It’s been a little over a year since Pluralsight, known for its dev and IT training, acquired creative training resource Digital-Tutors. Now, Pluralsight has officially announced that it has integrated its Digital-Tutors content in a move to bring dev, IT and creative training into one platform, providing members of both sites with an incredible professional tech learning experience. As of today, all creative courses are available on Pluralsight.com and the Digital-Tutors brand has been retired. While the Digital-Tutors name might be gone, Digital-Tutors subscribers will experience no interruption in their learning as the website digitaltutors.com remains in the interim with Pluralsight branding.

CG Society took this opportunity to reach out to Pluralsight’s CEO, Aaron Skonnard, to get the inside scoop on what this means for its community and what we can expect to see in the future. 

Aaron Skonnard

1. Why did Pluralsight acquire Digital-Tutors? 

We acquired Digital-Tutors to provide our subscribers, both individuals and organizations, with high-quality creative training that really complemented our existing dev and IT course collection, and likewise, to bring Digital-Tutors members more learning options. We felt that providing tech and creative pros around the world with access to this trifecta of technology education would set them up for success by delivering the hands-on, practical training they would need for the most in-demand and understaffed jobs of today.

Pluralsight’s mission is to democratize professional tech learning, and we see mastering powerful and sometimes very complex creative software as a big part of that mission. If you’ve ever watched a Digital-Tutors or Pluralsight course, you know that our expert authors are the best in their field and make learning a new software as easy as possible. This alignment between Pluralsight and Digital-Tutors—both in customer-centric values and corporate cultures—made Digital-Tutors the perfect match to fill our creative course needs.

 
2. How has the transition gone this past year?

Bringing Digital-Tutors into the Pluralsight family has been a great experience. We’re learning from each other, and our subscribers are getting the fruits of all of this collaboration. Combined, Pluralsight and Digital-Tutors have more than 20 years of video and online learning experience, and we’ve used this experience throughout this past year to expand our creative learning content in a powerful way for every learner in our community.

We’re also leveraging that momentum to launch some really exciting new features and product updates very soon. By becoming one platform, we’ll be in a position to roll out meaningful learning solutions. This includes instant one-on-one expert mentoring, dynamic assessments to benchmark and grow skills faster, and a better user experience - like brand new mobile apps and more. These will help tech professionals, including creatives, keep their skills up to date.


3. Why have you decided to change the name now?

The end of the Digital-Tutors brand is really a big step toward creating one platform that will deliver all of our learning features to all of our subscribers, allowing them to take control of their educational goals. We’re making the move now as it coincides with completely new Pluralsight branding, something we think the creative community will better connect to too. Now at creative events and shows, you’ll see us using the name Pluralsight and we’ll be happy to have conversations about everything Pluralsight offers, not just one aspect of our training.  


4. Online learning is exploding across the board; what type of growth do you expect to see? 

The potential for professional online learning is still very large. As companies, universities and even government agencies begin to see just how important continuing education is for growing and keeping talent, online training adoption will rise. This on-demand learning is so much more valuable, scalable and timely than the traditional in-class training environment or sending employees to conferences. Those options can still serve an important purpose, but when you need to learn a new skill or technique, or when you run into production issues and need instant answers, having a trusted collection of more than 4,500 courses authored by industry experts is a game changer. 

For schools and universities, having video-based lessons to supplement in-class training is essential too. Instructors are no longer forced to teach to the middle of the class; they can now use video courses to help falling students catch up and to help those ahead of the pack keep advancing their skills. Using a collection of new and fresh material like ours, teachers and students are able to work together to really focus on the students’ passions and not just the set curriculum. We’ve found that instructors who integrate our content into their curriculum have been successful at providing relevant, up-to-date training on the skills demanded in the market, while also allowing the instructor to focus more on the creative principles and mentor students in a more impactful fashion.


5. With seven acquisitions over the past two years, including Code School and HackHands, Pluralsight is exploding as well. Does Pluralsight plan to expand the courses/expertise from some of these companies to the creative track? 

Absolutely, and that is a huge factor in why we chose to bring the creative courses into the Pluralsight platform. The one-on-one mentoring from HackHands and assessment technology from Smarterer are the two upcoming benefits we’re really focused on delivering to our learners in the near future, which our creative members will get to enjoy at the launch. In addition to these powerful new resources, we’ve expanded our team that’s dedicated to really growing our creative course collection, including growing our CAD courses. 


6. How does Pluralsight keep up with ever-changing technology in the creative space, especially VFX and games?

Pluralsight has a network of more than 850 industry expert authors that curate our courses. These authors are so engrained in their fields that they have amazing insight into the changing industry and are often able to produce and publish new content as soon as new software hits the market. 

On a similar note, partnerships have been a great way for us to stay ahead of technology skills needed. They’ve also empowered us to have new courses available at the time of a new software launch. In fact, we just recently released training almost immediately after the software went live for Houdini 15 and Autodesk’s game engine, Stingray. 

We also listen closely to feedback from studios, organizations and individuals who rely on our service. Knowing what the studios want helps our subscribers too because what they want in training is often what they are looking for in skills from an employee. 


7. Do your courses lean towards the hobbyist or professional? 

Our learning platform is really focused on developing the skills a creative professional needs in order to be successful in their industry today. Some content on the Pluralsight platform is approachable by hobbyists who are really passionate about entering the field, but when we evaluate our course creation roadmap and identify who our content is most suitable for, we’re really zoned in on teaching at a professional level. 

8. What excites you most about Pluralsight’s future? 

We've set out to change the way the world learns, so it’s hard not to get excited about everything going on right now at Pluralsight. Seeing the passion and innovation from the Pluralsight team as we work toward revolutionizing the learning experience for technology professionals is incredible. 

If I had to pick one thing, though, it’s knowing that we’re making a real difference in the lives of people all around the world. Our learning platform has helped moms turbo-charge their careers while raising their families. We’ve helped countless people unlock their potential and even change careers. By creating an accessible and affordable professional learning platform, we’re able to truly democratize professional technical and creative learning. While we’ve made a huge stride already, we know we still have so many more people and organizations to help. Creative and tech skills touch so much of our lives and we want to empower the people literally driving and shaping our world’s future.