still get a piecemeal approach. There’s no tracks or step-by-step process with Udemy. Courses are individual and separate—so you may take a beginner coding class with one instructor, an intermediate on with a teacher with a different focus, and an expert course where the instructor expects you to know something different.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t find great courses on Udemy. It’s like walking through an antique store—there are treasures there, if you know how to find them. But be careful you don’t spend your money on something that is little better than junk.
Treehouse hires its own instructors, people who are industry experts, or have taught in their fields. They also ensure that their courses are regularly updated, so you have the newest information. This is very important if you’re working with apps, or design programs that regularly change (we’re looking at you Adobe).
Treehouse also offers thorough instruction on many different topics. Because the courses include several hours’ worth of videos, there’s much to learn.
The videos are high-quality as well. Though the teaching style still differs some from teacher to teacher, the Treehouse standard has engaging graphics and examples throughout the courses. Furthermore, Treehouses’ built-in coding environment, or “workspaces,” make it where you can start coding without having to download anything else.
However, Treehouse feels short on practical experience. There are only a few real-world projects included in their courses, which means you don’t have much to show for your work. Furthermore, though the Workspaces can be helpful, it can also leave you with a training-wheels affect. If you don’t know how to set up a coding environment on your own, you won’t know how to code in the real world.
Both sites have their shortcomings—but when it comes to the quality of videos and instructors, Treehouse shines.
Udemy Vs Treehouse: Special Tools/Perks
Treehouse also offers several tools to help its users. Their Tracks walk you through building a certain skillset, taking you from a beginner to an expert. They offer a community that allows you to interact with other users, though mainly it is used to get coding help.
Treehouse also offers perks for its students, with discounts on Grovemade, InVision, and other sites designed for technology professionals.
Udemy doesn’t offer any special tools or perks for its users
Conclusion: Special Tools/Perks
Treehouse is the clear winner here—and the perks it offers are a goody box of discounts and free trials.
Udemy Vs Treehouse: Which Is Priced Better?
Often the biggest question is the price tag. You’re trying to learn the skills for a new career—but you can’t afford to bankrupt yourself in the process. How much does Udemy and Treehouse cost? Is Udemy cheap? Is Treehouse’s premium subscriptions worth the price? Let’s dig into those dollar signs.
How much will you spend at Udemy? It depends on how much you buy. Each course is purchased individually, so as you buy more courses, you’ll pay more. Fortunately, Udemy’s courses don’t cost much.
While most courses are listed at $100-$250, in reality, their almost-constant sales put prices at $15-$25 a course. This is a one-time payment; and once you purchase a course, you have life-time access to it. Make sure to check out Udemy’s exclusive discounts and deals here.
Udemy also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee—a useful tool to help lessen the problem of possible low-quality courses.
Treehouse instead works on a subscription model, where you pay the same regardless of how many courses you take. Their basic subscription costs $25 a month, and gives you access to all of their courses, quizzes, and workspaces. Courses Plus is their next level up, which costs $49 a month—but the only advantage you’re gaining is the ability to download courses. Then is the TechDegrees which cost $119/month. These include curated curriculum, a slack community, and certificates for completing courses.
Treehouse allows you a 7-day free trial period, so you can test out if the site and courses are right for you, without spending money.
Udemy is the clear winner here, as a single life-time purchase is cheaper than a month of Treehouse. While Treehouse’s Basic subscription may be average for online learning platforms, its others levels are far higher, with little to show for it. Udemy is a better choice if you’re concerned about your wallet.
Udemy Vs Treehouse: Is Either Better Suited for Different Learners?
Your technology needs are different from others’—so one site may be better for you than another. Maybe you grew up with technology, and loved the coding and robot challenges in high school. Maybe you’re already comfortable in the tech world, and just need to brush up on a few skills. Maybe you don’t have a clue about technology, and know Python and Java only as a snake and coffee.
Different levels have different needs—and different sites are geared towards different learners. Who are Udemy and Treehouse suited for?
Both Udemy and Treehouse are directed towards the beginner. Because you can’t earn accredited certificates with either, you can’t craft an impressive resume—but you can jump into new skills, and ready yourself to go farther. Udemy is directed more for the curious learner—the person who wants to know “just for fun.” Treehouse is better for those with a specific goal, as their tracks help you reach it.
Which Is Better: Udemy Or Treehouse?
When it comes down to it, Treehouse is the better site. Though they cost a little more than Udemy, the quality of their learning, the ease-of-use, and the student discounts make their Basic Subscription worth the price. (Though we wouldn’t recommend the higher subscription levels). Their gamified learning makes jumping into the world of coding and technology and design less frightening, and more fun. You won’t earn your certification—but you will learn to be comfortable and adept in technology fields. Want to start your learning journey? Choose Treehouse.
Already a professional, but want to get certified? Check out our full review of Pluralsight, which is geared towards learners like you!