Pluralsight vs Udemy – Which is better?

by Charlie Saville

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Wondering which is better for you, Pluralsight or Udemy?

Well, you’re in the right place.  

I’ll be looking at everything you need to know to decide between these platforms, comparing them on key features, cost, courses, teaching, refunds and much more. 

This comparison will give you a crystal clear understanding of both sites and will help you decide which is better for you. 

First, here’s a quick summary if you’re short on time:

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. You can buy courses singly without committing to a subscription (though a monthly plan is available). Generally speaking the instructors may not have as impressive credentials as Pluralsight, but this does depend on the course you’re taking.

Summary: Pluralsight is probably the better site for taking classes specifically related to software and development overall. However, Udemy’s top courses in these topics are as good as those on Pluralsight, and you can pay for them individually without committing to a subscription. This may suit you better. 

Quick Summary 

This side by side comparison table gives you an overview of the key similarities and differences between Udemy and Pluralisight.

UdemyPluralsight
No. of courses204,000 +7,000+ 
No. of students 54 million +15000+
TeachersAnyone can create and offer a courseVarious
Specialization Wide variety of coursesComputer Science, data science, software development 
PricingIndividual courses $12.99-$199.99
Monthly subscription $29.99 
Core: $299.00 yearly or $29.00 monthly
Premium: $499.00 yearly or $45.00 monthly
Refund Before 30 days or completion of courseNo
CertificatesYes Yes, with certain courses 
Features204,000+ courses 
10+ teaching categories 
Many professional instructors, including tech CEOs, tenured professors and award-winning artists  
Can purchase Individual courses or subscribe 
On-demand video lessons accompanied by downloadable learning materials
7,000+ courses 
1,400 subject matter experts 
Courses for programmers, software engineers, creatives and business professionals 
Skills Pathways to develop particular abilities 
Skill IQ and Role IQ tests the gaps in your knowledge 
Labs to practice what you've learnt 
ProsImpressive range of courses 
Constant sales and promotions 
Many professional instructors
Teaches skills that equip you for the changing nature of work 
Courses go into very specific and intricate detail
Partnered with Fortune 500 companies, so very credible 
Highly qualified instructors 
Something for every demographic 
Equips you for the changing job market 
Additional learning support including Lab and Pathways
ConsNot all courses of equal quality 
Course certificates aren’t accredited by any university or institution
A little complicated in set-up and where to get started
Quality can be inconsistent
Best for Anyone looking to develop skills in tech and computing, but struggling to find a way in 
Learners who want to dive deep into a lots of different disciplines and topics 
Those that want to purchase courses individually 
People who enjoy a combination of learning resources, in video, audio and text formats 
Business owners and managers looking for a wholesale way to educate their team
Professionals looking to learn a new programming language 
Anyone looking for an educational insight into machine learning, software and security 
People who enjoy a combination of practical, visual and audio learning 
Anyone who feels that most teaching sites don’t go into enough depth 
Team leaders who want to upskill their group 
More infoGo to PluralsightGo to Udemy

About Pluralsight and Udemy 

Before we get into the comparison, let's have a closer look at Pluralsight and Udemy on their own terms. 

About Pluralsight

About Pluralsight

Pluralsight is an online education company with a specific focus on software development and IT administration. 

Founded way back in 2004 by Aaron Skonnard and a range of other tech professionals, the site has over 1,400 subject matter experts, with over 7,000 courses in its library. 

The website is aimed at providing training in a range of disciplines to both individuals and businesses, with course instructors compiling their own content and teaching. 

This means that Pluralsight’s core audience is software developers, IT administrators and professionals who use data and software in their everyday lives. 

Pluralsight is growing super fast, going from working with roughly 40% of Fortune 500 companies in 2017 to 70% by 2019. And it's easy to see why. The platform helps you develop critical tech skills with their selection of software development and IT administration related courses.

These include Adobe, VMWare and Nasdaq. 

These partnerships, as well as the academic and professional credentials of the course leaders, provide Pluralsight with one of the most professional teaching styles and feels on the web. 

About Udemy

About Udemy

Udemy is extremely popular and widely recommended for anyone wanting to acquire a new skill, fast

Founded in 2010 by Eren Bali and other educators, the site has grown to teach over 54 million students across the globe

The site offers over 204,000 courses in video, audio and textual formats across a massive range of disciplines. 

You can buy courses singly on Udemy.  Each one is individually priced and led by an instructor practitioner. Purchasing a course gives you lifetime access to it, and all of its resources. You can access many courses for free.

Udemy also offers a monthly subscription called the Personal Plan. This gives you unlimited access to a curated collection of 6,000+ top courses for as long as your subscription is active. 

It is the largest Ed Tech company of its kind and 80% of Fortune 100 companies trust Udemy for employee upskilling including Apple, Unicef, PayPal, Accenture, Samsung, Unilever, Instacart, and Okta.

Udemy vs Pluralsight courses

Here’s all the key info about Pluralsight and Udemy courses 

UdemyPluralsight
No. of Courses204,000 +7,000+ (Premium) 
Categories Development
Business 
Finance & Accounting 
IT & Software 
Office Productivity 
Personal Development 
Design 
Marketing 
Health & Fitness 
Music  
Business Professional 
Cloud 
Data & Machine Learning 
IT Ops 
Security 
Software Development 
No. of Free Courses 500+10-day Free Trial 

Let’s take a deeper look at both. 

Pluralsight courses

Pluralsight Courses

After you’ve signed up for an account with Pluralsight, there are a wide range of places to get started.

You can look at courses on the browse page. Categories include:

  • Business Professional 
  • Cloud 
  • Data & Machine Learning 
  • IT Ops 
  • Security 
  • Software Development 

Other features of Pluralsight Skills include:

  • Labs: Master skills with hands-on practice 
  • Your Profile: View your own learning streak and goals 
  • Skill IQ: Where you can access your own skills 
  • Paths: Develop a new skill with expert-curated lessons 
  • Role IQ: Learn the skills important to a particular skill you want 

One downside is that with all these courses and features, it can be a little hard to navigate for beginners. 

However, rather than buy courses individually on Pluralsight, having both Core and Premium subscriptions means you have access to everything in their respective course libraries. 

This is great because, with Pluralsight’s 10-day free trial, you can get a real feel for how it all works without having anything to lose. 

Best Pluralsight courses

Our top 5 selection of courses on Pluralsight are:

  1. Javascript: Getting Started: Mark Zamoyta covers the absolute basics of Javascript, including the applications and platforms it runs on and the fundamentals of the language. You also get to test your knowledge by building a responsive website. 
  2. Introduction To Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP®) Dr Lyron H. Andrews teaches you how to identify which cloud architecture best meets your business requirements and how to use it to develop a cloud consumption strategy. 
  3. Data Science With R Matthew Renze is a data science consultant who’s taught over 400000 software developers. You’ll join that group as you learn about the practice of data science and the R programming language, and how they fit together. Ideal for beginners. 
  4. Google Analytics For Creative Professionals David LaFontaine is a journalist, professor and digital media consultant, so he’s definitely qualified to show you how to analyze web traffic and understand all the numbers in order to grow your audience. 
  5. Python 3.3: Beyond The Basics  A more advanced course led by Austin Bingham and Robert Smallshire – you’ll need to have taken Python Fundamentals. Covers advanced techniques in Python, and how to understand when and how to use them. 

Udemy courses

Udemy Courses

Udemy has an incredibly vast range of courses in a multitude of disciplines. You can find courses on pretty much every subject.

From computer science to chemistry to arts and crafts, it's all here, with Udemy dividing its courses into several main categories:

  • Development
  • Business 
  • Finance & Accounting 
  • IT & Software 
  • Office Productivity 
  • Personal Development 
  • Design 
  • Marketing 
  • Health & Fitness 
  • Music  

You buy courses singly on Udemy. Each is individually priced and led by an instructor specializing in the discipline.   

Purchasing a course will grant you access to all of its resources. This will often include the key lessons, which may take audio, video or text format, as well as any additional learning materials, which can often be downloaded. 

You can also purchase a monthly subscription called a Personal Plan which gives you unlimited access to 6,000 of Udemy's most popular courses.

Best Udemy courses

Best Udemy Course

Our top 5 Udemy courses are:

  1. Complete Python Development Programme: From Zero To Hero In Python Jose Portilla, a certified data science instructor, teaches you how to use Python professionally. With 22+ hours of on-demand video lectures, this course is ideal for those who have never programmed before.
  2. Microsoft Excel – Excel From Beginner To Advanced You’ll build a solid understanding of Excel features and automate your daily tasks using Macros and VBA (#1 in our selection of Best Excel courses).
  3. Become A Superlearner 2: Learn Speed Reading And Boost Your Memory Learn to read up to three times faster than an average college graduate, effectively process information and master recall techniques (#2 in our selection of Best Speed Reading courses).
  4. The Complete Digital Marketing Course Find out how to grow a business online from scratch and garner the skills to actually make money from your digital marketing knowledge. 
  5. Pianoforall: An Incredible New Way To Learn Piano And Keyboard PianoForAll has over 300,000 students. You’ll go from beginner to intermediate incredibly quickly as you learn the basic techniques for reading sheet music and playing-by-ear in a wide range of different genres (#6 in our selection of Best Online Piano courses). 

Summary: Udemy is probably the better option when it comes to courses, purely because there is so much to choose from and it's easier to find courses directly suited to a variety of needs. However, Pluralsight’s 10-day free trial means you can access all their courses without having anything to lose. 

Udemy vs Pluralsight teachers & course quality

So it's clear that both of these sites have a wide range of courses on offer. But that means nothing without good quality teaching and helpful content. 

Let’s compare the differences between Udemy and Pluralsight in terms of the actual quality of the teaching. 

Pluralsight teachers and quality 

Pluralsight Teachers

Pluralsight has over 1,400 instructors, each molding and leading their course under their own discretion. And each one a subject matter expert in their field. 

These are the course leaders of some of Pluralsight’s most highly rated courses:

  • Greg Shields – Author Evangelist and Full Time Author at Pluralsight
  • Kevin Henry – Lecturer in Information Security and Audit 
  • Ross Bagurdes – Pluralsight Author and IT Lecturer at the University of Madison 
  • Andrew Mallet – Linux Professional 
  • Dale Meredith – Certified Ethical Hacker and Instructor EC-Council 

As you can see, this is a smart and experienced bunch. Taking a course led by any of them is bound to provide you with the skills and knowledge you seek. 

Because each teacher has their own priorities and experiences, no one lesson is the same. 

This is especially the case as there are 7000 courses in a range of different subjects. So you can expect every lesson to be unique. 

With that said, there are some common elements of Pluralsight courses that keeps everything consistent:

  • A Table of Contents showing you the length of each lesson 
  • Shorter 3-5 minute lessons put together in longer 30-40 minute Modules
  • Largely audio taught 
  • Helpful visuals and concise onscreen text 
  • An introductory and summary video for each module 

Udemy teachers and quality 

Udemy Teachers

Udemy is an open platform giving anyone who is passionate about what they know and wants to share it the opportunity to create and offer a course on its platform. 

There are guidelines as to what is allowed on the site. For instance, each course must contain at least 30 minutes of video and at least five separate lectures, and there are restricted topics. 

However, it’s not necessary for any instructor to have any formal teaching experience.

That said, a number of Udemy’s instructors are tenured professors, award winning artists or Tech CEOs. They include:

  • Jose Portilla – head of data science at Pierian Data who teaches the top course, From Zero to Hero in Python 
  • Rob Percival – web developer and entrepreneur who has taught over 120k students to code on Udemy
  • Victor Bastos – internet developer who has taught over 50k students web development from scratch

Given the range of instructors, no one lesson is the same. But Udemy also has a strong vetting process for its instructors and courses, and you can get a very good feel for their quality through reading their credentials as well as reviews of their courses. 

Lessons will often take pre-recorded video form, which you will be able to consume on-demand, whenever you like. These will be led by your instructor walking you through ideas relevant to your discipline.  There's also a massive range of additional learning resources available with most courses. These will often be downloadable texts, articles and other materials relevant to what you're studying. 

Summary: Pluralsight places a higher premium on having professionally experienced and academically credentialed instructors. However, many of Udemy’s instructors are high profile professionals and you can always check the credentials of a teacher before committing to a course.

Pluralsight vs Udemy pricing

UdemyPluralsight
Monthly Price £26.99 (Personal Plan)$29.00 (Core library) 
$45.00 (Premium library)
Yearly PriceN/A$299.00 (Core library)
$499.00 (Premium library)
Individual Course CostFrom $12.99 – $199.99 N/A
Free Trial 7-day free trial10-day free trial 
Free Courses500+No
Refund YesNo 

What’s important to keep in mind is how much you think you’ll use each platform, and whether or not that justifies the cost.  

Pluralsight cost

Pluralsight Cost

There are two main options for purchasing a Pluralsight subscription. 

The first is Standard. This gives you access to the Core Library as well as all skills assessments. Alongside a 10-day free trial, this will cost you $29.00 a month with the monthly option, or $299.00 up front for the yearly option (which works out at $24.92 a month).

Alternatively, you could go for the Premium subscription. This includes a 10-day free trial, an expanded library of content containing 7,000+ courses as well as certification practice exams and interaction courses.  

This will cost you $45.00 a month or $499.00 for the year (which is $41.5 per month). 

Udemy cost

Udemy cost

Udemy courses can cost anything between $12.99 and $199.99. However, there is the chance to get major discounts on the majority of their courses. 

Courses are typically purchased individually. The Personal Plan, which gives you unlimited access to 6,000 carefully curated courses, is $29.99 per month. The Personal Plan has a seven day free trial.

There are over 500 free courses that you can find on Udemy, covering around 25 topics. 

To find these courses, it is as simple as Googling Free Udemy courses. 

Udemy vs Pluralsight certificate value

Most paid courses on Udemy will offer you a certificate of completion which you can save as a pdf. Or jpeg. file. 

Udemy certificates are specific to the course. So if it is a well-known course, provided by a well-regarded instructor, it will probably have more value. 

For Pluralsight, you can receive a certificate on the course after 100% completion. 

You can only access your certificate by using a desktop browser. Log in to your account and find the course you’ve completed in the History page. Select the certificate icon, which will provide you with a pdf copy of your certificate. 

These certificates can be submitted as Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Continuing Professional Education (CPEs) to various organizations. 

Summary: Pluralsight partners with multiple other institutions, including Fortune 500 companies, so its certificates are probably worth more in the professional world. With Udemy, you’ll want to do some research into the credentials of the instructor and their content, and how they're regarded in their industry, in order to determine the value of a certificate. 

Pluralsight vs Udemy features

Let’s take a closer look at what features each platform offers.

Pluralsight features

  • 7,000+ courses 
  • 1,400 subject matter experts 
  • Courses for programmers, software engineers, creatives and business professionals 
  • Skills Pathways to develop particular abilities 
  • Skill IQ and Role IQ tests the gaps in your knowledge 
  • The chance for certification 
  • Labs, where you can practice what you've learnt 

Udemy features

  • 200,000+ courses 
  • Over 10 teaching categories that include development, business and IT & software
  • Well-regarded, professional instructors, including tech CEOs, tenured professors and award-winning artists  
  • Individual courses that you pay for separately 
  • On-demand video lessons accompanied by downloadable learning materials

Udemy vs Pluralsight customer support

Like all good websites, Pluralsight and Udemy offer some kind of customer support. 

Udemy’s Help Page contains a search tab where you can ask for help, as well as a range of FAQs and topics that typically require some kind of assistance. 

However, the Help Page does not contain a direct customer support service.

Pluralsight’s Help Center can be found at the bottom of the home page.  The Help Center includes prompts for whatever aspect of the site you need help with. 

There is also a direct way to contact a sales rep with Pluralsight using the contact link. 

Summary: The element of direct contact gives Pluralsight the edge over Udemy in terms of customer support. 

Pluralsight vs Udemy: which is best for Businesses?

Both Pluralsight and Udemy emphasize the way their courses are designed for the changing world of work and offer plans specifically for businesses. 

UdemyPluralsight
Small teams Team Plan (up to 20 users)
$360 per user per year
6,500 courses + the mobile app
Professional (2-10 users) 
$579 per user per year
Core library + basic analytics
Larger teamsEnterprise Plan (21+ users)
No fixed price – contact sales
As above + custom topics
The ability to host proprietary courses
Enterprise option 
$779 per user per year
As above with advanced analytics
LeadershipLeadership Development Program
No fixed price – contact sales
100+ Exec level courses from top institutions
Live events- AI analytics and insights
NA
More InfoContact UdemyContact Pluralsight

Summary: Udemy may seem the better option in terms of cost and developing general workplace skills. However, you might feel that you want to focus specifically on software development and IT administration, and may therefore feel more comfortable with Pluralsight. 

Udemy and Pluralsight alternatives

Hopefully, this review has so far highlighted the strengths of both of these platforms.  However, if neither is quite what you’re looking for, there are alternatives out there:

edX

edX

edX is one of the biggest education platforms on the internet. It’s renowned for teaching coding, computer science and other disciplines. These are led by the top universities and institutions that edX partners with.  

Like Udemy, there is a massive range of courses in an incredible amount of disciplines, typically purchased individually. But where edX is different is its partner institutions. 

Paid certificates offered by edX are accredited by some of the world's leading colleges, including Harvard, MIT and Yale. If that prestige interests you, check out our full edX review and our article edX vs Pluralsight for more detail.

SkillShare

Skillshare is the world’s largest online learning community for creatives. It has more than 40,000 courses and 12+ million users. 

Skillshare is renowned for its classes in creative disciplines such as photography and sketching, but also offers courses in fields such as business and productivity. 

This site offers a very similar model to Udemy in that Many of its courses are taught by industry experts but it is also an open platform where everyday people who have harnessed creative expertise can upload classes. 

Unlike Udemy, Skillshare is a subscription only platform and membership gives you full unfettered access to everything on the platform. Whereas a Udemy plan only gives you access to 6,000 of its most popular courses.

For more granular detail check out our Skillshare review, Skillshare costs and Skillshare statistics articles.

Codecademy

If you're looking to get into software development, but aren’t too sure about Pluralsight, then consider Codecademy. 

Like Pluralsight, there is a big emphasis on teaching all things IT, computer science and software development, with Codecademy focusing specifically on teaching programming languages (clues in the name). 

Where Codecademy differs is its teaching style. Rather than the typical instructor-led style, Codecademy instead has a code-as-you-go method, where you are introduced to concepts, and come to understand your new knowledge through a series of tasks and tests. 

If that interests you, then take a look at our review, Udemy vs Codecademy.

Pluralsight vs Udemy pros, cons, and best for

Let’s reiterate the pros and cons before we conclude, so you're absolutely sure about each platform’s strengths and how they compare. 

Pluralsight 

Pros: 

  • A massive range of courses 
  • Partnered with Fortune 500 companies, so very credible 
  • Highly qualified instructors 
  • Something for every demographic 
  • Equips you for the changing world and job market 
  • Additional learning support including Lab and Pathways

Cons: 

  • A little complicated in set-up and where to get started
  • Quality can be inconsistent

Best for:

  • Professionals looking to add a new programming language to their belt 
  • Anyone looking for an educational insight into machine learning, software and security 
  • People who enjoy a combination of practical, visual and audio learning 
  • Anyone who feels that most teaching sights don’t go into enough depth 
  • Team leaders who want to upskill their group 

Udemy

Pros: 

  • An impressive range of courses 
  • Constant sales, deals and promotions 
  • Passionate, successful and professional instructors
  • Gives you freedom as a learner 
  • Teaches skills that equip you for the changing nature of work 
  • Courses go into very specific and intricate detail

Cons: 

  • Not all courses are of equal quality 
  • Course certificates aren’t accredited by any university or institution

Best for: 

  • Anyone looking to develop skills in tech and computing, but struggling to find a way in 
  • Learners who want to dive deep into a specific aspect of a discipline 
  • Those that like to take courses as they come, rather than purchase a whole subscription 
  • People who enjoy a combination of learning resources, in video, audio and text formats 
  • Business owners and managers looking for a wholesale way to educate their team

Conclusion: Udemy vs Pluralsight 

Overall, which is better, Pluralsight or Udemy?

The answer will depend on your preferences, and you hopefully now have a good understanding of the differences between each platform and which is more appropriate for your learning specific needs. 

Pluralsight has a more specific focus on software development and its relationship to business. This means that its certificates are more highly regarded in the job market given its relationship with Fortune 500 companies. 

However, in terms of actual quality, I’d argue that there is little difference between Pluralsight and Udemy courses. Both employ professionally experienced, highly qualified instructors and their top courses are consistently well regarded. 

This gives Udemy the overall edge for me because although the quality of courses on both sites is similar, Udemy’s focus on general education means that there is a much wider range of classes and topics on offer. 

This means you are more likely to find the perfect course for you.

But, crucially, Plrualisght has a 10-day free trial where you can access its whole library. This means that there is nothing to lose if you want to give it a go. 

Comparing Udemy vs Pluralsight: our methodology 

I’ve assessed both platforms in their own right in order to make a comparison, whilst also considering other, similar sites and platforms.

My research included taking courses, reading other reviews, researching the instructors and teams behind both sites and spending a lot of time browsing what was on offer. 

Ultimately, this gave me a good understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of both websites, and how they compare with each other. 

Hopefully sharing my experience has helped you decide for yourself. 

Relevant Articles: Pluralsight review, Udemy review, Udacity review, Udemy vs Codecademy, Udemy vs LinkedIn Learning, Udemy vs Skillshare, Udemy vs Coursera, Udemy vs Udacity and Udacity vs Coursera

FAQ:

What’s better, Udemy or Pluralsight?

Udemy is probably the better option given the wider range of courses on offer, even whilst being similar in quality to Pluralsight.

Which is cheaper, Pluralsight or Udemy?

This will depend on how much you use both sites. Udemy courses range from $12.99- $199.99. The Personal Plan is $26.99 a month with a 7-day free trial. Pluralsight Standard costs $299.00 yearly or $29.00 monthly, and Pluralsight Premium costs $499.00 yearly or $45.00 monthly. Pluralsight also has a 10-day free trial.

Which has more courses, Udemy or Pluralsight?

Udemy has more courses, with 200,000+ on offer. Pluralsight Premium grants you access to 7,000+ courses

 

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