Pluralsight provides an enabling online environment for tech professionals or aspiring ones to develop their skill sets.
At the same time, it provides startups and enterprises with team onboarding and upskilling capabilities by providing various tools and features for guided learning and assessments.
The video course platform was founded in 2004 as a classroom training company but moved online in 2007.
Another online educational giant that promises everything PluralSight gives and more is Udemy.
Udemy has been around since 2010 and was a joint project between Oren Bali, Oktay Caglar, and Gagan Bayani.
Initially, Udemy was just software for hosting live virtual classrooms, but the team had bigger dreams and decided to expand it and make it available for everyone.
Udemy is just as renowned as PluralSight but takes a different approach to online skill acquisition.
Unlike PluralSight, which is restricted to the tech niche, Udemy covers a far more comprehensive range of subjects, from drawing to sewing to coding.
Both educational platforms provide employees and employers with career-building and talent-selection features and opportunities.
With that background in mind, let’s examine Pluralsight and Udemy in deeper detail.
Table of Contents
What Is Pluralsight?
PluralSight aims to bring individual skill learning and company training processes in one package.
The platform focuses on technical topics and business and project management skills.
The virtual classrooms consist of pre-recorded video courses covering over 7,000 topics in the above niches. Mind you, none of the courses are free. You can choose to subscribe to all of PluralSight’s content, or you can decide to unlock a specific course.
Learning on the platform is well-organized, and you won’t have to worry about getting lost in a wide array of courses. There are pre-determined structures that can help even first-timers pick precisely what they want to know.
All the courses are organized into paths. In other words, for any skill you want to learn, there are course videos arranged in the order you should watch them, just like a curriculum.
Of course, learning paths are not enough if you don’t have a good idea of your strong points and your weaker areas. PluralSight knows that as well.
Through the skill IQ assessment feature, you will take a test (optional but highly recommended) of your skill proficiency.
PluralSight will use your performance to automatically select which skills you should start with and then arrange all the related courses in the order you should view them.
PluralSight has a broad coverage of technical topics and affords its users plenty of opportunities to test their strengths in a particular skill. Employers can also use PluralSight’s company-focused package to upgrade their teams’ technological fluency.
Instead of sending their teams to other parts of the world for training, a business or enterprise can decide to enroll them in PluralSight to learn new skills through the learning paths, interactive courses, and labs available.
And occasionally, each team member can take assessments that measure their skill competency or understanding of their role.
That can result in significant savings for businesses as they keep learning costs low while ensuring that staff members receive adequate training for better efficiency and productivity in their respective positions.
What is Udemy?
On a broad scale, Udemy aims to fill the same needs as PluralSight does. The aim is to provide users access to a diverse array of educational content that can be accessed anywhere, anytime, and anyhow.
Udemy is a massive open online course program (MOOC). It’s where anyone can sign up to be an instructor (after passing Udemy’s vetting protocol) and upload courses on a specific topic.
As a result, there are tons of interactive video content on virtually every subject. All videos have descriptions that give away their specialization, user reviews, and whether they are meant for beginners or higher skill levels.
Unlike in PluralSight, the content in Udemy is a mix of free and paid courses, depending on the instructor.
Most, if not all, of the courses allow for teacher-student interaction via online discussion boards. This is a significant win over PluralSight.
Since individual instructors create the courses, they can give their students assessments, assignments, group projects, and Q&A sessions just like in a physical setting.
Udemy itself controls none of that, so instructors can build their courses according to their personal flavor.
To date, there are over 213,000 video courses on Udemy, and more come up every day. The niches are highly varied. You will find course content on design, development, IT and software, personal development, photography, et cetera. The list goes on and on.
For small businesses and large enterprises, Udemy Business comes into play. It is a higher offering than the standard platform and geared towards employers needing to upskill their teams.
By enrolling on Udemy Business, employees can select from up to 20,000 courses taught by expert instructors.
The course content helps an employee to level up on the skills relevant to his job position or learn completely new skills to prepare for promotion or an outright career change.
At the same time, employers can evaluate a student’s progress with the aid of such tools as Course Management, Analytics and Reports, Integrations, et cetera.
Udemy has the added advantage of offering courses in various languages. In addition to English, there are more than 20 other languages, so there’s a high chance of finding the language of your heart.
By now, it is clear that PluralSight is a niche course focusing on tech and business management topics. Udemy takes a kitchen-sink approach and offers classes on possibly every subject.
But now, it is time to see how both platforms compare on several metrics related to course quality and diversity. Let’s move on.
Number of Courses
Udemy beats PluralSight to the punch for sheer number of courses; 210,000+ vs. 7,000+
Udemy Business has over 20,000 courses selected from the main library. These courses are chosen based on their reviews and are available in several languages. Multi-language support is a feature of every course on Udemy, whether in the standard or business plan.
Quality of Courses
I can’t vouch for either PluralSight or Udemy in terms of course quality, but if I had to pick one, I would go with PluralSight.
PluralSight has tighter control over the course content because its authors (as they are called) were hand-picked by the platform based on a strict protocol.
All Udemy cares about is that an instructor’s video is clear (HD resolution is the minimum), the courses have a minimum of five modules, the course is up to 30 mins long, and there is no provocative element in them.
Diversity is another area where Udemy wins, hands down.
While PluralSight only focuses on technical subjects and a handful of productivity topics, Udemy goes above and beyond to cover a vast spectrum.
Aside from tech, other domains you can learn on Udemy include photography, drawing, etc.
As you may have guessed, anybody can become an instructor on Udemy. While you can check an instructor’s bio before picking the course, not all content creators on the platform have due certifications.
PluralSight seems to be more serious with instructor qualifications than Udemy. To test this aspect, I wanted to see what steps each platform required me to take before becoming an instructor on either of them. How did it go?
After Plural had me choose whether I would be creating courses, assessments, or labs, I was taken to a page where I had to submit my qualifications as a CV.
Earlier, I received a notice that the author community managers will inspect my profile and examine my qualifications to see if I had what the platform needed. Needless to say, I terminated my experiment at that point.
I then tried the same experiment with Udemy. All Udemy required of me was to create a profile using my email and password. After that, I only had to reveal my proficiency in video creation and how much following I have.
I had already gotten the point. Udemy could borrow a leaf from PluralSight and pay more attention to the quality of its instructors.
The extent to which an online learning platform organizes its courses can tell you much about the level of guidance you will receive should you decide to buy the course.
Courses on Udemy are grouped into broad categories like IT, photography and video, personal development, et cetera.
There’s no course structure to follow, and all you can do is look for courses that promise training of a particular level, be it basic, intermediate, or advanced. It can almost feel like scrolling through YouTube for tutorial videos.
Nevertheless, you do get recommendations of top courses in a particular skill or what to watch next after finishing a class.
Pluralsight gives you a much more structured way of learning. All course videos have been grouped into learning paths for a particular outcome in the domain of your choice.
So, for instance, if you want to become an AI/ML expert or a business professional, there is a laid down format to follow.
Features and Tools
PluralSight and Udemy have plenty of features for the end user.
What’s most impo, rant, however, is how these features and tools ultimately impact the end user.
In this section, our focus is on which of the two platforms has the most valuable perks.
PluralSight Features vs. Udemy Features
Let’s compare the features of both platforms and see which triumphs.
There are assessments on both platforms. They include quizzes, practice questions, exercises, et cetera.
Pluralsight skill IQ assessment, however, goes a step further. It helps you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses so you can start with the right course. Udemy doesn’t have any equivalent.
In terms of more impactful tests, PluralSight wins.
Pluralsight uses such attachments as badges, a progress bar, and a weekly log to help you stay motivated and on track with your learning objectives.
Udemy doesn’t have such attractions. This is another area where it loses out to PluralSight.
Only Udemy will allow you to view content in another language besides English. Right now, Udemy supports more than 20 languages. Its first win in this fierce contest.
Learning paths exist only on PluralSight, and they are great time-savers. Udemy doesn’t even come close with its recommendation feature.
PluralSight grants certifications. Udemy does as well. The difference is in the validity.
Udemy’s certificates are merely proof of completion of a course. PluralSight, on the other hand, partners with many external bodies, like Google, Cisco, and Microsoft, to award certificates you can tender when job hunting.
Another dibs for PluralSight.
There are mobile apps for both PluralSight and Udemy that work for Android and iOS devices. They also have TV apps.
It’s a fair contest here.
PluralSight has no free courses, and a 10-day free trial is your only chance at testing the platform without any financial commitment.
Udemy, on the other hand, has a 30-day free trial which is a lot of time to test out the platform for yourself.
Udemy wins this one.
PluralSight and Udemy both do very well in this ease-of-course-discovery feature.
They allow you to search with a keyword and then streamline results by several categories like rating, topic, content type, level, duration, and video length.
Udemy enjoys a slight edge here as its multi-language support allows you to filter courses by language and even subtitles.
This is a Udemy-only feature. You can select a course, find the gifting button, and even attach a personalized message for the person.
Udemy is the home of discounts. Many courses that were very expensive shortly after launch have had their prices slashed by as much as 70 percent. You don’t get that kind of deal with Pluralsight, and it’s one way Udemy stands apart as the more budget-friendly option.
Udemy offers a 30-day free trial. PluralSight only allows ten days for its free trial. Both require you to add your credit card for automatic billing if you wish to start paying after the trial expires.
Subtitles are available for all videos on both course platforms. But Udemy goes a step ahead with its multi-language subtitle support. You can use Udemy in any language of your choice.
Discussion boards make learning much more interactive and personal—Udemy, rather than PluralSight, puts this feature to good use. On Udemy, you can comment and ask questions for the instructor to answer.
If you are on PluralSight, however, you cannot interact with the course author.
However, PluralSight recently introduced channels on its web and mobile platforms. Channels are like chat rooms that help you organize your courses in one place and share with members that you add.
PluralSight’s pricing is pretty straightforward—it’s either a standard plan or a premium 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.
By comparison, Udemy gives you access to thousands of courses that don’t cost a dime.
At the same time, you can purchase individual courses if that’s all you need. There are tons of cheap courses, including high-quality ones that have seen heavy discounts.
But if you are after a subscription system, then you only need to set aside $28 every month. There is also a seven-day free trial.
Pros and Cons
As this is not a standalone review of a platform but rather a standard comparison of two competitors, I will enumerate the advantages of one platform over the other.
The die has been tossed, and it’s Pluralsight advantages over Udemy first.
PluralSight Advantages Over Udemy
1. Has Better Assessments
Pluralsight assessments help you a lot to identify your strengths and weak areas.
Taking the Skill IQ assessments will also allow the platform to automatically cook a selection of courses you should follow to level up a particular skill.
Role IQs (if you are employed) help you examine how well you are doing in your job position, and then you can add new skills to help you do better.
2. Delivers Better Course Quality
Pluralsight instructors and courses pass a strict vetting process to ensure that only the best scale through.
Udemy, on the other hand, has a very liberal approach to course quality. Anyone can become an instructor on it, and from there, average or low-quality courses can slip in unnoticed.
3. Gives Learning Paths
In Udemy, different courses for the same skill set are scattered all over the platform rather than being arranged in a logical structure or curriculum.
It’s far better on PluralSight. There, all the courses have been arranged in the order you should learn them.
4. Features Gamified Learning
PluralSight lets you set learning goals and awards you badges for consistency.
Besides that, PluralSight will send emails to your inbox from time to time to encourage you to get back on track or keep up your streak.
You don’t get those perks on Udemy. Even if you ghost the platform for a long time before returning, you might not get any reminders to get back on track.
5. Awards Verified Certificates
PluralSight has thousands of technical courses, and many are produced in collaboration with tech companies like Google and Microsoft.
When you complete those courses and pass their assessments well, you will be granted certificates recognized by that tech company.
In that area, Udemy lags behind. The certificates you get by taking paid courses are just proof of completion.
6. Is Highly Specialized
PluralSight is for all those aspiring programmers, coders, and software developers. There are also courses for special trade skills like architecture.
Hence, compared to Udemy, PluralSight is the better option for learning to program as it will take you from beginner to advanced in any programming niche.
7. Hands-on Experience
PluralSight has a special treat for programmers and other tech professionals who do a lot of practicals.
It has video courses that provide a sophisticated virtual environment for putting the skills you acquire into actual practice.
The labs feature is an example of hands-on learning in action. These labs present tasks you must complete in time using the skills you’ve learned from the associated video course.
Udemy Advantages Over PluralSight
1. Is More Versatile
There is no question about it. With over 213,000 courses in dozens of subjects, Udemy takes the crown for sheer number of topics.
2. Has Thousands of Free Courses
While PluralSight courses deliver intensive training, it shoots itself in the foot by not having a free course.
You get a ten-day free trial, but Udemy has thousands of free courses you can venture into without thinking twice.
3. Supports Multiple Languages
Udemy has courses in over 20 languages. Pluralsight supports only English.
On Udemy, you can also filter courses by language.
4. Allows Lifetime Access
PluralSight has no lifetime subscription plan. It’s either a monthly plan or a yearly one.
But in Udemy, there is lifetime access to any course you buy.
5. Supports Student-to-Teacher Interaction
The majority of PluralSight’s courses are pre-recorded videos. The interactive videos for coding topics are so-called because they come with a code editor that allows you to solve code and get feedback in real-time.
In Udemy, every course has a Q&A section that allows you to pass any complaints to the instructor.
Additionally, there’s a direct message feature for when you need to contact the instructor for a challenge that is specific to you.
6. Makes It Easier For Instructors To Get Admitted
While PluralSight’s scrutiny board ensures the highest quality content for learners, it can be a thorn in the flesh for people who can make good teachers but don’t have the qualifications to back it up.
Udemy has no such restrictions. Anybody can sign up on the platform to teach without having to please an exam board.
7. Courses Are Heavily Discounted
In Udemy, many courses can be pricey when they first land, but as time goes up, their price reduces significantly.
It’s not uncommon for a course of $100 to drop to around $20 or even less.
Such opportunities are rarer than a blue moon in PluralSight as it runs a subscription model.
PluralSight and Udemy are popular with millions of people, but going by reviews on Quora and other online communities, PluralSight is loved for its guided learning features and rich content.
Nevertheless, many users complained that some courses are outdated, in some cases, by up to three years.
Below are reviews from two users on Quora
“Pluralsight’s UI and learning features are great for usability and learning. IT and other technical workers will like the platform”.
“Udemy is a generalist platform for everyone. Concerns exist that Udemy courses may be watered down because of curators’ rapid access, regardless of expertise or experience.”
Screenshots from Reddit
When deciding between Pluralsight and Udemy, nothing beats having a clear idea of what you need from an online educational platform.
PluralSight and Udemy are meant for different categories of people; one is a niche website, and the other serves a wide range of professions, both technical and non-technical.
That difference allows us to arrive at a pretty easy consensus. If you are into programming and want to level up your skills, PluralSight is your best bet as it offers higher quality training than Udemy in that field and will even grant certificates that will at least attract your interviewer’s attention.
For anything else, and especially free courses, Udemy is game.