TL; DR: As companies adopt more modern technologies, workers often need to learn new skills to advance in their careers. Pluralsight is a digital education platform with courses taught by leading experts to train users in the latest tech skills. The platform is committed to democratizing technology and offers discounts and free access for nonprofits, teachers, and high-school students. Pluralsight also works with 70% of Fortune 500 companies to upskill their employees on topics, including servers, software, and developing technologies.
Teach For America has been working to end educational inequity in the U.S. since 1989 and has made a tremendous impact. It recruits students from top universities in the United States to teach for two years in low-income communities. But in a rapidly changing world, Teach For America realized that it needed to adapt to new technology to achieve its goal of making quality education more accessible.
“When you look at the education landscape in our country, and even around the world, opportunity is not equally distributed, whereas talent is,” said Sandeep Chellani, Teach For America’s CIO. “We recognize the value of investing in technology and bringing in new, innovative ways of doing things. We actually rely on technology to do more with less.”
Teach For America turned to Pluralsight to train its employees in understanding big data and business intelligence. Pluralsight offers in-depth online tech courses, and its goal is to democratize technology training. With Pluralsight’s help, Teach For America can further advance its mission in a server-connected world and provide its employees with the skills they need to keep pace with the latest trends.
Pluralsight also partners with more than 70% of Fortune 500 companies to upskill their employees. Instead of looking outside of the company to hire candidates with technology backgrounds, many companies now leverage Pluralsight to keep their best talent in-house and train workers for both business and personal growth.
“We help businesses close their tech skill gaps, which is good for both the business and its employees,” said Aaron Skonnard, Co-Founder and CEO of Pluralsight. “By upskilling the employees they already have, businesses can save thousands and spend far fewer hours searching for new talent. Employees also experience higher levels of job satisfaction when they see that their employers care about their professional development, which leads to increased performance and company morale.”
Those companies find that when they invest in their employees, it pays off. Employees can learn quickly with Pluralsight, and they’re often more excited to work for a company that values their education and is willing to invest in them.
Pluralsight began in 2004 as a classroom-based technology education company. Its instructors traveled around the world teaching students the skills they needed to advance in their lives and careers. But in 2008, Pluralsight began moving its platform online to reach more people.
“At that point, the world became our classroom, and our mission became the democratization of tech skills. We rolled up our sleeves and began using our expertise to build a platform to teach others,” Aaron said.
Providing Students With Relevant, Updated Courses
Pluralsight understands that the digital landscape can change rapidly in only a few years. That’s why it continues to add new content and courses and brings in innovators and experts as teachers.
“The customer is definitely at the heart of all decisions we make about what courses and features to offer on our platform,” Aaron said. “If we’re going to fulfill our goal of democratizing tech skills, we need to provide people with training for the skills they want and need now. Trends are always changing in technology, so we have to listen to what our customers are saying.”
Students need to know the latest technologies — including servers, software, and data analytics methods — to transform businesses, their lives, and the world. Traditional forms of higher education may be inaccessible to the average worker. Often, there is a focus on more abstract forms of knowledge instead of practical information and actionable insights.
That’s why Pluralsight works to gear its courses to those who value their time.
“We are continually looking to innovate and deliver better value for our customers,” Aaron said. “That means building on our immense library of courses. It also means continuing to attract the top experts as instructors.”
With a wealth of courses on its servers, learners can engage with the content that they need when they need it to advance their knowledge and their careers. And accessibility is just as important as its selection, which is why Pluralsight makes the courses affordable for every learner.
Equipping Businesses to Respond to Innovation
Digital transformation has been a tremendous driver for companies over the last few years. And that has meant companies that have traditionally not focused on technology have had to adapt to compete in the new digital world, according to Aaron. That’s why many seek out Pluralsight.
“We see demand in organizations looking to upskill their workforces in transformational technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity, and data analytics. There is also a never-ending demand to stay ahead of software development trends as developers must learn to build cloud-based applications, mobile applications, and applications that leverage AI to deliver advanced services to end-users.”
Pluralsight has many plans for individual learners, but a growing number of companies are investing in education for their workers. The market had moved toward lower investment in employees, but that trend has reversed in recent years.
That’s because many companies found that lack of investment resulted in lower levels of morale and higher turnover. Those issues can lead to significant losses for companies, and the only way to change them is to invest in employees with trust and loyalty upfront.
“As we have grown as a company, we have also shifted our primary focus to the enterprise,” Aaron said. “Our enterprise customers recognize that a skills gap in an essential technology can mean the difference between success and failure for business-critical technology projects. As such, we are focused on helping them develop a high-value strategic talent base within their companies to enable them to deliver the best possible services to their customers.”
Pluralsight helps companies invest in their talent, which can result in higher profits and lower turnover. Not only does education help employees grow their confidence to handle complex modern technologies, but they’re also more invested in, and loyal to, the company that trained them.
Pluralsight One: Teaching Technology for Social Impact
Teach For America is just one of many organizations that have benefited from Pluralsight’s educational platform. And while enterprises can use the training to upskill employees, many nonprofits realize that they also need to use technology to stay ahead in the quickly changing digital landscape.
Those nonprofits often don’t have the resources necessary to adapt quickly, which affects their social impact.
“In 2017, we launched Pluralsight One, our social impact initiative,” Aaron said. “Pluralsight One is part of our commitment to serving a larger purpose by equipping nonprofits with the technology skills they need to provide those they support, no matter their circumstances, with access to high-quality learning resources to chart their own futures and strengthen their communities.”
Democratizing education isn’t just a good business model; it’s a mission that can transform the world, and one of Pluralsight’s central values is helping communities thrive. That is why it focuses on nonprofits and offers classes to teachers and students at highly discounted rates.
“One of our values is to seek context with intention,” Aaron said. “That means making a conscious effort to understand where the other person is coming from and why they act the way they do or say the things they say. This value has manifested itself over the past several months as we’ve navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home, racial injustice, and other important issues. Our conversations with each other and with our customers are greatly enhanced when this value is remembered and observed.”
Companies that expand and succeed today often have greater ambitions than merely turning a profit. And Pluralsight listens and responds to its customers, even in difficult times, enabling students to grow and advance in a complex, server-connected world.