Why Are Udemy Courses So Expensive?

Welcome to this article on the topic of why are Udemy courses so expensive. As an online education study adviser, I have seen many students struggling with the cost of online courses, and Udemy is not an exception. Udemy has become a popular online course marketplace with an extensive range of courses in various fields. However, the prices of Udemy courses can be steep, and many students wonder whether these courses justify their costs. Therefore, in this article, we will explore the factors that contribute to the high cost of Udemy courses and offer you alternative solutions to find affordable and high-value online education options.

Reasons behind high cost of Udemy courses

There are several reasons that contribute to the high cost of Udemy courses:

  • Marketing Expenses: Udemy spends a lot of money on marketing to attract both instructors and students. This includes advertisements, promotions, and partnerships.
  • Instructor Fees: Udemy pays instructors a percentage of the course revenue, usually between 25-97%. Some instructors charge high fees, which drives up the course cost.
  • Platform Fees: Udemy charges a fee for hosting courses on their platform, usually around 3% of the course price. The fees can be higher for some courses or categories.
  • Content Development: Creating quality content for the courses requires extensive research, expertise, and resources. In most cases, instructors have to invest in high-quality equipment to create engaging videos and interactive material.

While these factors contribute to the high cost of Udemy courses, it’s important to recognize that some of these expenses are necessary to maintain the quality of courses. Nevertheless, it’s essential to choose courses that offer the best value for the money you spend.

Pros and cons of Udemy courses

Like any other product or service, Udemy courses come with their advantages and disadvantages. Below are some of the key pros and cons of Udemy courses:


  • Convenience: Udemy courses are accessible from anywhere, offering convenience for busy students who prefer to learn at their own pace.
  • Wide Range of Courses: Udemy offers a vast selection of courses in various disciplines, from IT, design, business, and personal development, among others.
  • One-Time Purchase: Most Udemy courses only require a one-time purchase, allowing students to access the course material and resources anytime they want.
  • Self-Paced Learning: Udemy courses allow students to work at their own pace, enabling them to take the time they need to master the content.


  • Inconsistent Course Quality: With thousands of courses available on the platform, the quality of courses may vary. Some courses may be excellent, while others may lack quality.
  • High Cost: As we discussed earlier, some Udemy courses can be expensive, making it hard for students on a tight budget to access quality courses.
  • Limited Interaction: Udemy courses do not provide much interaction between instructors and students, limiting students’ ability to ask questions or get feedback.
  • Not Accredited: Udemy courses are not accredited, so they may not provide the necessary credentials required by employers or educational institutions.

Understanding these pros and cons can help you make an informed choice when selecting a Udemy course. It’s important to balance the cost and benefits of each course to ensure you get value for your money.

Alternatives to Udemy

If you are looking for affordable and accessible alternatives to Udemy, there are plenty of options available. Here are some of the best ones:

  • Coursera: Coursera is a popular online learning platform with hundreds of courses from top universities worldwide, including Stanford, Yale and Duke. The courses are free, but you have to pay to get a certificate of completion.
  • Open Culture: Open Culture offers thousands of free online courses, audiobooks, textbooks, and e-books on various subjects. The site is updated regularly, and all the resources are available for free.
  • edX: edX is another online learning platform that offers free courses from some of the best universities globally. The site also provides certificates of completion for a fee.
  • Skillshare: Skillshare is a popular platform that offers a wide range of creative and design courses. However, the cost of Skillshare courses can add up over time, making them expensive in the long run. You can learn more about why Skillshare is so expensive in this in-depth article: Why is Skillshare so expensive?.

These alternatives provide quality and affordable education resources without compromising the course’s effectiveness or quality. Do your research to find the platform that best suits your needs and learning style.

Tips for finding affordable Udemy courses

Udemy offers a wide range of courses, and the prices can vary. Here are some tips to help you find affordable yet valuable Udemy courses:

  • Check for Discounts: Udemy offers discounts on courses regularly. Check for promotions on the website or email newsletters.
  • Browse User Reviews: Before committing to a course, check user reviews to get an idea of the course’s quality. You can also filter courses by rating to narrow down your options.
  • Compare Prices: Don’t settle for the first course you see. Check similar courses from other instructors to compare course content and price.
  • Look for Free Courses: Udemy offers thousands of free courses. While most of these courses may not be comprehensive, they can be a great way to explore new topics or skills.
  • Follow Instructors: Some instructors offer free courses or discounts to their followers. Follow your favorite instructors to keep track of any promotions or discounts they offer.
  • Join Groups: Join Udemy groups on Facebook and other social media platforms to learn about discounted courses, new courses, and other related information.

By using these tips, you can find the best Udemy courses for your budget and needs. Always remember to balance the cost of the course with the value you will derive from it.

Interesting facts

  • Udemy’s pricing model relies heavily on content development costs, instructor fees, and marketing expenses, which makes the courses more expensive than other online education platforms.
  • Despite the high prices, Udemy offers flexibility and convenience for learners around the globe.
  • Udacity, Coursera, and other online learning platforms offer more affordable alternatives to Udemy. (Source: RobertVirona)
  • Udacity is known for offering industry-focused courses and hands-on projects, while Coursera offers a range of courses and degrees from top universities worldwide. Both platforms offer high-quality education at a lower cost compared to Udemy.


Real experience

Anna was determined to learn how to code. She had always been interested in technology, and she knew that obtaining coding skills could boost her chances of landing a well-paid job. However, she was a little hesitant about going back to school as her work schedule was unpredictable, and she didn’t want to commit to a rigid classroom schedule. That’s when Anna stumbled upon Udemy, an online learning platform.

As she scoured through the platform’s extensive course catalog, she realized that some courses were significantly costlier than others. She couldn’t understand why some courses were so expensive when others seemed relatively affordable. Anna was frustrated and wasn’t sure if investing in an expensive course was worth it.

She decided to do her research and quickly found out that Udemy’s pricing model depends on various factors like content development cost and instructor fees. Additionally, the platform offers competitive marketing, which increases the cost of some courses. After evaluating the pros and cons, she finally decided on the ideal course that was somewhat expensive but worth it.

Today, Anna is a successful Ruby on Rails developer, and her expertise has helped her secure well-paying jobs. Thanks to Udemy, she now has the coding skills she needs and admires the platform’s innovative approach to online learning.


In conclusion, Udemy courses can be expensive due to various factors such as marketing expenses, instructor fees, and platform fees. While Udemy offers convenience and a broad range of courses in different disciplines, it’s essential to understand the cost and value of each course.

Fortunately, there are several alternatives to Udemy, such as Coursera, Open Culture, and edX, which offer free or affordable online courses from leading universities worldwide. Additionally, by using the tips we shared, such as browsing user reviews, comparing prices, and checking for discounts, you can find valuable Udemy courses at a reasonable price.

Lastly, we also recommend you check out How to Get Discounts on Udemy Courses to get the best deals and save money on Udemy courses.

Remember, online education is a valuable investment that can help you grow your skills and enhance your career prospects. Make sure to choose a high-value course that meets your budget and will improve your knowledge and expertise in your field of interest.

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