Udemy and Codecademy are two giants for Computer Science topics and learning to code.
CC are specialists at programming instruction. Since 2011, they’ve been teaching 50+ million students. They keep improving their platform, adding new features, and growing their catalog of courses.
Still, they’re not perfect, and for some people, another learning site might be better.
Can Udemy be a viable alternative to Codecademy?
Let’s find out.
Codecademy's courses have been refined for many years by a team of experienced Software Engineers who are creating the course materials.
Every program is laid out to teach you exactly what you need at the current stage.
Content quality is consistent across all courses.
While many courses on Udemy are excellent, overall the quality can be hit or miss.
This is because there's so many different instructors and barrier to entry is low.
Udemy's review and rating system helps you navigate and pick a good program.
The learning paths comprised of multiple courses, projects and assessments are one of Code- cademy's best features.
Beyond that, they offer 12 multi-month career paths that prepare you for a job in different Software Engineering fields.
Udemy doesn't have skill paths – only individual courses. Some are larger and aim to make you a specialist in a whole field, but they're still not as exhaustive and intense as the full career paths on Codecademy. Thus Udemy is better for picking a course that teaches you more isolated skills.
Each Codecademy Pro course includes multiple projects to put what you've studied into practice. You can create your code right inside the platform using their built-in coding environment.
Only some of Udemy's courses feature projects as part of their curriculum – it depends on the course publisher. You need to build your projects outside of Udemy using an external code editor.
The community forums on Codecademy are useful if you're ever stuck on a problem and need help from your peers. You can also share your own learning journey or follow along with others' progress for inspiration.
Udemy lacks a built-in forum for students, so going through their courses is mostly a solitary affair. At least a few instructors are offering their students a separate, private community to go along with their courses.
Codecademy's monthly Pro membership is neither super cheap nor prohibitively expensive. If you're serious about studying and/or have professional ambitions as a programmer, it's a reasonable investment.
The yearly option gives you a significant discount on your membership fees.
Prices for Udemy courses vary from free, to cheap, to medium-priced. The many low-cost options make it a good choice if you want to just dip your toes into a topic while spending a lot less money than you would elsewhere.
Its affordable prices and many opportunities to score a bargain are Udemy's biggest plus.
Inside this review
My method of comparing Codecademy and Udemy
I’ve worked as a Full-Stack Software Engineer, Software Consultant, and an online instructor in the field of computer programming for over a decade.
During my career I’ve learned 15 programming languages to a level where I could teach others – which has led me to create 55 courses at a popular code-learning website.
The metrics I’ve used for this comparison
To establish which platform is superior between Udemy and Codecademy, I’ve looked at the following:
- Content range, depth & quality
- User experience
- Real-world applicability
- Price-performance ratio
How I’ve determined the ratings
I’ve taken several Software Development/Computer Science courses on Udemy. And I’ve gone through some of the skill paths in Codecademy Pro – so I can give a real review & qualified comparison of both platforms.
Udemy and Codecademy Do learning Differently
The biggest difference between Udemy & Codecademy is how the courses are presented – and most people will prefer one style over the other:
Huge course menu vs selected skill paths
Udemy has over 10,000 Software Development courses vs Codecademy’s 100+. This means there isn’t a topic you can’t find a training on.
But it’s also up to you to separate the wheat from the chaff. Using their filters, reviews and ratings, you’ll need to judge whether each course is actually worth your time and money.
Codecademy’s aim is to provide a streamlined education in a smaller number of topics (even then, they do cover a lot of ground!). You don’t have to search for long until you find what you want to study.
And the courses are consistent in their quality, because they’ve been created by the same team.
Learning through videos vs with coding tasks
Most of Udemy’s courses consist of classic video lectures: The instructor is explaining the course topics by means of whiteboard presentations or screenshare videos.
Codecademy’s approach is different:
While there are articles to read and resources to go through, the bulk of each program is formulated as written instructions accompanied by relevant code snippets.
You’re then tasked with executing each piece you’ve learned about via CC’s own code editor that’s always visible in a split-screen view.
Both ways have their pros and cons:
- If you like to treat a coding course as simply something to take in information from, and to refer back to if needed, then Udemy is a good addition to your resources.
- Codecademy is for you if you want to check off each step – like in a game that gets progressively difficult – while you code your way to a finished program.
Course examples from both platforms
To get a glimpse into what courses at the two education websites look like, check out some examples below.
A few of the best classes at Udemy
Unreal Engine 5 C++ Developer: Learn C++ & Make Video Games
Udemy has some great courses on game development, and this is one of the best available on their platform. It teaches you C++ from the ground up and has you create your first game using the popular Unreal Engine.
Algorithms Data Structures in Java #1 (+INTERVIEW QUESTIONS)
You can even use Udemy to prepare for your coding interview in different languages. With this training, for example, you’ll learn data structures & algorithms and apply your new knowledge by solving interview questions using Java.
Codecademy Pro’s best and most popular courses
Learn Python 3
Learn Python 3 is the most popular language course inside Codecademy Pro/Plus. It takes you from beginner to intermediate in a fun, gamified way. If you want to start your coding career by learning a language that’s both easy and popular, on a challenging and motivating platform, check out this course included in Codecademy’s paid tiers.
Machine Learning Basics
When you hop on the Machine Learning trend, consider taking a training that makes it easy to start – because ML can be a tough topic. Codecademy breaks it down into manageable chunks for you, so you won’t get frustrated by its complexity.
The Complete Full-Stack Engineer Career Path
Want to dive into a full-on career in Software Engineering? Codecademy aims to get you there within 6 months.
You’ll learn Front- and Back-End web development as well as Algorithms & Data structures (including thorough interview prep) over the course of 51 modules – putting you well on your way to a Full-Stack Engineering position.
User experience at Udemy and Codecademy compared
Udemy’s courses are comprised of at least 50% instructional videos. You could see this as a major selling point for the platform.
Some of the shorter courses consist of just one longer video or a few shorter ones. But with most you also get written explanations and in many cases, downloadable materials.
This means the experience of going through their courses isn’t a dry experience. It’s also easy enough to navigate the material. Overall, Udemy’s UX is nothing special – but there’s also not much to complain about. It’s decent.
As a dedicated code-learning platform, Codecademy’s UI has some unique features (like the split-screen code editor). Another unique selling point is the course layout with the bite-sized code challenges.
You can tell the course creators have put much thought and effort into building out its structure in a logical and motivating way.
I’m rating the user experience at Codecademy as superior to Udemy.
The best features of Codecademy vs Udemy
These are the pros of each platform:
12 specializations giving you a deep dive into a new career path
10,000+ Software courses & 200,000+ other courses to choose from
Strong interview prep material - a real alternative to dedicated coding interview platforms
Does better than CC on topics such as Software Design, Software Architecture & Clean Code principles
Codecademy Go app to take your code study mobile. Use breaks in your day to keep improving
Cheaper on average than Codecademy, plus they have frequent promotions for many courses
Gamified platform makes learning more fun
(Mostly) real reviews to judge course quality
Frequent assessments so you always know where you’re at
Lifetime access to your purchased courses vs CC’s subscription model
Personalized practice has you drill on your exact weaknesses, so you're never in the dark about your ability.
Many instructors offer bonuses such as e-book downloads or private communities
Practice & portfolio projects to solidify & show off your skills. A more practice-oriented approach.
Trainings on trending topics are produced more quickly than at Codecademy.
You'll get access to a student-exclusive job hunting platform. You can apply for relevant positions or wait for recruiters to reach out to you.
Udemy has a generous 30-day refund policy. If you don’t like the course you’ve bought, you’ll get 100% of your money back.
Helpful forum to ask for assistance & mingle with peers
The disadvantages of each site
The perfect code-learning website doesn’t yet exist. So there’s bound to be negatives to these two platforms as well.
Here are the cons I’ve found with both Codecademy and Udemy:
Negatives of Codecademy
Negatives of Udemy
At Codecademy the course contents are created by a team of experienced:
- Product Managers,
- Curriculum Managers & Developers,
- and Software Engineers.
The materials are of high quality, and any bugs reported about the platform are being fixed.
At Udemy, while instructor quality varies, they do have many excellent creators.
- Dr. Angela Yu, whose web development, Python, and app development courses are highly rated and have been taken by almost 2 million students. She is a bootcamp instructor in London and frequently teaches at FAANG+ companies.
- Jonas Schmedtmann, expert web developer and one of Udemy’s top instructors with 1.6 million students served. He has a Master’s in Engineering and has been creating software and web apps since 2010.
- Rahul Shetty, QA instructor with 15+ years experience, founder of his own online academy, and teacher to over 600k students.
Pricing of Udemy and Codecademy
The cost of Udemy’s different trainings varies widely – from anywhere between $10 to $150. Most courses are in the $10 to $60 range, though.
This means that if you’re looking to buy a single program, or only a couple, you’ll fare cheaper with Udemy. On top of that they have many discounts popping up throughout each month, so you can save even more on your coding education.
That said, if you’re planning to take a lot of bigger programs, you might want to go with Codecademy’s (20% discounted) annual option, which gives you their whole catalog of courses and career paths during that period.
Aside from the free tier (granting you access to some basic courses), Codecademy has the Plus option for $17.49 – there you’ll get all skill paths and many projects and practice problems.
The Pro tier has all career paths, interview prep courses with unlimited interview problems, job readiness assessments, and job platform access, for the monthly price of $29.99 (or $23.99 if you pay yearly).
Even though both platforms offer a quality product (so you hopefully won’t need to contact their support):
In case you do have a complaint or encounter a problem with one of the courses, it’s good to know whether they’ll actually be able to help you out, and within a reasonable timeframe.
Udemy's customer support is decent
Udemy has a help directory, FAQ page, and a form to submit a request – you can’t directly phone or chat with a support representative.
Their response time is between one and two business days.
Customer support with Codecademy: Better than Udemy’s, especially for Pro members
Codecademy doesn’t have phone support, either.
But – as a paying Pro member they give you priority email support. This means you’re guaranteed a response to your request within 12 hours.
CC is ahead of Udemy when it comes to customer support.
Codecademy vs Udemy - the Final Verdict
After comparing all features of Udemy and Codecademy, my verdict is:
Codecademy wins as a programming education platform
For three main reasons:
- Codecademy is a dedicated code-learning site. This makes it superior to Udemy for learning to code hands-on.
- Overall, the experience of learning with CC is better because of its unique UI/UX and well-thought-out structure.
- Codecademy is better for professional development because their career paths offer a more streamlined way to gaining the necessary skills. Everything is in once place as opposed to having to string together multiple Udemy courses.
But, those who like to figure things out for themselves, and build their knowledge from many different resources, might feel too boxed in by Codecademy’s teaching method.
Udemy is also cheaper.
If those two arguments hold a lot of weight for you – go with Udemy. It’s a close second to Codecademy, and their popular courses are by no means a bad investment.