30th November 2012
The San Francisco-based startup told GigaOM that a quarter of its approved instructors will close out the year with at least $10,000 in income from courses purchased on its site. The company declined to share the total number of instructors offering classes on Udemy but said the figure has climbed 300 percent in the last year. About 60 percent of all instructors on the site are “approved,” meaning their courses meet a checklist of standards and can be searchable by students online. The site has attracted about 400,000 registered students, which is about a 520 percent increase from last year.
The future of education?
On Udemy, anyone can create a video-based course on a range of topics – from web design and entrepreneurship to yoga and photography. Instructors can choose to offer them for free, but the average price for a course is $19 to $199. Many of the top classes draw about 500 students, with some reaching students in the low thousands. For each class, Udemy takes 30 percent of the earnings.
Thirupuvanam said dozens of instructors in all kinds of disciplines are making upwards of $10,000 but the highest earners tend to teach more technical topics (Microsoft Excel and Python, for example) or business and entrepreneurship. The most popular instructors, he continued, are especially passionate and knowledgeable about their material. And they put in about 30 to 40 hours or more to prepare the curriculum, produce high-quality video and interact with students via message boards. Instructor Victor Bastos, for example, has earned $325,000 over the past 12 months from his class on web development. But even a class on the “art of black and white photography,” taught by photographer David Nightingale, has made $31,000 in just four months.
Self-publishing for instructors. I’m sure someday there’ll be an app for that.