Pluralsight vs Coursera: Which Online Learning Platform Comes Out on Top?

Online education has become increasingly popular in recent years, with a wide range of platforms available to choose from. Two of the prominent platforms in this space are Pluralsight and Coursera, each with their unique features and benefits. While both platforms offer online courses, there are notable differences in terms of their course content, quality, and overall user experience. Whether you are a professional looking to upgrade your skills or a student seeking to enhance your knowledge, choosing the right platform can be a crucial factor in achieving your goals. In this post, we will compare Pluralsight and Coursera, highlighting their respective pros and cons, and providing tips on how to select the best platform based on your needs.

Comparison between Pluralsight and Coursera

  • Course content: While both platforms offer diverse course content, Pluralsight focuses mainly on technology-related courses, while Coursera offers a broader range of topics including business, arts, and social sciences.
  • Quality of courses: Both platforms offer high-quality courses, but because of its emphasis on technology training, Pluralsight may be more advantageous for professionals looking to acquire specific skills and certifications.
  • User feedback: User feedback on both platforms is generally positive, but some customers complain about the usability of the Pluralsight interface, while others argue that Coursera courses can be too academic and less hands-on.

Pros and Cons of Pluralsight

  • Advantages:
    • Dedicated to technology-related courses, making it ideal for IT and software professionals who wish to upgrade their skills
    • Provides practical and hands-on training in addition to theoretical instruction
    • Offers a variety of user-friendly features such as bookmarking, note-taking, and skill measurement
    • Allows learners to choose from a variety of payment options, including a free trial
  • Disadvantages:
    • Relatively expensive for casual learners on a budget or individuals looking to learn about non-tech subjects
    • Some users find the interface confusing and difficult to navigate
    • May not offer the same depth and breadth of courses as other e-learning platforms

Pros and Cons of Coursera

  • Advantages:
    • Wide range of courses in different subjects, making it suitable for individuals with different interests and backgrounds
    • Offers courses from world-class universities and industry leaders
    • Provides learners with a certificate of completion to showcase on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles
    • Offers flexible payment options, including a financial aid program for eligible learners
  • Disadvantages:
    • Sometimes seen as overly academic and theoretical, lacking sufficient practical instruction in some course offerings
    • May not meet the expectations of advanced learners seeking in-depth and specialized training
    • Not exclusively focused on skill-building for specific professions or industries

Tips for Choosing Between Pluralsight and Coursera

  • Consider your learning goals: Before choosing a platform, assess your learning objectives and determine which courses would help you achieve them. Consider the industries you are interested in, the topics you want to explore, and your preferred mode of instruction (e.g., hands-on, theoretical, classroom-style).
  • Match the content with your goals: Once you have identified your goals, choose the platform that offers the courses that best match your needs. Both platforms cater to different audiences and offer unique course content, so choose the platform that aligns with your interests.
  • Compare pricing models: Cost is an important factor when choosing an online learning platform. Pluralsight tends to be more expensive, but also offers deeper, more specialized training, while Coursera offers many courses for free and flexible payment options for premium courses. Consider your budget and the value-for-cost ratio of each platform.
  • Read user reviews: User reviews can provide valuable insights into the platforms’ course content, quality, and overall user experience. Read reviews from a variety of sources to get a balanced perspective on each platform.
  • Explore alternative options: Consider other online learning platforms that may offer courses more suited to your needs. Platforms such as Udacity, edX, and LinkedIn Learning offer their unique course content and pricing models, so explore your options before making a final decision.

Alternatives to Pluralsight and Coursera

While Pluralsight and Coursera are popular online learning platforms, there are other options available:

  • Udacity: Offers courses in technology, business, and data science with a more career-focused approach compared to other platforms.
  • edX: Provides courses from top universities around the world, including MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley, and offers certificates and online degrees.
  • LinkedIn Learning: Offers personalized learning paths and provides courses in business, technology, and creative fields.
  • Udemy: Offers over 100,000 courses in various topics. However, the prices have increased recently, and Robert Virona explains why on his blog post.

Each platform has its strengths and weaknesses, so it is important to consider your learning goals and compare the features of each before making a final decision.

Interesting facts

Interesting Facts about Pluralsight vs Coursera

  • Pluralsight is known for its focus on tech and IT skills, while Coursera offers a broader range of courses in various fields.
  • Pluralsight offers more than 7,000 courses, while Coursera offers more than 4,000 courses from over 200 universities.
  • Coursera offers verified certificates on completion of courses, while Pluralsight does not offer certificates.
  • Both platforms offer free trials for users to test the platform before committing to a subscription or course purchase.
  • Futurelearn, another popular online learning platform, offers a range of free courses in various fields, making it a great alternative for those who want to learn without spending money.


Real experience

Sophie was a driven young woman with a passion for programming. She wanted to broaden her skillset and stay up to date with the latest advancements in the field. She knew that online learning platforms could be a great way to do this, but she didn’t know where to start.

She began her research by asking her friends if they had any recommendations. A few of them suggested Coursera, while others suggested Pluralsight. Sophie wasn’t sure which one to choose, so she decided to try them both.

Sophie signed up for a free trial on Pluralsight and started taking a course on Python. She found the course to be incredibly detailed and informative. The material was presented in an engaging way, which helped her stay interested and motivated. She loved the platform’s focus on tech and IT courses.

Next, Sophie signed up for a course on Coursera. She chose a course on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning from Stanford University. The course was taught by experts in the field, and Sophie found the discussions on the course forums to be incredibly insightful. She also appreciated the ability to earn a verified certificate on completion of the course.

Sophie was torn between Pluralsight’s tech-focused courses and Coursera’s high-quality content from top universities. Ultimately, she decided to go with Coursera due to its broader range of courses and the ability to earn certificates.

Sophie happily continued her learning journey on Coursera, impressing her colleagues with her newfound knowledge and skills. Thanks to the platform, she was able to stay up to date with the latest trends in programming and advance her career.


Choosing an online learning platform can be a challenging task, as each platform offers unique features and benefits. In the case of Pluralsight and Coursera, Pluralsight caters mainly to technology professionals who want to acquire specific skills, while Coursera offers courses in diverse fields and caters to a broader range of learners.

When selecting between these two platforms, it is essential to consider your learning goals, match the course content with your goals, compare prices, read user reviews, and explore alternatives.

Other e-learning platforms, such as Udacity, edX, and LinkedIn Learning, provide alternative options with unique course offerings and pricing models. For example, edX emphasizes courses from top universities globally, while LinkedIn Learning emphasizes personalized learning paths. Learn more about edX and LinkedIn Learning in our post, “edX vs LinkedIn Learning: Comparing Two Popular Online Learning Platforms.”

Ultimately, the decision on which platform to use depends on your objectives and preferences, and thorough research will ensure that you can make an informed choice.

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