Udemy vs. Lynda.comMay 9, 2016
Lynda vs Udemy: A Side-By-Side Comparison.
Interested in taking online courses? 2 popular sites are Udemy and Lynda. You’ll be pleased to find excellent courses at each site. But do you know which courses are best to take at each of them? Let’s talk about both Udemy and Lynda and how you can make the most of learning at these sites.
What is Udemy?
Udemy is an online learning marketplace. It was created by a software designer, Eren Bali and was launched in 2010 by Oktay Caglar and Gagan Biyani in Bali. The site has continued to grow over the years. Today, more than 9 million students enjoy more than 35 thousand courses taught by expert instructors. All courses are offered on-demand and through videos that instruct. You’ll find courses on many topics from business/career, languages, hobbies, software, personal development and more.
What is Lynda?
Lynda offers online education focusing on business, creative and technology skills. Courses are conducted through video learning. The company began in 1995 and is now part of LinkedIn.com. This site was founded by Lynda Weinman, who was a special effects animator and multimedia professor that founded a digital arts school in partnership with her husband Bruce Heavin, an artist. Lynda.com was meant to support her in-person courses when it began and it grew to an online learning site so by 2002 they were offering courses online. Today at the site you’ll find more than 4 thousand video courses taught by expert teachers.
Here’s what’s similar about both these companies (for the users):
- Courses taught by expert instructors.
- Courses delivered through video instruction.
- Both sites have business, design and technology courses.
- Courses are broken into shorter videos so you can watch one segment, a few segments or the entire course at once – whatever is convenient for your schedule.
- There are courses ideal for beginners, intermediate learners and advanced students too.
Now Let’s talk a bit about what is different about these sites (for the user):
Average Cost Of Lynda vs Udemy:
Udemy – Courses most often range from $29 to $99. Some courses are offered for free and then others are a higher price than mentioned. Keep in mind that Udemy also offers discounts and coupons, so the original price can drop at times.
Lynda – You pay a monthly membership fee of $25. With this membership fee you can watch as many videos as you like. This is a Standard membership and you have access to all of the transcripts, certificates, playlists and more. With a Premium membership at a monthly cost of $37.50 you additionally have access to practice files where you can follow along with the instructor during the course.
Pros & Cons with Pricing:
At Udemy, you’ll only pay for the courses you take. So if you choose 3 courses in a 6 month period, then you’ll only be billed for those.
With Lynda, you can take as many courses as you like with their monthly payment plan.
The challenge with Lynda’s plan is that they only offer technology, business and design courses. If you can’t find what you want there and you are paying for their monthly plan – then you’ll have to pay a different online learning center a fee to take a different course as well to learn what you want to know.
Udemy gives you lifelong access to a course once you’ve paid for it. Lynda’s membership fee only gives you access to courses while you are paying their monthly fee.
Variety Of Courses:
Udemy – You’ll find courses in Development, Business, IT & Software, Office Productivity, Personal Development, Design, Marketing, Lifestyle, Photography, Health & Fitness, Teacher Training, Music, Academics, Language and also Test Prep. As you can see, courses cover business topics as well as personal interest.
Courses we saw featured included:
- Create hand drawn character animations using Photoshop
Instructor: Pablo Stanley
- Facebook Marketing: Set Up Your First Like Campaign
Instructor: Sandor Kiss, Patrick Dermak
- Phone and Skype Interview Mastery to Get More Job Offers!
Instructor: Steve Ballinger
Lynda – At this site you’ll find courses in Developer, Design, Web, Photography, Business, Education, 3D & Animation, Video and Audio & Music. Lynda focuses on technology, business and creative courses. It is a great site to visit if you are looking for courses on this specialty.
The Pros & Cons Of Online Courses in General:
Both clearly offer courses taught by dedicated experts in their field, using video technology to deliver the course.
At Lynda you’ll only find business, technology and design courses. While they are excellent courses, if you want to do something like learn a new language or take a yoga class, they simply will not have it.
Lynda does not offer as many courses as Udemy does. While you can’t compare and contrast each section and course topic, it is easy to see that you would have more options at Udemy.
Lynda adds courses every month, if not every week. Udemy adds courses too but keep in mind because Lynda members pay a monthly fee to have access to all courses, their top benefit is to have access to as many as they could. While there are less courses there now, one could argue that Lynda feels pressure to continue to add courses at a certain pace.
What’s It Like to Use Each Site?
Udemy – Sections are well-organized and help you select courses. They also have sub-sections that make your search results well defined if you search for a course – whether you use the sections and sub-sections or simply search using keywords such as “how to make mobile apps” or “learning Spanish.”
You’ll see the courses on your topic with a heading and a subheading describing what the course is about. A longer description gives you a sense of what will be covered when you sign up for the course.
The only thing we wish was covered more at Udemy was a more in-depth bio of the Instructor. You see their photo and a short, one sentence bio that covers the highlights. But it would be nice to learn more about them.
Taking your course is simple and a very intuitive experience. You sign up and then at the top of the screen click on the Lecture 1 button to start your course. Udemy wants to know about your experience so they will ask you after some of the lectures to rate the course and the instructor on a scale of 1 to 10.
Lynda – This site is smaller than Udemy but their sections too, greet you on the homepage. There are no sub-sections. We wish their Search feature was better organized because they have an excellent variety of courses offered. There is no way to specifically search a Section such as the Design Section for a Photoshop course. You simply use the Search bar at the top of the screen and it searches the entire site for you.
One great thing about Lynda is they will tip you off right away if the course is meant for Beginners, Intermediate or Advanced students. Choose the course you think matches what you want to learn and simply click on the big arrow in the middle to play the video. Your course will begin.
Lynda also shows you a transcript of the course so you can follow it, word for word. This is helpful if you somehow have trouble hearing it or if your speakers aren’t working properly. If you have a Premium membership then you can do the course exercises right along with the instructor.
Both online learning sites offer you an excellent opportunity to advance your skills. Udemy does seem to have more opportunities in many categories for most students. Take a look at Udemy and Lynda to see which courses you would enjoy!