Technology is the great power of our age, and those who can ride it are king. He who knows how to code, how to develop systems, or how to understand machine learning can ask for whatever he wishes—businesses are willing to offer raises, good jobs, and full careers for those can use and manipulate this new power. But how can you take advantage of this?
It’s often hard to develop the correct tech-related skills. Colleges rarely have the exact courses you need, and a single class costs thousands of dollars. Sure, you could watch videos on YouTube, but how do you know if they’re teaching you correct information? Add on to that the fact that many of the large systems get regulate updates that completely change how you use the system—it’s enough to make you throw your hands up in frustration and throw away your tech-career aspirations.
But you don’t have to.
Pluralsight is an online learning system that is seeking to equip more people for technology careers. We took a look at their courses, and laid out the pros and cons so you can see if it’s right for you in this Pluralsight review!
What Is Pluralsight?
Pluralsight was first founded in 2004 by Aaron Skonnard and Keith Brown to provide training for companies, but by 2007 transformed into a distance training platform. They now serve as an online library for IT and tech-related Skills. Their goal is to “help businesses and individuals benchmark expertise across roles, speed up release cycles, and build reliable, secure products.” Though they lean heavily towards businesses and individuals within companies, they seek to “create progress through technology” and have courses for any software developers, IT administrators, and coders.
How Pluralsight Works
To use Pluralsight, first create an account using your email. Pluralsight offers a free 10-day trial period for all of their subscriptions, after which you’re charged monthly. You’ll get an email reminder the day before your free trial-period ends as well, so you can consciously make the decision whether or not to continue with Pluralsight.
Once you create your profile, you’ll be taken to Pluralsight’s onboarding page. This has a list of different categories and topics that Pluralsight offers, separated into categories such as Software Development, Production and Design, and Cyber Security. You can select from topics that interest you so Pluralsight can offer you personalized suggestions right away, or skip this step to do later.
On your home page, you’ll see recommended courses, channels, and learning paths. You’ll also be able to set personalized goals for how often and how long you want to study—and Pluralsight will remind you and show you your progress. With a Pluralsight subscription, you have access to all the courses in their library, which you can browse either in their different categories, or search for specific ones by typing in keywords.
Pluralsight has two special tools to help you as you begin your learning path: Skill IQ and Role IQ. Both of these 5-10-minute tests help you assess what you already know, and help Pluralsight’s AI, IRIS, suggest a personalized learning plan for you to reach your goals. Skill IQ focuses on the skills you still need to learn—that way you won’t need to waste time watching lessons on skills you’ve already mastered. Role IQ test the specific skills that you need to be successful in a particular job role—and shows your progress as you prepare for the career you want.
When you find a course you’re interested in, you can click on the title to be taken to its “about” page. Here, you can see a brief overview of the class, the instructor, the rating of the class, as well as scroll through the syllabus. To start your learning, simply press play, and you can listen to the first lecture in the course.
Each course is split into larger modules, and each module is separated into many bite-sized videos (often 3-10 minutes long) Pluralsight has a built-in-browser place for you to take notes as you watch, as well as the ability to skip forward, backwards, and to any lesson in the curriculum. You can also download exercise files to work through on your own, as well as interact on the discussion boards. You can also take Learning Checks, short, untimed quizzes that help you see if you are retaining information.
Pluralsight will save your progress in each course, and when you return later, you’ll be able to pick up right where you left off.
Some Pluralsight courses include projects, which all you to “put into practice your learning in real-world scenarios in local developer environments.” These can be coding projects, creating sites, or using programs such as Maya to create models.
Once you complete your course, if you have a premium subscription, you’ll receive a certificate that you can share on your social media, or print out to include with your resume and CV.
Other Pluralsight Uses
Pluralsight also has several other tools you can take advantage of. They offer exam prep for industry certificates such as the PMP, CompTIA, and ISACIT. Though you can’t take the certification test itself through the site, the company is approved as an official partner to help you prepare for the test.
Businesses can utilize Pluralsight in many different ways too. Flow is a product created by Pluralsight that helps business to track the progress of employee’s work—and so see where things could be more efficient, and what parts are bottlenecking the process. The Business plan of Pluralsight also allows companies to see the different skills of their employees, so they can create better teams.
Is Pluralsight Cheap?
For the basic Skills subscription, Pluralsight falls about the middle of the pack. Pluralsight does run on a subscription-basis, so you pay each month for access to the entirety of their courses. A basic Skills subscription costs $29 a month—or you can pay for the whole year for $299, which is about a 15% discount. In this track, you have access to 6,500+ courses, Skill IQ, Role IQ, course discussions and exercises files. However, you can’t earn certificates.
Pluralsight’s premium subscription is charged in a lump sum of $499 a year (thus about $41 a month). With Premium, you are able to receive certificates for your work, as well as have access to interactive courses—courses where you code alongside the instructor, receiving real-time feedback to help you really understand the material. You also gain access to projects, which help you create products to showcase your skills. If you’re seeking to use Pluralsight to further your career or for a job, Premium is the best bet, as you’ll receive credit for the work you’ve completed.
Is Pluralsight Accredited?
No, Pluralsight is not accredited, so you won’t receive any college credits of CEU’s from their courses. However, they are partnered with many large businesses, so certificates from Pluralsight still have value. Many of the courses are created in partnership with Microsoft, Google, Adobe, Oracle, and others—teaching you the exact skillsets those companies want to hire.
Furthermore, many businesses use Pluralsight within their own company to train their employees—so you already having training from the site will hold weight. Pluralsight is also approved as an official prep site for many industry certification tests such as the PMP and CompTIA.
Is Pluralsight Reliable?
Pluralsight is used and trusted by many large businesses for a reason. Adobe, T-Mobile, and VMware all use their services, and they have over 1,500 instructors creating their content—experts who work at Microsoft, or regularly give TED talks about technology. Pluralsight also has a strict vetting process for their instructors, ensuring that all the courses are led by industry experts.
Their courses are reliable too. Each course is reviewed for technical accuracy before it is launched, and though at the beginning there were some reports of inconsistency in lesson layout and audio quality, all of their courses are now the highest quality.
Pluralsight also has a strong customer service. The site is very user-friendly, and thus hard to mess up on. But if you ever run into trouble, Pluralsight has over 1,700 employee who are ready to help. They have an active customer service, and a large FAQ page—a great help to beginners that might get lost in some of the site’s technical jargon.
Pluralsight is assured of the quality of their products, and others seem to be too—they reported a 295% return on investment within less than 6 months of a payback period.
Is Pluralsight Worth The Price?
Pluralsight’s monthly price is comparable to others like SkillShare—but you won’t earn any certificate on this basic subscription. To actually earn certificates, you’ll have to upgrade to Premium, which costs more, sitting at $499. However, for this price you get access to all of their courses, can take as many as you wish, and get personalized feedback on projects and certificates that are recognized by multi-million-dollar companies. Pluralsight has niche courses—but because of that they are very thorough, and will ensure that you are an advanced level as you finish each learning path.
For someone who wants to jump into the tech industry, or market themselves to different companies, Pluralsight is an excellent place to up-skill yourself.
If PluralSight focuses on technology skills, SkillShare focuses on creative ones. While SkillShare has a massive library that covers a multitude of topics, their main emphasis is on artistic ones, such as animation, design, or social media—courses that Pluralsight lacks. A monthly subscription costs less: $19 month; and all their courses end with a project that showcases what you’ve learned.
However, SkillShare does not offer certificates for their courses. Also, anyone can teach or be an instructor on SkillShare, while PluralSight has a strict vetting process on instructors and reviews every course before it launches. Pluralsight also has a better reputation with companies—a certificate from a PluralSight class can help you get a raise or moved to a better position.
Pluralsight vs Udacity
Udacity focuses on many of the same topics as Pluralsight: AI, Cloud Computing, and Programing. While Udacity’s flagship courses are their Nanodegrees, they do offer over 200 free classes for you to begin your learning—and all high-quality ones. They also have their own “social media” platform, allowing users to connect and network together.
However, with Udacity, rather than accessing their entire library, you have to pay for each course individually—and they can be expensive. Courses can run from $279-$3,000—which can be more than accessing the entirety of Pluralsight’s courses. Furthermore, they provide little information on the vetting of both videos and instructors. Finally, Pluralsight’s Skills IQ and Roles IQ are tools that are unrivaled by any other online learning site.
If you’re seeking to enter into or advance in a technology-related field, Pluralsight is a reliable and recognized tool to equip you for it. While there may be a small learning curve for new beginners, they set their users up for success with hard work, and are excellent for those seeking to expand their skills. Pluralsight is useful for businesses as well, both to equip their employees and to effectively manage them. Pluralsight is a sleek, efficient tool and learning library that any technological citizen should use.