Applications closed on April 22 and lessons began in May:The Udacity Data Science Scholarship Program – an initiative by Google, Bertelsmann and Udacity to train data science experts – met with great interest worldwide. More than 32,000 people from some 170 countries applied for one of the 15,000 scholarship places – and more than one in five participants in the introductory Challenge Course work for a Bertelsmann company.
Vast volumes of data form the basis of ever more business processes – which makes it all the more important for companies to expand their in-house data skills. The Udacity Data Science Scholarship Program, which launched in May, provides an ideal opportunity for this. It is part of an extensive initiative by Google, Bertelsmann and Udacity to train data science experts. And there is enormous interest in it. Bertelsmann University, which manages the program together with colleagues from the Bertelsmann Employer Branding & Talent Acquisition department, says more than 32,000 applicants from around 170 countries applied for the 15,000 scholarship places. More than 20 percent of the participants in the introductory Challenge Course “Intro to Descriptive Statistics” come from various Bertelsmann companies around the world. Bertelsmann is one of the key strategic investors in the online education service provider Udacity.
“That is a great response to a great program,” says Immanuel Hermreck, Bertelsmann CHRO. “This proves what a good decision it was to launch a Data Science continuing training initiative together with Udacity and Google. We’re especially pleased that so many Bertelsmann colleagues applied and are now taking part in the Challenge Course.”
Program is trending on social media
The Udacity Data Science Scholarship Program is structured into two parts: The 15,000 selected scholarship recipients initially take a Challenge Course – about 88 percent of participants have already started this part. The 1,500 top students from this introductory course qualify to go on to one of three full Udacity Nanodegree programs: “Data Foundations,” “Business Analyst” or “Data Analyst.”
The Udacity Data Science Scholarship Program is trending on social media as well. Participants have published more than 1,000 posts about the Challenge Course with the hashtags “#UdacityDataScholars” and “#PoweredByBertelsmann”, reaching over a million users on a wide variety of channels, from Facebook and Instagram to LinkedIn and Twitter. A Facebook group on the scholarship program currently has about 9,000 members and has generated more than 2,700 posts, 27,000 comments and 85,000 responses about the scholarship program. The participants not only network independently; they also support each other in working on the assignments, share their knowledge and interesting links on the subject of Data Science – and have now independently organized about 100 face-to-face and virtual meetings per week in various countries. Bertelsmann employees form an active subgroup that also meets regularly, in the Gütersloh region.
The Challenge Course runs until August, after which the three aforementioned continuation courses start, which conclude with a Nanodegree typical for Udacity – a certificate that is recognized worldwide by many companies, especially in the IT sector. To be among the top ten percent of the introductory-course graduates and receive one of the coveted 1,500 slots in a full Nanodegree program, participants must successfully complete the “Challenge Course” lessons and tests. Other criteria include their degree of participation and support of classmates in the student community, as well as a re-evaluation of their essays from the original scholarship application.
Bertelsmann expands its collaborationwith Udacity
Since May 2015, the online education platform Udacity has offered the new Data Scientist Nanodegree program in collaboration with Bertelsmann and IBM, among others. As part of this program, Arvato Financial Solutions will provide an extensive dataset to be used for a specific marketing project.
The Data Scientist Nanodegree program is for students who possess strong programming and data analysis skills, and is positioned as the next step for graduates of the Data Analyst Nanodegree program. Those interested in advanced analytics without programming are encouraged to consider the Business Analyst Nanodegree program, while beginners are invited to explore the Data Foundations Nanodegree program. Registration for Udacity’s Data Scientist Nanodegree program is now open. You can find more information under the following link: https://www.udacity.com/course/data-scientist-nanodegree--nd025
More information about the content of the programs is available at https://www.udacity.com/bertelsmann-data-scholarships. (benet)