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Finding an elearning platform that meets your needs and budget is easier said than done. That becomes more apparent when you are deciding between two top platforms like Udemy and Pluralsight.
I am sure you have questions like; What are their prices?What’s the difference between Udemy and Pluralsight courses? Which one will help me grow professionally?
After reading this detailed comparison, you should have a clearer idea as to which platform is right for you.
Let’s get into it!
Table of Content
Udemy vs Pluralsight Summary
Udemy offers over 213,000+ courses on the most diverse range of topics you will find on an online learning platform. Its individual courses are on a paid for individually ranging from ($19.99 to $199.99). Udemy also offers a Business plan that is designed to help organizations of any size and gives employees unlimited access to 19,000+ courses. Pluralsight on the other hand works on a subscription model. The standard plan costing monthly $29/ yearly $299 or the Premium plan costing monthly $45/ yearly $499 for individual learners. Pluralsight is a technology skills platform focusing on helping individuals and businesses develop the skills of tomorrow.
Round 0: Which One Is More Popular?
Honestly, Popularity isn’t really one of the categories for this comparison, but I thought it would still be worth pointing it out before we get started. I mean popular services or products have their moments or popularity. Who remembers the Tamagotchi? If you were a kid in the late 90s you should definitely remember your favourite Tamagotchi.
My question is: When did it stop being so popular?
So, my point is, that it’s a good way to assess the marketplace and see which elearning platform is most popular among its users.
Google Trends Udemy vs Pluralsight
As you can see in the graph above, Udemy takes the lead in popularity over Pluralsight.
Udemy was founded in 2010, is home to 59 million+ students and offers 213,000+ courses. Its courses are available in 75 languages, and it offers courses ranging from Business to Health & Fitness.
Pluralsight was founded a little earlier in 2004 and then in 2007 the company shifted its approach to online video training. It offers 7000+ courses in its expanded library on all skills related to technology which are taught by one of its 1500+ expert instructors.
Round 1: Ease-of-Use & Interface
Who here likes a well-organised interface that is easy to navigate? I know that for me, it makes moving around a website an enjoyable experience. Let’s check out Udemy and Pluralsight and see what their interfaces are like.
The first introduction to these platforms is the registration process. Udemy has a really simple registration where you just need to add your email, password and name. Then all that is left to do is check your email for a confirmation from Udemy.
Udemy account registration process
The registration process at Pluralsight is pretty intuitive. First you will click on ‘TRY FOR FREE’ (see image below). You will then need to click on the subscription plan you want to try for free.
You will then need to add your First and Last name, Email, Country of residence and Company name (optional). There will then be a section to add your payment details, but you won’t be charged anything until the free trial has ended. If you do decide not to continue the free trial you can cancel at anytime during this period. Plus Pluralsight emails you a reminder 1 day before the free trial ends.
Backend & Design
After registering with Udemy, you can start to get to know the platform, and you will quickly see its super easy to move around, and its clean design make it an enjoyable experience. The landing page has some really useful sections like Students are viewing and Top categories(see image below). This is a great starting point for beginners on the platform.
Udemy Landing Page
Pluralsight’s design is striking and artistic, and its design is definitely more memorable than other online learning platforms (see image below). The contrast of black, pink and orange make it a stand-out. On its homepage you can find Popular topics and latest features. Like Udemy, it’s a nice starting point for newbies to the platform.
Winner: This is a tricky one, but I think the point must go to Udemy due to the fact that the registration process is super simple and the clean layout of its platform make it really easy to find what you are looking.
When you are picking an online learning platform, your main priority is finding the best courses. So, this round is an important one. Let’s find out whether Udemy or Pluralsight will take the upper hand on this one.
With such a variety of categories and courses, it’s not always easy to find what you are looking. But some elearning platforms make it easier than others to find your desired course.
Udemy offers 155,000+ courses which are categorized by 13 topics and dozens of subcategories. Udemy has a fantastic detailed filtering system which allows you to filter by Ratings (this one I find particularly helpful), Video Duration, Topic, Subcategory, Level, Language (see image below).
Udemy course filter
Another feature that is really helpful is to read reviews from previous students who have taken the course. The standard star rating system from 0-5 makes it easy for new users to identify the popularity of the course. In addition, each course has a preview of the course(a free video introduction) which you can watch to get more familiar with the course structure and the instructor.
Pluralsights core library features 2,500+ courses and its expanded library consists of 7,000+ courses on 11 technology related categories including; Aec, Architecture & Construction, Business Professional, Creative Professional, Data Professional, IT Ops, Manufacturing & Design, Information & Cyber Security, Software Developer, Software Development and Web Development. You can browse using its filter system selecting Library, Subject and Skill Level.
Pluralsight doesn’t only offer individual courses, it has the option of Paths that combine courses and tools into one experience which will teach you a specific skill. Paths can be anywhere from 3 to 15 combined courses, in some cases it can be more. It is worth pointing out here that this option requires more time commitment and in some cases prior knowledge of a subject area is need from the learner.
Winner: Again we have another hard round, but as Udemy has a wider range of courses and an intuitive filter system Udemy gets this one.
Introduction to Testing in Java – Taught by Richard Warburton, a beginner-friendly course. This course introduces why you want to write automated tests for code and how to implement this in Java. This course will take just under 4 hours to complete and has a 4.5 out of 5 rating.
Computer Fundamentals: Software Troubleshooting – Taught by Daniel Lachance, a beginner-friendly course. In this course you will learn how to diagnose software issues and how to protect systems against malware. This course will takes just under 1 hour 30 minutes to complete and has a 5 out of 5 rating.
Communicating Data Insights – Taught by Janani Ravi, this is an advanced level course. In this course you will gain the ability to summarize complex information into clear and actionable insights. This course will take just under 2 hour 30 minutes to complete and has a 4.5 out of 5 rating.
Introduction to Drafting and Annotation in AutoCAD – Taught by Pierre Derenoncourt, a beginner-friendly course. In this course you will learn how to get up to speed in AutoCAD. This course will take just over 2 hours to complete and has a 5 out of 5 rating.
Pluralsight Popular Paths:
Java Language Fundamentals – Combines 21 courses with 50 hours of learning. This path will take you through Java language syntax and fundamentals, Java collections, working with streams in Java and much more. You don’t need any prior experience and all the necessary tools and concepts will be introduced throughout the path.
Fundamentals of DevSecOps – Combines 4 courses with 7 hours of learning. This path will take you through DevSecOps: The Big Picture, Automated Security Testing in DevSecOps, Performing Security Testing in DevSecOps and more. You don’t need any prior experience to take this path.
Building Data Storage Solutions with Microsoft Azure Services – Combines 5 courses with 11 hours of learning. This path will take you through Implementing Azure SQL Databases and Data Warehouse, Build NoSQL Databases and more. To take this path you should be familiar with types of storage solutions such as databases, graph databases, data lakes and data warehouses.
Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer – Combines 6 courses with 17 hours of learning. This path will take you through Compute Engine, Data Storage Services, Google App Engine and much more. To take this path you should be familiar with the fundamentals of cloud computing and relevant practical experience, as well as 6 months+ hands-on experience with Google Cloud.
Round 3: Free Courses At Udemy & Pluralsight
A popular question that always gets asked is: Where can I find the best free courses?
To answer that question honestly really depends on what exactly you are looking for from a free course.
Udemy’s free courses have a helpful filter system where you narrow down what you are looking for (see image below). This means you can get specific on Topic, Subcategory, Level and Language.
Udemy Free Courses
I want to mention here that Udemy’s free courses are a more simplified learning experience from its paid courses with some features limited like not receiving a certificate of completion or being able to participate in the Q&A.
With Pluralsights free trials you are able to try out its Core library (2,500+ courses) or Expanded library (7,000+ courses) for 10 days. In the case of the Premium Plan, you would have access to the following;
Full expanded library of courses (7,000+ courses)
Exams, Projects and hands-on learning
Pluralsight IQ (A 10-minute assessment to validate your skill level)
Real-world scenarios with projects
Pluralsight 10-day Free Trial
Winner: Pluralsight has to win this one, due to the fact you get access to the full 7000+ course library, Pluralsight IQ and more. It gives you a real authentic experience of the platform.
The score is now 2 – 1 with Pluralsight starting to show it’s a competitor.
Round 4: Available Languages at Udemy & Pluralsight
This will be a short round. I promise.
Udemy is localized in Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Thai. But as an Udemy instructor, you are welcome to create a language in any course you like.
Udemy courses in other languages
Pluralsight’s content is only in English, but they do offer captions and subtitles in other languages. You just need to select the gear icon (see image below) and then select captions. From there you can pick your preferred language.
Pluralsight Captions other language
I do want to add here that to get the most out of a course with Pluralsight you should have a proficiency and feel confident with the English language.
Winner: With the number of languages that Udemy offers it is a stand out winner of this round.
This leaves the score 3 – 1,Udemy is really taking the lead.
Round 5: Udemy vs Pluralsight Certificates
Earning a certificate can be an important part of taking an online course for some of us. Udemy and Pluralsight offer a couple of different certificates, let me explain in more detail below.
In the case of Udemy with all its paid courses you will receive a Certificate of Completion(see image below) when you successfully complete a course. It is important to be aware that Udemy is not an accredited institution, so if earning an official certificate for a job or to show to an employer is important then Udemy cannot provide this. Other platforms like Coursera and edX offer accredited certificates, and you can check them out below in more detail in Udemy & Pluralsight Alternatives.
Udemy Certificate of Completion
At Pluralsight, you are able to generate a certificate of completion when you have 100% completed a video course. You won’t receive certificates for projects and interactive courses. Like Udemy, Pluralsight isn’t accredited, but it does have a good reputation and has worked with established companies like Telefonica and Fujitsu.
Winner: Udemy deserves this point due to the fact it gives certificates of completion for all its courses.
When you are picking an online learning course you want to know that not only is the course of a high quality but that it also has reputable and experienced instructor teaching its content.
Udemy’s courses are created, owned and managed by the instructors. If you have an interest and knowledge in a topic, then you are free to teach it. There is no formal approval needed to become an Udemy instructor.
With each course, you can read a small blurb about the Instructor along with ratings and reviews(see image below), which is a great way to get to know more about an instructor and their course.
In some cases instructors may also add teaching assistants to their course who can help with answering students QA and comments. To ensure that Udemy’s courses meet it standards they go through a Quality Checklist and the minimum requirements for any course are HD video, good audio, 5 lectures or more and at least 30 minutes of video content.
Pluralsights courses are taught by one of its 1500+ expert authors. As an author you will be supported by Pluralsight with creating content, video production and editing. Authors will then be peer reviewed by fellow authors and experts for its content and technical accuracy. This rigorous quality check ensures that Pluralsights content goes through the highest quality control.
Pluralsight Find your expert
When you select your author or course you can read a small bio about them and the number of courses authored, total ratings and course ratings. You can apply to become a Pluralsight author by creating a short audition video which will then be reviewed by the team to decide if you are a good fit for the platform.
Winner: As Pluralsight has a higher standard of quality assurance and that its authors are experts in their field, the point has to go to them for this one.
That leaves the score at 4 – 2, with Udemy still in the lead.
Round 7: Is Udemy or Pluralsight’s Support Better
Udemy offers support for both its Students and Instructors where you can ask for help and checkout the helpful FAQ section. For any specific questions you can contact Udemy directly via email@example.com.
Pluralsight support offers a few ways to contact them through email, phone, submitting a ticket or checking Help center. The email support is available 24/7 and the phone support is from Monday to Friday 8am-5pm (GMT – 7). I want to add here that it is very rare an online learning platform offers a phone support, so this definitely gives Pluralsight an edge.
Winner: As Pluralsight offers so many ways to contact them, the point has to go to them for this one.
Pluralsight is catching up, but Udemy is still ahead with the score at 4 – 3.
Round 8: Which One Is Better For Businesses
Nowadays, online learning platforms aren’t just offering courses to individuals, they offer their courses to businesses and teams who are wanting to upskill and empower their employees.
Udemy for Business offers a couple of plans for the Team and Enterprise. The Team plan is designed for small companies or teams (5-20 users). This plan gives you unlimited access to 9,000+ top-rated courses, a branded dashboard & custom URL and an iOS and Android app for offline viewing. This plan costs $360 for each user per year (plus applicable taxes) and a 14-day free trial is available.
The Enterprise plan is for bigger teams and organizations (21 users or more). Like the team plan, you will have access to 22,000+ top-rated courses, as well as being able to create and host custom content, international collection, course management, analytics and reporting and 24/7 customer support. To try out this plan, you can contact Udemy for a free demo.
Udemy Business Plans
Pluralsight offers 3 different plans for Teams. You can pick between the Starter ($399 per user a year) the Professional ($579 per user a year) and the Enterprise ($779 per user a year). All these plans require an annual contract for each user.
Pluralsight Starter, Professional & Enterprise Team Plans
The Starter plan is ideal for a team of less than 10 with access to the 2,500+ core library. A free trial is not included with the Starter option. But if you decide on the Professional plan that’s designed for a small team of 10 or more, you will have access to the 7,000+ expanded library. With the Professional plan, a 14-day free trial is available. The Enterprise plan is the priciest of the plans and like the team plan you get access to the 7,000+ expanded library and a 14-day free trial is available as well as advanced analytics.
Winner: As Pluralsight is completely transparent with its pricing on all of its plans, plus the free trials for the Professional and Enterprise plan. The point has to go to them on this one.
That leaves us with a draw of 4 – 4for Udemy and Pluralsight. That is exciting, let’s see where the last round leaves us.
Round 9: Udemy vs Pluralsight Pricing
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.
I thought it would be helpful to summarize in the table below what exactly both platforms offer within their pricing models.
7,000+ courses in 10-day free trial
Individual courses $19.99 to $199.99
Subscription $29 – $45 a month OR $299 – $499 yearly
Desktop, iOS & Android
Desktop, iOS & Android
30-day Refund Policy
No Refund Policy, but cancel subscription at anytime
Winner: Now this is a tricky one as Udemy’s courses are reasonably priced, and they do offer a 30-refund policy. Whereas Pluralsight offers free trials on its library of courses and its plans are budget-friendly. So, I am left with no choice but to give a point to each platform.
That then leaves the final score at a draw with 5 – 5 for Udemy and Pluralsight.
Bonus Round: Udemy & Pluralsight Alternatives
After reading this detailed article, you may have come to the decision that neither Udemy or Pluralsight is right for you. So, that’s where our alternatives come in. I have put together some reviews of other online learning platforms for you to consider.
Skillshare has some similarities to Udemy with its creative and engaging courses. Skillshare offers a 14-day free trial and its highly engaged community of learners makes it stand out from other platforms. Many of its classes involve peer assessments, which keeps its classes interactive and fun.
Skillshare is a good alternative to Udemy and Pluralsight
Skillshare offers more than 34K+ classes in categories like Animation, Graphic Design, Photography, Music and more. Skillshare doesn’t just offer individuals courses, it also has them for businesses and teams.
MasterClass has some parallels to Udemy, offering classes on similar topics. But its main difference is the celebrities and VIP’s teaching its 180+ classes. Its categories range from Food, Music, Wellness and much more. Its classes are really well produced and highly engaging.
MasterClass is a good alternative to Udemy and Pluralsight
It offers 3 annual subscriptions for individual learners and a 30-day refund policy if you decide it isn’t for you in the first month.
For those learners looking to get an accredited certificate, Coursera may be the right option as it partners with educational institutions like Stanford, The Imperial College of London and Duke University.
Coursera is a good alternative to Udemy and Pluralsight
Coursera allows you to audit most of its courses (learn for free), but if you are looking to get a certificate, you will need to pay for the course (or program). There are different types of elearning programs available: individual courses (cost $29 to $100), Specializations (cost is $39 to $89 a month), Coursera yearly subscriptions ($399) and complete degrees (starting at $15,000).
Hopefully, you now have a comprehensive overview of both the Udemy and Pluralsight platforms and any questions or doubts you may have had have been answered. I will leave you with the strengths and weaknesses of each of the platforms.
Affordable: Udemy courses are really affordable and start as little as $11.99 and go up to $199.99.
Free Courses: Udemy is offering close to 600 free courses on a selection of topics from WordPress to Investing, Goal Setting and more.
Refund Policy: It’s generous refund policy of 30 days means if you change your mind in the first month you’ll get a full refund
Wide Selection: With more than 213K+ courses on 13 categories and dozens of sub categories, Udemy is the biggest online learning platform on the market.
Non-Accredited Certificates: Udemy does offer a certificate when you successfully complete a course, but it won’t be accredited by an external partner (e.g. University or Organization).
Lack of Quality: The quality of some of its courses may not be to the highest standard because anyone can teach at Udemy. So, it’s important you research your teacher and the course before committing.
Udemy and Pluralsight are very different platforms, so it’s difficult to say one is better than the other. Udemy offers such a wide range of courses on every topic you can imagine, which are paid for individually. Whereas Pluralsight focuses on technology related topics and upskilling you for a particular career and is subscription-based.
Is Pluralsight worth it for beginners?
Pluralsight offers many courses for complete beginners, especially if you are looking to train or upskill in a particular technology skill or a career path. You can use its Skill IQ and Role IQ to assist you in deciding which course or path would be best.
Please leave a comment below if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to help you out.
23/05/23 – Udemy vs Pluralsight: FAQ
17/05/23 – Udemy vs Pluralsight: FAQ
29/03/23 – Udemy vs Pluralsight General Update
01/03/23 – Udemy vs Pluralsight Pros & Cons
16/02/23 – Udemy vs Pluralsight Summary Updated
09/01/22 – MasterClass Alternative
25/12/21 – Udemy or Pluralsight Quiz
08/07/21 – Popular Courses
Hey. I am Catherine and I have been working as a freelancer for many years now. In 2005, I graduated from a BA honours in Art & Design from BCU and then went onto complete a Master’s Degree in Teaching from UEL. The skills I gained from learning and teaching have led me to create Upskillwise, a place for learners like myself to find the best possible resources and courses to train and upskill themselves, either personally or professionally. If you have a question, please feel free to ask me anything or leave me a comment.
Thank you very much for the detailed comparison. This is helpful.
Thanks Will. Really happy you found it so helpful and informed your decision. Happy learning 🙂
Excellent. Very helpful. Thank you!
Thanks Mike. Really happy you found it helpful. Happy learning 🙂
Enjoyed reading the article, very informative. Thanks again! So much better than reddit reviews.
Thanks so much Jae! Really happy it was so informative 🙂
Hi Catherine, One thing you didn’t point out was that it isn’t an all-or-nothing decision when selecting e-learning platforms like Pluralsight or Udemy to patronize. Even if you are a Pluralsight subscriber, there is nothing at all preventing you from cherry-picking courses from the Udemy catalog when they cover topics not currently available on the Pluralsight platform. What I like about Pluralsight is that I almost never hit a dud – the course quality is reliably high in my experience, and the topic coverage has generally hit the sweet spot where I live. But there’s no arguing with the selection… Read more »
Thanks, Richard, for your comment. This is true, both platforms have its pros and cons, and it doesn’t hurt to get the most out of both platforms. Keep enjoying both Pluralsight and Udemy every now and again 🙂
Excellent comp! I really enjoyed reading your detailed analysis on the content shared in this article. Thank You!
Thanks so much Dimple. Happy you enjoyed it 🙂
Great content! Keep up the good work!
Thanks so much. Happy you enjoyed the article 🙂