In all, 5,700 participants successfully completed the Challenge Course – and roughly a fifth of them are Bertelsmann employees. The top ten percent of graduates will receive a scholarship for a full-fledged Udacity Nanodegree following the Challenge Course.
Last year, Bertelsmann launched the Udacity Technology Scholarship Program, an extensive new scholarship initiative. After three and a half months, the Challenge Course, the first phase of the Udacity Technology Scholarship Program, ended in March. A total of 5,700 participants successfully completed the course – around one-fifth of them were Bertelsmann employees. This means that the completion rate of Bertelsmann employees is just as high as in the previous Udacity Data Science Scholarship – even though some of the participation requirements this time were much more demanding. The top ten percent of the graduates received a scholarship for a full-fledged Udacity Nanodegree in the fields of Cloud Computing, Data, or Artificial Intelligence following on to the Challenge Course. These Nanodegree programs already began at the end of March and run for a total of six months.
“I am delighted by the high completion rate of the Challenge Course,” says Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe. “With the Udacity Technology Scholarship Program we want to give as many people as possible access to the best and latest technological expertise. The successful completion of the first phase shows how important many people feel it is to acquire the necessary skills in these emerging technologies. I wish all scholarship holders continuing their studies with Udacity’s Nanodegree program continued success.”
Chief Human Resources Officer Immanuel Hermreck adds: “I’m particularly pleased about the high participation rate among Bertelsmann employees. 46 percent of them successfully completed the Challenge Course. In addition, 20 percent of participating Bertelsmann employees were able to secure a place on the Nanodegree program. This shows the high level of constant motivation to keep independently educating yourself in these tech areas.”
Flexible and independent learning
During the Challenge Course, communication among the participants, who are scattered around the globe, mainly took place in online social communities. For instance, more than 350 individual communication groups for the respective learning areas were formed on the Slack collaboration platform. In more than 830,000 messages, the scholarship holders supported each other by exchanging information about their curriculum content and learning experiences. Besides online study groups, they also organized in-person meetings locally.
Many people particularly liked the flexibility of the course. For example, after completing the Challenge Course in Data, Julia Schäfer from Arvato Supply Chain Solutions in Gütersloh reports: “One great advantage of the program is that I was able to study anytime, anywhere. Given the complexity of the topics, it makes sense that everyone can decide for themselves when they want to spend time on the course. I did most of the course on weekends and one evening a week. That made it easy for me to incorporate the course into my daily routine.” Bill Rood of Penguin Random House U.S. completed the course in the field of Cloud. He feels digital learning tools are “perfect for allowing participants to learn at their own pace.” As he works with his colleagues to move his team’s processes onto the cloud, he can already apply the knowledge he has learned in his everyday work. “The course gave me the necessary expertise to support the planning we do with our experts on eye level. The knowledge will be very valuable to me and our team as we move forward in the process.”
For all Bertelsmann employees, their participation in and successful completion of the Challenge Course are automatically recorded on Peoplenet, and can be found in their learning history. (benet)