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Treehouse vs Udacity: Which is Better?

Treehouse vs Udacity: Which is Better?
Latest posts by Erin Jamieson (see all)
In this post, we will compare Treehouse vs Udacity, we’ll cover some frequently asked questions, discuss the purpose of online educational platforms, and finally provide an in-depth comparison.

Main Differences Between Treehouse vs Udacity

The main differences between Treehouse vs Udacity are:
    • Udacity offers exclusive programs such as their Nano program, whereas Treehouse focuses more on general coding
  • Udacity offers an online portfolio feature, whereas Treehouse offers feedback on nine to twelve projects per course
  • Udacity courses must be completed within a few months, whereas Treehouse courses require a monthly payment and more self-paced
As the costs of higher education continue to rise, and in many cases may be prohibitive to some students, online courses through tech educational companies Treehouse and Udacity are gaining popularity as a way to learn similar skill sets without the hefty price tag attached. Since 1985, higher education tuition and fees, on average, have risen more than an astonishing five hundred percent. At the same time, trends also point to improvements: overall, higher education is much more accessible to different populations than it once was. In particular, community colleges have played a role, especially those providing policies such as open enrollment or reduced tuition. The not so great news? Not everyone finishes their education, whether that’s due to lack of preparation, the burden of finances, or the inability to keep up with the workload. Online courses of all kinds, from degree programs to open platforms such as Treehouse and Udacity provide students more flexibility and tend to cost less than traditional face to face courses. Online learning appeals especially to career-minded students, according to an annual survey conducted by Best Colleges, an education review site, and based upon anonymous surveys conducted online. The translation is that the majority of students enrolling in either degree or non-degree online courses are mostly doing so in order to advance, or start a path towards a career. And now competition between Treehouse vs Udacity may be more interesting than ever. The pandemic has caused economic turmoil worldwide; by Mid June, over 44 million Americans alone had filed for unemployment, and it’s likely we’ll continue to see impact beyond tentative reopenings. That equates to several things. For one, Americans are actively looking for work; for another, they may have temporary flexibility in their schedules to take courses they may have been considering. Online learning platforms like Treehouse and Udacity have always offered more flexibility than traditional courses, and without formal admissions standards, have been a way for anyone to shore up in demand skills without barriers. But now, remote learning tracks has taken on new meaning. In this review, I’ll cover what you need to know before you sign up for an online learning platform, and compare, Treehouse vs Udacity, which learning platform is best in terms of value and experience.
Bottom Line Up Front Summary: I personally proferred the more tech-oriented course design and curriculum offered by Treehouse here. On the other hand, if you are looking for a professional “nanodegree” credential to put on your resume, go with Udacity here.

Why It’s Worth Looking into Online Learning During COVID-19

online learning Whether you still have your job or are looking for one, chances are the pandemic has impacted your finances in some way. Even for those who have a secure job, anxiety, and changing markets all mean that anything that once felt certain is now in question. Online learning platforms like Treehouse and Udacity do cost money–so it’s understandable why some may be hesitant to even consider Treehouse vs Udacity. But it’s also during this time that online learning may be especially beneficial:

Treehouse and Udacity Allow You to Learn and Social Distance

For at-risk individuals, and anyone still living somewhere under lockdown, an online learning platform is a smart alternative to traditional face to face learning, allowing you access to modules, projects and quizzes without risking your health or others.

Learning Something New May Reduce Anxiety

Mental health has also taken a hit during the pandemic, with ⅓ of Americans reporting “clinical levels of anxiety and depression”–an astonishing increase of over 55 percent, according to Pew Research. But learning new skills provides something to focus on, can distract from anxiety, and can add to a sense of empowerment.

It May Help With Your Job Search (Or Security)

seo job It’s important to emphasize that neither Treehouse nor Udacity allow you to earn the equivalent of a formal degree; they also cannot ensure you’ll land a job or move up in your current one. That said, for those who can’t afford a degree or don’t have the resources or situation to pursue one–or for those already with a related degree – online learning platforms like Treehouse and Udacity may be a good alternative. More and more employers are looking at practical skills and experience. Plus, tech skills that Treehouse and Udacity teach may fare better than other areas: data and software related positions saw an increase of one to eight percent job openings, which is in contrast to a great majority of sectors flattening and declining.

It Can Keep You Connected

Online learning platforms by no means replace regular social connections, but by learning online you may feel more connected to the world, more engaged, and feel less isolated. While Udacity and Treehouse don’t emphasize social interaction, it’s still a way to connect and engage, no matter your current circumstances.

Who should take courses through Treehouse or Udacity?

Only you can decide if taking a course online through one of these platforms, though this article will help make that decision. You should consider taking an online course through Treehouse or Udacity if your main objectives include developing a new skill set; learning to create something on your own (such as entrepreneurs, or anyone hoping to build their own marketing platform) or for self-improvement or general interest. Will taking a course through Treehouse or Udacity help me advance in my career? Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that taking a course or courses through Treehouse or Udacity will lead to career advancement. If it does, it will be linked to skill sets and experiences gained through those courses. If you have the interest, investment, and are used to online learning, it may be a sensible option. Self-paced, non pressured work also makes sense for those with busy schedules. And while it is still an investment of both finances and time, you’ll likely invest less than you would for a full degree or certification program.

Why Udacity and Treehouse Platforms May Not Be For You

Of course, despite all of the potential benefits of an online learning platform, both Udacity and Treehouse (as well as competing platforms) are not for everyone. Online learning takes dedication and a good degree of independence and organization. For some, online learning simply doesn’t offer the same experience. It also depends on what you’re hoping to get out of taking online courses. Online learning platforms cannot replace a university degree, nor can they promise outcomes. Even with the very best online platforms for coding (coding bootcamp), interior design, business, and everything else, it’s best to look at them as an investment in personal enrichment, or skills for your career. If you’re unsure, I always recommend taking out a piece of paper and listing pros and cons, in addition to what you hope to get out of your learning experience. Online learning platforms are not for everyone, but by evaluating your goals and your learning style, you can make an informed decision.

Is Treehouse or Udacity better for me?

udacity Now that we’ve established what courses from Treehouse and Udacity can and can’t do for you, let’s go ahead and break down how they fare when directly compared.

What courses are offered?

You’ll notice right away a difference when it comes to course offerings. First of all, Udacity simply has more–the platform is gargantuan, offering up to 100,000 different courses in the following computer science and busines individual course tracks:
  • Programming language and Development technical skills
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cloud Computing
  • Data Science
  • Business
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Career (such as job applications and interviewing techniques)
Treehouse is also tech-centered and offers a little over three hundred courses at a given time among the following categories:
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • PHP
  • IOS Development
  • Other Coding Courses
As you can see, while both Treehouse and Udacity are tech-centered, Treehouse has a firm focus on coding and coding language, while Udacity offers more of a variety, in the area such as web development as well. In addition, Treehouse offers what they call a “Tech degree” which is a mix of classes to help build your professional profile

How much do the courses cost?

How much do courses cost vary not only from Treehouse vs Udacity but also potentially from course to course?

Treehouse offers a few options:

  • Tech Degree costs two hundred dollars a month and allows you to build a virtual portfolio, provides access to ‘office hours’ and online answers, and is offered for Front End Web Development (four months); Full Stack Javascript (five months) and User Experience/ UX (three months). You do have an option to pause or cancel your program. Other features include forums with other students through Slack and peer-reviewed courses. Unlike other courses through Treehouse, you’ll also be provided a certificate upon completion.
  • Self Guided/ Pro costs forty-nine dollars per month and provides access to bonus content, and the ability to download videos and lessons.
  • Self Guided/ Basic costs twenty-five dollars per month and allows you access but does not provide personalized feedback, support or forums. This will open up the platform for individual coursework, and you’ll receive a week free trial.
Udacity does allow you to apply for a scholarship for the popular Nanodegree program, which is offered through Intel. They also offer need-based scholarships and two tech-based scholarship programs. In order to find out the cost, you need to look at individual courses. The price is listed only after you click ‘enroll now’ (you can go back). You’ll be supplied a total cost, as well as the duration of the program. That time period is the length of access you’ll have to complete the course. You may pay upfront or opt for a monthly payment plan. We’ll list some prices below for the most popular programs. Numbers are before any ten percent discounts and rounded:
  • Front End Web Developer: four months access for around fifteen hundred dollars, or one hundred and twenty dollars a month
  • Android Basics, Intro to Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence: three months access for twelve hundred dollars, or ninety dollars a month
As you can see, most courses range from one thousand to fifteen hundred dollars. As you can see, both can be rather expensive, but sense Treehouse bills monthly, it’s a bit difficult to compare. It’s also difficult to compare without taking an in-depth look at the course content itself, but overall, minus the possibility of a scholarship, Treehouse may cost you less, depending on what plan you select (but also has the potential to cost more!)

Do Treehouse or Udacity offer special programs?

We’ve already touched on this for Treehouse, but yes. Treehouse offers its Tech program, while Udacity offers a Nano program. These are both meant to target specific skills and have specific requirements. One huge drawback is inaccurate wording: despite the wording, neither offers a true degree.

What other features are included for courses for Treehouse vs Udacity?

What, in essence, is taking a course through Treehouse or Udacity like? Udacity courses include a variety of resources, such as brief videos, quizzes, and exercises, with the option to review resources when you like. Some courses also include projects which you can add to a portfolio. Examples of projects include apps, games, and websites. Though Udacity is self-paced, a course and its price point is connected to a certain limit on how long you have access. Treehouse courses provide on the go learning, interactive quizzes, code challenges, and checks. In addition, through one of their Techdegree programs, you’ll complete nine to twelve projects which will then be graded and get provided feedback from what they call ‘industry experts’. The project component is stronger with Treehouse, and there’s also less pressure to complete courses within a certain time period.

Who am I being taught by?

Even if an online course seems compelling, you also want to make sure you understand who you’re learning from. Treehouse allows you to click on individual profiles for instructions associated with coursework. While it does appear the instructors are able to create their own profile (similar to what you’d see with online tutoring), they do supply a photo, location, and what category of courses, and specific courses they’ve taught on Treehouse, in addition to their bio. You can also search for a professional profile, such as LinkedIn, if you have doubts. Udacity is not overly transparent. While there is a course attached to an educator, most do not openly reveal who is behind the course. You can apply to become a mentor yourself, but the screening process is unclear.

What do customers say?

Customer feedback is always another important factor to take into consideration. Customer feedback, at the very least, can provide a general sense of satisfaction and if a company is living up to its statements. The Better Business Bureau, meanwhile, supplies a depiction of how trusted the company is within the business world.

Udacity is not accredited but holds an unofficial A plus rating through BBB.

On TrustPilot, Udacity holds an average of a little over four and a half out of five stars based upon ninety-two customer reviews. While there were many positive reviews, however, these were a bit vague, while the complaints centered around policies, cancellation, pricing, and especially the Nanodegree.

Treehouse is also not accredited through BB and holds an A-minus rating (unofficial).

On TrustPilot, it holds a slightly lower average than Udacity, with an average of just under four out of five stars based upon only nine reviews. Since nine reviews don’t provide a comprehensive sample, our only other option is to look through something like Glassdoor, which expresses employee ratings. While the reviews are solely positive through TrustPilot, this, in fact, seems odd and is not typical of most any company, so it’s difficult to draw conclusions. Overall, Treehouse is a better bet for most courses, but Udacity offers specialty programs not available at Treehouse. This, of course, comes with several caveats. For one, both platforms have a little risk and can become pricy, depending on the course you take. Perhaps one of the greatest drawbacks for Treehouse is that there are only a few external customer reviews, and neither Treehouse nor Udacity are accredited. The reasons why we suggest Treehouse for non-specialty courses (ones only available via Udacity) are as follows:
  • Potential for lower cost
  • More transparency about instructors
  • Project-based courses with more features
Looking for an alternative for both? You may want to start with learning how to find the best online coding courses.


Is Treehouse optimal for learning?

When it comes down to any form of online learning, how effective and user-friendly it is can be divided into several categories. Expert teachers, a solid curriculum, accessible interface, return on investment and interactivity are all important factors to consider. While Treehouse has a number of these features, it isn’t suited for everyone. In the category of languages, Treehouse is a little behind its competitor Udemy in terms of more intermediate courses, so it also depends on what you hope to learn.

What is Treehouse coding?

Treehouse coding is one of the most popular course types you can take through Treehouse. Courses range from web design to mobile development and web development and are considered to provide valuable skill sets to advance careers, or even for entrepreneurs.

Is Treehouse better than Codecademy?

Treehouse and Codecademy are often compared because both provide coding courses with a similar, fairly accessible platform online. There are subtle differences between Treehouse and Codecademy, however. On Slate, customers ranked Treehouse slightly below Codecademy, though ratings differ.

You learn to code right away with concise lessons with Codecademy, and also provide forums to discuss with other students, though it’s been known to have technical issues and be less accessible to beginning coders. In comparison, Treehouse has more in the way of project-based learning, engaging interface, and a portfolio feature. Drawbacks include less consistent quality, more expensive courses, and also technical issues.
Are Udacity courses recognized?

If you’re asking this question, it’s likely because you want to know if the courses would be accepted as credit the way college courses would. Udacity courses do not count towards credits towards a degree. Udacity is not considered an accredited institution, but a for-profit educational platform. Instead, it’s best to look at Udacity as a platform where you can take courses in order to improve your skillset and potentially your resume–but be aware of what it is and isn’t.

Why is Udacity expensive?

Udacity has a reputation among some sects of online users as being expensive, but in fact, that’s not the entire picture. For one, competitors also have courses that may be considered by some to be ‘expensive’. For another, you’re still learning skills at a lower rate than were you enrolled in another degree program. It’s also important to note that prices are by no means universal with Udacity; what you pay depends upon what courses you take.

What does it take to complete a ‘nano degree’ through Udacity?

Remember, first and foremost, that a course taken through Udacity is not an official, accredited degree, but considered non-credit, continuing education. The certification program takes an average of half a year to a year to complete, though some of that is up to you.

What exactly is Treehouse or Udacity?

Treehouse and Udacity are both online, tech-based educational, for-profit platforms offering largely self-paced courses for self-improvement, improving skill sets, and potentially for the possibility of career advancement, though it’s important to note this is not a guarantee. Open online courses mean anyone can enroll, regardless of educational background. Courses are ‘university-style’ but with a focus on ‘vocational training’ and career development and/or advancement. Treehouse is classified as an ‘online tech school’ that focuses on web design and development. Unlike Udacity, its content is more niche and is not always based upon college designs.

Bottom Line Up Front Summary: I personally proferred the more tech-oriented course design and curriculum offered by Treehouse here. On the other hand, if you are looking for a professional “nanodegree” credential to put on your resume, go with Udacity here.
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