Udacity review. Part 2

Types of Programs Offered by Udacity

As mentioned earlier, Udacity offers three different types of courses. Each type of course requires a different time commitment.

  • Open Courses: Probably the most commonly enrolled-in course, open courses cover a vast array of subjects and are designed for the leisurely learner. Learning is specialized to focus on certain technologies and job competencies, with interactive projects, exercises and lessons. These types of courses generally require a commitment of 1-3 months and while some have to be paid for, around 200 open courses are available free (though they don’t provide certification).
  • Nanodegree Programs: A Nanodegree program enables learners to earn an online certificate in a chosen course offered by Udacity within 6-12 months with an investment of $200 per month. With this degree, users are eligible for entry-level analyst and programming jobs at firms like AT&T and other firms that Udacity has partnered with. Nanodegree programs follow a guided curriculum focusing on specific skill sets and competencies, expecting students to build portfolios and network with peers and mentors. Enrolling in a Nanodegree program also lets students receive feedback from mentors or coaches, code review and tuition reimbursement.
  • Georgia Tech Degrees: Udacity’s affiliation to Georgia Tech lets the former provide serious learners with a Master’s degree in Computer Science that can either be taken on-campus or through Udacity’s site. Georgia Tech degrees are strict and structured, just like their cousins on-campus. Students are expected to take at least two courses per term, for six terms costing around $6,600. This program is also supported by AT&T and provides around 32 different courses.

Why Use Udacity

As of 2019, Udacity has over 80,000 graduates, 200-plus industry experts and over 100 enterprise customers. Impressive numbers aside, Udacity, despite its limited offerings, provides students with a guaranteed job through its Nanodegree program, unlike other online learning platforms. Some of the other advantages are:

  • One-on-One Mentorship: Students are assigned mentors who provide feedback and support throughout the course duration.
  • Flexible Learning: Most courses on Udacity are self-paced and can be paid for through easy monthly installments.
  • Real-Life Case Studies and Projects: Due to their partnership with an impressive number of industry experts, Udacity’s students get the chance to study and learn from real-life projects and case studies.
  • Career Coach and Career Services: Udacity provides students with services such as career advice, resume-building support and prep advice for interviews to help make the career path less rocky.
  • Impressive Partnerships: Udacity currently has partnerships with Google, AT&T, NVidia, IBM, AWS, WorldQuant and Intersect, with some of these partners providing jobs to certified Udacity Nanodegree holders.

Udacity Features Review

In this part of our Udacity review, we give you a list of features that users should look for in any online learning platform, with a specific focus on how Udacity fares in each of these criteria.

User Friendliness

Considering that the website is all users have to navigate their journey of learning, it’s highly important that learning platforms offer easy, straightforward and clear websites. Most often, students decide on which platform to use based on their first impression of the site.

The Udacity website is neat, precise and informative, though not very differently made from other e-learning websites. It allows students to search for specific courses or explore their programs to find what they want, or explore courses based on skill or by the school. It also clearly states its partners as well as the impressive numbers it’s racked up over the years. Easy to navigate and providing all the required information, Udacity scores big in terms of its ease of use and user-friendliness.

Price

If you say price doesn’t matter, you’re probably lying or have a will to learn that can rival Hermoine Granger’s. Either way, different online platforms have different pricing options, such as subscriptions, one-time payments, or bundles. Most online platforms have a hard time finding the right amount to charge customers, with the whole business vs educating all dilemma. For this reason, some courses are free and some are chargeable.

As mentioned earlier, Udacity offers around 200 free courses. Enrolling for these courses as going to the site, registering and starting the learning process! However, free courses rarely provide the chance to interact with other students or teachers, too. Nanodegrees require a monthly subscription whereas Georgia Tech degrees call for a one-time payment. Perhaps the biggest problem is the huge gap between the free courses and the paid-for open courses. The least-priced course is around $800!

The Experience of Learning

Learning happens best when you enjoy it. Boring lectures that are hard to understand can majorly slow down the learning process. Udacity, at least with regard to its free programs, provides interactive lessons, exercises and videos that keep students engaged.

Quality of Lessons

What you learn is highly important, especially when you’re paying for certification. Many students depend on these online courses to build their job profiles and skillsets. Udacity’s courses offer pretty great content with real-life projects and case studies from industry experts. As mentioned earlier, they’re interactive and fun and there’s hardly any scope to go wrong when you have the kind of industry experts on board that Udacity does.

Final Thoughts on Udacity

It would seem that the popularity of MOOCs and the competition among e-learning portals are correlated, with an increase in one causing an increase in the other. With plenty of new kids popping up all around the block, existing platforms need to stay on top of their game, whether it’s by adding new features, introducing new courses, roping in more industry experiences, or offering great pricing on their packages. If learning has always excited you, these platforms are God’s gift to mankind!

Udacity is a great platform to turn to for some quality learning. However, there have been reports of unsatisfactory customer service and the lack of a student community. Considering that there are no provisions to interact with other students, this isn’t surprising. Additionally, the portal only focuses on IT-related courses, which leaves out students who are looking for other areas of study. Lastly, if you’re going to enroll for a course that isn’t free, be aware that this might burn a hole the size of a pancake in your pocket.