A Tale Of Two Techs: Tech Skills Get You Hired Anywhere, NOT Just “In Tech”

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There is having tech skills, and there is working in tech. These are VERY different things.

The former is very broad, the latter is comparatively narrow. When it comes to career planning, it’s crucial to understand the distinction. Too many people are opting not to learn tech skills, either because they don’t want to work in tech, or don’t think they can. But tech skills get you hired just about anywhere, NOT just “in tech.”

A recent article in Investopedia entitled Most Valuable Career Skills in 2016 written by Shoshanna Delventhal offers an excellent summation:

“Ongoing acceleration of the tech industry is a main reason why tech skills are in demand. However, it’s not just the software and mobile app startups that are searching for tech-savvy talent. Almost every company needs these kind of skilled people.”

So, it’s not about working “in tech.” It’s about becoming one of these “skilled people.”

6 Uncommon Tech Jobs You Probably Didn’t Know About

Software engineer, mobile developer, data scientist…when it comes to engineering jobs, you’re surely familiar with the “typical” job listings and titles. But did you know there are a host of unique tech jobs at thriving companies around the world with nontraditional responsibilities and descriptions?

We’ve put together a short list of unique, uncommon, and (most importantly!) open roles at great companies including Fitbit, Box and Uber. So check ’em out! And when you’re on the online job hunt, be sure to search for your specific tech skills and not just titles—you never know what interesting role will spark your interest and match your personal skills!

Remember, tech skills are relevant everywhere, not just IN tech!

Web Content Developer at Fitbit

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 10.47.34 AM

Image Credit: Fitbit

The Basics: Super collaborative role, in which you work with everyone from product managers and designers to software engineers and web content developers to create interactive web content, primarily for highly-visible marketing initiatives. It’s a creative role with a lot of impact, and tech skills are critical!

Primary Skills Needed: HTML and CSS standards, including HTML5 and CSS3, and responsive design. Some knowledge of JavaScript / jQuery, and experience with AJAX is particularly helpful.

Enrollment: The Start Of Something Incredible


Open enrollment is a time when our core values—both their promise and their challenge—come together in truly remarkable ways.

What does it mean to Democratize Education? It means inclusion, equality, approachability, affordability. It means barrier-less access to world-class education. When we open our virtual doors to new students, these are the issues we’re thinking about, the challenges we’re wrestling with, the goals we’re pursuing.

And this is why Students First is our mantra. It’s a critical ritual of self-query, an ongoing look in the mirror to try to make sure we’ve thought everything through, and done our best to keep the best interests of our students front-and-center.

Which is why our message is Be In Demand. Because that’s what we want for our students. We want each and every one of you to emerge from your Udacity coursework as the most in-demand you that you can be.

As someone whose primary role it is to write for and about Udacity, I can tell you from direct experience that this is an amazing organization, and unlike any other I’ve ever been a part of. So many different teams, departments and groups, all united around the same core goals, but each doing such dramatically different things. Yet this is not the most singular thing; many companies have diverse teams that are mission-united. What is unique is that every group—regardless of role, realm, or reach—has a direct line of communication with those we serve; every group connects directly with our students.

We learn from you, and we learn about you. We support you through your challenges, and are inspired by your accomplishments. We push you, and you push us. And when all’s said and done, we celebrate together, because your successes are our successes.

For all these reasons and more, open enrollment is an amazing time for us, because everything we do comes into such sharp focus during these dramatic days. Each new enrollment means for us a new connection, a new journey, a new story, a new life.

What incredible days these are.


Changing careers? Returning to the workforce? Skilling up to land a promotion? Whatever your career objectives, Udacity provides an education that ensures you meet your goals. We partner with industry leaders like Google, AT&T, and Facebook to create cutting-edge courses on everything from mastering web design to tech entrepreneurship. Empowering yourself through learning is an investment in your future, and it’s one we share. Graduate from one of our industry-built and recognized Nanodegree programs within twelve months, and we’ll pay half your tuition.

Improving With Experience: Machine Learning in the Modern World


In the elevators and the stairwells, at desks and in conference rooms, by the coffee machine and in the library, everyone at Udacity is talking about machine learning. Why? Because we’re launching a brand-new Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree program, and everyone is very excited!

Machine learning is a truly unique field, in that it can seem both very complicated, and very simple. For example, compare the following two descriptions:

“Machine learning is a subfield of computer science that evolved from the study of pattern recognition and computational learning theory in artificial intelligence. Machine learning explores the study and construction of algorithms that can learn from and make predictions on data.”


“Machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed.”

The first is from Wikipedia, the second is from a Stanford course description. Somewhat different flavor, no? So how can Machine Learning be both so complicated and so simple? The answer lies in its omnipresence. Machine Learning is literally everywhere.

But what IS Machine Learning?

Where did it come from, what does it mean, and why is it important?

At its core, machine learning is about making sense of large quantities of data. And note: by ‘large’, we mean LARGE—literally millions of just about everything you can count, quantify, and analyze: millions of patients, millions of students, millions of trades, millions of tweets. The sheer volume of data the modern world now produces is what makes machine learning both necessary, and possible.

Of course fields like statistics and algorithms have long aimed to summarize data for making decisions and predictions, and many of the formulas and techniques used in machine learning were developed by mathematicians centuries ago. What is new is the quantity. Increases in computational power allow us to perform analyses in hours that would have taken centuries by hand.

The result: a billion times more data than we’ve ever had before, and a billion times more power to make sense of it. How is this all made possible? Machine learning! Literally, a machine “learning” concepts from data. It learns like we do every day: it looks at experiences and observations and discerns useful information. But while we can do that based on a couple dozen experiences, machine learning can do it based on millions of experiences, all rigorously and numerically defined.

So what do machine learning engineers actually do?

Simple! Machine learning engineers build programs that dynamically perform the analyses that data scientists used to perform manually. And why is this important? Think for a moment of all the fields where data is very important. Healthcare, education, astronomy, finance, robotics, and more. Machine learning is already impacting them all, and in fact, there is virtually no field that machine learning won’t impact!

This is one of the key reasons why machine learning is so fascinating, because it’s everywhere. Often, it’s operating when we don’t even realize it. Ever used Google Translate? How about Siri? Your Facebook News Feed? All made possible through machine learning! If you know a bit about Udacity, you’ll know that our founder and CEO Sebastian Thrun himself has a long and remarkable history in the field, from founding a Master’s program at Carnegie-Mellon that evolved into a Machine Learning PhD program, to being director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Stanford University, to leading the development of the Google driverless car.

Google Translate may in fact be one of the most famous (and most utilized!) examples of machine learning in action, and Google’s description of how it works makes for a pretty classic illustration of the concepts at play:

Machine Translation is a great example of how cutting edge research and world class infrastructure come together at Google. We focus our research efforts towards developing statistical translation techniques that improve with more data and generalize well to new languages. Our large scale computing infrastructure allows us to rapidly experiment with new models trained on web-scale data to significantly improve translation quality.

The key sentence here is “techniques that improve with more data.” This is really the essence of machine learning.

In 2006, Tom Mitchell published The Discipline of Machine Learning. In it he posed the following question:

“How can we build computer systems that automatically improve with experience?”

Machine learning is the answer to this question, and it’s why we’re launching our new Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree Program!


Udacity: Be In Demand

Today marks one year and one month since our first students started in the Udacity Nanodegree program—credentials designed to give individuals the skills they need to be in demand for jobs that changes their ability to contribute to society and improves their economic future.

In the last year, we have had over 11,000 students enrolled in the Nanodegree program across 168 countries and have recently hit our 1,000th graduate with Momen Zakaria, an Egyptian living in Saudi Arabia. Students are getting new jobs like Kelly Marchisio who landed an engineering position at Google while working on her Nanodegree. Over the past 12 months, we have seen strong and sustainable revenue growth, which enabled us to hit profitability earlier this year.

To scale the business, we have secured financing of $105 million in our Series D round from marquee global investors. The round was led by international media, services and education company Bertelsmann with Scotland’s Baillie Gifford, Emerson Collective and Google Ventures joining as new investors. Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures, and Drive Capital also participated in the round. As a part of the round, Kay Krafft, CEO Bertelsmann Education Group will join our board. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.This latest round values our company at $1 billion, making it an exciting yet humbling moment in our history.

Our mission at Udacity is to democratize education making it affordable and accessible to billions of people around the globe to get the jobs they want to improve their lives. While we have made great strides, we have a long way to go in reaching our goal. As our CEO Sebastian Thrun likes to say, world-class education should not be limited to the one percent but be available to everyone. With the new funding, our passionate team, strong partners, and most of all, our amazing students, we are on our way to reaching the 99 percent.

Announcing Talent Source: Connecting Students & Employers With Our New Candidate Sourcing Tool

Udacity Talent Source - candidate sourcing

Nanodegree programs are built with a mission in mind: to equip students with the most in demand skills being sought after by the best companies. To achieve this objective, we design curricula in partnership with a shortlist of leading brands like Google, AT&T, Facebook, Salesforce, Cloudera, and more. These curriculum partnerships ensure that the skills our students are mastering are the same skills top employers want to see in their candidates.

Building Nanodegree programs in this way makes for a mutually beneficial employment ecosystem. Companies gain access to an extraordinary talent pool rich with qualified candidates, and our students connect directly to the top organizations where they want to work.

“We are looking for candidates with the skills to tackle large-scale tech problems. Udacity students have demonstrated both their technical abilities and go-getter attitudes, making them an impressive pool of candidates to source from.” ~Francois Bergeron, Engineer Recruitment, Global Human Resources Department at Rakuten

Talent Source is where this connection happens. Each Udacity student has a unique profile that can be highly optimized to represent their best work and showcase their most valuable skills. Collectively, these student profiles are organized into an exclusive database—called Talent Source—which vetted partner organizations use to source new talent for their open roles.

Hiring managers and recruiters can search for student candidates based on a number of criteria including skills, location, preferred employment type, and more. Upon identifying positive matches, these hiring partners can then review student profiles, delve into student projects, and start matching ideal candidates to open roles within their organizations. Student profiles also include resumes and direct links to LinkedIn and GitHub accounts.

Students can learn more about profile optimization, tech and soft skill development, and additional career resources in this blog post, and organizations who wish to apply for access to our Talent Source service can click here to do so.

We feel that Talent Source is a natural extension of the Nanogree program philosophy, and a direct expression of both our mantra—Students First—and our message—Be In Demand.

When we first began to shape what would become the debut Nanodegree program, foremost in our collective minds was a core belief often expressed by our founder and CEO Sebastian Thrun, that the ultimate value proposition of education is employment. As we investigated the full measure of what this meant, and how it translated into an actual program, we came to realize that what we were engaged in was a wholly new iteration of outcome-based education, and as such, the value proposition wasn’t so much a job in and of itself, but the life a job makes possible.

From that moment on, we knew that the process of connecting students and employers had to be something special, something elevated, something unique. Top students, top skills, top organizations. That’s Talent Source. Where the job you want, becomes the life you deserve.

Join existing hiring partners:

Talent Source hiring partners


25 Reasons To Enroll Now

Enroll now, receive 25% tuition discount!

It’s an old English adage dating back to the 1500’s, and we still hear it and say it today. Clear proof the message has staying power!

There’s no time like the present.

It’s meant to encourage someone to take action. Wise words will do that. You hear the wisdom, you recognize the merit, you do what you need to do.

Sometimes  you need more than that. Particularly with the big decisions. Education is not to be taken lightly, and wise words alone won’t always move you.

So, we’ve got 25 reasons why you should enroll in a Nanodegree program right now, one for every percent of discount we’re offering you on your first tuition payment! That’s right, enroll now in one of our eight Nanodegree programs, and you’ll receive 25% off your first tuition payment! Here’s how it works:

  1. Find the Nanodegree program that’s perfect for you!
  2. Select Enroll Now to start your 7-day free trial
  3. You’ll see the 25% discount reflected during the checkout process

Now, about those 25 reasons…