Pluralsight and LinkedIn Learning are two of the best online platforms available today. Each is full of courses that span a large number of topics for all different skill levels. However, since they both provide such a wealth of knowledge, what makes them different from each other as learning platforms? In this article, I aim to clearly highlight the similarities and differences between Pluralsight and LinkedIn Learning to help you choose the right tool for the right job.
Pluralsight vs LinkedIn Learning – which one is better? Here’s a quick answer:
Pluralsight wins if you’re studying for one or more technical certificates, upskilling in programming or technology, represent a team, or if you’re focused on architecture, construction, manufacturing, design, machine learning, AI, and cloud computing.
LinkedIn Learning wins if you’re studying technology, programming, marketing, SEO, human resources, recruiting, job hunting, blockchain, photography, or graphic design. LinkedIn Learning also wins if you’re more interested in course variety, as there are more courses on this service than Pluralsight.
Before we get into the thick of it, let’s talk about the very basics, starting with the fact that even in this Pluralsight vs LinkedIn Learning comparison, I can’t really declare an overall winner because they are both the best at learning different subjects. So instead of declaring one service better than the other overall, I will focus on the subjects where Pluralsight is best and the subjects where LinkedIn Learning is best. These are both great platforms for learning new subjects or mastering existing skills. However, while they do overlap in content, there are some key differences worth discussing. Let’s get into it!
What is Pluralsight and LinkedIn Learning Best for Learning?
There is no point doing a full review for those two services because I’ve already reviewed Pluralsight here and LinkedIn Learning here. If you’re unfamiliar with either of these services, then those reviews are a great place to start. However, I am still going to touch on the basics, specifically on what makes Pluralsight and Linked Learning one of the best platforms for learning online.
First of all, both of the services have the following characteristics in common:
- Online learning platform with more content then you’ll ever get the time to fully use.
- Expert teachers develop courses that guide you to learn new skills and expand your knowledge.
- Relatively affordable prices, along with a free trial to allow you to test the services.
- A variety of subjects are covered, meaning both services should have something for everyone.
- Tools, grades and trackers are used for motivation and to keep you on pace to finish courses.
Alright, with the basic commonalities out of the way, let’s move onto some of the characteristics that set each of the services apart from each other.
Areas Where LinkedIn Learning is Better than Pluralsight
If you’re trying to learn about marketing and advertising, LinkedIn Learning has a lot of content for you, whereas Pluralsight has very little in that area. LinkedIn Learning also has more management and workforce facing courses that are useful for businesses in general.
While there are plenty of technical courses available, you will find LinkedIn Learning has more general knowledge and non-technical courses than Pluralsight. This includes courses on art, sketching, 3d modeling, digital painting, and more on the creative side. In addition, you’ll find plenty of business skill-building courses, including subjects such as human resources, time management, career building, and other business orientated skills.
One other area that LinkedIn Learning clearly has an advantage in, is the number of different languages they provide courses in. Pluralsight is focused on English content, wherein LinkedIn Learning provides courses in seven different languages.
LinkedIn Learning used to be called Lynda.com and is one of the oldest, most established online learning platforms around. While many of the older courses have been retired, you will still find the LinkedIn Learning has thousands more courses to choose from over Pluralsight.
I was delighted to find that there are actually some free courses and free samples of longer courses on LinkedIn Learning, which is something I have not encountered on Pluralsight. While it may not be super common, it is still a distinguishing characteristic worth mentioning.
Areas Where Pluralsight is Better than LinkedIn Learning
For those of you pursuing IT certificates and practicing for exams, Pluralsight simply has more content geared specifically for those goals. In addition, you will find architecture and manufacturing courses on Pluralsight which you will not find on LinkedIn Learning. As a whole, Pluralsight is much more technology-focused than LinkedIn Learning, so if you’re after the latest and greatest software development, technology or programming certification or crash course in bleeding edge AI, this should be one of the first platforms you go to.
Pluralsight offers better out-of-the-box solutions for teams and businesses that are trying to learn together. LinkedIn Learning requires you to work out an arrangement with a sales representative to take advantage of team discounts, wherein Pluralsight gives you the ability to sign up and get a team of up to 10 users right from the start. However, for teams of 11 and greater, you will also have to contact a sales representative.
Another area where Pluralsight gets a notable mention is in regards to giving you direct access to course creators and keeping you on-pace using metrics that make sure you stay on the path to learning what you set out to learn. Don’t get me wrong LinkedIn Learning also has metrics and tools to help keep you on pace, I just find the Pluralsight path to be more consistent in those regards.
If you’ve tried to use Pluralsight and LinkedIn Learning on your phone, it becomes clear quickly that Pluralsight anticipated and caters towards mobile users, while LinkedIn Learning does not. Don’t get me wrong, I was still able to watch videos and follow along on LinkedIn Learning, but it was not the smooth mobile experience that Pluralsight provides.
Speaking of consistency, one final aspect that sets Pluralsight apart is that the quality and production value of their courses is consistent, whereas LinkedIn Learning courses vary wildly in format and content type. Both platforms are filled with valuable learning resources, but Pluralsight has a more consistent user experience and content format than LinkedIn Learning, which I think may be because Pluralsight screens their potential instructors more heavily than most other learning platforms.
To read my most recent thoughts about both platforms, please scroll to the end of this article.
Pluralsight VS LinkedIn Learning: Which One is the Better Value?
Both of these online learning platforms provide you with a free trial. While not being excessively long, both free trial periods give you enough time to really try out and experience the content and services. I recommend anyone considering either service to sign up for a free trial, and cancel before the trial ends if they are not convinced they’ll use the service.
In terms of which one is a better value, it all depends on your needs. If you’ve got a room full of programmers you need to train for a relatively new IT certificate or skill them up, then clearly Pluralsight is the winner for value. Conversely, if you’re a single business person looking to brush up on Facebook Ad spending, LinkedIn Learning is clearly the more valuable platform. At the end of the day, both of these learning platforms are great for different reasons, so use a guide like this one to inform yourself on which service is better suited for your needs. Then take that service for a spin with a free trial.
Before moving on, let’s compare the current pricing of Pluralsight VS LinkedIn Learning. Since pricing can change at any time, you may want to check current Pluralsight and LinkedIn Learning pricing.
- LinkedIn Learning is $29.99/month or $239.88/year
- Pluralsight is $29.00/month or $299/year or $449/year for Premium
Pluralsight offers Team Plans for Businesses as well:
- Professional: $579/year per user
- Enterprise: $779/year per user
You may be wondering what comes with the Pluralsight Premium plan, and the answer to that is:
- Access to interactive courses that take learning to a whole new level with practical, hands-on problem-solving challenges.
- Access to certificate practice exams to help you practice for professional certification.
Common Praise, Criticisms, and Characteristics of Both Platforms
I’m not to here to say both or either of these platforms are perfect, so before going any further, let’s talk about common issues they both have to deal with. Not to focus exclusively on the negative, I’ll also outline some of the great characteristics that both platforms share.
The biggest issue is that technology moves fast, especially emerging technologies like web development and machine learning. The reality is that it takes real time to put together these comprehensive courses, and sometimes that means by the time they’re published they’re slightly out of date. This doesn’t invalidate the whole course, but it is something to be mindful of when it comes to learning online in general.
However, while they may share this common flaw, they also both share some common praise for being vast resources full of learnable skills. These two platforms can teach you valuable skills that you can use to advance your career or improve your own business.
Another commonality between these two platforms is the fact that they are well-oiled machines, designed and optimized to help you learn, and keep you learning. This means you can expect a bunch of helpful tools and progress reviews designed to keep you on track with both services. Both of these companies know that their job and their revenue depend on successfully teaching you new skills, and you will find that both platforms go out of their way to make sure that this happens.
One common criticism of both platforms is the fact that neither of them offers refunds. That means you should utilize your free trial to evaluate both platforms before getting charged, or else be prepared to pay for that first month, even if you don’t end up sticking with the service long term.
A Practical Comparison: How Easy is it to Learn on Both Platforms?
So far in this Pluralsight vs LinkedIn Learning comparison guide, I’ve focused a lot on the tangible differences between the two, but now I’m going to shift gears to something a little less tangible, which is how easy is to actually learn new skills using both platforms? To answer that question, I spent some time trying to find the right courses on each platform, and then I took both courses to try and absorb the material. Here’s how it went for me.
First of all, I really like that LinkedIn Learning makes it easy to play videos at double the speed. I personally end up using this when rewatching or scanning through a video I’ve already consumed. Since these courses will often have important information or steps in a process outlined in a random spot inside of a video, I find the ability to speed through the videos essential to my learning process.
Pluralsight, on the other hand, does a better job consistently breaking down each aspect of the course into easy to digest chunks. The instructors on Pluralsight generally break topics down into small, less than 10-minute sections, which themselves are contained in a module, in which multiple modules comprise the whole course. This makes reviewing and revisiting specific material a lot easier since everything is broken down into easy to navigate headings and sub-headings.
One of the issues I mentioned with LinkedIn Learning earlier was the inconsistency in the tone, length, and quality of the courses when compared to Pluralsight. While that didn’t affect this particular test, I do know from other experiences with LinkedIn Learning that it can be hit or miss occasionally, while I have never found a bad or fundamentally flawed course on Pluralsight.
After immersing myself into a Pluralsight and LinkedIn Learning course this week, my verdict is once again less than decisive. That’s because both of the courses I chose successfully taught me the subject material in question. I feel like this is what anyone can expect when considering Pluralsight VS LinkedIn Learning, because both of these online learning platforms are amazing resources.
Pluralsight VS LinkedIn Learning: Who has the Better Instructors?
Both of these services have a strict vetting process to make sure that any instructor that wants to teach on these platforms, is actually capable and qualified to teach on the subject. Both of these services work to weed out unqualified teachers, which is quite different from other learning platforms like Udemy (link to Udemy Review), which basically allow anyone to become an instructor and post courses.
Because both Pluralsight and LinkedIn Learning take the time to properly screen and test their instructor’s qualifications before allowing them to teach, I have found that both services have almost the same level of quality instructors. If I was forced to pick one service over the other for best instructors, I would slightly give the advantage to Pluralsight, because the consistency of the courses is maintained even when different instructors are teaching. It seems that Pluralsight is a bit more aggressive in who it allows to teach, and they also have a better template for instructors to follow when creating their courses.
My Recent Findings of the LinkedIn Learning Platform
Recently, I found myself spending more and more time learning on the LinkedIn Learning platform. Previously, I was a huge fan of Pluralsight, but from what I can see now, things are changing, and the LinkedIn Learning platform’s becoming my #1 platform for learning new skills. I’ll list the reasons a bit later in this section.
I can see that the Pluralsight started pushing a lot of content from various conferences. I think this is great because you don’t have to attend those costly conferences yourself. Instead, you can watch them on Pluralsight. I think Pluralsight should push its authors to focus more on the hands-on content creation of more in-depth stuff rather than updating a lot of fundamental courses and changing the course titles to reflect the current year and version of the technology. Which kind of feels like some of the Pluralsight authors are cutting the corners.
On the other hand, the LinkedIn Learning platform authors release a lot of new content, as well as updating the existing. So here are the reasons why LinkedIn Learning is now my #1 platform:
- Latest and most up to date courses
- A variety of courses – LinkedIn Learning is not only a technology-focused platform. To become a professional, you’ll also need to learn soft skills, people skills, leadership, management, communication, and more. That’s where the LinkedIn Learning platform shines!
- An ability to perform a search on the clip level makes finding the necessary piece of information quicker than ever.
- LinkedIn Learning integrates with your LinkedIn profile. That means a lot! That allows you to see what your coworkers like learning, what kind of other professionals are watching courses.
- You can easily share your LinkedIn Learning achievements on your LinkedIn profile. That gives your LinkedIn connections a visibility of your skills and interests.
- In terms of the content, I can’t see what Pluralsight has that LinkedIn Learning doesn’t.
- With a LinkedIn Learning subscription, you’ll also get the LinkedIn Premium features.
That would conclude my recent thoughts about the LinkedIn Learning platform. I would strongly encourage you to check it out and see for yourself.
Final Verdict: Pluralsight VS LinkedIn Learning
We’re nearing the end of this guide, and we’ve looked in-depth at both services, their pros and cons, and which one you should choose if you’re looking to brush up a particular skillset. But let’s be real, this is the “Ultimate Comparison: Pluralsight VS LinkedIn Learning” guide, and what kind of ultimate guide would this be if I didn’t answer the ultimate question:
Pluralsight VS LinkedIn Learning: What online learning platform is better?
Earlier in the article I specifically said that each platform is better at certain subjects than the other, so I have to echo that advice here. That means that there is no clear answer to that question, without first figuring out what it is you’re trying to learn. So instead of giving you one definitive answer as to which online learning service is best, instead I am going to give you two answers:
- Pluralsight wins if you’re studying for one or more technical certificates, upskilling in programming or technology, represent a team, or if you’re focused on architecture, construction, manufacturing, design, machine learning, AI, and cloud computing.
- LinkedIn Learning wins if you’re studying technology, programming, marketing, SEO, human resources, recruiting, job hunting, blockchain, photography, or graphic design. LinkedIn Learning also wins if you’re more interested in course variety, as there are more courses on this service than Pluralsight.
The thing to remember is that both services have a large overlap area. For instance, if you’re trying to learn Adobe Photoshop then both services have you covered. With this example, there are more courses available on LinkedIn Learning for Photoshop, but the courses on Pluralsight for it are more concise and easier to find. On LinkedIn Learning, you would need to explore the many different Photoshop courses to select the one you think is appropriate, while on Pluralsight you only need to find the beginner, intermediate or advanced course that is appropriate for your skill level, and then you’re ready to go. This is an example of when the sheer volume of courses on LinkedIn Learning actually loses to fewer, but more focused courses on Pluralsight.
I think by this point you would have to agree that in the debate between Pluralsight vs LinkedIn Learning, the right answer completely depends on who you are and what you’re typically trying to learn. Sure, both platforms have some level of overlap in terms of subject matter. However, each platform has its specialty, and if you find yourself leaning towards coding, software and bleeding-edge technology, you’ll probably want to choose Pluralsight, while those looking for creative or business orientated courses will be better served with LinkedIn Learning.
Either way, both services offer free trials, which allow you to get hands-on experience without risking anything or paying upfront. At the end of the day, if you’re looking to learn new skills and improve your career, these are two of the best options, and you really can’t go wrong with either of them.