Ready to learn, but aren’t sure whether Udemy or Zenva is right for you? While both platforms offer a wide variety of courses in programming, there are some notable differences between them that can make or break your learning experience.
Today, we’re going to explore the pros and cons of each service in a number of categories. In the end, you should be able to make a more informed decision about whether Udemy or Zenva is right for you.
Instructors and Quality Standards
On Udemy, anybody can become an instructor. Free courses have virtually no vetting, while premium courses involve only a slightly more stringent process. While this is great news for aspiring instructors, this has a downside for students.
Each instructor has their own quality standard, and, consequently, video production quality can be as variable as free videos on YouTube. This can especially be the case with audio quality, which can be terrible even on paid courses.
Ultimately, what Udemy gains in instructor choice, it sacrifices with video quality.
Zenva only has a few handfuls of instructors producing the lessons. Thus, if there is an instructor you don’t like, this can be problematic.
What Zenva does offer, however, is a better vetting process. Instructors are hand chosen to create courses, and each course is run through a variety of quality standard checks both before and after it’s published. As such, video lessons are mostly free of issues that bring down the quality. To boot, the instructors are offered assistance at every step, ensuring that their work is the best it can be.
Though Udemy wins in terms of instructor variety, Zenva stands taller with higher quality production focus and more experienced instructors.
Udemy’s instructors have a good amount of control over their courses. Once again, while this is great for instructors, this means students are left at their mercy as to whether the courses are up-to-date.
In fact, many courses on Udemy are now behind the times (for programming, at least). As a consequence, if you’re a beginner, you might wind up buying a course using an older framework or similar. This is not to mention instances where an instructor may have given misinformation. There is no guarantee this information will be fixed, so students may be out of luck with bugs.
Overall, Zenva makes an immense effort to update any courses barring major changes. This can include both remaking older courses or creating entirely new courses.
When it comes to Zenva’s Mini-Degrees and Academies, Zenva also pushes course updates to students for free. Thus, students can continue to learn even as programming practices change. Additionally, course issues are addressed as quickly as possible, so there’s no worry if the instructor made a mistake somewhere.
Though you can find updated courses on Udemy, Zenva’s guarantee and dedication to update all their courses makes them the better investment for the long term.
When it comes to variety, Udemy is the clear leader. Whether you want to learn programming, photography, or something else, Udemy probably has a course for it. As such, you can always find some new skill to learn.
That being said, the fact instructors have more control over the courses can present some uneven distribution on subject matter. For example, if I want to learn Herbalism, I have three pages worth of courses to choose from. On the other hand, if I want to learn Python, I get 94 pages worth.
This bias for certain subjects can also make it hard to pick, as most of the courses cover the same topic simply with a different instructor. Thus, without extensive research, it can be confusing as to which course should be picked.
Zenva definitely does not have the variety that Udemy does. The platform focuses mostly on development and data science, so you can’t exactly go to Zenva to learn how to bandage someone’s arm.
By contrast to Udemy, though, this specialization can make it much more authoritative on the subject matters it does cover. Further, the Mini-Degrees are specifically tailored to build a guided experience. Whether you want to learn web development or game development, Zenva helps you learn the skills you need in an intuitive manner. Even for courses covering similar topics, Zenva uses different projects to illustrate the skills in a way that is new.
For the most part, it’s a tie and depends on what you want to learn. If you need to learn non-programming related subjects, Udemy is the platform to choose. For programming matters, however, Zenva’s focus allows it to provide a friendlier, more guided experience for beginners.
Both platforms deliver their content through video, but Udemy and Zenva do differ in terms of how accessible those videos are, whether in terms of disability or learning styles. So next, we will look at how welcoming both platforms are.
Whether you speak English, German, or something else, you have a high chance of finding something in your native language on Udemy. Thus, in terms of an international audience, this is a great boon.
Unfortunately, that’s where the accessibility stops. Most of the videos on Udemy do not feature Closed Captions, and many of those that do are inferior, auto-generated ones. Furthermore, if your learning style doesn’t suit videos, you don’t have many other options on Udemy for learning.
When it comes to languages, Zenva courses are almost exclusively delivered in English, so you won’t find anything in your native tongue if you struggle with listening to English.
Fortunately, Zenva makes this up in other areas of accessibility. Not only do all the videos featured Closed Captions, but they are also manually generated to ensure high quality. Additionally, Zenva’s lessons come with written summaries, so if you learn better by reading, you have the option to do so.
While multiple languages are nice, Zenva offers more accessibility options no matter how a student needs or prefers to learn.
As expected, Udemy’s website is fairly mobile friendly, with only a few layout issues that don’t really hinder the mobile experience.
Where Udemy shines, though, is with its app. Not only is the app well-made, but it allows for offline video playback for any of the courses you’ve purchased. This makes it very easy to learn on the go regardless of your schedule, so it’s well-suited for anybody.
For the most part, Zenva’s site is perfectly responsive, and there is quality assurance in place to make sure you can watch videos easily from any device.
However, Zenva does lack a mobile app, so you won’t get the same experience you can with Udemy. That being said, Zenva is in the process of developing a competing app, which will greatly change how they stack up here.
For now, Udemy’s mobile app makes a worthwhile experience for those who need to learn on the go. However, this section will be updated at a later date when Zenva’s own mobile app comes out.
Udemy’s focus seems to be on their individual product pages, where you can find collections of reviews from anybody who bought the course. Much like other large online stores, these give you power as a consumer to decide a product’s value.
Yet, there seems to be no clear indication Udemy does anything with a course that receives numerous bad reviews (besides hide it). This is not to mention that like many reviews on larger online stores, it is up to the consumer to determine whether the review is legitimate or angry spam.
While Zenva lacks the public reviews on product pages, they do accept private reviews. Further, any course averaging below a 4 is replaced by a new course with higher quality. Thus, there is more clear evidence reviews matter on the platform.
Something that we immediately found on Zenva – and that we were unable to find on Udemy – was a section for success stories. These success stories feature in-depth interviews from people in multiple industries who used Zenva’s course to further their careers and goals. Ultimately, this adds a good sense of professional legitimacy.
Of a note, Zenva does have public reviews available on its Facebook page, which offer at least some record of what customers are thinking.
Udemy comes out a little bit ahead in terms of showcasing their consumer’s opinions. That being said, Zenva’s willingness to act on reviews and showcase successful individuals offers a professional legitimacy that Udemy is missing.
Ultimately, your platform choice will depend on your learning needs. If what you want to learn is skills like crafting, DIY, or something akin to that, then Udemy is the better choice due to its course variety and ability to choose a course based on consumer backing.
However, if you’re interested in web development, game development, or data science, Zenva’s focus on quality beats Udemy by a lot. Though Udemy’s prices might be more tempting, their quality is equally variable. Zenva’s courses easily outlast those on Udemy, and with free updates for Mini-Degrees and Academies, this makes the products a good long term investment for a professional career.
If you’re ready to experience Udemy’s variety, you can check out their class offerings here.
Alternatively, you can aim for the more focused coding route and check out Zenva’s courses here.