Students can sign in via Facebook, and access a wealth of audio and video courses on Udemy’s new app. You can learn anything from professionally relevant tools, like Excel and Adobe Photoshop, to foreign languages. On the app, you can sync courses from web to mobile, and access content in limited bandwidth areas.
The experience is designed to be similar to the web, but it’s optimized for mobile. The company has already rolled out a version of its app for iOS, which has received primarily positive reviews from learners.
Udemy offers some 10,000 courses on its web, tablet and mobile platforms. Among the most popular are its computer programming courses, which is not surprising given the surging demand for technical skills.
What’s unique about Udemy is its focus on professionals. While rivals like Coursera have focused on enlisting lecturers from top colleges like Harvard and Stanford to teach college-level students, Udemy has excelled at professional and corporate training. The strategy seems to be working. According to a news release, the company now boasts 1.5 million students and 6,000 instructors from around the world.
One of the biggest challenges for massive open online education providers — often dubbed the “MOOCs” by the press — is that students sign up for courses, but rarely finish them.
Udemy is tackling this problem by working with employers. Chief operating officer Dennis Yang said in a recent interview that companies will start providing “branded recognition” for workers that pass one of its corporate development courses. The hope is that employees will earn promotions and salary boosts by picking up new skills from Udemy, and continue to enroll in its online courses.
San Francisco-based Udemy was founded in 2010 and has raised $16 million in venture financing.