Pluralsight is an online education service specializing in classes focused on software development, IT professionals and designers. Their site utilizes over 1500 Subject Matter Experts to produce over 6000 classes.
Why We Love Them: Pluralsight is an all-you-can-eat education buffet, meaning you get access to all classes with a monthly subscription. Pluralsight has an excellent selection of classes on just about any technical subject matter as well as plenty of other subjects as well like bitcoin and DSLR photography. One of their strengths is how rigorously they separate their classes into skill categories, as this can be very helpful to avoid wasting time with a class that is too advanced or too elementary. The Pluralsight membership creates the opportunity to dabble in subjects you may not have known you were interested in, and inspires you to freshen up skills you might not otherwise want to pay for (like Excel where there is ALWAYS so much more to learn but if you know the basics you typically don’t bother).
How it Works: Pluralsight utilizes a monthly/yearly payment model, which is different from a site like Udemy.com where you pay by the class. Once you have started your membership you can take anything you want – warning: this can lend itself to starting MANY classes that you might not finish. As with most of the online classroom websites available, you will pick classes based on interest and then assess if the skill level, subject matter, and review comments/score meets your needs. You can take as many classes as you wish, at any time. Classes will have assessments and completion certifications when you are done. Pluralsight offers a section called “Play by Play” which is one of our favorite features – an expert is given a problem in “real-time” and has to go through their discovery process to solve it live on camera, unscripted and unrehearsed. Play by Play provides an interesting way to experience the thought process taken to problem solve a specific subject. A downside to this type of subscription model vs. pay-by-class is that once you cancel your membership you no longer have access to any of your classes.
Tips & Tricks: Pluralsight also has two Business to Business model packages available. Some companies purchase these to keep their employee skillsets current. You might ask your company if they are interested in investing in this type of continued education, saving you the fees. A lot of companies will be as it helps employee growth and satisfaction and can be a tax deduction. Entrepreneurs who own their own business should also take advantage of these types of classes from a learning and write-off standpoint as well. Even though the certifications are not deemed “accredited” like a college’s would be, many potential employers like to know that their candidates are continuing to learn as it brings added value to the company.
– Ample class selection
– Interface is easy to use
– A lot of current technologies offered
– Can take multiple classes
– Subscription price is fairly high
– You might be paying for classes you aren’t taking
– Classes on some subjects are sparse
– Cannot download or keep classes permanently