Pluralsight Computer Programming Instructor Becomes Online Education's First Millionaire Teacher
In Less than Five Years, Scott Allen has Earned More than $1.8 million in Teaching Fees and Royalties as a Computer Programming Teacher for Pluralsight, a Leading Online Training Resource for Web and IT Pros
Pluralsight's 135 Course Instructors are on Pace to Collectively Earn $5 Million in Royalties and Fees Just in 2013 Alone
SALT LAKE CITY – As uncertainty clouds the future of teaching in a digital age, educators can glean hope from the unlikely millionaire stories emerging from Pluralsight, a Utah-based online training site for Web and IT professionals. In contrast to the bleak prospects often linked to the commoditization of online education, Pluralsight computer programming instructor Scott Allen has personally earned more than $1.8 million in teaching fees and royalties since 2008, and he is on pace to earn $1 million in 2013 alone.
“More than anything, his success has spread word of mouth across our customer base, which again shows how much his students love both his teaching style as well as his high-demand course topics.”
"It has been thrilling to be a part of Pluralsight's momentum in recent years," said Allen, who joined the company in 2007. "The staff and students in the Pluralsight community have provided an ideal forum for my particular field of interest, which is becoming very popular as more coders and programmers find success in today's job market. I'm grateful to get the chance to contribute to the careers of my students."
Though Allen's prosperity sets him apart, he is no anomaly -- all told, Pluralsight teachers will take home $5 million in royalty income in 2013 alone. The site's top five instructors average more than $400,000 in royalties each year for their training videos. The Pluralsight business model, which pays one-time fees and ongoing royalties to its instructors for providing high-quality professional content, makes success stories like Allen's plausibly repeatable. It's an encouraging sign for the modern education landscape.
"Scott is a gifted teacher who has found his sweet spot in the online video teaching medium," Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard said of Allen's popularity as an instructor in subjects like C#, jQuery and CSS. "His students smother him in accolades because of the progress he helps them make in their careers."
Allen's million-dollar mark has raised the ceiling for top teachers, but all of Pluralsight's 135 course teachers are collectively moving the standard higher for a wide range of online educators. Top to bottom, Pluralsight instructors average more than $40,000 just in royalties each year. These royalties are passive income resulting from one-time investments to produce the courses, which usually translate to 10 to 20 hours of work per hour of content. Six-figure salaries are within reach of any teacher who can produce videos that catch the attention of Pluralsight's paid subscriber community.
"Pluralsight is careful to not overly favor any particular teacher," Skonnard said. "More than anything, his success has spread word of mouth across our customer base, which again shows how much his students love both his teaching style as well as his high-demand course topics."
The success stories of Allen and his peers are only gaining steam as Pluralsight scales its current library of more than 500 courses to its 275,000 users, both personal and enterprise, across 125 different countries. Founded in 2004, Pluralsight has seen triple-digit revenue growth in recent years. The company recently received $27.5 million in Series A funding from Insight Venture Partners after having successfully bootstrapped for nearly nine years.