At Udacity, we are constantly investing in new ways to add more value to our programs so our students can be successful. Recently, we redesigned our Nanodegree programs and launched new features to help our students master the skills needed to be competitive and advance their careers.
Today, we have the privilege of speaking with one of our multi-Nanodegree program veterans, Sanjeev Yadav. He is currently enrolled in one of our recently redesigned Nanodegree programs and has completed five Nanodegree programs in the last two years. He was eager to share his experience with us.
Companies are amassing huge amounts of data and hiring small armies of data scientists and engineers to store and analyze it. However, there’s often a disconnect between technical data professionals and business decision makers. More and more, companies are looking for people who can bridge the gap and unlock the real value of big data by crafting impactful narratives supported by data visualizations. Recent Linkedin researcheven pointed to data presented as one of the top 10 most in-demand skills. To help people develop these important skills, Udacity is excited to announce the Data Visualization Nanodegree program.
“The ability to communicate effectively with data sets you apart professionally. Plenty of people can do the technical work or put together a fancy presentation. Creating clear data visualizations to support your viewpoints, and using your analyses to tell a narrative or make a recommendation, is a crucial 21st-century data skill” – Sam Nelson, Head of Content Strategy at Udacity.
Last week we launched new support features including increased mentor support, career services, and flexible payment plans to help our students master the skills they’re learning. We highlighted one of the students, Mohamed Barakat, who was able to experience our new and improved learning programs before the public.
This week, we had an opportunity to speak with another student who is currently enrolled in one of our improved Nanodegree programs. Wakana Morlan is a marketing manager in San Francisco and currently enrolled in our Data Analyst Nanodegree program. She shared her experience within the program thus far and how her new skills will impact her career.
Today, we are excited to announce a new scholarship program with Bertelsmann. Over the next three years, Bertelsmann and Udacity will provide up to 50,000 scholarships in the areas of Cloud Engineering, Data Science and Artificial intelligence. This effort is an expansion of Udacity and Bertelmann’s partnership, as well as, their joint efforts to provide enhanced learning opportunities in emerging technologies.
The program is structured in two phases: In the first phase, 15,000 applicants, per subject area, will be selected to participate in a 3-month Scholarship Challenge phase. In the second phase, the top 5,000 performing Challenge phase students in each subject area will be awarded a full scholarship for a Udacity Nanodegree program.
Jupyter Notebooks are fantastic tools for learning any technical topic, from basic programming to data science all the way to advanced artificial intelligence. Like a web page, you can read and review learning content; and like a traditional programming environment, Notebooks can be “hands-on”. Notebooks invite you to experiment with the code and data cells alongside the equations and graphs.
But have you ever wished an instructor was sitting right next to you when you’re stuck on something, to “show you how she would solve it?”
Graffiti brings that instructor into the Notebook, and makes Udacity’s new C++ Nanodegree Program an amazing way for software engineers to learn the C++ programming language!
Jupyter Graffiti are recorded, interactive demonstrations that live inside your Notebooks.
Via Jupyter Graffiti, Udacity instructors show you exactly how to solve each problem. They walk you through the content, pointing, selecting, typing and executing code, adding and removing code cells, and more. As a student, you can play these recordings as many times as you want, or not at all, and pause and rewind them to see the instructor write and explain the code again.
Real-world projects are integral to every Udacity Nanodegree program. They become the foundation for a job-ready portfolio to help learners advance their careers in their chosen field. The projects in the Data Engineer Nanodegree program were designed in collaboration with a group of highly talented industry professionals to ensure learners develop the most in-demand skills. Every project in a Nanodegree program is human-graded by a member of Udacity’s mentor and reviewer network. These project reviews include detailed, personalized feedback on how learners can improve their work. Graduates consistently rate projects and project reviews as one of the best parts of their experience with Udacity.
The Project Journey
The projects will take you on a journey where you’ll assume the role of a Data Engineer at a fabricated data streaming company called “Sparkify” as it scales its data engineering in both size and sophistication. You’ll work with simulated data of listening behavior, as well as a wealth of metadata related to songs and artists. You’ll start-, working with a small amount of data, with low complexity, processed and stored on a single machine. By the end, you’ll develop a sophisticated set of data pipelines to work with massive amounts of data processed and stored on the cloud.
Throughout Women’s History Month we’ve introduced you to five incredible women over the past few weeks who have taken the idea of balance to a whole new level; showing us how, no matter what your calendar looks like, it is possible to balance your job, social, and extracurricular activities while pursuing career advancement and new skills.
Rebecca McDowall succeeded in changing careers and landing a new job at a top tech company, Accenture. Today, she is analyzing the healthcare sector, looking for ways to improve the data of today for a better healthcare industry of tomorrow. We had a chance to speak with her and learn more about her journey.
Have you always been interested in data?
In a way, yes. I graduated from university in 2016 with a degree in mathematics and statistics. Initially, I chose math purely based on my interest in statistics; I loved the real-world applicability and how you can find data in relatively any part of life. But, I didn’t love the mathematics portion of the degree and when I graduated and started looking for jobs, I felt pretty lost.
Were you interested in any industry or particular job?
My mother works in healthcare and I always had an awareness of how important, yet stressful her job could be. I had a keen interest in trying to work alongside healthcare, possibly healthcare economics. Though I looked, I couldn’t find any entry-level positions based on my degree, so I ended up taking a job as an audio typist for the histopathology department whilst trying to gain internship experience in healthcare economics
I knew this wasn’t what I wanted to be doing, but I also knew it was a job in the industry I was curious about. After a few months, I became frustrated; it was boring and didn’t offer any true advancements further into the industry. A friend had also shared a website that detailed jobs of today that might be replaced by technology in the future, and my job was one of them. This got me thinking: how was technology evolving and how could I take advantage of emerging skills?