Sebastian Thrun: Launching our Data Science & Big Data Track built with Leading Industry Partners

I am excited to launch our new Data Science and Big Data Track. This is the first Data Science and Big Data curriculum built directly with industry pioneers. You can learn the latest techniques, tools, and concepts developed at the companies that made Big Data big.

Our first class in this track, Introduction to Hadoop and MapReduce, is available immediately. This course has been built in collaboration with Cloudera, the industry leader for enterprise-grade data management software. In this course, Cloudera’s experts and our Udacity instructors will start by answering the question “What is Big Data?” They will teach you fundamental principles of Hadoop, MapReduce, and how to make sense of big data. Developers will learn skills that provide fundamental building blocks towards deriving maximum value from the world’s data. Technologists and business managers will gain the knowledge to build a big data strategy around Hadoop. We are very excited about this partnership, as the resulting course is at the forefront of the very best Silicon Valley has to offer.

And there is more to come. We are hard at work developing additional classes with other pioneers in Data Science and Big Data. Our team is working with experts from Facebook, MongoDB, and others to round out the full curriculum. These classes complement our existing statistics and programming classes. These will take you from a broad overview with Introduction to Data Science, to Exploratory Data Analysis where you’ll get your feet wet with R, to Data Wrangling with MongoDB, all the way to advanced Big Data topics such as Machine Learning. They will help you go from beginning analysts all the way to big data experts.

Why are we starting with Data Science and Big Data? Data is changing nearly every aspect of how companies function. Insights from data analysis is key for product design, customer acquisition and retention, logistics, you name it! Nearly every Fortune 500 company is doubling down on big data analysis to compete in their market. In the next three years, there is an expected shortage of up to 190,000 data science experts in the US alone.

Starting today, students can study the free courseware for Introduction to Hadoop and MapReduce in self-paced mode — very much like a self-study MOOC. In January, we will be offering a full course experience based on this courseware material. Continuing on the success of our for-credit classes over the summer, these courses will include hands-on student projects with instructor feedback, career mentoring, and the opportunity to earn a Big Data certificate endorsed by the Open Education Alliance. Students who sign up in advance for January will receive a 30% discount.

Udacity’s mission is to educate people so they can live a better life. In an era of declining employment opportunities in many traditional areas, we are empowering our students to acquire the necessary skills to excel in the high-growth tech industry.

As Mike Olson, Cloudera’s Chief Strategy Officer and Chairman of the Board, shared, “We believe in Udacity’s vision to democratize education by making professional training affordable and accessible to everyone, and believe this model will enable us to more effectively reach aspiring Big Data technologists around the world who want to expand their skills into Hadoop. Together, Cloudera and Udacity are leveling the playing field, empowering anyone with the desire to learn to get the necessary skills to succeed in the modern data economy, regardless of where they live or what their socio-economic background is.”

We’re proud to offer these courses together with our industry partners and to bring you the very best online education experience. — Sebastian



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