The future is online—but to be a part of the future, you need to speak its language. You need to understand the technology world, and be adept in coding. But how do you learn a language you can’t speak? How do you understand a world you can’t touch? It can be difficult to get technology training, as college classes are time-consuming, and bootcamps can cost thousands of dollars.
But there maybe there’s a better way.
MOOC’s, or Massive Open Online Courses provide online learning for students. These courses are often lower priced, and allows you to learn at your own pace. But which online learning site is best? Can you trust it to teach you the right information about the newest tech advances? Can you earn certificates to display your learning to employers? Today, we’re going to compare two of the top online sites, Treehouse and PluralSight, to see which one is better, and which one is best for you. Let’s get started with this comparison of Treehouse vs PluralSight.
Treehouse Vs PluralSight
Treehouse focuses on making “tech more accessible through affordable and engaging online tech education.” Founded in 2011, they have an emphasis on EDI—Equity, Diversion, and Inclusion. They want to help everyone learn technology skills, and boast 300 technology courses to do just that.
Ranging from “Beginner Python” to “Advanced Android Apps,” each of their courses are made up of video instruction, with quizzes and coding challenges interspersed. For coding challenges, they have a built-in coding environment, “workspaces,” which allow you to code in-browser, and immediately see the output. Treehouse focuses on a more gamified approach to learning, using points and badges to encourage you to keep on studying and learning.
The founders of PluralSight didn’t intend for it to be an online learning site. In 2004, Aaron Skonnard and Keith Brown provided technology training for companies, but by 2007, the business transitioned into a distance-training platform. Their goal is to “help businesses and individuals benchmark expertise across roles, speed up release cycles, and build reliable, secure products.”
While PluralSight is aimed more toward business and individuals within a corporation, it is also for any developer, IT administrator, or coder. They focus on business and Technology in their course library. Their courses are also video-based, and include projects and discussion boards for users to use. They operate on a subscription basis, where a monthly payment gives you access to their entire course library.
Treehouse Vs. PluralSight: Ease Of Use
Learning takes a lot of mental effort—using the learning site shouldn’t add to that load. The simpler it is for you to find your courses, use the material, and keep on learning, the easier it will for you to succeed. Is it easy to learn how to code on Treehouse and PluralSight? Let’s dive into each and see.
Treehouse wastes little time getting started—while you need to include your payment information in creating an account, you also get a free 7-day trial to see if it’s for you.
Treehouse wants to make sure you’re set up for success. They start you off with an onboarding process, indicating why you’re there, what you’re interest in learning, and your past experience in technology fields. From this information, Treehouse offers you custom-made course suggestions and learning paths, so you can instantly start learning.
All of Treehouse’ courses are separated by topic. The courses on Java, Design, Machine Learning, or Security are all grouped together, so they’re easy to find. It’s simple to see the different courses and tracks as you scroll through. Learning Tracks are designed to make your experience even smoother—they’ll take you from beginner level to expert as you work through several courses.
The individual lessons in Treehouse are also easy to use. You can watch the video, or read the transcript if you’re more of a textual-learner. If you ever get confused, the question forum below each video is the perfect place to get answers from other students and Treehouse staff. Already understand a certain lesson? You can skip ahead to the new information, or jump backwards for a refresher.
Each course also has quizzes scattered throughout, to ensure the information sticks in your mind. The videos are full of entertaining graphics and an engaging teaching style, that makes it simple to remember what you’ve learned.
But it’s more than just the lessons themselves. Treehouse wants to make your whole learning journey easy—by making it fun. As you complete courses, watch videos, or take quizzes, you’ll earn points and badges. Treehouse uses this gamified system to hack into your subconscious idea of fun and competitiveness, making it easy to keep coming back.
PluralSight also makes it easy to start with little commitment—they offer a 10-day free trial to test out their site. Though they don’t have a full onboarding process, you can select a few topics that you’re interested in, to get personalized recommendations that make it easier to start.
However, PluralSight does have some built-in tools to help make your learning process easier. You can set your own learning goals, and PluralSight will remind you of them, to help keep you on track.
Pluralsight’s lessons also help make your learning process easier. Although they have large, multi-hour courses, they are split into modules, which are then split into 4-10-minute videos. PluralSight also offers an in-browser spot for you to takes notes as you learn. For coding exercises, there are downloadable files to work through alongside the course.
PluralSight has its own learning paths, that also help you to learn long-term. These paths are made to take you from beginner to expert in a particular topic, whether that’s a coding language, or designing a website.
Conclusion: Ease Of Use
Both Treehouse and PluralSight offer easy-to-use experiences, with trial periods to ease you in, as well as learning paths to level up your learning. Treehouse inches ahead, simply because of its thorough onboarding process, and gamified system that gives a little bonus to make it easier to keep learning.
Treehouse Vs. PluralSight: Which Has Better Quality?
When it comes to technology learning, quality is one of the most important factors. Precision is necessary—but it you’re not learning the right information, or if your learning is outdated, you’ll be left in the dust. Is PluralSight a good learning site? Are Treehouse courses legitimate? Let’s see how their courses, information, and instructors stand the test.
Treehouse picks its instructors by hand, people who are industry experts, or expert teachers. Their courses are regularly updated, so you can be assured you’ll have the newest information. This is invaluable if you’re working with design programs that change their format regularly (like Adobe), or with apps and platforms.
Treehouse’s learning is also fairly thorough. Their courses are several hours long, with much to learn. However, they are geared a bit more toward a complete beginner, than someone who has a lot of technology experience.
Treehouse’s videos are also high-quality. There is some variance in teaching style from instructor to instructor, but all of the courses include engaging graphics and examples. Treehouse also includes a built-in coding environment, or “workspaces”, that allows you to instantly put your learning into practice as you code within your browser.
Yet for as much information that Treehouse offers, it’s short on hands-on experience. There are few real-world projects included with courses, which gives you little to show for your work. Like most online learning cites, their certificates are not actually certified, which makes this lack of projects even more troubling. There’s also the training-wheels problem with built-in coding workspaces—learning how to set up a coding environment on your own is a necessary part of coding in the real world.
PluralSight is marketed towards businesses—and has the credentials to prove its quality. They have partnered with Microsoft, Google, Adobe, and Oracle to create courses, so you’re learning from the very people who created the systems you’ll be using. Before each course is made public, it’s reviewed for technical accuracy as well.
PluralSight also intends for its training to be very thorough. Each of their courses are 15-30 hours long, and they have courses for intermediate and advanced learners. When you take a PluralSight course, you can be sure you have access to the full breadth of knowledge you need to succeed.
While Pluralsight’s certificates are not technically certified, they are worth more than your average piece of paper from an online site. Because their courses are created in partnership from recognizable industry leaders, you’ll be able to indicate you completed a course created by Microsoft, Google, or Facebook itself—and that name recognition can earn you a lot, especially if you’re looking to work at one of those companies. Pluralsight’s Premium subscription also allows you to complete projects to show what you’ve learned: coding projects, sites you create, or models designed within programs like Maya.
While both sites have high-quality courses, PluralSight goes above and beyond. Because their courses are in partner with organizations like Microsoft, contain many hours of thorough learning, and have built-in projects, they ensure you gain mastering in your new technology skills.
Treehouse Vs. PluralSight: Special Tools/Perks
However, sometime sites have little bonuses that make their site that much more valuable. What do Treehouse and PluralSight have to offer?
Treehouse has several tools to help its users. Tracks walk you through the whole process of building a skillset, from start to finish. Treehouse also offers a community which lets you connect with other users—though mainly it is used to get coding help.
Treehouse also offers perks for its students, with discounts on Grovemade, InVision, and other sites designed for technology professionals.
PluralSight also offers Learning Tracks for its users—but it also has several other helpful tools. You can prepare for your certification exams, from the PMP, CompTIA, to the ISACIT. PluralSight also offers Skill IQ and Role IQ, two quizzes to help you assess your learning and skillset. PluralSight even has its own AI, IRIS, to help suggest personalized learning plans for you to reach your goals.
Conclusion: Special Tools/Perks
PluralSight pulls ahead again, as its certification prep course help you advance to a professional level, and the Roles and Skills IQ quizzes help you to track your progress.
Treehouse Vs. PluralSight: Which Is Priced Better?
But are either of these courses cheap? You want to make the most of your money—and it’ll do you no good to try to invest in a lucrative tech career, if you bankrupt yourself in the process. Which is cheaper, Treehouse or PluralSight?
Treehouse works on a subscription basis—you pay each month, and have access to take as many courses as you wish. Treehouse’s basic subscription costs $25 per month, and gives access to all of their courses, workspaces, and quizzes. Their next level up is Courses Plus, costing $49 per month—but the only advantage you’re gaining is the ability to download courses. Finally is the TechDegree level, costing $119/month. This includes curated curriculum, a slack community, and certificates for completing courses.
Treehouse allows you a 7-day free trial period, so you can test out if the site and courses are right for you, without spending money. They also offer the perks mentioned in the section above, which gives you discounts on other products.
PluralSight is also subscription-based, offering two different levels. Their Basic Subscription costs $29 per month, and gives you access to all of their courses, along with the Roles and Skills IQ. (Alternatively, you can pay for an entire year at once for $299, which is a 15% discount.) In this level, you can’t earn certificates.
PluralSight’s Premium Subscription only comes in the lump sum of $499 a year. This allows you to earn certificates, complete projects, and also take part in live classes, where you are coding or interacting with the instructor in real time. However, this is a large sum, and a large time commitment. On the upside, you can get a 10-day free trial of Pluralsight here.
Treehouse ends up being cheaper than PluralSight. However, if you’re in for the long haul, wanting to earn certificates, then PluralSight’s Premium subscription will cost you far less. While Treehouse’s Basic subscription delivers for the money it costs, each of their other levels jumps in price, without giving much in return.
Treehouse Vs. PluralSight: Is Either Better Suited For Different Learners?
Different learners need different sites. If you’re brand-new to the coding world, you’ll be overwhelmed by a site designed to train professionals. If you’re wanting to level up your career, you’ll be bored by a course created for new-comers. Who is Treehouse and PluralSight intended for?
Treehouse is directed towards the beginner. Their certificates won’t level-up your resume right away, but you can learn new skills and prepare yourself for success. Treehouse also holds your hand through the learning process, with their Learning Paths taking you directly towards specific goals.
On the other hand, PluralSight is designed for the professional who wants to advance their career. PluralSight focuses on certification, marketable skills, and creating a competent technological workforce. Their site is geared towards business, and the people who work within them. While beginners are welcomed on the site, they may face a learning curve as new information is thrown at them.
Treehouse Vs. PluralSight: Which Is Better?
If you want to truly jump into the world of technology, then PluralSight is the perfect launching point. Because of their partnership with Google and Adobe, certificates from their courses will add weight to your resume, and will help you with official certification exams. Their built-in reminders and goals will help you stay on track in your learning, and learning paths will take your skills to the next level.
While there is a bit of a learning curve for beginners, technology is a field that needs hard workers and fast thinkers—so learning to do both will equip you well for a successful career. PluralSight’s Roles and IQ tests are there to guide you as well.
Just curious to learn more about Tech fields? Treehouse might be a better choice for you—but don’t forget to check out our review of Udemy, which offers courses for far less!