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So the Smarterer technology intelligently guides the test towards a faster assessment process in real time?
Yes. Our proprietary algorithm powers the platform to help you understand your skillset and guide you through your learning journey in Revit or another technology.
Although the AEC and MCAD industries have lots of certifications programs—and certs are huge in software and IT—Pluralsight has a slightly different philosophy around validating skill sets.
Can you explain why?
We realize people want certifications, and we understand why people—and organizations—find value in them. We see certifications as a stamp in time. One can say they are certified, and that is one thing, but in order to say you know these tools today is a completely different thing. Tools change. And fast. We don’t necessarily think that passing a certification provides proof of expertise over time.
So what do you provide regarding certifications in industries?
Technology professionals can use Pluralsight to prepare for certifications. Today on we provide more than 20 certification preparation paths, comprised of more than 150 different courses total. The certification paths that we offer are broad and beyond AEC content.
We are building—and will continue to build—learning paths that will guide people towards specific certification in the industry. We build learning paths for certifications because we understand the role certifications play in today’s world.
So, after one takes a Pluralsight Assessment test in say AutoCAD, one gets a score or level ranking. And I understand that people would want to skill-up as time and new software versions go by. Do you see your assessment and ranking system becoming a new standard that can rival industry certifications?
Definitely. That is what we would hope to happen. If we build a platform that enables people to skill up to new levels, we hope that people will socialize their scores, with badges or what not, to display their skills. It is up to our users but it would be cool to see scores go viral.
So, speaking of companies how does the Pluralsight system work with a whole company?
We provide the ability to skill-up entire companies and teams quickly. One of the great things Pluralsight offers businesses is the ability for managers and leaders to better understand the brilliance they have on their teams and where they have skill gaps. Having this knowledge in-hand helps company leaders map learning and skill sets to meet business objectives.
How does this work exactly?
A leader can go into the Pluralsight platform and look at a reporting dashboard and learn that their teams have a strong proficiency in AutoCAD, for example, but a novice skill set in Illustrator. A firm leader can then take action from this knowledge and assign courses or paths to upskill the team.
So Pluralsight can provide companies this kind of company-wide skill-set knowledge assessment on an ongoing basis to know where they really stand as compared to what is possible and, I guess too, to what rival companies may possess?
How does your assessment technology work for an entire company?
When a company gets Pluralsight we auto assign logins to each employee put into the platform. Each employee then gets a personal account that they can use to take assessments, access learning paths, watch courses, and get access to a mentor. Because we really focus on the learning journey, we want each learner to have a personalized experience so they can jump in and out whenever they need. So to that end, learners take assessments inside their own account and the data from that aggregates and reports to the company leader’s dashboard. That’s how it works.
Do you have other plans for other applications and companies in the AEC space?
When it comes to AEC, there are a variety of possible partners. When we took our first steps into the AEC space, we looked at what products we needed to offer training on out of the gate. So we started with the most popular applications that we could attack—those with the largest user bases, right, so we can democratize technology learning to the masses.
I can’t talk about all the different partnerships today, but I can say I can highlight at least one in particular because we have gotten a bit farther down the road, and that is with our customer Bentley.
As we take on new products to provide training on, we do take into consideration what our clients are saying, especially those clients that are using those specific technologies. Also, there are products in the market today with little to no training offerings around them, and—in some cases—there is a real need for training resources. These evaluations definitely impact our roadmap.
I would agree with that last point. There are some strong products and communities without commensurate online training options like many of the market leaders have.
We have curriculum directors in each industry, and we have invested in these experts in the AEC and manufacturing fields. They provide great value to our customers because they are at the forefront of their industries and they know what kinds of content we need to build to give our learners the unfair advantage.
What we learned in this engaging interview with Andy Rahden from Pluralsight is the leading online learning website is aggressively ramping up content for the AEC and manufacturing markets. So what do they have today? We have went into the system to take a look and due to their acquisition of Digital-Tutors, they are working off a healthy base of AEC toolchains for both CAD and visualization.
Pluralsight features learning paths for SolidWorks for the MCAD industry, plus Autodesk Fusion 360. AEC learning paths include AutoCAD and Revit and environmental modeling courses for 3dx Max and Maya. Architosh readers will surely look forward to expanding tools in both of these markets. You can read our story on Autodesk and Pluralsight’s announcement from the recent Autodesk University event here: (see, Architosh, “AU 2016: Pluralsight Intros Learning Paths for Autodesk 3D Design, Engineering and Fabrication Software,” 15 Nov 2016).
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