Codecademy and Udemy are giants in the world of online learning.
But which is better, Codecademy or Udemy?
In this article, I'll be comparing Udemy and Codecademy in terms of teaching, courses, pricing, features and more. All to help you decide which one best fits your needs.
This is a very detailed review, so here are the headlines if you’re short on time.
Codecademy is the better site if you want to focus specifically on computer science and coding. Its style of teaching is more hands-on and practical, which is great for developing experience and essential if you want to see your skills improve fast. Codecademy is a subscription platform.
Udemy is a much broader site with over 204,000 classes. Like Codecademy it covers computer science and coding but offers courses in a wide range of other categories too. So you have a lot more choice when it comes to choosing what to learn. And you can buy courses singly without committing to a subscription (though a monthly plan is available).
Summary: Codecademy is a better option for coding and computer science related subjects as it's their specialty. And the code-as-you-go approach helps you learn faster. Udemy is a great option if you want a one stop shop for all your online learning needs – whether you're looking to change career or to take up a fun hobby or skill.
This side by side comparison table provides a more detailed overview of the key differences and similarities between Udemy and Codecademy.
|No. of courses||204,000 +||145 +|
|No. of students||54 million +||50 million +|
|Teachers||Anyone can create and offer a course||Self-led|
|Specialization||Various||Computer Science & coding|
|Pricing||Individual courses from $12.99Monthly subscription $29.99||$239.88 (yearly) or $39.99 (monthly)|
|Features||-204,000+ courses in 10 broad categories |
-Many professional instructors, including tech CEOs, academics and award-winning authors
-Individual courses paid for separately or monthly subscription
-On-demand video lessons accompanied by downloadable learning materials
-500+ free courses
|-Courses in computer science and 15+ major programming languages, including Python, SQL and R-A code|
-as-you-go teaching method to develop practical skills
-60+ free courses
-Workspaces to code on your own
-A coding community to interact with through forums and events
|Pros||-Impressive range of courses |
-Constant sales, deals and promotions
-Many successful and professional instructors
-Teaches skills that equip you for the changing nature of work
-Courses go into very specific and intricate detail
|-Practical lessons designed to help you learn quickly and efficiently |
-Resources to support learning
-Clearly structured and put together
-Aesthetically pleasing and extremely high quality
-Engaging and gets you coding from day one
|Cons||-Not all courses are of equal quality |
-Certificates aren’t accredited by any university or institution
|-Less content for seasoned programmers |
-Text-based learning which some students may struggle with compared to video lessons
|Best for||-Learners who want to dive into a wide range of disciplines |
-Those that like to take courses as they come, rather than buy a subscription
-People who enjoy a combination of learning resources, in video, audio and text formats
-Business owners and managers looking for a wholesale way to educate their team
|-People looking for a quick route into the world of coding at no cost|
-Anyone looking to upskill themselves in computer science related areas
-Learners who like to gain information through practical, hands-on exercises
-Employers who want to update their teams with tech related skills
|More info||Go to Udemy||Go to Codecademy|
About Codecademy and Udemy
Before we compare them, let's have a closer look at Udemy and Codecademy individually to see what they're all about.
Codecademy has over 50 million users and is considered by some to be the default place to learn how to code online.
Founded in 2011 by Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski, Codecademy was created to offer coding classes without costing users anything.
You can sign up for an account and access multiple courses (around 60) for free.
Currency there are 12 programming languages available on the site, including Python, Java and Go.
Outside of these, you can also pursue particular courses focused on specific skills or careers in data science, particularly using the new Pro option, which is paid for through a subscription service.
Lessons are taught in a code-as-you-go style, meaning you’ll be presented with a new concept and examples, and then asked to apply that to a challenge or question.
Codecademy has expanded rapidly and impressively since it was founded over a decade ago, with over 50 million users from over 190 countries and 3.7 billion code submissions.
Udemy is one of the fastest-growing and popular providers of online education and is widely recommended for both professionals and amateurs if they want to acquire a new skill, fast.
Founded in 2010 by Eren Bali and other educators, the site has grown to teach over 54 million students across the globe.
The site offers courses (over 204,000) in a massive range of disciplines. Each is led by knowledgeable practitioners and courses are in video, audio and textual formats.
You can buy courses singly on Udemy. Each one is individually priced and led by an instructor who practises the discipline. Purchasing a course gives you lifetime access to it, and all of its resources. You can access some courses for free.
Udemy also offers a monthly subscription called the Personal Plan. This gives you unlimited access to a curated collection of 6,000+ top courses for as long as your subscription is active.
It is the largest Ed Tech company of its kind and 80% of Fortune 100 companies trust Udemy for employee upskilling including Apple, Unicef, PayPal, Accenture, Samsung, Unilever, Instacart, and Okta.
Summary: Both were founded at around the same time and have grown to reach a similar number of learners. However, whereas Udemy is focused on being a provider of a wide range of courses by various instructors, Codecademy is more streamlined, with lessons being taught on a similar topic and all in some way relating to computer science.
Udemy vs Codecademy courses
|No. of Courses||200,000 +||145 +|
Finance & Accounting
IT & Software
Health & Fitness
|No. of Free Courses||500+||60+|
Let’s take a deeper look at the difference between the courses.
Codecademy has a wide range of courses, some of which are free and some of which you receive through purchasing a Pro subscription.
The coding languages taught by Codecademy include:
Codecademy also offers lessons on the wider topic of computer science, with a focus on:
- Web development
- Computer science
- Data science
- Machine learning
- Data visualization
Finding the right course for you is easy with Codecademy. On the left-hand tab of the home page, you have the option to browse via Subject or Language.
If you’re new to computer science, the former is a great way of identifying what you might be interested in, whereas the latter is a better option if you know exactly what you need help with. You can also use the search tab to find more specific learning options.
Best Codecademy course
Learn Python 3
Python is one of the most popular coding languages out there, so it makes sense for this to be one of Codecademy’s most popular courses.
This course walks you through the latest developments in Python and shows you how to use it for your own applications, from web design to machine learning.
Following a series of lessons, quizzes and challenges you will learn to:
- Get started with Python syntax and create a point of sale system
- Build control flow into your code
- Store ordered groups of data in lists
- Read loops and write them to solve problems
- Create functions
- Understand and use strings, modules, files and dictionaries
- Get to grips with the differences between data types in Python and how to create your own classes, objects, and interfaces
Udemy has an incredibly vast range of courses in a multitude of disciplines. Anything you can possibly imagine learning probably has a course on Udemy.
From computer science to chemistry to arts and crafts, it's all here, with Udemy dividing its courses into several main categories:
- Finance & Accounting
- IT & Software
- Office Productivity
- Personal Development
- Health & Fitness
You buy courses individually on Udemy. Each course is individually priced, individually purchased and led by an instructor specializing in the discipline.
Purchasing a course will grant you access to all of its resources. This will often include the key lessons, which may take audio, video or text format, as well as any additional learning materials, which can often be downloaded.
A personal plan is available for $29.99 per month. This gives you unlimited access to 6,000 carefully curated, popular courses.
Best Udemy course
2020 Complete Python Development Programme: From Zero To Hero In Python
Created by Jose Portilla, a certified data science instructor with years of teaching experience, this course aims to teach you how to use the Python programming language professionally.
It's an Incredibly comprehensive course with 22 hours of video lessons. Portilla teaches in a straightforward, clear way and provides a wealth of additional resources, including 19 coding exercises.
The course is ideal for beginners and intermediates, easy to follow but not basic.
- How to code professionally with Python 2 and 3
- Advanced features, like working with timestamps
- Understanding decorators and how to create GUI’s
- How to create games with Python
- Using the Jupyter notebook
Summary: In terms of courses, the key difference between Codecademy and Udemy in terms of courses is what they focus on. Codecademy is focused specifically on computer science, whereas with Udemy, this is just one of the many disciplines they offer courses in. You also have the option to purchase courses individually on Udemy without committing to a subscription.
Codecademy vs Udemy teachers & course quality
Having a lots of courses means little without a good teacher or resources to help you learn. The quality of teaching is crucial for anybody interested in developing a new skill.
Although there are differences between the teaching methods of Codecademy and Udemy, the quality of both is very high.
Reading the biographies of the people behind these sites, you come to know that these are highly qualified individuals with a deep knowledge, understanding and (importantly) passion for what they teach.
Udemy teachers and quality
Udemy is a platform which gives anyone who is passionate about what they know and wants to share it the opportunity to create and offer a course on its platform.
There are guidelines as to what is allowed on the site. For instance, each course must contain at least 30 minutes of video and at least five separate lectures, and there are restricted topics eg: anything to do with dating or sexuality.
However, it’s not necessary for any instructor to have any formal teaching experience.
That said, a number of Udemy’s instructors are tenured professors, award winning artists or Tech CEOs. They include:
- Rob Percival – web developer and entrepreneur who has taught over 120k students to code on Udemy
- Victor Bastos – internet developer who has taught over 50k students web development from scratch
- Jose Portilla – head of data science at Pierian Data who teaches the top course, From Zero to Hero in Python
Instructors usually list their qualifications on the course page. For example, here are the credentials of the two teachers leading Music Production In Ableton Live.
- Tomas George has a MMus Masters Degree in Music Production and a BA(Hons) Degree in Music Composition. He is also the creator of some of the world's most popular audio and music production courses – with over 250,000 students.
- Ian Alexander has a MA Masters Degree in Music Production and BA(Hons) Degree in Music Production. He is a professional Audio and Mastering Engineer.
Given the range of instructors, no one lesson is the same. But Udemy also has a strong vetting process for its instructors and courses, and you can get a very good feel for your instructor’s quality through reading their credentials as well as reviews of their courses.
Lessons will often take pre-recorded video form, which you will be able to consume on-demand, whenever you like. These will be led by your instructor walking you through ideas relevant to your discipline.
But there is also a massive range of additional learning resources available with most courses. These will often be downloadable texts, articles and other materials relevant to what you're studying.
Codecademy teachers and quality
Codecademy is different from Udemy in the sense that most of its teaching is self-led.
Typically, a key concept is introduced and explained in text form and a range of examples is provided. Your new knowledge is embedded through completing short tasks and challenges, which help you identify any weaknesses and provide you with hands-on knowledge.
This means that many find the quality of the lessons very high because you are engaging with new concepts directly and practicing what you will be doing when it comes to writing code.
However, behind the scenes expert data scientists and software engineers work to make the lessons run as engagingly as possible.
The individuals putting the lessons together are often academics with PhDs in the field or with years of relevant experience.
Summary: Udemy has a massive range of teachers, which might seem risky. However, they are all carefully vetted and filtered and you can often read their professional biography and qualifications before starting the course. In comparison, Codecademy is mainly text and project based and led by you completing various tasks and challenges. Which is right for you will depend on your aims and preferences.
Codecademy vs Udemy pricing
|Yearly Price||N/A||$239.88 ($19.99 a month)|
|Individual Course Cost||From $12.99||N/A|
|Free Trial||7 day free trial of monthly plan||7 day free trial|
Within 30 days of purchase or
before course completion
What’s important to keep in mind is how much you think you’ll use each website, and whether or not that justifies the cost.
Codecademy offers a lot of content for free, with over 60 courses on programming languages, computer architecture and more.
Codecademy Pro costs $239.88 (or $19.99 per month) billed yearly and $39.99 a month billed monthly.
On top of everything you get with the standard free version, you’ll have access to members-only courses and content, step-by-step guidance, certificates of completion and the chance to complete real-world projects.
There is a 7-day free trial with this option which you can cancel at any time.
Udemy courses can cost anything between $12.99 and $199.99. However, there is the chance to get major discounts on the majority of their courses.
Courses are typically purchased individually. The Personal Plan, which gives you unlimited access to 6,000 carefully curated courses, is $29.99 per month. The Personal Plan has a seven day free trial.
There are over 500 free courses that you can find on Udemy, covering around 25 topics.
To find these courses, it is as simple as Googling Free Udemy courses.
Codecademy vs Udemy certificate value
Most paid courses on Udemy will offer you a certificate of completion. You receive your certificate when all the elements of the course have been marked as complete.
Click on the trophy symbol to view your certificate. This will take you through to a page that will give you the option of downloading the certificate, which you can save as a .pdf or .jpeg file.
Codecademy only offers certificates for courses taken when you subscribe to Codecademy Pro. These demonstrate the completion of all the tasks and tests in whatever course you’ve taken.
In both cases the certificates generally only indicate completion and are not accredited by a university. However, some Udemy certificates are accredited by independent bodies which are not formally recognised.
Codecademy vs Udemy features
Let’s take a closer look at what features each platform offers.
- 204,000+ courses – 600 are free
- Over 10 teaching categories that include development, business and IT & software
- Well-regarded, professional instructors, including tech CEOs, tenured professors and award-winning artists
- Individual courses that you pay for separately as well as a monthly subscription plan
- On-demand video lessons accompanied by downloadable learning materials
- Courses In over 15 major programming languages, including Python, SQL, R and more
- A code-as-you-go teaching method, where you develop your practical skills as you learn on the spot
- Over 60 courses are free
- Workspaces where you can code on your own
- A community of coders to interact with through forums and events
- Courses on content beyond programming languages, including machine learning, web development and data visualization
Udemy vs Codecademy customer support
Codecademy’s customer support takes the form of the Codecademy Help Center. This has a main landing page which features a search bar where you can look for help with whatever problem you’re facing.
The main page also has featured articles on common problems, with a Customer Support Service you can contact Mon-Fri, 10 PM – 6 PM EST.
Similarly, Udemy’s Help Page contains a search tab where you can ask for help, as well as a range of FAQs and topics that typically require some kind of assistance.
However, the Help Page does not contain a direct customer support service, so Codecademy is the better option in terms of customer support.
Codecademy vs Udemy: Which is best for Businesses?
Both Codecademy and Udemy cater for businesses.
|Small teams||Team Plan (up to 20 users)$360 per user per year6,500 courses + the mobile app||Codecademy teams Full unlimited access and reporting-No fixed price – contact sales|
|Medium to large teams||Enterprise Plan (21+ users)|
– No fixed price – contact sales
– As above + custom topics and the ability to host proprietary courses
|Leadership||Leadership Development Program|
– No fixed price – contact sales
– 100+ Exec level courses from top institutions- Live events
– AI analytics and insights
Summary: Whereas Udemy has broken down its offer for business teams, Codecademy tailor their offer according to specific needs. Ultimately, which one is the right option for you will depend on your business. If you know that you want to upskill your workforce specifically with computer sciences competencies, then the better option is probably Codecademy.
Codecademy and Udemy alternatives
Codecademy and Udemy aren’t the only e-learning options. Here’s four alternatives to both of these sites.
edX is one of the biggest education platforms on the internet. It has become renowned for teaching coding, computer science and other disciplines. These are led by the top universities and institutions that edX partners with.
Like Udemy, there is a massive range of courses in an incredible amount of disciplines, typically purchased individually. But where edX is different is its partner institutions.
Paid certificates offered by edX are accredited by some of the world's leading colleges, including Harvard, MIT and Yale. If that prestige interests you, check out our full edX review for more detail.
Like edX, Coursera partners with universities across the world to provide certifiable and recognised online learning content.
Coursera is also similar to Codecademy in that many courses offer a subscription-based service, so if that’s something you like, you can read our full review of Coursera here.
Like Codecademy, this alternative is specifically geared towards computer science, coding and data science.
However, Datacamp is primarily video instruction, so the teaching is a little more personal and in-depth, but there is less of an emphasis on practicality and coding yourself.
Since being founded in 2011, Skillshare has become the world’s largest online learning community for creatives. It has more than 40,000 courses and 12+ million users.
Skillshare is renowned for its classes in creative disciplines such as photography and sketching, but also offers courses in fields such as business and productivity.
This site offers a very similar model to Udemy in that Many of its courses are taught by industry experts but it is also an open platform where everyday people who have harnessed creative expertise can upload classes.
Unlike Udemy, Skillshare is a subscription only platform and membership gives you full unfettered access to everything on the platform. Whereas a Udemy plan only gives you access to 6,000 of its most popular courses.
Udemy vs Codecademy: pros, cons, and best for
You're probably slowly making your mind up as to which of these courses is better. Below is a pros and cons list to sum up the differences.
- Covers over 15 programming languages and how they relate to wider skills
- Practical lessons designed to help you learn quickly and efficiently
- Resources outside of lessons to help your learning
- Clearly structured and comprehensively put together
- Aesthetically pleasing and extremely high quality
- Keeps coding interesting by showing how it applies to the real world
- Focused on giving you a strong foundation in a new discipline
- Gets you coding from day one
- Might not be of as much use to you if you’re a seasoned programmer
- A text-based teaching style which some students may struggle with compared to video lessons
- Anyone interested in learning the basics of computer science, without paying a thing
- People looking for a straightforward introduction to computer science
- Anyone looking to upskill themselves in the data science and machine learning areas
- Learners who like to gain information through practical, hands-on exercises
- Employees who want to bring their companies into the modern age with new skills across their team
- An impressive range of courses
- Constant sales, deals and promotions
- Passionate, successful and professional instructors
- Gives you freedom as a learner
- Teaches skills that equip you for the changing nature of work
- Courses go into very specific and intricate detail
- Not all courses are of equal quality
- Course certificates aren’t accredited by any university or institution
- Anyone looking to develop skills in tech and computing, but struggling to find a way in
- Learners who want to dive deep into a specific aspect of a discipline
- Those that like to take courses as they come, rather than purchase a whole subscription
- People who enjoy a combination of learning resources, in video, audio and text formats
- Business owners and managers looking for a wholesale way to educate their team
Conclusion: Codecademy vs Udemy
Overall, both of these sites are very strong options. If you pick either one you're opening a world of learning.
Ultimately, the site that’s best for you will depend on what you’re looking for, and which of these pros you value the most.
Codecademy is the best option for people looking to focus on coding and computer science. Its teaching is all geared towards this discipline.
With Codecademy, you’ll pick up new skills and information rapidly by coding as you go, developing knowledge and simultaneously gaining essential hands-on experience.
In comparison, Udemy is better for those who are interested in learning about a wider range of skills.
Courses are all purchased and developed individually, so your instructor will typically have a really strong understanding of the topic, and there’s a wide range of instructors with different specialisms to choose from.
If I had to choose one, I’d say Udemy is probably the better option broadly. This is purely because although its computer science courses are still very well regarded, it has an incredible range of courses in a vast number of different topics.
However, you’ll probably prefer Codecademy if you're looking to learn how to code, mainly because its style of teaching provides a lot more practical experience and allows you to develop more intuition on your own.
With all the information laid out in this article, you should be well equipped to decide what's best for you.
And don’t forget, both sites offer free courses, with a 7-day free trial option for subscriptions and refund options for most Udemy courses.
So there’s nothing to lose from trying both!
Comparing Udemy vs Codecademy: our methodology
To make this the most balanced comparison possible, I’ve spent a lot of time researching both Codecademy and Udemy.
I’ve assessed both platforms in their own right and used that experience to make my comparison, whilst also considering other, similar sites in order to properly get a sense of Udemy and Codecademy’s strengths and weaknesses.
My research included taking courses, reading other reviews, researching the instructors and teams behind both sites and spending a lot of time browsing what was on offer.
Ultimately, this gave me a good understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of both Codecademy and Udemy, and how they compare with each other.
Hopefully sharing my experience has helped you decide for yourself.
Udemy is the better option in my view as it offers a wider range of courses whilst still providing quality lessons in the disciplines provided by Codecademy. However, you may prefer the teaching style and coding focus of Codecademy, so it really depends on what you’re looking for.
This depends on how many courses you take with Udemy which allows you to purchase courses individually. A monthly subscription to Udemy is $29.99, whereas a Codecademy subscription is $239.88 (or $19.99 per month) when billed yearly and $39.99 a month when billed monthly.
Udemy has more with over 200,000 courses. Codecademy offers courses in 14 programming languages with more courses on how they apply to wider topics in computer science.
Charlie is a student reading politics at King’s College London. He is also a passionate musician with over 14 years of experience. In his free time, he also enjoys cinema, long-distance running and learning new things.