Top 10 Udemy Instructors Earned Combined Course Revenue of Over $5 Million; Company Announces “Summer of Teaching” Grant | Business Wire


the world’s largest destination for online courses, today announced 365

percent growth in its instructor community, with its top 10 instructors

now earning combined course revenue of over $5 million. The company also

announced a new “Summer of Teaching” grant, offering instructors a

chance to win $5,000 plus 100 percent of their course revenues for life.

“Our instructors are blazing a new path for educators,” said Dinesh

Thiru, vice president of marketing at Udemy. “We’re at an unparalleled

time where technology meets education, and we can now say unequivocally

that with minimal time investment, any expert, anywhere, can teach the


Diverse Instructor Community Growing Fast

To help instructors create and publish amazing courses quickly, Udemy

works to foster an instructor community that shares experiences and best

practices. Audrey Heinesen, Ed.D., leads this effort and came to Udemy

with strong credentials: a tenure at the New York Times and a

Doctorate in Instructional Design from Teachers College Columbia


“We knew early on that teaching

online is a new phenomenon, and it can be solitary and intimidating

to go it alone,” said Dr. Heinesen, director for teaching and learning

at Udemy. “Instructors are invited to a vibrant, supportive, private

Facebook community where people learn from each other how to teach

online, improve video and audio quality, and attract more students. All

instructors receive ongoing education on how to create and promote their

courses, with experienced instructors often sharing learnings in videos,

blog posts and emails.”

Small Time Investment, Big Potential

Rewards for a Udemy online course trump a small initial time investment.

Most Udemy instructors publish their initial courses in 14-28 days,

while going about their normal work and home lives. Ongoing course

management – responding to student questions, updating materials –

generally takes 5-15 hours per month, a small fraction of the time

required to conduct similar activity in an in-person learning


“Udemy has a great return-on-investment for instructors, financially

speaking, particularly as compared with traditional adult learning

environments,” said Dr. Heinesen. “When you consider the number of hours

that go into a typical semester-long, in-person course, you’ll find many

non-tenured instructors earn little more than minimum wage.” In

contrast, taking into account course development, filming and ongoing

student interaction, Udemy’s top instructors earn anywhere from

$200-$750 per hour for each course.

Although the site has only existed for three years, Udemy courses

already have a long life cycle and large audiences. Top instructors

typically earn 10-20 percent of total course earnings in the first

month, but they continue to amass revenues over the next 12-18 months.

“I cannot tell you how excited I was to see so many sales and students

coming in when I released my first course, How

to Design a Logo,” said Tara Roskell, Udemy instructor

and freelance graphic designer who describes her course as an annuity.

“It’s amazing that even eight months later, my course still earns

significant revenue month on month.”

Course revenues for Roskell’s How to Design a Logo course, first

published in July 2012, now total more than $30,000.

Since April 2012, the Udemy instructor community has grown 365 percent,

and the total number of Udemy lectures has grown 474 percent. Growth in

the Udemy instructor community reflects increasing interest in teaching

online, as well as significant advancements in technology associated

with course

creation, video and publishing.

The Udemy platform is free for anyone to use and enables instructors and

students to easily collaborate with one another. Tools include

instructor and student auto-notifications for questions and new

materials, as well as customer service management and payment

processing. Instructors determine prices for their courses or whether to

offer their course for free. Udemy charges a 15-30 percent marketplace

fee for courses sold through the platform. Since the site’s launch in

early 2010, thousands of instructors have joined to teach classes for

free or for an average of $20-$250 a course.

The top instructors for subject matter categories and their associated

course earnings include:


Development – Victor Bastos $452,985.78; 7,502 students (teaching

since 11/11)

Photography – Ken Schultz $65,003.37; 4,157 students (teaching since


Graphic Design – Tara Roskell $30,371.92; 3,702 students (teaching since


Business Software – Huw Collingbourne $128,729.83; 4,214 students

(teaching since 7/11)

IT Certifications and Training – Chris Bryant $260,822; 13,000 students

(teaching since 7/11)


– Dashama $43,599.59; 981 students (teaching since 7/12)

Video, Animation, and Multimedia – Miguel Hernandez $146,512.81; 2,882

students (teaching since 7/11)

Writing and Content Development – Len Smith $59,532.72; 2,926 students

(teaching since 1/12)

Udemy “Summer of Teaching” Udemy Grant

Udemy is currently offering a $5,000 “Summer

of Teaching” grant plus 100 percent of course revenues for life. Any

instructor who signs up by August 31, 2013 at

is automatically entered for a chance to win.

About Udemy

Udemy is the world’s largest destination for online courses. With over

8,000 courses available on-demand via the iPhone,

iPad and web, Udemy is democratizing education by making top-quality

content from the world’s experts dramatically more affordable for

anyone, anywhere. Udemy enables students to learn when and where they

want, helping them get promoted, break into a new industry, start a

company, or further a passion. Udemy’s course

creation platform empowers instructors of any type to teach online

and earn income from online courses. Through Udemy

for Organizations, businesses, schools, and organizations can also

leverage the power of online learning to train their employees,

students, and members.

Founded in 2010, Udemy is funded by Insight Venture Partners, Lightbank,

MHS Capital, 500 Startups and other investors responsible for funding

Internet giants like YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and Yelp. Udemy is

headquartered in San Francisco. Web:

|Twitter: @udemy

| Facebook: