This Udacity graduate undertook a major career change to become a Software Developer, after 30 years in other industries!
Richard Morgan is a long-time Texas resident and a graduate of our Full-Stack Web Developer Nanodegree program. Richard recently started a new career as a software developer after 30 years working in other industries. He was able to relocate to his favorite part of Texas—College Station. He’s loving his new company and workload, and his family is loving life in their new home. It’s a dream come true for Richard, but achieving it took an incredible amount of hard work, and he had to overcome many challenges along the way.
Career change isn’t always easy, but this Udacity graduate has a habit of embracing risk, and building new careers in cutting-edge fields
We recently hit a significant milestone at Udacity—the graduation of our first class of students from the Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program! To celebrate these pioneering learners—more than 400 of them—we hosted a special graduation celebration in their honor. At the event, Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun (often referred to as “The Godfather of Self-Driving Cars”), presented every graduate with a special commemorative certificate to mark their achievement. Also present was the program’s Curriculum Lead, David Silver, who took to the stage to congratulate students. During his speech, he offered some simple, but exceedingly powerful words of advice:
How one lifelong learner without a computer science degree studied deep learning with Udacity and landed an engineering job!
There are many ways to launch, advance, or change a career. Earning a four-year degree in a related field has long been considered the “traditional” approach, but it’s certainly not the only option. This is particularly important to understand when considering technical jobs, or jobs in technical fields, because what used to be considered “alternative” paths are fast becoming viable norms.
Kelcey Morton knows this firsthand, because she found her own unique path to a technology career. She doesn’t have a computer science degree; she majored in International Relations as an undergraduate.Yet today, she works at HackerOne in an engineering role.
This is the story of how she did it.
How a former professor turned stay-at-home parent enrolled with Udacity and became a Data Analyst
I’d like to introduce you to Kevin. He’s a husband, father, and today, a data analyst. But that wasn’t always the case. A few years ago, his family undertook a major change that significantly impacted his life and career. At that time, he was teaching Arabic as an assistant professor at Appalachian State University.
The change was set in motion when his wife was offered an incredible career opportunity in her hometown of Austin, TX. Together, they made the decision to put Kevin’s career on hold so that she could pursue hers. With their 1-year-old son in tow, they trekked west, and Kevin became a stay-at-home dad.
Suddenly, his daily schedule shifted dramatically from being on the university campus all day teaching, grading and conducting research, to being in their new Austin home with his son, feeding, diapering, bathing, dressing, cleaning up, doing laundry and managing naptime.
Getting from Where You Are, to Where You Want to Be
Career change isn’t easy. Life change isn’t easy. Change of any kind can be difficult. External obstacles are a fact of life. They can be overcome, but they’re often overwhelming. Sometimes, the biggest obstacles are self-created. We doubt ourselves. We second-guess, lose confidence, falter, and give up. I know all about it. I’ve been through it. The best thing that ever happened to me, was admitting it was my fault. Admitting that I’d failed because I hadn’t been true to myself. That was the beginning of my new life.
If that sounds counter-intuitive, it isn’t. Admitting my own shortcomings empowered me. It gave me confidence, it didn’t erode it. The day I realized I needed to forge my own path, on my terms, was the day I became a success. What follows are the lessons I’ve learned. I share them with you, because I hope they’ll help you forge your own path, and achieve success on your terms.
How One Udacity Student Turned Her Curiosity About Programming Into A Whole New Career
Every day, we experience new things. New ideas, new people, new concepts, new technologies. Our curiosity gets triggered, and we make mental notes to investigate further. But how often do we actually follow up? What if we acted on just a few of those notes-to-self? What opportunities might we uncover for ourselves? Curiosity is the gateway to growth, but we must be vigilant, and encourage ourselves to act.
We’ve all had those phases when we’re not satisfied with where we are, or what we’re doing with our lives. When you’re in that situation, it’s easy to feel frustrated, and those negative feelings can have a ripple effect, impacting those around you. As hard as it can be sometimes, the solution is to make a change, pursue a new opportunity, and start on a new path. The transformation can be remarkable.