Introducing the new Android Developer Nanodegree, built by Google. via udacity.com

Last Thursday was a milestone day for us at Udacity, as we announced the launch of the new Android Developer Nanodegree program built by Google!

Many of you have expressed excitement and appreciation for these Android courses, as well as asked questions regarding the pricing, features and pacing of the Nanodegree program.  Let’s answer some of those questions.

What can I do if I can’t afford the $200/month fee?

We know that the $200/month price may be high for some of you, but you still want to learn. Guess what? All of our Android courses are free, regardless of whether they are part of the Nanodegree curriculum or not!  It’s all available for you to access and learn from at any time. Take the free courses, work on the projects independently and wow potential employers with your newly expanded portfolio.

If you’d like to see which courses are part of the Nanodegree curriculum and follow along on your own, go to the ‘Nanodegree Structure’ part of the overview page and use that as your dashboard for learning.

Why should I take the Nanodegree courses if the content is free?

Many of our students try our free courses and realize they want a more complete learning experience. The Nanodegree program is the personal trainer who can give you tips, encourage you to stay on track and help you transform your life. Here’s some of the features that can propel you towards success:

  • Code reviews – Get feedback and tips for improvement when your project is reviewed and validated by certified graders, often within hours of your project submission. Here’s what a few of our students had to say:
    • “I really appreciate the fact that the code is actually looked over and critiqued, makes me feel like I made the right decision with taking this nano degree!”
    • “This was good feedback and I felt like it was positive and noticed my improvements. It really helped and I know where I made my mistakes now and how to do it better in the future. I felt like the reviewer took the time to check everything, even though it was a re-submit. So that makes it feel worthwhile.”
    • “Believe it or not I am glad that you guys were a little hard on me in sending the project back for revisions. That forced me to understand things in a deeper way and look harder at the material.”
  • Moderated student forums – When you’re stuck, get your questions answered by students and coaches.
  • Coach support – Google Hangouts and 1-1 appointments with coaches can help you solve problems and explore new topics.
  • Project deadlines – Use deadline reminders to help you stay motivated and on track to complete each project.
  • Career services – When you’re ready to look for a job, you can attend career workshops, get your resume reviewed, improve your professional profiles and even try some mock interviews.
  • Special opportunities – As a Nanodegree student or graduate, you’ll get the chance to attend a variety of special events, such as hackathons and student meet-ups.
    • If you’re part of the Android Developer Nanodegree program, you could be selected for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the Android Career Summit, a 3-day event to be held at Google HQ in Mountain View, California. You’ll experience Google culture, network and learn from Google developers and attend workshops that can help advance your career.
  • A certificate – When you graduate from a Nanodegree program, you’re given a certification that you can list on your professional profiles.

You can start any free course at any time, but enrollment for the Nanodegree program is open once a month. This way, you join a cohort with a group of fellow students, with whom you can network, make friends and learn from throughout your Nanodegree journey.

Can I learn faster than the recommended 9 to 12 months?

We say that the Android Developer Nanodegree program will take between 9 to 12 months, but that is an estimate based on someone studying about 10 hours a week. If you have extra time and can complete the curriculum faster (thus lowering your total cost), we’d love to see you go for it! Even if you enroll in the program for two months just to submit projects and get the credential, you’re free to do what works for you. We’re here to provide extra support, coaching and career services to help you succeed; it’s up to you to use it.

Hopefully, this answers some of the questions you may have regarding the Android Developer Nanodegree program and other offerings. For other questions you may have, check out this “Ask the Experts” Q&A with Sebastian Thrun, Peter Lubbers and Jocelyn Becker.