Photo of Pluralsight vs. edX

Pluralsight vs. edX: Prices, topics, and details

Hi, I’m Olga! I have years of experience in data science, most recently at eBay. Now I work as an industry mentor at Pathrise, helping data scientists land great jobs through technical workshops and 1-on-1s. Check out my article where I compare Pluralsight vs edX.

Similarities and differences between Pluralsight and edX

Pluralsight and edX both offer online courses in software engineering, web development, product management, data science, web design, machine learning, operations/IT, tech sales, and digital marketing. However, edX teaches a wider variety of course subjects, including humanities and job search skills. Similarities

  • Both programs are remote and self-paced.
  • edX & Pluralsight both offer certificates grads can put on their resumes.
  • Both courses are open to anyone, with no formal admissions except for degree programs.
  • Courses in both programs are expert-led  and include hands-on assignments and projects


  • edX teaches a wider variety of topics, including humanities courses.
  • Pluralsight’s full “Path” courses only take 9-50 hours to complete while edX courses usually last 3-12+ weeks and require 4-6 hours of work every week.
  • edX is a non-profit with free courses, while Pluralsight is a for-profit business.
  • Pluralsight courses are always available, while edX courses can fill up or be discontinued.
  • edX hosts courses from top universities and companies like Google and IBM. Pluralsight designs their own courses.

Courses offered by Pluralsight and edX

Both Pluralsight and edX offer courses that cover the following topics and much more:

  • Software engineering
  • Web design
  • Digital marketing
  • Web development
  • Product management
  • Operations/IT
  • Machine learning
  • Tech sales
  • Data science
  • Cybersecurity

Prices for Pluralsight and edX

edX hosts 3000+ courses from 160+ universities. As a non-profit organization, they have both free and paid options. Their certificate courses range from free to $400+. However, students almost always have to pay if they want to actually get a certificate upon completion. These certificate programs last 1-7 months with 2-5 hours of work each week.

Their XSeries programs take a deep dive into a specific topic. These 1-8 month programs usually contain multiple university courses and require 5-10 hours per week per course. XSeries tuition ranges from free to $130-$500 each.

edX’s full online master’s programs are far more expensive, ranging from $10k to $25k+. Their workload, pricing, and timeline are all comparable to an on-campus master’s program, usually taking 1-4 years to complete. Short “MicroMasters” courses are also available, which are cheaper than a full master’s and only take 3 months to 1 year to finish. MicroMasters courses only cost $1k – $2k and still come from accredited universities.

While Pluralsight offers a 10-day free trial, they are a for-profit business and full access requires a paid subscription. Users choose between 2 plans: individual and business. Their personal plan costs $29 per month or $299 for annual billing. Businesses can pay $499 per month to provide access to their employees. While mentoring is available, users can pay as much as $1 per minute for the extra support.

Pluralsight users get access to 7,500+ expert-led courses that include hands-on projects, assignments, peer discussions with both mobile and offline learning options available. While there is no formal admissions process required, users can take an assessment to determine which courses match their experience. However, anyone can still register for any course. Their full Path programs only last about 9-50 hours and are composed of shorter courses. Bonus content is available through recorded conferences, slides, instructor notes, and more.

Ratings and reviews of Pluralsight and edX

Online reviews for Pluralsight are mostly positive. They hold a perfect 5 star rating on CourseReport, where a reviewer appreciated that their course was hands-on and had “one of the best mobile applications in comparison to other platforms.” A user on Reddit also liked their mobile learning, commenting that “I’ll queue sessions up on their mobile app and listen to it while driving to and from work.”

A Quora user felt the program was especially helpful for beginners and was impressed that the platform “keeps 99% of their content relevant with the latest standards and archives older courses.” A student on G2 also liked how Pluralsight keeps their courses updated with the latest tech trends, describing it as helpful for both a “refresher on fundamentals” and “more advanced courses.” However, some reviewers on Trustpilot were disappointed by the support. One user was frustrated that Pluralsight can “refuse to cancel” their subscription “even though you’ve sent an email cancellation request.” Another wished that the discussion boards were organized by topics, not “all grouped together.” Other reviewers were annoyed that they had to pay $1 per minute just for support. On the whole though, grads seemed very satisfied with the new tech skills they took away from the program.

edX holds similarly positive reviews. Their program is rated 4.5/5 stars on G2, where students were impressed with the top universities and companies hosting courses on the platform. Many users felt that the university names gave their certificates credibility and brand-name recognition on resumes. One grad appreciated that courses allowed students to “post, view, and comment on classmates’ work” while many other grads like that their courses could be both flexible and still somewhat hands-on.

However, some students had trouble dealing with edX’s admin team. Users reported assignments that were never graded or graded late, which complicated the course timeline. Some users worried these delays could cost students their certificates. A few reviewers were also disappointed by how the admin team responded to these issues, with one user warning about “terrible support” and long delays. Overall though, grads seemed impressed with edX’s flexible courses from top university courses and big tech companies.

Alternatives to Pluralsight and edX

If you decide not to enroll in Pluralsight or edX, you might look into one of the alternative learning platforms and resources and tech resources below:

  • Another big online learning platform is Udacity. They host both free and paid courses on a wide variety of tech topics. Like edX they partner with tech companies like IBM and Google to keep their curriculum up-to-date with the latest technologies and topics. Students in their nanodegree programs also get 1-on-1 mentoring with both a career coach and a technical mentor, with lots of opportunities to build a project portfolio. Learn more about Udacity in our review.
  • Similarly, Coursera hosts thousands of online courses on tech topics like web development, UX design, software engineering, data science, and more. Like edX, their courses are taught by professors from accredited universities with hands-on assignments, recorded video lectures, and community discussions.
  • The massive online learning platform Udemy hosts 100k+ courses on both tech and humanities subjects. Their courses are also self-paced and flexible with lifetime access for students.
  • People seeking flexible learning with 1-on-1 mentoring can look into Springboard. Their tech career tracks give students a chance to build 14 portfolio projects with weekly mentorship meetings. If students don’t land a great job within 6 months after graduating, they get a refund. Learn more about Springboard in our review.
  • Skillshare hosts over 19,000 free and paid courses that cover web dev, web design, marketing, and more. Their courses are remote and flexible like both Pluralsight and edX.
  • People seeking courses on digital marketing, web design, or tech sales can check out GrowthX Academy. Their program includes 1-on-1 mentoring with hands-on assignments. Read more about GrowthX Academy in our review of the program.
  • The self-paced coding bootcamp CodeX Academy helps people launch new careers in software engineering and web dev. Learn more about CodeX Academy in our review.
  • Aspiring software engineers and web designers can look into Kenzie Academy, a full-time tech bootcamp that offers both online and in-person courses. While their program may be more intense than both Pluralsight and edX, students can learn new tech skills at a very fast pace. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • One of the most well known bootcamps is General Assembly. They offer full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics like UX/UI design, data science, software engineering, digital marketing, product management, and more. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • The data resource DataCamp hosts 300+ short courses on data science subjects. Their program is remote, flexible, and hands-on.
  • Similar to edX’s XSeries programs and Pluralsight’s advanced Path programs, Metis offers courses to aspiring data scientists who already have some experience. Learn more about Metis in our review.
  • The online bootcamp Designlab also teaches the necessary skills to land entry level UX designer jobs. Read our review of Designlab to see if it fits your goals.
  • Another product design bootcamp with both instructor-led and self-guided options is DesignerUp. Their program is hands-on with certificates students can add to their resumes. You can read more about DesignerUp in our review.
  • People seeking flexible coding courses can look into Codecademy, one of the most popular tech learning programs online. They offer free courses on web dev, software engineering, and even data science. Not only is their time commitment similar to Pluralsight, but their program is hands-on with lots of coding assignments and projects. Their membership options range from $20 to $40 per month for greater course options and more support. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.

How do Pluralsight and edX compare to Pathrise?

Pluralsight and edX both offer self-paced online courses to help people launch a career in tech. While both programs teach part-time courses in web development, web design, software engineering, machine learning, digital marketing, product management, tech sales, and data science, edX offers a wider variety of courses, including humanities topics and even job-search courses.

Neither edX nor Pluralsight requires a formal admission process. Although edX recommends students have some experience before enrolling in an advanced course and Pluralsight even offers informal placement exams, most students start with zero tech experience. Pathrise fellows should have some background in their chosen field so that they can fully benefit from our industry workshops and 1-on-1 sessions, which can cover challenging technical interview questions. We have tracks in software engineering, product design, data science, digital marketing, sales, product management, strategy, and ops.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that helps students and professionals land their dream job. Our mentors have experience on both sides of the hiring table and already helped 700+ people land great tech jobs. Fellows in our program get help with all phases of the job search, working with mentors on resume writing, LinkedIn, and portfolio optimization, reverse recruiting and cold emailing, behavioral and technical interview prep, salary negotiation, and much more.

While edX offers some financial aid and Pluralsight follows a subscription model, students pay monthly, upfront, or through loans. Pathrise offers a 9% income share agreement (ISA), meaning they pay nothing until they land a job. We never require upfront payments or charge extra for mentoring. Pathrise optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentoring and technical training. With our tips and guidance, fellows have seen their interview scores double and their application responses triple, landing a job in just 3-5 months on average. If you are interested in working with any of our mentors to land your dream job, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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Alex MacPherson

Hi I'm Alex! Since graduating from UC Berkeley in 2019, I have worked on the growth team for Pathrise helping job seekers hone their skills to land their dream role through curated content on interview prep, resume building and more.

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