Rather than spend time reading long chapter books and skimming how-to blogs, users are now turning to e-learning platforms to learn about a skill or industry quickly and easily. Udemy and Pluralsight are two of the most popular online learning platforms available today. Millions of users have signed up for either platform to learn more about their industry and develop the right skills to get ahead in the workplace.
But which is better: Udemy or Pluralsight? The better e-learning platform for you will depend on the topics you are interested in learning. With that said, Udemy is preferred for their range of course subjects and price, while Pluralsight is sought for their tech-specific training modules.
Although both Udemy and Pluralsight are similar in that they offer a wide range of courses for students and adults wanting to pick up more practical skills for the workforce, they each offer their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Read on to discover everything you need to know about Udemy and Pluralsight.
Udemy is an online platform that offers learning courses for students and adults across a variety of subjects. Some of the top categories Udemy offers courses in are:
IT & Software
However, this is not where the subjects end; there are plenty of other categories of curriculum Udemy offers, including:
Finance & Accounting
Teaching & Academics
Health & Fitness
Udemy functions similarly to a marketplace; users choose and buy the courses they want to join. Purchase unlocks unlimited access to that specific course, allowing you to come back and learn anytime you want. Also, you can access any included articles, quizzes, practice questions, and other downloadable content offered by a course instructor.
The platform is marketed towards professionals who are wanting to improve job-related skills. However, students can also take advantage of the platform since some courses can also be counted as college credit.
Large Selection of Courses - Udemy offers over 100,000 online video courses on their platform, with new classes being added every single month. Although many of the platform’s courses are business-related, it does offer a little bit of everything for everyone.
No Application Required - Unlike college courses you would take online, there is no prequalification or application process necessary to create an account and start purchasing classes. You also do not need previous experience in a subject to take a related course; all courses are available for purchase to everyone.
Lifetime Access for Members - You can access any of your courses purchased from Udemy at any time. You also can go back and retake previous courses without an additional cost.
Start Learning Immediately - After selecting and signing up for a class, you can instantly start your first lesson and download materials.
Access Your Courses Anywhere, Anytime - Courses can be accessed through the Udemy website or your mobile devices (i.e., tablet, smartphone) via the app.
Get Certified - After finishing select courses, you are awarded a certificate of completion to share.
Instructors with Real-World Experience - Many of the instructors on Udemy have experience in the fields they teach, rather than degrees.
Learn at Your Own Pace - The courses you purchase from Udemy are always available to you after purchase, so you can start and stop the classes as often as you would like. Course videos range from 5 to 15 minutes, but you can pause and replay as many times as you want. There is also no time limit to complete a course once you have started it.
Convenient Courses - Most of the courses are led via video, but many instructors will provide downloadable material for you to follow along and apply what you have learned. Also, all Udemy courses are available to access via the Udemy mobile app for iOS or Android so that you can learn on the go.
User-Friendly - The Udemy platform is easy for anyone to use; even the least tech-savvy people can navigate the application without issue.
Multiple Languages - Udemy supports multiple world languages for course offerings, including: “Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Thai, and Turkish.” Instructors also have the option to present their course in a language not previously mentioned.
Free Resources - Compared to other e-learning sites, Udemy offers more free resources and online courses.
Regular Flash Sales - Udemy occasionally makes flash sales where some of their more expensive courses drop to a low cost of $10. This is a massive benefit for college students seeking credit because, if you wait for long enough, you can potentially purchase a $200 course for only $10.
Money-Back Guarantee - Udemy does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not happy with the courses you purchase.
Preview Classes - Udemy allows you to preview courses before buying so you can determine whether a specific class or instructor is a good fit for you before committing. You can also see reviews and ratings from previous students of the course.
Ranging Prices - The prices of courses on Udemy can be unpredictable. Some classes are free, while others can go as high as several hundred dollars. Moreover, although Udemy offers sales now and then, it may take a while before you see the course you want go on sale.
Instructor Availability - Because you can access Udemy courses at any time, the instructors leading the class may not always be readily available to answer any questions you have or provide clarification on a particular section. However, there are discussion boards connected to each course that allow you to post questions for the teacher to respond to at their convenience.
Lower Sense of Professionalism - Because Udemy offers such a wide variety of courses from marketing to makeup and hair tutorials, users question the level of professional application the lessons truly offer and if courses hold any value with employers.
Difficult to Find Quality Courses - Udemy’s 100,000+ courses available makes it challenging for users to find high-quality courses among those of lower quality. Besides, there is not a known screening process for Udemy instructors, so almost anyone can publish course content on the site; for that reason, some classes end up being lower in quality simply because the instructor is not qualified enough to teach the subject effectively.
Some Outdated Courses - In the mix of Udemy’s massive course list are a few classes that users may consider no longer relevant to their industry. It is important to keep an eye on publication dates to ensure that you are getting the most updated information.
Minimal Organization - Udemy courses are organized by topic, so it can be difficult to find a class set to your skill level or a class focused on a specific subject within that topic unless you use the platform’s search function.
Lack of Academic Credit - Only some of the courses offered on Udemy may qualify for course credit with certain academic institutions. It is important to check with an advisor to determine whether a course you are interested in pursuing is eligible to be used as a credit.
Pluralsight did not get its start as an e-learning platform; in fact, it began as an easy way to deliver courses inside the physical classroom. However, it was not long before the company began offering training courses.
Today, like Udemy, Pluralsight is an online learning platform for members to gain new knowledge and skills from a variety of disciplines. However, a significant difference between the two is that Pluralsight’s courses are mostly focused on technological fields.
Through this platform, students can follow learning paths in the following fields:
Information & Cyber Security
Architecture & Construction
Manufacturing & Design
Machine Learning & AI
Pluralsight seems to market its courses towards professionals and businesses wanting to train their employees.
Another key feature that makes Pluralsight differ is that it runs on a subscription model. Rather than purchase individual classes, users can sign up for a monthly subscription to gain access to over 5,000 of their available courses.
Focus on Tech - Most of Pluralsight’s courses are based on tech-related topics. Even other course focuses, such as those for creatives, are related to the technological aspect of those fields.
Online Videos - Most, if not all, of the courses on Pluralsight, have video lectures included that can be downloaded and watched offline or on mobile devices via the Pluralsight application.
Additional Learning Materials - Pluralsight does not just have videos; instructors also upload course materials that students can download for a better understanding of the subject or application.
Get Certified - Like Udemy, Pluralsight offers users a course completion certificate that can be shared.
Extra Resources for Businesses - Businesses that create an account with Pluralsight can take advantage of the additional resources the platform offers, such as team learning.
Instructors with Real Experience - Because Pluralsight is built for professional learning, the instructors chosen for courses are considered a true authority on the subject matter they are teaching.
Ideal for Integration with Workplace Training - The videos available on Pluralsight can also be easily integrated into the training programs businesses offer their employees. The platform can provide a real-time learning experience for employees on the job.
Set Pricing Plans - Unlike Udemy, Pluralsight is subscription-based rather than paying for each course you enroll in. You have the option of paying $29 per month, or $299 annually after a 10-day free trial (up to 200 minutes). Subscribed members get access to all of Pluralsight’s course library, including additional exercise files, completion certificates, and mobile and offline lesson viewing.
Promotes Team Learning - Pluralsight has a feature in which businesses can allow employees to learn in teams rather than individually. Groups need to access the Pluralsight group portal created for them in the app or a web browser.
Organized Skill Paths - Many of the courses on Pluralsight are organized by skill path; in other words, classes are grouped based on the type of skill you develop. Also, some skill paths are divided into Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced categories so that novices and professionals alike can find the courses most relevant to their skill level.
Multiple Languages - Pluralsight offers closed captioning on their course videos as well as full-course transcripts in more than 50 different languages.
Built for Business - Although individuals can pursue courses on Pluralsight, it is usually more preferred by business clients since the training material available benefits existing professionals in the workplace. Businesses can use the classes on Pluralsight to improve staff skills or fill in knowledge gaps to keep the company competitive or in-line with industry benchmarks.
Limited Course Subjects - Because most of Pluralsight’s courses are built for building technology skills, it is not ideal for those interested in non-tech-related topics such as health and fitness.
Some Outdated Courses - There are a few courses on Pluralsight from several years ago and may no longer be relevant to their respective industries. This can be a concern for some tech-industry users who do not notice their publication date -- especially when technology is always advancing, and there is always much newer information to learn.
Limited Lifetime Access - You can continue accessing your classes and course material as long as you continue to renew your subscription. However, once you cancel your subscription, you will no longer be able to see any courses.
Summary: Key Similarities & Differences
To summarize the advantages and disadvantages of Udemy and Pluralsight, here is a review of the key similarities and differences between the two e-learning platforms that are worth mentioning:
Both platforms can offer quality courses for users interested in learning more and building skill sets, but when it comes to professional development, many prefer Pluralsight for its higher-quality content and qualified instructors. However, Pluralsight is sometimes known to list outdated courses among their available lists.
Price-wise, Udemy is technically more affordable for college students and hobbyists with their $10 courses. However, Pluralsight’s subscription-based model allows learners to access unlimited classes at one flat monthly or annual fee; there are never fluctuations in price.
Udemy is more user-friendly since their platform is marketed toward mostly beginners, students, and early professionals. Pluralsight is easy to navigate, but intermediate and advanced-skilled learners may prefer its organization.
Businesses and experienced professionals in technology-related fields tend to gravitate toward Pluralsight for their team learning and business development perks.
Udemy has over 100,000 different courses across a variety of subjects to choose from. However, Pluralsight only offers 5,000+ courses, mostly related to technology.
Udemy offers course completion certificates, but only for certain classes. On the other hand, since Pluralsight is designed for professional development, all of the courses provide completion certificates for learners to share on LinkedIn or their resume.
Should You Choose Udemy or Pluralsight?
So, between Udemy and Pluralsight, which one should you use? The short answer is: it depends.
If you are an individual simply looking for online college credits, ready to switch career paths, want to learn more, or want to get ahead in your current field, then Udemy may be the best option for you because of its prices. Udemy tends to attract many more hobbyists and casual learners because of its range of course subjects and affordability.
However, if you are an individual or business that is especially interested in technology, you may prefer Pluralsight. Technology is constantly changing, so Pluralsight tends to attract more business professionals and those in technology-related fields.
With that in mind, if you are an individual, you may want to check with your company to see if they are partnered with Pluralsight; if so, chances are you have free access to the platform as an employee.
Udemy and Pluralsight are both well-known e-learning platforms that continue to grow every day. Both deliver course content in the same way and have a range of advantages that students, professionals, and businesses alike can appreciate. However, there are a few big differences between Udemy and Pluralsight that make them stand apart from one another.
The main difference is course offerings: Udemy is pretty well-rounded, with classes spanning from personal organization and development to music and marketing. Pluralsight has more technologically-based courses, which can benefit professionals in IT, software development, cloud computing, and more.
Another notable difference is the platform structure: Udemy is built as a marketplace that offers individual courses for sale, while Pluralsight is subscription-based so that members have unlimited access to all courses available.
In conclusion, if you are a student or adult interested in earning college credit, building up a hobby, or improving your professional skills, then Udemy is the best option for you. Existing tech professionals and businesses, on the other hand, may reap more benefits from Pluralsight.