Udemy vs Pluralsight – Which is Better?

By Jeremy Kallowitz | Course Wars

Dec 26

We live in a truly remarkable technological age where anything is possible. Our advancements in technology have made it possible for us to easily overcome large physical barriers. This has granted us the ability to communicate and interact with people all over the world. One of the benefits of living in such a technological age is the idea of online learning.

Gone are the days when you had to physically enroll in an academy or learning center to learn a few basic skills. Nowadays, you can do all that from the comfort of your home at your own pace and on your own schedule. This has enabled many people to start their careers out of learning and perfecting key skills without in-person education.

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Sites like Udemy and Pluralsight offer their services by allowing people to learn at their own pace without the need of teachers, large catalogues of books or expensive tuition fees. But if you had to pick between the two, which one would it be? I arrived at the very same question and this is where my research started. Down below, you’ll find out how I managed to choose between Udemy vs Pluralsight and which one I found to be better.

At a Glance

While seemingly similar, Udemy and Pluralsight are made from fairly different business models. They also incorporate different features and cater to different kinds of people. There are other learning sites out there as well, but from my experience, these two seemed to be the most popular ones. Here are the basic offerings of both platforms to make a decision regarding Pluralsight vs Udemy.

Udemy

Udemy is one of the oldest and largest learning sites out there. It has a vast catalogue of different topics, ranging from basic skills to creative arts and even professional topics. This is reflected in the sheer number of courses offered by the site, which exceeds 45,000.

All of this is possible because Udemy’s business model is like a marketplace where individual people can put up their courses for sale. Topics range from mainstream to very niche subjects. It’s definitely a case of quantity over quality, though. I did see a lot of courses that didn’t seem to offer much or were simply subpar in terms of quality.

Courses can be graded using user ratings. Higher ranking courses will show up more in search results.

Udemy prices its courses individually, but there are multiple payment plans and subscriptions as well for individuals and enterprises.

Pros

  • Over 45,000 courses covering 20+ topics
  • Courses available in 80+ languages
  • Individual course pricing as well as a subscription model

Cons

  • Quality of courses varies drastically
  • Monthly subscription costs more
  • Individual courses can be very expensive
  • Course model makes it hard to take more than one course at a time

Pluralsight

Pluralsight is relatively new in the sphere of online learning sites. Hence, it doesn’t have the sheer number that Udemy does when it comes to courses or topics. But what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality.

Pluralsight has around 5000+ courses available on its site at the moment. What makes it different is the fact that these courses are carefully curated and are offered by qualified individuals. There are also some extra goodies here like multiple learning paths, skill measurement, and much more.

While the catalogue is small, it offers much more than many of the courses on Udemy. Every course I came across was carefully put together, and there was no padding on the site with any mediocre courses. Pluralsight has its own dedicated team to make the sure the courses and course makers are up to standards.

Just like Udemy, there are multiple pricing and subscription options for enterprises and individuals. However, Pluralsight’s courses aren’t priced individually and its monthly subscription price is much cheaper as well.

Pros

  • Professional-grade courses
  • Consistent level of content quality
  • Much more reasonable subscription fees
  • Multiple learning paths for ordered learning
  • Easy to keep track of course progress and statistics

Cons

  • Course selection is limited
  • Can’t buy courses individually

Picking Between Pluralsight vs Udemy

Now that I had taken a cursory glance at each site, it was time to compare the two in depth. This didn’t seem easy at first because of just how much I had to take into consideration. However, once I started to use both sites, the picture started to become clearer.

I picked some topics and searched for courses on both sites. As expected, the course offerings were different for Udemy vs Pluralsight.

I then set about comparing the course selection and quality of courses. At the same time, I compared the features offered by the two, the different pricing models for the sites, and the overall quality of the service I received.

You can find my comparison down below with special attention to the key factors. This helped me narrow down my preference in the ‘Pluralsight vs Udemy’ fight.

Quantity of Courses

Udemy won this one with over 45,000 courses available in its catalogue. With the service being as old and popular as it is, it’s no surprise that it managed to achieve this feat. However, as previously mentioned, not all of these courses are high quality. A lot of them lacked in quality and only seemed to pad up Udemy’s numbers.

Quality of Content

Pluralsight was the winner here with its excellent courses. Each course seemed to follow a standard of quality throughout. The production quality of Pluralsight’s courses simply blew Udemy out of the water. Images and screengrabs were high resolution, and voices and audio files were clear and understandable. Compare that to Udemy, and you end up with a lot of courses that simply aren’t up to par or lack a high-quality presentation.

Curation of Course Material

Going off my previous point, I found that these sites curated their content differently. Pluralsight has its own team working tirelessly to ensure the quality of the courses remains at an acceptable level. On the other hand, Udemy relies on user ratings for its course curation, which isn’t always reliable and can be manipulated. This is why Udemy’s courses lack that standard of quality.

Topic Variety

Udemy offers a much wider variety of topics. It offers not only learning material but also additional content on developing artistic skills or hobbies. At first, this made me consider Udemy as clearly superior, but once I looked at enough subpar courses, it made me want to reconsider. Pluralsight offers courses focused on a few topics, but these courses are extensive and cover the topic well enough.

Pricing

Pricing is an important factor to consider, whether you’re an individual or a large corporation. Both Udemy and Pluralsight have different pricing plans on a monthly or yearly basis.

The big difference here is that Udemy provides the option to buy courses individually. While this seemed like an attractive option at first, when I looked at course prices, it became clear that this wasn’t the case. Since Udemy allows individuals to put up their own courses, they can price them accordingly as well. Some courses are reasonably priced at around $10 or so, while others exceed $300, which is more than what a monthly subscription will cost.

This is why I had to side with Pluralsight here. Even though it doesn’t offer individual course purchases, it charges a reasonable fee. For $29 a month, you get unlimited access to the entire catalogue, while Udemy charges $109 a month for a limited number of courses.

Service Quality

At the last stage of my comparison, I compiled my overall experience with the two sites and their content, customer support, and quality. This allowed me to rate the service on a whole based on my time using it. It didn’t come as much of a surprise to me that Udemy was clearly lacking. While the site used to be one of the best for online learning, lately, it has just fallen below expectations. These days, the site simply doesn’t offer a decent quality of content. This is why a lot of people have moved away to superior alternatives like Pluralsight.

My Personal Pick for Udemy vs Pluralsight: Pluralsight

It’s no secret here that Pluralsight offers much more for much less. This made it easy for me to pick Pluralsight as my winner. Don’t get me wrong, Udemy isn’t a bad online learning platform. However, lately, the service has fallen short of the quality it once had. Combined with the lack of extra features and the expensive pricing model, I simply can’t recommend Udemy anymore as a decent online learning service.

Pluralsight offers fewer courses, but they’re all high quality, leaving me with little complaints. I don’t have to spend my time sifting through large course lists, looking for decent courses. I can just log on and pick a random course, safe with the knowledge that everything will be up to standards. For someone like me with limited money and time, that’s more than I could ever ask for.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Pluralsight’s free trial so that you can test and experience the platform for yourself.

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