Hello my lovely readers! This weeks edition of the Course Wars pits two big platforms together, Udemy & Pluralsight. I’ve used both extensively, so I am going to write this blog post largely based on my own experience (although I will include some others opinions as well).
If you’ve stumbled upon this post you’re probably sat there scratching your head thinking “Should I go with Udemy or Pluralsight?” and you’re looking for some advice from someone who has used both platforms… well, you are in luck! I’ve used both platforms extensively and I actually do like both platforms, but depending on what you are looking to learn and your learning style – there are big differences between the two platforms and I’ll try my best in this blog post to highlight those differences and also let you know my opinion on what course provider is better for individual needs.
At a Glance
While seemingly similar, Udemy and Pluralsight are made from very different business models and therefore that translates into a very different experience as the customer. 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 is one of the oldest and largest learning sites out there and is filled with loads of online courses. 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 185,000.
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 can be a case of quantity over quality, though.
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.
- A broad range of courses including 185,000 courses covering 60+ topics
- Courses available in 80+ languages
- Individual course pricing as well as a subscription model
- Quality of courses varies drastically
- Monthly subscription cost is expensive, but if you buy an individual course, you do get lifetime access.
- Individual courses can be very expensive if there is no sale on (Read below to find out how to always get the sale price)
- Course model makes it hard to take more than one course at a time
- Each instructor has a different level of experience, some small, some big.
- Many different type of courses, from basic to advanced courses.
- Certificate of completion upon finishing a course (the trustworthiness of Udemy’s certificate is often brought into question when it comes to recruiters though – so if you are interested in improving your career prospects, this does not mean a lot).
What Can I Learn Using Udemy?
This is one of the biggest differences between Udemy and Pluralsight in my opinion – with Udemy you can learn pretty much anything. It has sooooo many different courses and categories. You can learn new languages, you can learn programming, stock trading, business development, knitting… you can even learn the art of clowning for fun and money. – Yeah, literally everything.
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+ online 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. These courses are all self paced which makes learning easy no matter what your available time to learn is.
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. The courses are cross platform and available on both desktop and mobile devices.
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 if you are plannin to take a lot of courses.
- 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
- Intuitive learning path system which allows users to easily find what courses are beneficial to help them achieve their goals
- Big discounts on the annual subscription.
- Unlimited access to an entire course library for one monthly fee.
- A big focus on software development, IT Ops, Big Data – basically anything techy or business related – the quality of the content is very high.
- Interactive courses available on their premium plan which makes learning to code so much easier with instant feedback.
- Course selection is limited to technology and business fields. If you are not looking to improve your technical skills but would rather learn to knit – Udemy might be the better option.
- Can’t buy courses individually
What Can I Learn Using Pluralsight?
Picking Between Pluralsight vs Udemy
Now that we have taken a cursory glance at each site, it is time to compare the two in depth. This was a bit of a daunting task at first because they are two of my favorite places to learn online, however, the fact that they are VERY different platforms does help me with recommending a different one for different people
Quantity of Courses
Udemy won this one with over 185,000 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. If you’re buying a course on Udemy, it’s very much worth waiting for a special offer because they often have offers where you can get an expensive course for 70% off or more. You can check if there is a current offer on by clicking here.
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.
If you are looking to learn how to program then there is one feature of Pluralsight premium that is simply a million times better in my experience compared to Udemy, and that is their interactive courses. Instead of just watching videos and not having any idea whether you’ve written or understood the code properly, you can use Pluralsight’s interactive code features to write code in your browser and get IMMEDIATE feedback on your code and help if you are struggling. I’ve used interactive courses like this for learning programming and it’s so much easier to progress faster. You can check to see if they have interactive courses for your desired language or framework by having a look at their interactive catalog here.
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.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t find high quality courses on Udemy, but it does mean that you have to be vigilant and that can be difficult when you don’t know the course material very well to begin with. If you are a complete beginner, I’d say Pluralsight is a safer bet so you don’t spend your valuable time and money on courses that are outdated or frustrating to follow.
An annoying problem I’ve personally had with Udemy is courses can sometimes be outdated and the code does not run with current libraries or frameworks, so you’ll end up stuck not being able to continue along a course despite already spending hours on it. This can happen with Pluralsight too, but you’re able to get in contact with the Pluralsight team and you’re guaranteed to have a fix fairly quick, with Udemy you’re dependent on the creator, who are often amateurs with other jobs and the courses can be abandoned. Again, this isn’t always the case, but with Pluralsight you’ve got more of a guarantee you’ll get the help you need, when you need it.
Udemy offers a much wider variety of topics. It offers not only learning material for technology and business fields but also additional content on developing artistic skills or hobbies. You can’t really compare Udemy with Pluralsight in this area, if you want a course that is not available on Pluralsight – Udemy is the only option. However, if you are looking to learn something in the business or tech area, Pluralsight offers courses focused on a these select few topics, and these courses are extensive and cover the topics in much more depth with a specific focus and useful tools that can make your learning journey a lot easier. If you’re not sure if Pluralsight offers courses on your particular topic of interest, you can check in their course catalogue.
Pricing is an important factor to consider, whether you’re an individual or a buying training for 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 where as Pluralsight is purely subscription based. Obviously there’s a benefit to just paying one time and having access to a course, but with a subscription there are benefits that you might not think of. High quality courses take time, money and effort to make.
This is why I say if you are not on a very tight budget, I’d once again side with Pluralsight here. Even though it doesn’t offer individual course purchases, it charges a reasonable fee, you know the quality of the courses is high and you can rest assured that what you get will be updated frequently and work for as long as you are subscribed.
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 Pluralsight came out better than Udemy in most cases. While the site is still one of my favorites, and I use it all the time – I only use it for stuff that I can’t get from my Pluralsight subscription such as hobbies, obscure frameworks and learning different languages. All my business/tech related stuff is pretty much covered by my Pluralsight subscription.
My Personal Pick for Pluralsight vs Udemy: Pluralsight… UNLESS
Generally speaking, if you’re reading this you’re probably comparing Pluralsight and Udemy in regards to technical and businesses courses. If this is the case, and you’re looking to do a lot of learning, I’d say Pluralsight is the best option without a doubt. The fact that you can get access to their entire library for one monthly or yearly fee is a massive bonus. Udemy courses might seem cheap, and they are! But the price soon adds up if you’re on a learning spree…
The only time I would go with Udemy is if you are learning something which Pluralsight doesn’t offer – which is unlikely if you’re learning tech or business- just check out their massive course library.
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.
You know my opinion now – but make up your mind for yourself. Pluralsight offers a 14 day free trial. You can access Pluralsight’s free trial here so that you can test and experience the platform for yourself.
I hope this post has been helpful – I tried my best! I’ll probably update it some more later on, please if you have any questions or suggestions on what would be helpful to include – just pop them down in the comments section. I read and reply to every comment!
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