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Udemy or LinkedIn Learning? Who will win the race in digital education?
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Udemy or LinkedIn Learning? Who will win the race in digital education?

Kinga Bartczak

Those who don’t want to wait months for the next training course have long since discovered the wide range of offerings in the field of “digital education” for themselves. But which provider actually offers the greater advantages here? – Udemy or Lynda (also better known as LinkedIn Learning since 2015)?

Both platforms are tailored for completely different needs.

Udemy works more like a bookstore. You have a wide range of topics (also from the private sector) and pay once per course, which then becomes your own property, if you want, for life.

LinkedIn Learning, on the other hand, works more like a library. One has a membership card and there are subject-specific areas that have been pre-selected. Here are the topics: Creativity, Business and Technology. So you pay a monthly/annual fee and can move through all the areas and use the offer individually for a certain period of time. In this context, LinkedIn Learning focuses very strongly on teams in the B2B (business-to-business) sector.

Both platforms have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Udemy – Easy access – Numerous courses

The biggest advantage of Udemy is that once you buy a course, you get lifetime access to it and at a comparatively very low price.

In addition, Udemy offers regular discount promotions, in which even higher-priced courses (up to 150€) can be purchased for less.

The variety of topics is also convincing. Since access for trainers is very uncomplicated, you can now find over 100,000 courses on the learning platform. These are not limited to specialist areas.

So you can learn about programming, software development, accounting, mathematics or psychology, or learn about meditation, yoga and even toy making.

It is worth comparing individual offers, as there are often several courses on the same topics.

Udemy has a 30-day refund policy. A refund can be requested here if you are not satisfied with a course.

The negatives:

There are some inherent drawbacks to Udemy, unfortunately. I already mentioned that access as a trainer is quite uncomplicated, which in turn naturally makes quality assurance more difficult.

There is no adequate peer review system, meaning that the content taught is not verified by a reputable reference source, as is the case with university courses, for example.

However, it is positive that Udemy at least has a rating and feedback system, with which a customer can at least begin to guess the quality.

LinkedIn Learning – Professional appearance – Limited variety of topics

At LinkedIn Learning, you can start a free, one-month trial. Afterwards, access costs 24.49€ (monthly) or 19.66€ (for an annual subscription).

One has the possibility to attend numerous courses (15,000+) with his subscription. A course series can also be taken, which consists of a curated series of videos that also include a certificate of completion at the end.

The certificate can be inserted in the LinkedIn profile and displayed publicly. Especially for members in the application process or for specialists and executives who have specialized in a certain area, this embedding in their own profile can be advantageous.

Unlike Udemy, Linkedin Learning courses do not include course evaluation. Here, one relies on the quality assurance carried out beforehand.

Conclusion: Different business models for a wide range of requirements

Udemy or LinkedIn Learning
Photo: Brooke Cagle – unsplash

A direct comparison of both platforms is rather difficult. It’s critical what demand you have for a course and whether you want to take several at once (LinkedIn Learning) or prefer to own and work through individual ones (Udemy).

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The long-term goal is also crucial here. Am I learning for myself as a private person (Udemy) or do I also want to use my acquired certificate for my external presence and thereby possibly draw the attention of business partners or employers to me (LinkedIn Learning). Employers who want to train their teams will also find suitable offers on the latter platform.

As a provider of e-learning courses, you should pay attention to what is important to you. If you are looking for a quick access and want to address a broad community, Udemy is a good choice in any case. If you are looking for specialist customer groups and want to use a professional presence, LinkedIn Learning is recommended.

Other e-learning providers:

Since Udemy and LinkedIn Learning aren’t the only providers on the market, I’d like to include a list of other digital platforms for you. There might be one or two that you didn’t know about yet.

Other platforms in the digital education sector*:

  1. Pluralsight (Focus: IT & Technology)
  2. Envato Tutsplus (focus: how-to courses)
  3. Coursera (focus: study courses)
  4. Lecturio (focus: preparatory courses for studies)
  5. Argumentation Academy (Focus: Rhetoric)
  6. Rosetta Stone (Focus: Language)
  7. PHLEARN (Focus: Photoshop and Lightroom)
  8. Capitoo (focus: data protection & online security)
  9. Udacity (Focus: Programming & Data Science)
  10. Open HPI (Focus: Computer Science & Digital Technologies)
  11. “Good Life Online Academy” (Focus: “Happy Life”)

*this is only a selection of providers. Of course, this list can be continued at will.


Digital Education
a topic for you and in which form do you continue your education?

Which platform do you find more attractive? Which ones might you already be actively using?

Did a particular model appeal to you, and if so, what were the arguments in its favor?

Feel free to share your experiences with the FemalExperts community!

About the author

Website | + Articles

Kinga Bartczak advises, coaches and writes on female empowerment, new work culture, organizational development, systemic coaching and personal branding. She is also the managing director of UnternehmerRebellen GmbH and publisher of the FemalExperts magazine .

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