Teaching at the forefront of technology—as we at Udacity are fortunate to do—is both exciting and challenging. To fulfill our promise to our students, it’s critical we maintain the up-to-the-minute relevance of our content at all times. Given how fast technology changes, this process is pretty much ongoing, every day. Sometimes the changes are minor; an upgrade here, a new version there. Other times, the opportunity presents itself to engage in a significant program overhaul.
A Complete Path to a Data Career
The recent launch of our Data Foundations Nanodegree program presented just such an opportunity. The addition of this new program has made it possible to now offer a complete path to a data career. But, changes to other programs in our data ecosystem—which includes the Business Analyst and Data Analyst Nanodegree programs—were necessary to fully optimize this path for our students.
We’re very excited today to share details with you about new changes we’ve made to the Data Analyst Nanodegree program.
Below you’ll find a list of key items, and a brief explanation about why we wanted to make each change. We’re so pleased with the results, and we can’t wait for you to experience the new Data Analyst Nanodegree program!
The Change: The biggest change to the program is adding Python Programming as the first course.
The Details: You will now begin the Nanodegree program by learning Python. You’ll develop an understanding of important programming concepts, like loops, functions, and data structures, and learn to apply them in Python.
Python 2 Out, Python 3 In
The Change: The previous content that already included Python relied on Python 2.7. The new courses in the program will all use Python 3.6.
The Details: Python is an ever-evolving language, and we’ve updated the new courses to reflect the more recent changes. You will now benefit from the full functionality of Python, and the skills you learn will better align with employer expectations. You can read more about the differences between Python 2 and Python 3 here.
Machine Learning Optional
The Change: Machine learning is no longer a requirement to graduate from the program.
The Details: The focus of this program is to prepare you for data analyst jobs. Our research shows that machine learning is not a requirement for the vast majority of data analyst positions. So, we opted to remove it from the graduation requirements, allowing you to stay laser-focused on the topics most critical to your job search.
New Courses: Intro to Data Analysis, Statistics, Data Wrangling, SQL
The Change: These four courses have all been replaced by new versions that use Python 3. These new course versions feature fantastic instructors, including Udacity’s founder Sebastian Thrun!
Intro to Data Analysis: The new course affords you more opportunities to work with Pandas and Numpy, two important data science libraries in Python. The course now uses Python 3, and provides a number of useful case studies.
Statistics: The new Practical Statistics course enables you to practice applying statistics using Python, as opposed to relying only on spreadsheets. It also includes instruction in A/B testing, linear regression, and logistic regression. This change is designed to ground statistics in more real-world contexts to show practical value.
Data Wrangling: The new Data Wrangling course relies on data science packages, like Pandas and NumPy, rather than using base Python. This makes the course much more practical; we’ve also added in more practice with real-world datasets.
SQL: SQL is a requirement for almost every data analyst job, and this new course gives you exactly the preparation you’ll need to succeed! It is designed specifically for data analysts and scientists, and relies on PostgreSQL, a database with amazing functionality for data analysis.
Program Structure Changes
In addition to the content improvements noted above, we’re also making some beneficial changes to the structure of the program. The most important item to note is that we’ve reorganized the program into two terms. You may enroll in either Term 1 or Term 2 when you begin the program, but please note that only Term 2 is required to graduate.
With only Term 2 being required for graduation, you might be wondering why anyone would want to enroll in Term 1? The answer is because Term 1 is designed specifically for those students who are new to Python and SQL. Depending on your skills and experience level, you’ll start the program in either Term 1 or Term 2. Ultimately, every enrolled student will complete Term 2. The upshot of this change is that you’re now able to start the program at the level that’s right for you.
To support this new two-term model, we’re establishing a one-time upfront pricing model: $499 for Term 1, $699 for Term 2. Each term is estimated to require 10 hours of coursework per week, for an approximate program length of 19 weeks.
Finally, to ensure a great experience for our students, we’re introducing Live Help in the classroom. Using Live Help, students can type questions directly into a chat window to connect with one of our mentors, and receive expert guidance and support.
The New Data Analyst Nanodegree Program!
This newly-redesigned Data Analyst Nanodegree program is open for enrollment right now, and we can’t say it enough—now is the perfect time to enroll! Make data science your future, today!