Why Udemy Courses Are So Cheap

When scanning through the vast library of Udemy, one can’t help but wonder: why are Udemy courses so cheap?

Essentially, Udemy courses are affordable because they do not include traditional costs associated with higher education, such as building, personnel, or accreditation costs. They are created by industry professionals who wish to share their knowledge at an inexpensive price, broadening access to learning for everyone.

Ready to learn more? Dive deeper with us as we dissect the reasons contributing to Udemy’s budget-friendly course rates in this short guide.

Understanding Udemy and its Marketplace

Udemy serves as a platform that allows instructors from different walks of life to create courses and sell them to interested learners. Because it’s a marketplace, it thrives on the idea of demand and supply. In this kind of model, tutors are responsible for developing their training content and for setting their price for those courses.

Unveiling the Udemy Business Model

Understanding the business model of Udemy is key to comprehending why its courses are so cheap. Udemy operates as an online marketplace for learning, where tutors can upload their courses and prospective students can purchase them. The major selling point of Udemy is that it offers courses on just about anything you can think of, from graphic design and music production to quantum physics and life coaching.

The affordability and wide range of courses available make Udemy desirable to many. Both the demand and supply dynamics are high on this platform, driving down the prices.

One essential fact to consider is that Udemy gets its revenue by taking a share of the course fees. The portion it takes varies depending on whether the student found the course through Udemy’s organic search or an instructor’s marketing efforts. In the first scenario, Udemy takes 50% of the course fee, whilst in the second, the instructor retains 97%.

Demystifying the Blend of Free and Paid Courses

A unique feature of Udemy is the availability of a blend of free and paid courses. This is done not only to cater to a wide range of customers’ financial abilities but also to draw in learners. The free courses act as a draw for students who might be tempted to buy paid courses after trying out the free ones.

Free courses on Udemy typically act as a marketing strategy, offering a teaser of sorts for the more comprehensive paid courses. Paid courses, on the other hand, tend to be more comprehensive and detailed, offering extensive value to the student. It’s a win-win approach. Aspiring learners can get started with no financial investment, and if they find value, they can proceed to purchase their preferred paid courses.

And though both free and paid courses come with their unique features and benefits, it’s not uncommon to find paid Udemy courses going for as low as $10 or $20 during sales, which happens quite frequently on the platform. This is particularly common during special seasons, or when new courses are being promoted.

How Pricing Works on Udemy

Understanding the pricing system on Udemy requires taking a look at the power dynamics between the platform and the instructors. The platform takes an interesting approach towards pricing their courses, putting a lot of control in the hands of the instructors.

The Power in the Hands of the Instructor

Udemy allows instructors to price their courses anywhere between $20 and $200. In this way, instructors have a level of control over how much they think their course is worth. This economic flexibility allows experts from different professional backgrounds to share their knowledge with students from all over the world, while at the same time earning for their efforts.

Udemy’s Approach to Dynamic Pricing

Another factor contributing to the low course prices is Udemy’s approach to dynamic pricing. Essentially, this means that Udemy constantly adjusts the prices of the courses based on a variety of factors. These include ongoing demand, the popularity of the course, the instructor’s reputation, and even the geographical location of the students.

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Digging Deeper into Udemy’s Regular Sales and Discounts

One of Udemy’s most distinctive pricing features is its frequent sales and discounts. Udemy often runs promotions that can bring the cost of their courses down as low as $9.99. These discounts are available during events known as ‘Udemy Sales’, which can happen at any time throughout the year, but are particularly common around holidays and at the start of new seasons.

It’s also worth noting that once a student enrolls in a course, they receive lifetime access to the content. This means they can revisit the course content at any time, without having to pay again, adding great value to the initially low cost.

Why So Cheap? Factors Behind the Low-Cost Udemy Courses

Udemy, a renowned online learning platform, offers an extensive range of courses tailored to satisfy the hunger of knowledge amongst diverse learners. Many have wondered, however, why Udemy courses are so incredibly cheap in comparison to the high-value knowledge they embody. Here, we unveil the factors contributing to Udemy’s affordability.

The Role of Bulk Sale in Price Reduction

One contributing factor to these low costs is Udemy’s bulk sale strategy. Unlike traditional education providers, Udemy hosts thousands of courses, each created by different instructors. This massive source of courses allows Udemy to sell them in large quantities. They can afford to lower prices because selling courses in bulk equates to more sales and hence a better profit.

Bulk discounts, promotions and sales are common strategies employed by Udemy to encourage students to enroll in multiple courses. For instance, Udemy often has site-wide sales where courses are offered for prices as low as $10 to $15, regardless of their original prices.

A Greater Focus on Accessibility and Availability

Another key factor for Udemy’s low-cost courses is its commitment to make education universally accessible and available. Udemy’s main vision is to democratize education, making it affordable for everyone across the globe. These courses remain accessible and affordable thanks to Udemy’s pricing strategy, which targets a broader audience.

Udemy has over 30 million students and 50,000 instructors teaching courses in over 60 languages, further emphasizing its effort towards inclusivity. Their courses are available anytime, anywhere, and are compatible with a wide range of devices including computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Strike a Balance: Udemy’s Vision of Quality and Affordability

Despite the low prices, Udemy does not compromise on course quality. Udemy holds a stringent course quality checklist that all courses must pass before they are published. Its model allows instructors to focus on providing quality content, while Udemy takes care of the platform, marketing and customer support. This model balances out to provide students with high-quality education at a very affordable price.

Udemy also offers a 30-day money back guarantee on all its courses. This not only increases trust among potential learners but also encourages instructors to create and maintain high-quality courses. Udemy’s successful blend of quality and affordability seems evident in its registered user base, which continues to grow steadily each year.

Highlighting the Quality Despite The Low Price

Understanding the pricing system with Udemy courses can be a bit confusing. The platform hosts some courses priced at $200 and others that you can obtain for $10 or even free. It’s easy to fall under the illusion that because courses are cheap, they may offer less value. However, that’s not the case with Udemy. Its objective is to provide accessible and comprehensive education for everyone, and thus, the prices are designed to be affordable.

In light of such reasonable pricing, the question inevitably arises – how can one draw a line between the price tag and the knowledge gained?

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Price Tag v/s Knowledge Gain: Drawing the Line

Contrary to the common misconception, Udemy’s cheap courses do not necessarily correlate with low quality. In fact, some of the best-rated courses on the platform are priced at $10 or even free. The beauty of Udemy lies in its inclusivity, aiming to democratize education and make it accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial status.

Despite the low price tag, Udemy has a rigorous course creation and review process. Instructors, who are specialists in their fields, create their course materials. These course materials, including video lectures, quizzes, and assignments, are then uploaded and reviewed by Udemy before going live for students to access. This guarantees the quality of courses regardless of the price tag.

Udemy’s Review System and Course Rating: Ensuring Quality

Another tool that helps assure the quality of Udemy courses irrespective of their price is the platform’s transparent review and rating system. Each course on Udemy is rated by those who have taken it. Prospective students can utilize these reviews to identify a course’s quality, regardless of its cost.

Udemy’s rating system emploies a five-star model; any course with a 4.5 or above rating is usually an indication of a high-quality course. This provides confidence to learners that they are investing their money and time wisely, even if the investment is as small as $10.

In addition, the robust and strict review system ensures that substandard courses don’t make it to the platform, maintaining the overall quality of the courses offered by Udemy. They assess courses based on factors like audio and video quality, clarity of instruction, and inclusion of supplementary resources.

In summary, despite the cheap price tags, Udemy’s strict quality assurance processes and transparent rating system ensure that a high level of education is available to all. This combination of affordability and quality makes Udemy an attractive choice for lifelong learners worldwide.

Consequences of Cheap Pricing Strategy on Udemy’s Ecosystem

Udemy offers a broad range of courses at significantly lower prices than traditional learning platforms. While this pricing strategy can be extremely beneficial for students, it impacts several aspects of the Udemy ecosystem, particularly the instructors and the students’ perception of course value.

Impact on Instructors and their Revenue Stream

While Udemy’s lower course prices may promote more sales, they also affect the earnings of the instructors. Where instructors from premium platforms often earn heftily from each sale, Udemy instructors earn considerably less due to the reduced course price.

Consider the following comparison:

Platform Average Earnings per Sale (USD)
Udemy $10-$15
Premium Learning Platforms $200-$500

This means to equal the earnings of instructors on premium platforms, Udemy instructors may need to consistently generate a significantly higher volume of sales. This typically leads instructors to create several courses simultaneously, which can potentially impact the overall quality of content.

Affecting Students’ Perception of Course Value and Effort

Another impact of Udemy’s low-cost pricing strategy is its effect on students’ perception of course value. When courses are cheaper, students often perceive them as lower quality, even if the instructors are highly qualified and the content is exceptional.

Moreover, students might feel less commitment towards completing a course they’ve purchased for a relatively lower price. Research indicates that people tend to place a higher value on things they’ve invested more in, and this applies to learning as well. Students who pay more for courses are typically more motivated to complete them and get their money’s worth.

This perception could significantly impact student engagement levels and their overall learning experience in the Udemy ecosystem. Consequently, this perception could also affect the number of course completions, student reviews, and ratings, which are all crucial aspects of an instructor’s reputation and future sales on the platform.

Cheap Udemy courses: A Boon or a Bane?

Both critics and supporters shed different lights on the affordability of Udemy courses. In this section, we’ll see it from both perspectives, starting with the students and then moving on to the critics.

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Approaching Cheap Courses: A Student’s Perspective

From a student’s perspective, the affordability of Udemy courses is an absolute boon. It gives a great opportunity to people who cannot afford the extravagant costs of traditional classroom education. Moreover, it appeals to students who want to learn multiple skills without breaking the bank.

For instance, a Programming course in a university might cost somewhere in the range of $400 – $1500 (or even higher in some cases). On the other hand, Udemy offers Programming courses often at a price under $20. The following table illustrates a price comparison between traditional education and Udemy:

Education Type Programming Course Cost
Traditional Education University Level Programming Course $400 – $1500
Udemy Online Programming Course Under $20

Moreover, Udemy frequently offers discounts, making the courses even more affordable. Hence, for students, cheap Udemy courses mean accessible and affordable education.

Addressing the Critics: A Reality Check

On the contrary, critics often find the affordability of Udemy courses questionable. They argue that this affordability compromises the quality of the courses. They claim that when instructors are not adequately paid for their work, it can lead to a decrease in the quality of the content they produce.

Another point of contention is the overselling of courses. Critics point out that while Udemy has over 150,000 courses, not all of them are of top-notch quality. They believe that the sheer volume of courses, combined with low prices, leads to an oversaturated market where quality courses get lost in the crowd.

However, it is important to note that Udemy maintains a strict quality control system. Every course on the platform goes through a quality review process, ensuring that it meets Udemy’s course quality standards checklist. While not every course on Udemy might be perfect, the platform’s commitment to quality outweighs the critics’ apprehensions about course quality.

Alternatives to Udemy: Exploring the E-Learning Space

The eLearning industry has seen a boom in recent years, with several platforms taking center stage. If you’ve been exploring online learning platforms, you might have come across alternatives to Udemy. Here’s a rundown of some of the popular ones:


Coursera offers courses from top universities and organizations worldwide. With more than 4,000 courses in its catalog, Coursera provides an extensive choice for learners. Learners can earn university-recognized degrees or professional certificates. However, compared to Udemy, Coursera’s courses can be pricier and are more academic in nature.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning, previously known as Lynda, specializes in software, creative, and business skills. It offers a subscription model, meaning you pay a monthly fee for access to all courses. This can be a great value if you plan on taking multiple courses. The courses on LinkedIn Learning are typically more polished and professionally produced than Udemy’s.


EdX is a nonprofit organization that offers university-level courses in a wide variety of disciplines. It offers free access to course materials and charges a fee if you want a certified completion. Similar to Coursera, courses on EdX are typically more academic and rigorous than courses offered on Udemy.


Skillshare is another subscription-based platform, focusing on creative courses such as design, photography, and writing. As with LinkedIn Learning, a single monthly fee gives you access to all their courses. The quality of the courses can vary as they’re taught by industry professionals and enthusiasts, similar to Udemy.

As you can see, there are a variety of options in the eLearning space, each with its strengths. The choice of platform should largely depend on your learning needs and preferences, whether that’s the affordable, varied courses on Udemy, the more academic approach of Coursera and EdX, or the creative focus of Skillshare.

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