Udacity, the online education company founded by Sebastian Thrun, launches a new scholarship initiative as part of the "Promise to the American Workers" Initiative conducted by the administration of President Donald Trump.
Led by newly-minted CEO Gabe Dalporto, Udacity is committed to providing 20,000 applicants with free technology introductory courses each year.
The program focuses on teaching front-end web development, mobile app development and data analytics. There are no requirements for applicants, but the scholarships are reserved for low-income individuals who want to learn programming skills.
This initiative is reserved for low-income individuals who demand for the skills needed to find higher-paid jobs and advance their careers.
New initiatives to train American workers in technical fields could not come at a better time. According to McKinsey, 38.6 million people may be displaced in the US and will have to change jobs by 2030. Meanwhile, companies advise consulting firms like Gartner that their main concern is the lack of available talent.
Udacity will roll out the program in two phases. The first scholarship includes 1
These Students Gain Access to Udacitys Mentors and community managers have the opportunity to qualify for one of Udacity's full nano-degree programs. For the 10,000 best students (based on their progress in the first phase of the program and general contributions to the Udacity community), the nanodegrees are paid.
Each Udacity nanodegree costs $ 399 per month, and students typically complete within five months. According to the company, about half of the students who have been hired under the Udacity program have increased their salaries by an average of 38%.
"I hope each of these students gets a better and better paid job," says Dalporto. "The challenge is that, as you know, education in this country offers equal opportunities and so many people have been excluded from the traditional education system in this country."
For Dalporto, the decision to launch this scholarship initiative was inspiring through his experience of how technology and economic change had eroded the economy in his home state of West Virginia. The development of an automated economy changed the nature of the state and affected everyone, not just the workers most people think about when they worry about the risks of automation.
include as many people as possible in these programs, "says Dalporto. To that end, Dalporto said, Udacity will work with local leaders to tailor programs to specific regions "to maximize their impact".
The biggest shift for the company is to offer the introductory courses as a separate program. In general, Udacity has used these introductory courses as an introduction to its more robust nanodegree program.
Dalporto says the company would also consider providing certification to people who have completed initial training to point out meaningful benefits and identify skills to potential employers.
"These courses are very contentual and very challenging. [Completing one] shows that someone has a lot of determination, critical thinking and reasoning, "says Dalporto. "If you take one of our courses or nanostudies, this is a great indicator that you are successful in other types of courses."
Overall, the Udacity program will cost tens of millions of dollars, says Dalporto.
Dalporto sees the new initiative as an extension of the corporate business. The newer business model was introduced just a few years ago and already accounts for one-third of Udacity's revenue (an increase of 100% over the previous year).
"I see first-hand how I return to my hometown in West Virginia. The hardship that comes when whole industries disappear and automation displaces workers," Dalporto wrote in the Udacity blog. However, with the right competency-based learning programs, career advancement can be made accessible to everyone. I am confident that Udacity's technology and analytics grants will provide each recipient with the opportunity to learn new skills, start or advance their careers, and unleash their potential for careers that are in demand as technology advances. "