If you are an employer looking for an online learning platform to keep your employees up to date with their skills you’ve most likely heard of Skillsoft and Pluralsight.
Or perhaps you want to re-skill or up-skill to get a job or promotion and can’t decide which learning provider is most appropriate for your needs.
We have looked at Skillsoft versus Pluralsight and highlighted the pros and cons of each and how they compare to each other.
Let’s take a look at both of these online learning platforms, so you can decide which one is best for you or your employees.
What Is Skillsoft & Pluralsight?
Before we get into comparing Skillsoft and Pluralsight it helps to understand what exactly they are. In short, they are both online learning platforms that offer a range of training courses and tuition in a variety of subjects.
Skillsoft offers a range of premium content in business skills, compliance and technology, giving everyone the chance to be amazing by enhancing their potential.
They are one of the largest training providers in the world reaching people through their cloud-based platform.
As a global leader in corporate digital learning skills, Skillsoft is at the forefront of the evolving digital learning landscape.
They are helping organizations to keep their best talent, embrace the future of technology based learning, while allowing teams to work collaboratively.
With the future of work changing on so many fronts Skillsoft is showing people and businesses that change is good and can benefit everyone. As long as we have the skills to keep up.
And that is what they provide, all the training as well as the business skills that are now so valued.
Their intelligent learning platform Precipio is AI driven and its immersive learning methods make picking up new skills and knowledge easier and more effective.
Skillsoft offers access to a broad range of learning options including books, video, audio, live events and practice labs. All of these serve to increase a learner’s engagement and retention.
Pluralsight provides access to learning and training courses which are penned by more than 2,000 expert authors.
They are trusted by 70% of Fortune 500 companies with their employee training and learning technologies which amounts to 17,700 business accounts.
In particular, Pluralsight is a technology workforce development company, that is why their partners are Google, Adobe, Microsoft and Oracle.
With these partnerships Pluralsight helps companies to retain their employees through regular re-skilling and up-skilling.
Pluralsight recognizes the ever-widening skills gap as technology threatens to outpace those who can proficiently use it.
The more companies that take up new technologies the higher the demand for employees who can effectively use them, thus creating intensifying competition for talented workers.
By plugging this gap with their comprehensive training courses and learning paths Pluralsight can help businesses to retain their workers by regular training for skills development.
With more than half of workers thinking of quitting their job at least once a month due to lack of professional development there is a real need for companies to invest in regular training.
What Do They Offer?
On the surface it may seem that the two learning platforms are quite similar and in some respects they are.
But when you examine the courses that both offer you will find that there is a subtle difference in some of the subjects available.
Pluralsight is much more technology focused, and you will find courses such as IT ops, architecture and construction and information and cybersecurity.
Skillsoft however, while still offering hard skill courses such as aerospace and mechanical engineering also provide training in diversity, equity and inclusion.
These are the soft skills once throughout unimportant which are now highly sought after.
Below is the list of headings under which Skillsoft offer a range of courses for both hard and soft skills. Each heading has a multitude of subcategories for training and development.
- Business Operations
- Cloud Services
- Customer Service
- Digital Transformation
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Infrastructure & Operations
- Leadership Development Program (MIT SMR)
- Product Management
- Productivity and Collaboration Tools
- Professional improvement
- Project Management
- Sales & Marketing
- Software Craft
Below are the technology driven subjects and areas in which Pluralsight offer training. Each category has an abundance of training courses in numerous areas for professional development.
- Architecture & Construction
- Business Professional
- Creative Professional
- Data Professional
- IT Ops
- Manufacturing & Design
- Information & Cybersecurity
- Software Development
- Web Development
Skillsoft Vs Pluralsight
So how do Skillsoft and Pluralsight fare when held up in comparison? We’ve divided them into seven categories to examine the similarities and differences.
Some ratings were awarded to both platforms on the basis of ease of use, value for money, customer support, and functionality.
Another area for rating is the likelihood of recommending either of the platforms and likelihood to renew.
For ease of use Pluralsight averaged 4.5 out of 5 stars while Skillsoft were awarded 4 out of 5 stars. In the category of value for money Pluralsight again received 4.5 out of 5 stars and Skillsoft again had 4 out of 5 stars.
On customer support both platforms performed well and they both received 4.5 out of 5 stars. For functionality, Pluralsight again came away with 4.5 out of 5 stars and Skillsoft received 4 out of 5.
All reviews were recent with the last being written in early October 2022.
To round up the ratings some of the pros and cons of each platform as experienced by users is helpful.
Pros Of Pluralsight
- With the tech industry always moving forward it is beneficial that Pluralsight has hundreds of authors constantly producing new content.
- As the authors are respected leaders in their topic the content can be trusted as thorough and authentic.
- Some niche expert level topics are provided in video format that is difficult to get elsewhere.
- Learners found that Pluralsight offered lots of learning material, and great instructors.
- They also commented on the high quality of production and the use of hands-on labs.
- Ease of use was highlighted with the ability to use a mobile app and pick up where they left off.
Cons Of Pluralsight
- On the downside, there were those who think that there is a lack of interactive courses for some topics and some courses downloaded for working offline didn’t work without internet access.
- Courses on older technologies that are still in use by some companies are lacking, leaving a skills gap for these products.
- Some users don’t like the grouping together of videos for disparate subjects and would like better categorization.
- Pluralsight no longer lets users download the courseware, having done so previously.
- Other reviewers would like to see the inclusion of courses for building applications or other types of software.
Pros Of Skillsoft
- Reviewers of Skillsoft commented that the software is generally easy to use with all the capabilities you need as a user.
- People were pleased with the variety of options available as well as noting the outstanding customer service.
- Skillsoft provides most books in audio or e-book format.
- Books can be downloaded to read offline.
- Thousands of books are available with new content being added all the time.
Cons Of Skillsoft
- Criticisms of Skillsoft courses included the complaint that they can be too generic with the script and delivery of video content seeming forced with the participants not taking the subject matter seriously. (We assume this relates to some of the soft skill courses.)
- Another complaint was that there was raw scoring and either a pass or fail with no question level analytics.
- Skillsoft’s user interface is dated compared to some of its competitors.
- Content is not always as up to date as it could be in comparison to other learning providers.
On the subject of likelihood to renew reviewers rated Pluralsight higher than Skillsoft but Skillsoft rated higher in likelihood to recommend, usability and their support rating.
Product & Enablement Demos
With Skillsoft you will have the opportunity to request a product demo with an expert who takes you through the subject matter that you are interested in. Simply fill in the form and submit it to book a demo.
Pluralsight doesn’t have the opportunity to request a product demo, but you can sign up for enablement demos which are scheduled on set dates.
During these demos the customer service team will walk you through the features of the platform.
You will be shown the courses you can access and the range of content that will be available.
These enablement demos are for beginners, experienced users or administrators who are searching for suitable online courses for employees.
Based on user reviews the two learning platforms are measured on usability and customer satisfaction by websites such as softwareadvice.com.
They use their own FrontRunners methodology for these assessments based on actual user experience and feedback.
Pluralsight has the FrontRunners award for 2021 while Skillsoft achieved this award in 2018.
Support & Training
Both platforms have identical support in place for their users. This includes:
- Email/Help Desk
- Knowledge Base
- Phone Support
- 24/7 (Live Reporting)
For training purposes Pluralsight offer the following:
- In Person
- Live Online
- Live Online
Each platform has its merits and many of the features are similar, so it will depend on which style of learning you prefer.
Pluralsight training courses start at $29 per month and there is no set up fee. You can also pay per user per year and this works out at $579 for team training professional, $779 per user per year for team enterprise training.
For individual training there is the standard level at $29 per month or the premium at $45 per month. There is no set-up fee, and they do have some free versions.
On occasion Pluralsight may offer a reduction on your annual standard or premium subscription. Check their website for any current offers.
Skillsoft are more reserved about advertising their pricing and so you will need to contact them regarding any course that you wish to take to find out how much it would cost.
They don’t charge a set-up fee but have no free content either.
Pluralsight rated higher for usability with some people finding Skillsoft’s user interface a bit clunky and not the most user friendly. Pluralsight was found to be easy to use and relatively simple to get to grips with.
However, Skillsoft offers the ability to download books and study offline which is very useful when traveling or working in remote areas with patchy internet access.
The books can be easily loaded onto a phone, tablet or laptop.
Return On Investment (ROI)
Both learning platforms received positive feedback on their ROI. One of the main areas that Pluralsight had an impact on was keeping employees engaged in the material every day.
Pluralsight also saved companies money compared to paying for specialized training as well as being able to scale training across the whole business. They claim to be able to offer an average return on investment of 6.8x.
Skillsoft have helped more than 12,000 companies through their learning platforms with one business seeing a huge 1,323% return on investment in a matter of weeks, a cost to benefit ratio of 1:7 and an average annual benefit of $6.6 million.
Within other industries 40% of Skillsoft learners upskilled to new roles, 95% of employees built new skills within 12 weeks and over 93% achieved their development goals.
Both of these learning platforms offer a range of courses for employee development and training as well as for individual upskilling and reskilling.
They have both received good reviews from users and offer a lot of similar benefits to learners.
If there is one area where one has an advantage over the other it may be that Pluralsight are more technology focused while Skillsoft offer additional soft skills.
We hope this guide has been helpful.