Udacity vs freeCodeCamp: Prices, topics, and details

Hi, I’m Olga! I have years of experience in data science, most recently at eBay. Now I work as an industry mentor at Pathrise, helping data scientists land great jobs through technical workshops and 1-on-1s. Check out my article where I compare Udacity vs FreeCodeCamp.

Similarities and differences between Udacity and FreeCodeCamp

Udacity and freeCodeCamp both offer full courses in software engineering, web development, web design, data analytics, machine learning, and product design. While freeCodeCamp does host professional development tutorials for aspiring product managers and marketers, only Udacity offers full courses on digital marketing, product management, operations, business strategy, and career advancement.

Similarities

  • Both programs are remote and self-paced.
  • Udacity and freeCodeCamp offer lots of free content and courses.
  • freeCodeCamp & Udacity grads get a certificate upon completion. 
  • Both programs are open to anyone with no formal admissions process.
  • Job search guidance is offered by both programs.

Differences

  • Students in Udacity’s nanodegree courses work 1-on-1 with both industry experts and career coaches.
  • freeCodeCamp is a non-profit with much more free content.
  • Udacity nanodegree courses can range from 3-7 months and often require 5-10+ hours of work per week. freeCodeCamp’s certifications require about 300 hours of work total.
  • Udacity collaborates on some courses with major tech companies like Google. freeCodeCamp designs their courses themselves.

Photo of Udacity vs freeCodeCamp

Topics offered by Udacity and FreeCodeCamp

Both freeCodeCamp and Udacity offer courses that cover the following topics:

  • Software engineering
  • Web design
  • Web development
  • Machine learning
  • Data analytics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Acing interviews

However, Udacity also has courses covering:

  • Product management
  • Digital marketing
  • Tech sales
  • Job search skills
  • Business analytics
  • Career advancement
  • Applying to jobs

Prices for Udacity and FreeCodeCamp

While Udacity offers almost 200 short introductory courses for free, they’re still a for-profit company with mostly paid courses. Their more comprehensive nanodegree programs cost between $599 and $1,199. Students can pay upfront, monthly, or with loans. Courses range in length from a few days to 7+ months. Plus, some courses require extra work for hands-on projects. Their popular nanodegree courses usually last 4-7 months with 5-10 hours of work per week and include lots of hands-on assignments. Nanodegree students build real-world projects while working with both a technical mentor and a career coach.

freeCodeCamp is a non-profit and everything on their site is free. Their extensive course library offers over 6,000+ tutorials. Certificate courses usually last about 300+ hours. They consist mostly of hands-on coding exercises with a live coding window so users can run and test their programs in real time. Certificate programs require users to build 5 final projects that they can add to their portfolios to impress employers. Users also get access to technical interview challenges and a forum to discuss the challenges with peers.

Ratings and reviews of Udacity and FreeCodeCamp

Udacity has largely positive reviews. They hold a 4.62/5 star rating on Switchup and a 4.73/5 star rating on Course Report. One grad was impressed with the course’s flexibility and support, appreciating the “very personalized timeline you can tailor to your busy lifestyle.” The student also liked the 1-on-1 support given by the “weekly sessions with your mentor to answer any question.” Another review on Course Report praised the intensive 1-on-1 mentoring and feedback, raving that the mentoring sessions “help with any inquiry and extra live examples of our projects.” Although mentoring was popular with reviewers, some students wished they had more 1-on-1 time with their mentors. Another user on G2 was frustrated that students are not able to contact their instructors easily for support. Grads liked that even though courses were part-time, they were still “very practical” with a curriculum that teaches real-world skills students “can immediately apply in the job search.”

Reviews for freeCodeCamp are similarly positive. They hold a perfect 5 star rating on Switchup, where students describe the program as “easy to understand” with a very hands-on, practical curriculum. While students raved about the coding challenges and “instant feedback”, some were disappointed with the “limited topics” offerings and wished they taught a wider variety of subjects. Users also felt “the community is helpful” and liked that freeCodeCamp was a non-profit with all free courses. Reddit users also enjoyed the program, but some felt it worked better as a free supplement to other more comprehensive courses. While they like that the courses are practical, some students said that it does not do a great job of actually explaining the “why” behind key concepts and coding challenges. Many users also worried that their program is not enough to prepare a complete beginner for a software engineering job. However, overall users were satisfied with the free and hands-on courses on freeCodeCamp.

Alternatives to Udacity and FreeCodeCamp

If you decide not to enroll in Udacity or freeCodeCamp, you might consider one of the alternatives listed below instead:

  • Students looking for remote, flexible learning with 1-on-1 mentoring can check out Springboard. People in their career tracks build 14 portfolio projects and participate in weekly meetings with experienced mentors, similar to Udacity’s nanodegrees. If students don’t land a great job within 6 months after graduating, they get a refund. Learn more about Springboard in our review.
  • Another remote program with hands-on courses is Pluralsight. They have tracks in web design, web development, data analysis, software engineering, product management, operations, and cyber security. Their “path” programs take about 9-50 hours, plus exercise files, email & phone support, mobile practice, and a discussion board.
  • For people interested in free, flexible learning with a live coding window, Codecademy is one of the most popular coding programs online. Their online courses are extremely hands-on and consist mostly of short coding assignments and projects, just like freeCodeCamp. Read more about Codecademy in our review.
  • Aspiring software engineers and UX designers can look into Kenzie Academy. Their full-time tech bootcamp offers in-person and online courses with mentoring and a practical, career-focused curriculum. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review. 
  • The popular bootcamp General Assembly offers full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on tech topics like UX/UI design, data science, software engineering, digital marketing, product management, and more. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • Another popular tech bootcamp is BrainStation, which has tracks in web development, web design, data science, marketing, and product management. Like Udacity’s nanodegree courses, BrainStation features project-based learning and 1-on-1 feedback for students.
  • Thinkful students get 1-on-1 mentoring as well. Their hands-on bootcamp has tracks in software engineering, data science, and other tech fields. Students graduate with polished portfolio projects they can show employers.
  • Other popular software engineering bootcamps include Rithm School, Codesmith, and The Software Guild. While these programs can be more intensive than freeCodeCamp’s 300 hour programs and Udacity’s part-time nanodegrees, students can learn software skills very quickly.
  • People who are interested in digital marketing, UX design and tech sales can check out GrowthX Academy. Like Udacity’s nanodegrees, their SaaS program includes 1-on-1 mentoring with hands-on assignments. Read more about GrowthX Academy in our review of the program.
  • Aspiring web developers and software engineers can also look into CodeX Academy, a self-paced coding bootcamp with mentorship opportunities. Learn more about CodeX Academy in our review.
  • The self-paced data science program Data Science Dream Job offers remote, flexible courses for aspiring data analysts.
  • Aspiring data analysts with prior experience can look into Metis. Their 12-week, immersive program is extremely hands-on with data projects students can add to their portfolios. Learn more about Metis in our review.
  • The online bootcamp Designlab teaches the necessary skills to land an entry-level UX designer job. Take a look at our review of Designlab to see if it meets your needs.
  • If you’re interested in taking an online product design bootcamp that is self-guided or instructor led, take a look at DesignerUp. Read about DesignerUp in our program review.
  • Similarly, Bloc offers online courses in web development and web design. Although their program’s hands-on experience is similar to freeCodeCamp, Bloc emphasizes student support, with even more instructor feedback and weekly 1-on-1 mentorship meetings.
  • For students seeking self-paced courses on a budget, Simplilearn and Treehouse are both tech learning resources with a similar design as freeCodeCamp. While they may not have the same level of support as Udacity’s nanodegrees, these online programs host hundreds of tech courses to help people launch their careers.
  • The online learning platform Udemy hosts 100k+ courses on both tech and humanities subjects. Their program is self-paced and flexible with lifetime course access for students.
  • Coursera offers thousands of online courses on tech topics like web development, UX design, software engineering, data science, and more. Professors from accredited universities teach their courses, with curriculums that include hands-on assignments, video lectures, and community discussions.
  • Similarly, edX hosts thousands of courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft, collaborating on course curricula like Udacity. Their courses cover a huge variety of tech and even humanities topics, including software engineering, web dev, digital marketing, and sales. Read more about edX in our program review.

How do Udacity and FreeCodeCamp compare to Pathrise?

Udacity and freeCodeCamp both offer courses that teach people the skills they need to launch a new career in tech. While both programs teach remote courses in software engineering, web dev, web design, data analysis, machine learning, and product design, Udacity offers a wider variety of course topics, covering digital marketing, product management, operations, business strategy, and career advancement.

Both Udacity and freeCodeCamp don’t require any formal admissions process or interviews. Although Udacity recommends students have some background for high level courses, most students begin both programs with no experience. Pathrise fellows should already have some background in their chosen field so that they can fully benefit from our industry workshops and 1-on-1 sessions, which can cover challenging technical interview questions similar to freeCodeCamp’s technical interview challenges. We offer tracks in software engineering, product design, data science, digital marketing, sales, product management, strategy, and ops.

While Udacity and freeCodeCamp both have job search tutorials and interview prep, it’s up to students to search for jobs on their own. Pathrise is a full service career accelerator that helps with all phases of the job search. Our experienced mentors have helped 700+ students and professionals land great tech jobs. Mentors work 1-on-1 with fellows on their resume, LinkedIn, and portfolio optimization, reverse recruiting and cold emailing, behavioral and technical interview prep, salary negotiation, and much more. Pathrise also offers a 9% income share agreement (ISA), meaning fellows in our program pay nothing until they land a job, which only takes 3-5 months on average. We never require upfront payments or deposits.

Pathrise optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentoring. Fellows in our program have seen their interview scores double and their application responses triple. If you would like to work 1-on-1 with any of our mentors to land your dream job faster, become a Pathrise fellow.

Apply today.

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