Udacity has been making moves to position itself as the online education platform for emerging fields. As of December 2016, the online educational organization founded by ex-Google executive Sebastion Thrun has added 14 new companies to its growing list of hiring partners backing the company’s platform. Among the new partners are heavyweight tech companies Samsung, Intel, Amazon Alexa, Slack and Bosch.
The addition of these tech giants not only reinforces Udacity’s credibility as a platform, but also online education programs as a serious alternative to traditional university education. Technology companies looking to fill a growing number of job openings are looking to programs like Udacity to train workers for their specific roles. Udacity now offers nanodegree programs that guarantee job offers within 6 months of completion, or your money back. That’s no minor claim for a company trying to lure students away from traditional colleges. The stamp of approval from these notable partners should entice many students to give the program a shot, given these companies are exactly where these types of students are looking to work.
All of the nanodegree programs charge a fee, most monthly like the Machine Learning Engineer program at $300/month, and most programs estimated time lengths are anywhere from a few months to a year. These programs are done at a student’s own pace, and are done completely online.
Udacity has positioned itself to be a solution to the growing problem of vacancies in very new, technical positions such as Self-Driving Car Engineer, and VR Developer. At a cost of a few hundred dollars per month, and with the flexibility in learning structure, it has become a viable alternative to traditional higher education routes. It will be very interesting to see how well Udacity grows going forward.