According to a report by Renub Research from late 2019, the global online education market is projected to reach a value of over $350 billion US by 2025. As online learning services have improved, people have shifted to an online learning environment.
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Coursera is already one of the big players in this field, offering university-style education from leading academic institutions and multinational corporations from around the world. One of its older rivals is Pluralsight, which has carved out a niche offering on-demand assessment and training for the most in-demand skills for the technology industry.
So how do they stack up against each other? Which one has the courses and features you want? And why pick one over the other? We’ll cover all of that as we pit Pluralsight vs Coursera.
What is covered in this article
- Pluralsight vs. Coursera overview: comparison table
- Pluralsight: the best for budding technology and technical workers
- Coursera: the best for general learning from accredited institutions and businesses
Let’s start with a quick look at some of the basic features these two e-learning platforms have to offer.
Pluralsight vs. Coursera overview: comparison table
Coursera and Pluralsight differ in a few key ways, such as their pricing structures, areas of topic focus, and style of delivery. As a result, they are targeted at different audiences.
Coursera is more like traditional post-secondary education, with more accessibility and subject options, but a more fixed course structure. So it tends to attract global learners who are okay with studying something over an extended period of time — especially because courses don’t always cost money.
Pluralsight is much more focused on cutting-edge technology. Its courses are also less time-sensitive; they’re ready for you whenever you’re ready to learn. Finally, it requires you to pay to use it, although it comes with a 10-day free trial. Taken together, this means that Pluralsight is aimed at tech enthusiasts who want to learn as much as they can in a limited period of time to jump-start, get ahead in, or stay on top of their careers.
Compare Pluralsight and Coursera at a glance below:
|Brief Summary||Skill training, assessment, and management for current or aspiring tech employees||Online post-secondary-style learning from top universities, colleges, and corporations|
|Best Uses||Gaining skills towards pursuing a tech career, or improving the skills of your current tech workforce||Supports a broad range of learning goals, from passion projects to skill acquisition to professional or academic accreditation|
|Educators||Mainly industry professionals who apply||Mainly university & college professors; some industry professionals|
|Course Structure||On-demand||Somewhat fixed|
|Languages||English||English, French, German, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Chinese|
|Accreditation||None||Certain courses and programs|
Pluralsight: the best for budding technology and technical workers
Pluralsight.com is the better pick if you’re looking to break into – or move up in – a career in emerging technologies. It’s definitely the more specialized of the two learning platforms, and it’s also more business-oriented — it’s geared towards giving people the skills to land top tech jobs, as well as helping current technology-based companies train their employees to be better at their careers. And you have to pay to use it, so you’d better be getting ahead with it.
What is Pluralsight and what are its benefits?
Best for: Assessing and improving skills with new and emerging technologies
Cost: $25-$37 per month for individuals; $48-$65 per month for teams (per user)
Pluralsight brands itself as “the technology workforce development company”. As such, it’s where you want to be if you’re looking to learn the skills to land a job with (or move up in) a business that deals frequently with computers, software, and other cutting-edge technologies. It also has some training programs for trades-based skills, such as manufacturing, architecture, and construction. Courses are on-demand, so you can take them anytime, anywhere, at your own pace.
In addition, Pluralsight has a product called “Flow” that helps to analyze and optimize workflows, helping business teams – especially those who do computer and software engineering – operate more efficiently.
Top benefits of using Pluralsight
Pluralsight aims to give you the skills you need to succeed in the technology industry, and its stand-out features are modeled around that goal. Here are a few highlights:
Skill IQ & Role IQ: Quickly find out how much you know about particular tech skills, as well as which ones you need to know to succeed in a specific tech job.
Learning Paths & Channels: Follow a curated course structure to build on what you already know, or mix and match courses to meet your specific goals — it’s up to you.
Resources to help you succeed: Weigh in on discussions with peers and course instructors, access helpful reference materials, and take short untimed quizzes to check how well you’ve retained what you’ve learned.
Learn on the go: Pluralsight has apps for desktop PCs, mobile devices, and even smart TVs. What’s more, they work offline, so you can even learn in places where you don’t have an Internet connection!
Stay ahead of the game: Earn badges as you reach learning milestones, watch recordings of the latest tech conferences to see what’s going to be big next, and more!
Pluralsight is better than Coursera when…
- You’re looking for training on a specific aspect of technology
- You want to know what tech skills you need to succeed at a particular job
- You want to learn something to forward your career, and not just for a hobby
- You want flexibility in when and where you learn
- You run a tech company and want to improve your team’s competence and efficiency
10 top Pluralsight courses to try
Here are some of the most popular courses on Pluralsight, as of the writing of this article. Remember, Pluralsight courses are often geared towards specific aspects of a particular technology, and some may be more advanced than others. You may want to try one of their Skill IQ assessments to see how much you know about a certain subject, and/or follow a curated learning path to make sure you’re learning the basics before moving on to something more difficult.
- Network Interface Layer and Ethernet Operation for Cisco CCNA 200-125/100-105 – by Ross Bagurdes
- Information Systems Auditor: Operations, Maintenance, and Service – by Kevin Henry
- Linux: System Security (LPIC-2) – by Andrew Mallett
- Ethical Hacking: Hacking the Internet of Things (IoT) – by Dale Meredith
- Prepare for the ARE Vol. 2: Project Management – by Kevin Griendling
- SCCM Current Branch: Deploy and Maintain Operating Systems – by Greg Shields
- Managing Cisco Products Using Advanced API-based Methods – by Nick Russo
- Introduction to the Automating Cisco Enterprise Solutions (ENAUTO 300-435) Exam – by Nick Russo
- Demonstrating the Business Value of Power Automate – by Vlad Catrinescu
- Conducting Passive Reconnaissance for CompTIA PenTest+ – by Dale Meredith
Coursera: the best for general learning from accredited institutions and businesses
Coursera.org is much more of a mixed bag than Pluralsight is, featuring a wider variety of topics for study and supporting a broader range of learning goals. You’ll find courses on art, healthcare, math, social sciences, and language alongside the sorts of technology training lessons you’ll find on Pluralsight. Coursera also allows you to take courses simply as passion projects, right up to earning a genuine academic degree online.
What is Coursera and what are its benefits?
Best for: Getting university-level education online as if you were actually on campus
Cost: Free courses available; $40-$100 to get a course certificate, $40-$90 / month for Specialization course packages or Professional Certificates; $2000+ for MasterTrack certificates; $9,000+ for Online Degree
Coursera is a learning platform that features thousands of courses sponsored by leading academic institutions and corporations from around the world. Many courses cost no money to take, though you can pay to get assessed on your performance in a course and receive a completion certificate if you pass. Some courses and programs even give genuine academic or technical accreditation, but they are rare and usually very expensive.
Also, because many courses on Coursera are based on real-world university programs, they often run concurrently to those programs when they’re being taught on campus. So courses often have specific time frames for when they’re available for enrollment, and when they should (reasonably) be completed by.
Top benefits of using Coursera
Coursera’s M.O. is to recreate traditional post-secondary education in an online format. So it’s not as flexible as Pluralsight in terms of when you learn, but its features give you more options when it comes to what you learn, how you learn it, and why you wanted to learn it in the first place.
Get the university experience at home: Courses on Coursera are structured like real-life university courses, and many are taught by the same people who teach their on-site counterparts. So you’re learning from professionals in academia and other leading multinational corporations in a similar way to if you were on campus yourself!
Show off your hard work: For many courses, you can pay to have your assignments evaluated and receive a completion certificate if you pass. It’s a nice thing you can add to your résumé or portfolio to demonstrate your skills. Some programs can even give you real academic or technical certifications!
Mobile support: Did you miss a lecture, or are you on the go when one’s happening? Don’t sweat it! The Coursera app for iOS and Android lets you stream lessons anywhere, or download them to view offline later.
A community there to help: Whether you need academic help with your studies or technical support in actually using the website, Coursera delivers. Get peer review, talk things out in open community forums, or contact the Learner Support team.
Accommodating diversity: Coursera’s main interface is available in over 10 languages, and its lectures are subtitled in over 40 languages, so it’s more suitable for learners all over the globe.
Coursera is better than Pluralsight when…
- You’re interested in topics other than technology
- You want to be able to learn for fun, and not necessarily for your job or career
- You’re okay with having fixed times to study in class and complete assignments
- You are looking to get professional accreditation for the things you learn
- You want to learn from real university professors and experts from leading companies
10 top Coursera courses to try
These are some of the most popular courses on Coursera as of the writing of this article. Remember that some courses are part of bundles that can get you ready for professional certification, earn you credit towards your Master’s degree, or even give you an authentic Bachelor’s or Master’s degree online! So if you like what you’re learning, you might be able to take it even further — maybe all the way to a new career!
- Finding Purpose and Meaning in Life – from the University of Michigan
- Understanding Medical Research – from Yale University
- Japanese for Beginners – from Saint Petersburg State University
- Introduction to Cloud Computing – from IBM
- Foundations of Mindfulness – from Rice University
- Fundamentals of Finance – from the University of Pennsylvania
- Machine Learning – from Stanford University
- The Science of Well-Being – from Yale University
- Introduction to Psychology – from Yale University
- Predictive Analytics & Data Mining – from the University of Illinois
5 alternative e-learning services to Pluralsight & Coursera
Of course, there are many more online learning platforms out there besides just Pluralsight and Coursera. Each has their own specialties and quirks, so it may be worth looking into a few of them before you make your decision. Here are some popular ones:
Best for: Learning niche subjects, often at low prices
Cost: $20-$200 per course (lifetime access)
Udemy is the largest open education marketplace on the Internet today. Almost anyone can be a teacher on Udemy; with over 130,000 courses, you can find lessons on some subjects here that can be difficult to find anywhere else. Prices are also set by instructors on a per-course basis, but are often subject to numerous sales and discounts. Purchasing a course comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, and gives you permanent access to that course as long as it’s up on Udemy.
Best for: People who want to learn by doing
Cost: $12-$20 per month; some courses are free
Skillshare is for those who believe actions speak louder than words. Specializing in creative industries like animation, photography, and graphic design, Skillshare puts less emphasis on simple reading and lectures. Instead, they prefer that you practice what they preach, from completing daily challenges to working on group projects together with other users. Whether you want to learn how to put together a website or even build a business from the ground up, Skillshare can teach you how to make something you can be proud of.
Best for: Learning from successful people who have the star power to prove it
Cost: $180 per year
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to do something the way your favorite celebrity does it, then MasterClass is for you. MasterClass features nearly 100 courses (and counting!) taught by some of the world’s most recognizable professionals in their fields: music icon Alicia Keys, skateboarding pioneer Tony Hawk, award-winning novelist Margaret Atwood, science guru Neil deGrasse Tyson, and even gourmet chef Gordon Ramsay. Follow along with video lessons anytime, anywhere, and then complete assignments in a downloadable workbook to submit for peer review and critique. You may even get a chance to have your work assessed by the course instructor themselves!
4. LinkedIn Learning
Best for: Learning both professional competencies and job-specific skills
Cost: $25-$35 per month; one month free trial
The website formerly known as Lynda.com is now part of the business-oriented social network LinkedIn. That should give you a hint as to what LinkedIn Learning is all about: over 15,000 courses geared towards equipping you with the skills to thrive in the modern working world. These include not only skills specific to certain jobs or industries, but also those that generally help you look and act like a professional: critical thinking, emotional intelligence, time management, habit-building, body language, and more. You can then display completed course certificates on your LinkedIn profile to show off your work.
Best for: Learning computer coding through practical application
Cost: $20-$40 per month; free plan available
That wraps up our Pluralsight-Coursera comparison! If you want to see details of how Pluralsight stacks up against some of the other alternatives we’ve listed here, give our Udemy vs. LinkedIn Learning vs. Udacity vs. Pluralsight review a read. You can also check out our list of websites like Coursera for a few other suggestions that we haven’t included here. Now get studying!
More Great Related Articles
What makes Pluralsight different? ›
Paths, Channels, Projects and Interactive Courses
In addition to Role IQ and Skill IQ, Pluralsight offers experiences that allow you to practice in real time, with personalized feedback—which can get you mastering skills fast. Some of our top technologies are now available as Projects and Interactive courses.
- Udemy Business.
- LinkedIn Learning.
- iSpring Market.
The best platform for learning technical skills - unparalled content, great trainers. PluralSight is the best video-based training provider out there.Why is Pluralsight better? ›
Pluralsight specializes in coding, computer science and data science. Courses are taught by world-renowned academics and it is known for rapidly developing its students' knowledge and collaborating with Fortune 500 companies. Udemy has significantly more users, courses and categories than Pluralsight.What is difference between Pluralsight and Udemy? ›
Udemy and Pluralsight have different approaches for their pricing. Udemy's courses are paid for individually and Pluralsight has a subscription model which you can subscribe to monthly or yearly.Are Pluralsight certificates accredited? ›
Pluralsight is an accredited partner of PeopleCert for ITIL® certification and follows PeopleCert's accreditation requirements.Are Coursera courses accredited? ›
Coursera Certificates Are Not Accredited.
While a Coursera certificate can look good on your resume, it's important to keep in mind that these certificates are not accredited.
Coursera courses are led by the top universities and companies that you could think of. This makes Coursera certificates and degrees legitimate and valuable. You can use the online degrees that you earn on Coursera to help you land your dream job or qualify for a job with a higher position.Are Coursera certificates worth it? ›
Are Coursera Certificates worth it? On the whole, yes. If you're seeking promotion, looking for a career change, or the skills you are learning are highly sought after, then a Coursera Certificate does have value and is definitely worth the investment. Coursera partners and course providers are world class.What happened to Pluralsight? ›
In April 2021, Vista Equity Partners successfully completed its acquisition of Pluralsight for $22.50 per share.
Does Google use Pluralsight? ›
Together, Google Cloud and Pluralsight empower companies to develop critical cloud skills, unlock the possibilities of hybrid and multi-cloud computing and take control of their digital transformation.Who is Pluralsight competition? ›
Pluralsight competitors include Udemy, Skillsoft, Coursera, Learning Tree International and edX. Pluralsight ranks 1st in Overall Culture Score on Comparably vs its competitors.How much does Pluralsight cost per month? ›
How much is Pluralsight? A Standard Pluralsight membership costs $299.00 per year (or you can pay $29.00 monthly) and a Premium membership costs $499.00 per year (or $45.00 if you pay monthly).Is Pluralsight better than skillshare? ›
Skillshare vs Pluralsight - Comparison Overview
Based on the overall score of this Skillshare vs Pluralsight comparison, we can see that Skillshare has a higher rating between the two brands, scoring 8.5. Pluralsight has managed to reach an overall score of 7.9.
Plan admins vs.
Team managers only see analytics data for the learners in the teams they manage. For example, a team manager can oversee other team managers. They can only see data for the team managers and learners on their direct teams; they cannot see the data for learners of team managers they oversee.
If you subscribe to Pluralsight's premium plan, you can earn a certificate of completion and add this to your LinkedIn profile. To add a Pluralsight certificate to LinkedIn, you must ensure you're on the premium subscription. This subscription model provides monthly and annual plans.What is the difference between coursera and Udemy? ›
Quick summary: Udemy vs Coursera – which is better?
|Specialization||Anyone can create and offer courses on any topic||Open access to university quality education|
Best overall alternative – Skillshare has thousands of courses to choose from. And with a subscription you can take as many as you like – which would likely be cheaper than buying courses individually on Udemy.Are Pluralsight certificates worth anything? ›
Yes, Pluralsight courses are worth it. Premium Pluralsight training allows students to gain certificates of completion and work on hands-on projects. There's a wide variety of training programs on the e-learning platform. I'll provide a detailed review and why you should do it.Can Pluralsight get me a job? ›
Yes, Pluralsight can help you get a job if you apply yourself during the coursework. Just like with other online learning platforms and even college degrees, it is not the paper that helps you get the job but the practical skills you have acquired.
Do companies recognize udemy certificates? ›
The short answer is that Udemy certificates themselves are not accredited. Because Udemy is not an accredited institution, so any qualifications will not be recognised as formal.Is Coursera owned by Google? ›
(/kərˈsɛrə/) is a U.S.-based massive open online course provider founded in 2012 by Stanford University computer science professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller.
You can list Coursera courses on your resume even if you don't have a certificate for them, but don't put them in a “Certifications” section or claim to have an official certificate if you don't. Instead, list the course in your education section or in an “Additional Information” section.Do Coursera certificates look good on resume? ›
1 Answer. You can add your Coursera certificates to your resume by placing them in the skills section. A Coursera certificate is a great way to impress your future employers. It's a credential that demonstrates you have completed online courses, which takes discipline, technical skills, and learning experience.Do employers care about Coursera? ›
Yes, if you have the means. The certifications might not have the best recognition, but the skills you gain can be of enormous advantage to your career—even recruiters will agree with that much. If you're not sure how good Coursera courses are, here are some free Coursera courses you can try out.Is Coursera certificate valid in USA? ›
Yes, Coursera courses are valid and recognized worldwide. In fact, you can get a high-paying job with a valid Coursera certificate.Do Coursera certificates expire? ›
A Course Certificate itself does not expire. Maybe you mean your payment expired. If you paid for a course and more than 180 days have passed, you need to pay again or apply for Financial Aid. If it was a subscription, you should re-subscribe and complete the course(s).Is Coursera worth it without a degree? ›
Yes, Coursera is legit and worth the cost for anyone who wants to pursue online learning with leading academic institutions. Coursera is one of the most cost-effective MOOC sites currently out there.Does Coursera certificates count as college credit? ›
Students who complete the Google IT Support Professional Certificate on Coursera can receive 12 credit hours toward the information technology concentration of the B.A.A.S. degree. These credits would count as lower division credits (1000, 2000 level courses).How much does a Coursera certificate cost? ›
Coursera Courses can be accessed for free, Guided Projects start at $9.99 and Specializations and Professional Certificates from $39.99 a month.
Is Pluralsight owned by Microsoft? ›
Pluralsight partners with Microsoft and integrates with Microsoft Viva. Through this acquisition, Pluralsight will broaden and accelerate technology skills development through hands-on experiences.Do Pluralsight courses expire? ›
Your bundle key will redeem a set of courses through Pluralsight good for one year. Be sure to check Subscription & Billing on your Pluralsight account for any expiration dates.How many companies use Pluralsight? ›
Pluralsight is used by 18,000 business customers. Pluralsight makes a difference in more than 180 countries.Is Pluralsight better than a cloud guru? ›
When assessing the two solutions, reviewers found Pluralsight Skills easier to use. However, reviewers felt that the products are equally easy to set up and administer, and both vendors make it equally easy to do business overall.Who bought Pluralsight? ›
Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners acquired Pluralsight for $3.8 billion in April 2021.Is Pluralsight expensive? ›
Pluralsight Costs: Last Thoughts
The Standard plan costs $29 a month or $299 a year, giving you access to the Core library (2,500+ courses). This includes in-demand topics like cloud, data, security and software development.
In order to provide you with additional up-to-date cloud content, Pluralsight Skills is replacing certain cloud courses with newly-released ACG courses.Is Pluralsight being sold? ›
Vista Equity Partners (“Vista”) today announced that it has agreed to acquire Pluralsight, Inc., the technology workforce development company for $3.5 billion. It is an all-cash transaction acquiring all outstanding shares of Pluralsight common stock for $20.26 per share.Which courses are best in Pluralsight? ›
- Understanding Machine Learning.
- Security Fundamentals.
- Machine Learning Literacy.
- Web Application Security.
- Fundamentals of Virtualization.
- Becoming a Business Analyst.
Can I pay for just one course? We do not sell access to individual courses, but you can sign up for an individual subscription for just one month to get access to your desired course, and then cancel at any time.
Are Azure courses free on Pluralsight? ›
Register now to learn Azure and measure your skills for FREE
You'll get unlimited access to selected Azure courses, skill assessments that help you validate your knowledge, Role IQ to measure your level of expertise in your job and more experiences.
Grow your proficiency with access to our full 7,000+ course library, including more advanced content, niche topics and recordings from the latest tech conferences. Upskill your team's in-demand technologies and topics with 2,500+ of our most-popular courses.What is the difference between Pluralsight standard and premium? ›
The main differences between Pluralsight Standard and Premium subscriptions are the certification practice exams, interactive courses, and authentic skill assessments only available in the Pluralsight Premium subscription.What do I need to know about Pluralsight? ›
Pluralsight is an online educational platform that helps teams in the tech industry learn more and develop their tech skills. The main focus of Pluralsight is training for tech-based professions like software development, and IT operations.