The Online Learning Revolution


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If your goal is to improve your technical skills in 2016, you have a variety of affordable options. Online learning platforms allow you to access high quality courses at work or at home.  Most offer plans for individuals and business, so companies can take advantage of training that might normally be out of reach for their small number of staff.

I’ve written about Udemy and Lynda.com in other articles. Pluralsight was founded in 2004 and offers the world’s largest curated professional development platform specializing in software development, IT and creative skills training. Pluralsight currently serves more than 3 million global users, offering instant access to 4,700 + technology courses developed by industry experts.

In the past few years, the company has grown exponentially, in part due to a series of acquisitions, including the Orlando-based Code School. Code School is an online learning destination for existing and aspiring developers that teaches through entertaining content. Each course is built around a creative theme and storyline so that it feels like you’re playing a game, rather than sitting in a classroom.

Pluralsight works on an affordable subscription model. You can purchase by the month for $29 / month of unlimited learning with no commitment, or an annual plan that averages $24.99 a month. For $49 a month, you’ll get exercise files, course learning checks to measure your knowledge and certificates of completion.

For $499 per year per user, companies get a dedicated group portal, reports & analytics, plus the course learning checks and certificates.  Pluralsight offers expert-crafted learning paths that guide employees through the right courses in the right order. Or the business can create custom playlists to help onboard new hires faster or to help employees reach specific learning goals according to the business’ objectives.

Pluralsight’s offerings lean heavily toward IT, with courses in software development, IT operations, computer graphics software and design skills. They also offer AUTO CAD and other architecture, modeling, and design courses, and IT courses that specialize in manufacturing applications (my favorite course name: “Using GIT with a GUI.”)

You can also study data analysis, database management, and learn about algorithms. The site offers a robust selection of business courses as well, including career development (especially for It professionals.) The business courses include time management, business writing and communication, courses on Microsoft applications, including advanced courses in subjects like Excel Pivot Tables. You can also study crisis management, leadership, entrepreneurship, and project management.

Online learning platforms provide enormous value for individuals and companies. Students can learn at their own pace on their own schedule. They can move faster or slower through the material according to their confidence and skill level.  And if they want to view an entire course twice, they can –  an option that traditional classroom training doesn’t offer.  Companies can track engagement and learning progress, and can be sure that the courses are consistent and produced with high quality content.

I think we’re at the beginning of a learning revolution, where anyone can connect with skills they need for personal or professional growth.

Have you taken an online course to improve your life or career? Leave a comment about your experience.

 

 

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