PluralSight provides free and paid learning resources to individuals and enterprises in the tech niche.
The platform joins the likes of Udemy and Coursera, which help individuals and businesses around the globe develop themselves to stay relevant and be more competitive in their respective fields.
In this review, I’ll present a thorough course breakdown so you can have enough information to make an informed decision.
I’ll kick off with an overview of the course platform, review the quality of the courses, highlight the platform’s features, weigh the pros and cons of the platform, and round up with the best PluralSight alternatives.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
What is Pluralsight?
Pluralsight is an online educational platform that provides video courses, assessments, and curated learning paths to tech and IT professionals.
Developers and IT admins are just two categories of people who can use PluralSight. Creative professionals like graphic designers and UI/UX designers are also included.
PluralSight also helps businesses that want to upgrade their teams’ skill sets and unlock more of their potential.
The course platform aims to help technology teams level up their skills, upskill, and reskill to pioneer significant progress in any business environment.
With the knowledge and insight PluralSight gives its users, they have a better chance of standing out head and shoulders from the crowd in even the most competitive job markets.
PluralSight students have been able to use the training they acquire to showcase their talents to prospective employers in high-profile tech companies or to switch careers altogether.
Regarding business, the emphasis is on speed, quality, and security. An enterprise needs to adequately equip its staff to meet the ever-increasing demand from hungry clients, and PluralSight promises to help with that.
The courses and other learning materials also contain training on vital strategies to help teams develop better project management solutions and become more productive now and in the long term.
And now more than ever, there is the need for companies of any size to evaluate the technical IQ of their teams from time to time and identify hidden kinks that need ironing out.
That’s where Pluralsight’s different skill assessment forms come in, which I will discuss in more detail in the features section of this review.
Pluralsight also has tools that help you gather data on the strengths of each team member so you can organize skill learning according to priorities.
But it’s not all learning and no practice. Within PluralSight, you will find various lab sections where you or your team members can practice their skills with step-by-step instructions and assistance.
Overall, PluralSight is shaping up to be your one-stop shop for all of your (whether you are an individual or an enterprise) career acceleration needs.
Ultimately, the goal of PluralSight is to make you and your teams, be it in marketing or development, more efficient, and cut costs as much as possible while keeping tabs on all facets of your personal career and business development status.
With an ever-increasing need for individuals and business teams to become more technologically fluent, PluralSight has its work cut out.
Only a technical academy with myriads of courses can meet the responsibility of training professionals of all skill levels without running out of steam.
PluralSight does have a massive library of over 7,000 courses, and while it’s not possible to review every one of them, here’s everything you should know about them:
All Pluralsight courses are grouped into the following categories:
• Date (older to newest)
• Alphabetical order
• Ways to Learn (core courses, expanded courses, and labs)
• Skill level (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
• Subjects (up to nine)
The available subjects are:
Architecture & Construction
Under this pathway, learners will be taught how to use various software like AutoCAD and V-Ray to design digital sketches and plans of complex structures such as buildings, bridges, et cetera.
The Business Professional course helps you acquire the skills necessary for managing a business workspace and interacting well with others.
The courses include emotional intelligence, business analysis, agile methodologies, project communication, et cetera.
This course is for technical aspects where creativity plays a significant role. Some topics include Illustrator for UX design, Photoshop fundamentals, usability testing for UX design, etc.
With the professional data course, PluralSight students will learn how to use big data, cloud, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT), and how to analyze and gain value from this data in tools like R, SQL Server, Tableau, et cetera.
The courses include IT certification, security, database administration, virtualization, IT networking, servers, and more.
Manufacturing & Design
Tech professionals in the M&D niche are much sought after by companies producing heavy and light machinery.
Such professionals are skilled in using software to create computer simulations of how the final structure should look like.
Some manufacturing and design software PluralSight will acquaint you with include SolidWorks, Inventor, Fusion360, Onshape, and AutoCAD.
Information & Cyber Security
Here you will treat security certifications, fundamentals, security auditing, penetration testing, digital forensics, malware analysis, and more.
Of course, having the whole course in the world says little about the learning experience, so how is PluralSight doing on that front?
The setup began with the course selection, and it was okay. You first choose your interest from a wide selection of skills, which happens in just one page.
After setup, you get a dashboard that logs your progress toward your weekly goal, shows your badges and channels, and displays the skills you selected during setup.
Your dashboard also shows what courses are trending for new learners and which ones just got added.
You can start with those courses or head straight into the learning paths and pick from dozens of categories that cover your selected interests.
PluralSight has several features that add to the user experience in their ways.
When you log into your premium account after payment, the first page that greets you shows four cards that hint at the course library, certification, skills assessment, and progress stats.
There are more features that I will talk about, but let’s start by exploring the above four.
1. Huge Library of Courses
There’s no question about it. PluralSight has one of the largest libraries of video courses on technical content.
With over 7,000 courses covering more than 300 skills, it’s hard to find an area PluralSight doesn’t cover. It’s not impossible, but it’s hard.
The vast number of courses ensures that whether you are an individual or an enterprise, you will always have something new to learn or teach.
After completing a course, you can generate a certificate of completion from the desktop version of the PluralSight website.
You can only generate certificates for the video courses. Certificates are not available for interactive courses, labs, or projects.
The certificates you generate can be tendered to organizations such as PMI or CompTIA as proof that you’ve been adding value to yourself.
3. Skill IQ Assessment
Skill IQ is how PluralSight allows you to assess your knowledge before you begin any technology path.
You should take a Skill IQ assessment first to be automatically redirected to where you should start a learning path.
You can also retake skill IQs to know how far you’ve gone in a specific technology.
4. Progress Monitor
Your dashboard will record your progress toward the weekly goal you set.
You also get indicators showing how many courses you’ve done and the total time you’ve spent.
5. Learning Paths
Learning paths take you through every stage of leveling up in a particular technical skill.
They give you a clear sense of direction and put you on the right track without needing to find it yourself.
A learning platform may not allow you to create a channel. However, YouTube does it, and so does PluralSight.
On PluralSight, channels take a slightly different form. Channels allow you to organize everything you’ve learned in one place and even share that information with others on your team plan.
You can also customize your channel however you want it. You can assign roles, add and remove members, edit a channel’s privacy settings, give it objectives, etc.
7. Mobile and TV Apps
The website is one of many ways to learn. PluralSight has mobile apps, and they are available in the Play Store and AppStore.
There are desktop versions of the apps for Windows and Mac OS devices.
These apps allow you to download video courses for offline use. The website already allows you to do that, so it’s a bonus.
There are tech conferences held worldwide, and PluralSight allows you to access their recordings for a limited time as part of your premium package.
You can also host your virtual conferences free of charge and complete with perks like panels, breakout rooms, and so on. You just need to contact PluralSight’s conference team for that.
9. Collaborative Learning with Q&A
Solo learning can be great, but sometimes you might want or need to involve others in the show.
The Q&A feature is only available to learners in an enterprise plan. For such people, their organization enrolls its teams to learn on the platform.
With the Q&A feature, you can post your questions on any topic and get answers from your peers in your organization. You can also answer questions from others and become a top contributor.
Pluralsight’s ability to add its extension to Google Search or Stack Overflow is one of the Platform’s nifty features.
With the PluralSight extension enabled in your Chrome browser, you can search for a PluralSight skill directly simply by clicking the extension button and typing in your search query.
You will get content recommendations listing all the video courses, paths, projects, and interactive videos that match your search term.
The clips recommendation will show videos that mention that specific search term.
11. Hands-on Learning
This comes in various forms and simply refers to you practicing the information you gain from the video courses in a virtual lab.
Each lab you enter will give you a set of technical tasks based on the information you’ve acquired in the video course or interactive course, and then you’ll have to complete them within the allotted time.
Another application of the hands-on training is via the coding challenges you will receive in the interactive courses.
You will receive a set of coding challenges that you have to complete using the in-browser code editor, and then you’ll receive guided feedback, including corrections to any error you made.
12. Tech Foundations
Tech Foundations help users gain digital fluency to contribute meaningfully to any technical conversation.
They consist of an optional training video and a 15-question assessment. The training video covers twelve tech topics extensively.
You can retake the assessment every 24 hours, although you can’t retake assessments that you pass.
13. Role IQ for Learners
Ensuring that every team member knows their place in the workspace is one of PluralSight’s points of focus, and role IQ assessments are one way the platform works towards that objective.
Role IQ for learners (there’s the one for leaders) helps them to understand the skills needed to play their roles well.
An example of a role is Data Analyst. The Role IQ assessment includes but is not limited to Data Analytics Literacy, Python for Data Analysis, and Interpreting Data with Python.
PluralSight’s pricing is pretty straightforward—it’s either a standard monthly or yearly plan or a premium monthly or yearly one.
The standard plan is billed at $19 monthly or $159 billed yearly. It only gives limited access to about 2,500 courses, learning paths, skill IQ, and role IQ assessments.
The premium plan unlocks full access to all 7,000+ courses and every feature on the platform. It will set you back by $29 monthly or $191 yearly.
Pros of Pluralsight
As an educational platform, PluralSight is densely packed with courses and a kiloton of extra features.
A setup like that will indeed have a lot of advantages for the end user, and in this section, the focus is on the different ways PluralSight recommends itself.
When I sampled some of PluralSight’s courses through its free trial and compared the content with YouTube videos on the same subjects, I could see the difference.
Videos on intermediate to advanced topics are worth spending time on as they are more thorough than what’s obtainable on YouTube.
They also present the information in a more simplified and easy-to-follow format.
I must admit, however, that video beginners aren’t any different from those on free platforms like Youtube.
Anyone can use PluralSight. As an individual learner, you can learn tech skills from scratch or sharpen areas where you are rusty.
Startups and large companies can also leverage PluralSight’s training and skill assessment features to upgrade their staff members to modern standards in the technological niche.
The team plans on PluralSight allow enterprises to host a virtual, collaborative learning environment for their team members, where they can rub their minds together and be assessed effectively.
Excellent Customer Support
Customer support is a strong point for PluralSight skills. While I didn’t have any complaints during my testing period, many other users on platforms like TrustPilot and G2 reported that customer care had served them quickly and effectively when they ran into issues.
You can reach the support team via email and phone. There’s also the option to submit a ticket on any issue via the support form on their help center page.
There are several ways PluralSight gives you a gamified learning experience.
Completing a course or a series of lectures will give you badges that flatter you with honorary titles.
Badges, along with progress bars depicting your level of completion of a skill path, can give you an extra dose of motivation even on bad days when you might not feel like doing anything.
Organized Learning Structure
All the courses are grouped into paths. That means you don’t have to decide in what order you will watch the videos.
Aside from the learning paths, there are other patterns a learner can choose to follow. There are courses grouped in the order of what’s trending on PluralSight.
There is hands-on learning that features interactive courses and incorporates labs on various practical skills from tech companies like Google and Qwiklabs.
Tech Foundations are another way of approaching Pluralsight’s courses. You will get a selection of video courses on 12 topics in general tech so you can contribute meaningfully to any technical discussion.
Addition of New Courses
There are always new course videos on new tech topics. This helps the platform keep its users apace with the ever-expanding technological climate.
PluralSight allows you to log in with your organization’s credentials. You only need to supply your organization’s URL, and you are in.
Cons of Pluralsight
PluralSight has a vast library of courses, of which new ones are constantly added. It also has excellent customer support and gamifies its learning.
What could be wrong with it? As you will see below, PluralSight can disappoint in at least a few ways.
Poor learning experience
From signing up for PluralSight to finding a course to watch, the experience was poor. It gives the same experience as using Youtube to find a course.
The learning path isn’t properly organized which is a downside. If you have no idea of what you want to learn, then you might have a tough time using the platform.
No Discussion Forum for Courses
That’s right. There is no way to interact in real-time with others viewing that particular course as you. There’s also no comment section.
Lack of Interaction With Content Creators
All courses are pre-recorded, so you cannot connect with the host and ask clarification questions if needed. However
No Free Course
PluralSight has thousands of courses, but only some are free, even among the beginner courses.
The platform does provide a free trial, but it lasts only ten days, and you must add your credit card. That carries the risk of accidental billing if you forget to cancel before the free trial ends.
Many Domains Are Missing
PluralSight mainly focuses on the technological niche, but it still needs to catch up in some areas.
Those areas include digital security, DICOM, and DirectX courses.
PluralSight could work on adding more content to areas like financial management and business operations.
PluralSight User Reviews
Pluralsight is good for learning programming and other tech-related skills, especially with the learning paths and labs for hands-on learning.
It is also a solid choice for companies and startups looking for the best way to ramp up their teams’ productivity and brand competitiveness.
But if there is anything about the platform that aches you—sure, there are many—e.g., the poor experience, there are excellent alternatives.
Udemy and Coursera are among the best MOOC (massive open online course) platforms you can learn with.
One of the best things about both platforms is that they also cover, in addition to tech topics, dozens of subjects ranging from drawing to coding to personal development and so on.
Coursera has even better course quality than PluralSight because the former partners with reputable universities and companies around the world to provide university-level training on a variety of subjects.
That said, Coursera and Udemy (and especially Udemy) don’t match the excellent course structure and organizations that you find in PluralSight. Coursera comes close but Udemy no.
Nevertheless, both Coursera and Udemy fix some of Pluralsight’s most worrisome downsides in the following areas:
• Coursera and Udemy provide thousands of free courses
• Both platforms are offered in multiple languages
• Teacher-student interaction and discussion forums are part of Coursera and Udemy.
If you’re looking for programming-related courses alone, I recommend Zero to Mastery for personalized roadmaps.
Pluralsight is a skill development and assessment platform for serious business and is not a scam.
The platform is packed to the gills with lots of guided learning and certification features as well as company-focused perks.
Among other things, PluralSight helps increase your team’s understanding of their responsibilities and empowers them with the skills to act accordingly.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do, especially for those new to tech who need a laid-down structure to organize their learning process and kickstart their careers.
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