by Chris Murray
Udemy (a portmanteau, of sorts, of “U” (you) and “academy”) was created in 2010 as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provider, a modern upgrade to the correspondence courses taught by mail a century prior. The platform was aimed at the adult professional.
The classes offered have an obvious business focus – IT/computer skills, human resources, and management training – but also offer business-adjacent classes like language learning and basic first aid. The subjects are taught by several different presenters, so if you don’t like one person’s style, you can easily switch to another. Additionally, students can find courses taught in over 60 languages.
The user interface is reminiscent of Netflix; you have the courses you selected at the top, and then other subjects below based on courses you have already taken; other courses popular with Udemy students; and the newest courses recently uploaded.
The courses are taught by pre-recorded video, and vary in length and intensity. Many have quizzes and/or sections where you can interact with other students or with the teacher; while some offer certificates at the end or prepare you to take the actual certification exam. There are no end dates or time requirements, although Udemy does update their classes frequently, so in a rapidly changing field, I think it is best to take the most recent class.
There is also an app available for mobile use, and you can download the courses to watch offline, cast them to your TV with Chromecast or AppleTV, and several courses can even be listened to like a podcast.
“Udemy is one of my favorite training tools,” said Librarian Manuela Miracle. “I was able to take advantage of classes on management, listening skills and public speaking which I found to be very helpful. I also appreciated the ability to pause my classes as needed, pick them back up when I had the time, and revisit topics as necessary to reinforce key ideas. The ease of use, the utility, and the availability of certification make this an indispensable product for those seeking to grow in their careers and to add skills to their resume.”
And, I must say, I agree with my colleague.