This article is sponsored by Udacity.
Fact – India has the largest population of software developers, outside of the US, at 3 million. By 2018, this number is estimated to increase to 4 million – making India a country with the largest number of software developers.
Fact – And yet, with such large numbers of software developers, there are only 2% of apps developed in India that make it to the top 1000 Google apps and none to the top 100.
Industry Experts in India believe the reason behind this seems to be due to the options available in the ecosystem of upgrading skills once a student finishes his basic degree and enters the job market.
Pretty much like the fields of life sciences and medicine – the advancement of new technology necessitates the continuous upgradation of tech skills for those in this field. However, there aren’t many online courses that focus specifically on upgradation of relevant to job skills.
Having identified this gap in the ecosystem a year ago, one player decided to address this – Udacity.
Democratising Education - Udacity
Udacity was born out of a Stanford University experiment in which Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig offered their “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” online to anyone, for free. A brain child of Stanford professor and ex-Google roboticist Sebastian Thrun, Udacity appealed to the education market by publishing free college courses online. Over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled and not much later, Udacity was born.
According to Mr. Thrun, the origin of the name comes from the company's desire to be audacious for you, the student.
And that’s exactly what Udacity has been on a mission to do. Democratize Education. Now, a growing team of educators, engineers and industry experts are working together to change the future of education by bridging the gap between real-world skills, relevant education and employment.
The Gap in the Skilling Education
As a direct action towards the vision of bridging this gap – after selected collaboration and research, Udacity has created the Nanodegree program.
Udacity realized that with the milieu of online educators across the world, not many were focusing on the equivalent of vocational skills in the tech world specifically. Sure there were many degrees on the online platform but not many of them were focused on making an individual successful at the job they had chosen in the real world.
Armed with a basic degree, consistent skilling on various specifics of technology like programming, developing etc. was the key between a successful professional and an educated professional.
Hence Udacity came up with the ideation, creation and launch of the Nanodegree program. It’s not just a degree to stack up as a certificate in your office – it is a program that helps you get the skills you want to improve your economic future.
A program that is aimed at teaching the missing link between your current education level and the practical degree that will launch you towards your career. The Nanodegree program is an online model that is accessible, inclusive and affordable. It’s designed around intensive coursework with expert instructors from Silicon Valley teaching the latest technology skills. Nanodegree students learn through projects that they would create in the real-world like a search engine; have access to a global network of project code reviewers; and can connect with peer students around the world.
Udacity aims to give students skills sought after by top employers around the world. Udacity Nanodegrees are the only credentials backed and built by industry. AT&T, Google, Facebook and many other technology companies are involved.
As a first in India, Udacity has collaborated with the tech giant Google. The company believes this service model of job training can be scaled up to teach coding to millions of people.
For India, additionally, there is a definitive price advantage as well. The discounted price for India is Rs. 9,800 per month. This compares favorably with the US where it costs $200 a month. Students on an average take 6–9 months to finish. As an incentive, upon completion, Udacity refunds half of the tuition fee. Check out Udacity for more details.
There’s more - the special scholarship for 1,000 students involves fee waiver, and it is offered over and above the partial refund available for all who complete the course. Udacity has teamed up with giants Google and Tata Trust, who are backing the Nanodegree program by each offering 500 scholarships in the Android developer field to worthy students.
The Nanodegree advantage from Udacity doesn’t end here - Google plans to host an Android Development Career Summit at Bengaluru in the spring of 2016 for 30 of the top students in the program.
Udacity’s process for enrolling to a Nanodegree program ensures that as a candidate you have determined your existing skill level through a readiness Assessment. Only then can you enroll and start your journey of learning critical skills from expert instructors, build projects with support from coaches, project reviewers and peers. Based on your projects and course completion you earn a credential that is recognized by industry leaders. And then you are ready to start building your career for real with support from Udacity through interview training, resume review and other career support benefits.
Under the Nanodegree platform – there are multiple options for all skill levels. If you are an individual with no programming experience, there is “Beginning iOS App Development” just for you, where you can start your journey in iOS development. Or if you are a programmer with intermediate skill level, there is “Android Developer’ program taking you to the master level in Android development. Then there is the ‘Tech Entrepreneur’ program that teaches you everything from ideation to marketing to monetization, and how to transform ideas into market-ready products, and build sustainable businesses around them.
Similarly there are programs teaching you to become a Full Stack Web Developer, Front end developer, Programmer, and Data analyst among others.
As an end to end program to fast track your career, there aren’t many courses available that are aimed measurably and specifically to up skill you in your chosen technology area, and Nanodegrees fill up that need perfectly.
Udacity has already scaled to 10,000 Nanodegree students since launching the Udacity Nanodegree program one year ago. To enhance the real world experience, Udacity has built an on-demand set of reviewers through the world. Through this vast network they’re able to return code-level project reviews in under three hours, around the clock and across the globe.
In Udacity’s own pursuit statement “We believe learning is an ageless pursuit that should have no geographic or socioeconomic boundaries.” All of our courses – whether they’re in a Nanodegree program or otherwise – are available on Udacity.com.
With online education, they are helping people to improve their lives and careers. Education, Udacity believes, has the power to improve the quality of life for everyone.
Udacity has offered up to 8,000 scholarships for deserving students in India, Egypt and the United States, as well as refugees of the current crisis.
So here’s wishing that Udacity’s audacious mission to up skill technology enthusiasts meets it’s defined goal of reaching wide and teaching relevant skills to impact the lives and careers of professionals.
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