I get a lot of questions about Esri website accounts and honestly I haven't seen a good summary anywhere of how all this works. If anything here is incorrect, please let me know in the comments.
The Esri website has two flavors of user accounts: Esri and ArcGIS Online (AGOL) accounts. The main management site for these is accounts.esri.com.
This account is also referred to as MyEsri account, Esri public account, or Esri global login (the old name).
The MyEsri account is designed to be a single personal login that follows you even if you change jobs. This login is used for accessing the admin site (my.esri.com), Esri marketing (emails etc), single-use and concurrent licensing, training.esri.com, geonet (community.esri.com), and, your "public" free AGOL login.
Your Esri account may be linked to multiple "organizations" (different from ArcGIS Online organizations). You can "connect" to these organizations (most people have only have one) to access training, license keys, downloads, etc. ELA site administrators use the Esri login, connected to their organization (customer ID), to grant access to training, downloads, and license provisioning.
ArcGIS Online account
Also known as an AGOL organization account, AGOL organization login, or ArcGIS license portal.
Users normally have one login per each AGOL org they belong to. AGOL usernames usually have an organization suffix to help admins identify their users, and keep the usernames unique across ArcGIS.com. For example: jwpowell_USGS, N.Darton_SDMines. The AGOL login is used to access and use your organization's AGOL (subscription) site org.maps.arcgis.com, and also to authenticate named user licenses (currently, only ArcGIS Pro) from the arcgis.com or org.maps.arcgis.com license portals (either works, using your AGOL org username and password).
AGOL administrators can grant Esri Access to an AGOL account. If Esri Access is enabled for that user they can associate their AGOL and Esri logins so they can more easily hop among their credentials as needed as they navigate Esri's website.
Error: "You are not enabled for Esri Access"
If you get this error when trying to access your Esri login (for example to access training), try these steps to get logged in. (This issue is very common when people try to access their training when already logged in to AGOL.)
- Close your web browser and restart
- Go directly to accounts.esri.com
- Log in to your MyEsri account, or if you don't have an account, set one up