Politics and The Future of Education



People are talking about education. Parents with kindergartners are talking about education. High school seniors are talking about education. Mid-career professionals are talking about education. Military veterans are talking about education. Politicians are talking about education. In fact, as we swing into the election season, presidential candidates from every corner are inevitably turning their heads towards the nine-million-pound elephant-in-the-room that is education. Everyone is talking about education.

Mind you, not just education. Online education.

We know students must come first for true education reform to be meaningful, and a democratized model made possible by technology offers empowerment opportunities unlike any we’ve experienced before. The candidates know this. Recently we’ve seen major education announcements from the Clinton camp that incorporate very favorable views of online education, and we’ve seen the same from the Rubio team and others.

Is Udacity Project Review In Your Employment Future?

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Seeing Udacity students in fulfilling careers is what motivates us. It’s our passion, and our mission. We believe rewarding employment is the destiny of every Udacity student. Why? Because of the education and support our students receive. We believe our students emerge from our programs the best equipped, most prepared, highest skilled candidates out there. We actually know this from firsthand experience, because one thing we learned very early on is that Udacity graduates make AMAZING Udacity Project Reviewers!

Project Reviews are a critical component of our Nanodegree programs, and we maintain extremely high standards, with an emphasis on both the qualitative and the quantitative. Oliver Cameron, Udacity VP of Engineering & Product, recently described the early days of building our project review system in a post on Medium:

Our challenge was to scale project reviews while fulfilling two objectives. The first was that we had to give quality personal and human feedback to all of our students. We’re a teaching company, so this has been embedded in our DNA from day one. The second was that it had to be fast, meaning that if a student submitted their project on a Sunday at 10AM, they would have their project reviewed by noon that very same day. Fast feedback loops are essential for effective learning.

Matt Holloway, Executive at NOOK: “Why I’m Taking the Udacity Nanodegree”

Student Spotlight is a recurring feature on the Udacity Blog, highlighting personal stories and experiences from Udacity Nanodegree students and graduates.

You’ve heard from many students and graduates on how Udacity played a part of their educational and/or professional journeys. This time, we sit down for a quick segment with Matt Holloway, Director of Software Engineering at Barnes & Noble NOOK. Matt talks about why he’s personally taking a Udacity Nanodegree and why he believes it’s important to stay on top of the latest programming education. It’s really helpful and inspiring to get an insider perspective on keeping up with the latest in software, why you can’t get too comfortable in a quickly changing landscape and how Matt makes a concerted effort to understand what the developers on his team do.

Want to share your Udacity story and be featured on our blog? We want to hear from you! Drop us a line at social@udacity.com. And don’t forget, enrollment for all six Nanodegree programs is now open, so head on over and have a look.

See the Apps Our Students are Launching

Student Spotlight is a recurring feature on the Udacity Blog, highlighting personal stories and experiences from Udacity Nanodegree students and graduates. Today’s post features three Udacity students, Linda, Paul, and Spiros, who have created some truly impressive things as part of (or as a result of) what they learned in the Nanodegree. Inspired? You can do it, too—really! Enrollment for all six Nanodegree programs is now open, so head on over and have a look.

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Udacity students are creating some amazing things. And many are going on to careers as full-time software developers or moving up in their current jobs.

But let’s take a step back.

As part of the Nanodegree experience and after taking online courses, students tackle a variety of projects—with the support of Udacity coaches and students—to show off their new skills. This is a key element in the Nanodegree learning experience because it adds actual application to learned theory. But even better, these projects will make compelling additions to a programmer’s online portfolio, and perfect experience to showcase to potential employers.

We caught up with three Udacity students, Linda, Paul and Spiros, to check out some of the inspirational things they’ve built during or outside of the Nanodegree.

What is a Nanodegree, and Why Should You Earn One?

The true value proposition of education is employment.

Udacity is education with an end goal: quality employment. And a Nanodegree is how you get there. What is a Nanodegree? It is both curriculum and credential, and it is built in concert with the standard-bearing companies where you’ll be interviewing: Google, AT&T, Autodesk, Cloudera, Salesforce, Amazon, Facebook, GitHub, and more. Is there a better way to establish your hireability than to be certified with credentials created — and endorsed — by your target employers? We don’t think so.

A Nanodegree, Career Advisor & You



“At the end of the day, the true value proposition of education is employment.”
-Sebastian Thrun, Founder & CEO, Udacity

Udacity doesn’t just offer you an education, we invest in your education. Our standing commitment to pay half your tuition upon completion of your Nanodegree is clear evidence of this investment. But there’s more to it than that. Our Nanodegree program is literally built with your future in mind. Consider Career Advisor. Woven into the very DNA of your Nanodegree program, the Career Advisor segment of your curriculum is a step-by-step path for navigating through — and ultimately succeeding at — your job search. You receive 1:1 feedback to improve your resume and online presence, gain crucial interviewing experience as you practice answering behavioral & technical questions, and take part in workshops covering topics like networking and salary negotiation.

How to Prepare for a Behavioral Interview

Behavioral interviews are a common feature of the job application process, so it’s critical that you understand what they are, and how you can prepare for them. Traditionally, behavioral interview questions seek to ascertain how applicants have handled certain job scenarios in the past, with the goal of predicting future performance. However, the agenda is often a broader one, and what’s really at stake are questions of culture fit and work ethic. So to succeed, you need to be prepared to effectively highlight your career goals, industry knowledge, and personal strengths in a way that clearly aligns your candidacy with the mission, values, and objectives of the company where you’re applying.

Curious how to prepare for an upcoming behavioral interview? Study in advance! Review the common interview questions below, prepare responses, then rehearse those responses until you’re able to present them naturally and with confidence. Preparing in advance will help you brainstorm specific anecdotes to illustrate your many strengths, and set yourself up to exceed expectations.

Questions to Get to Know You

When a potential employer says they want to “get to know you” what they really want to know is whether you’re right for the job, so it’s critical that you focus your responses on those things that make you an excellent candidate. Don’t express objective passion, express relevant passion!

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What motivates you at work?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Describe what your preferred supervisor – employee relationship looks like.
  • Tell me about a personal accomplishment that has given you the most satisfaction? Why?
  • What two or three things are most important to you in your work?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • How long do you plan to stay with us if you get this position?