When Andrew Huschka enrolled in Udacity’s Front-End Web Developer Nanodegree program, he wasn’t aiming to get a promotion or change careers. But he did have something to prove. To himself, and to a special group of students at his alma mater. We spoke with Andrew to learn more about how his Nanodegree program experience enabled him to contribute to an amazing project.
The pace of change in fields such as Deep Learning and AI is incredible, and professionals at every level of experience have to maintain a commitment to ongoing learning if they’re to remain successful. To rest on one’s laurels is to fall behind, and this is as true of senior executives as it is of new-entrants.
Denis Sutherland is VP of Strategy and Technology at a company working on high-tech satellites, and he has more than two decades of experience in the telecoms sector. By all measures he’s a very successful tech professional, yet when it came time to lead his company’s new technical strategy, he didn’t hesitate to return to the classroom. He knew he needed a more robust understanding of AI, so he enrolled in Udacity’s Deep Learning Nanodegree program.
We spoke with Denis to learn more about his experience in the program, and how it enabled him to perform his own role better. We were also eager to get his thoughts on the value of a Nanodegree credential, as someone with responsibility for recruiting technical people himself.
Have you ever thought about a career change, then talked yourself out of it because it didn’t seem possible given your other commitments? It’s easy to do when you’re managing so many other demands—families to care for, bills to pay, personal challenges to overcome. But these demands don’t have to stop you! Mike Farrelly’s story will show you that you career change IS possible, as long as you have a solid plan and you’re prepared to work to find your ideal role.
Yesterday, Udacity launched a new Data Scientist Nanodegree program for students with advanced programming and data analysis skills. It is the latest step in our mission to offer students multiple entry points to learn the in-demand data skills they need to enter the fast-growing world of data. The program joins our existing Data Foundations (for students new to data), Business Analyst (less technical, focused on analytics), and Data Analyst (more technically advanced) Nanodegree programs.
Graduates of our data science programs land exciting roles all the time. Today, we wanted to share the story of one of these amazing people: Arati Vaze. Arati is a graduate of the Data Analyst Nanodegree program. She recently landed a new role as a Search Language Specialist. This is a wonderful milestone for Arati, and represents a significant new stage in a journey that began in 1998. That was the year she married, left her physics lecturer job in India, and started a new life in San Jose, California. Today she is the proud mother of two teenagers, and she has an exciting career ahead of her.
Last week, 12 Udacity students got the opportunity of a lifetime. Google flew them out to Google I/O in California as recognition for their amazing work in the Grow with Google initiative’s Developer Scholarship Challenge! This massive three-day event is Google’s flagship annual developer conference, famous for its announcements of incredible new technology, and a unique chance to network with the tech industry’s movers and shakers.
This Google Developer Scholarship recipient challenged convention, embarked on a new career journey, and built a new life for herself and her family!
If you’re of working age, then you’ve probably heard the question before: “So, what do you do for a living?” There was a time when, for most working people, this was pretty easy to answer. But in a changing world informed with increasingly rapid change, this has become a more complicated question.
For a long time, our world was one in which “conventional” backgrounds were the overwhelming norm. But over the course of several decades, we’ve witnessed the emergence of “unconventional” paths to success. These increasing viability of these paths has been both exciting, and necessary. “Convention” has too often equated to a rarefied educational pedigree available only to a small percentage of the population that are either born to it, or can afford it.
Coming from an “unconventional” background isn’t always easy, and there is still progress to be made as we pursue a genuinely inclusive world. Today, we’re hopefully approaching a future in which the binary of conventional vs. unconventional no longer prevails—a world in which multiple varieties of education and training can be considered “legitimate.”
Initiatives such as Google and Udacity’s Developer Scholarship are providing well-deserved opportunities for career advancement to lifelong learners who have experienced firsthand what it means to come from “unconventional” backgrounds. These individuals—through their skills, dedication, and grit—have persevered, and built rewarding lives and careers for themselves, even as they’ve had to continually explain and justify their seemingly unorthodox career paths to recruiters and hiring managers—not to mention friends and family!
Anne-Christine is one such remarkable individual.
With guidance and support from her network, this Udacity graduate was able to pursue a great new career opportunity!
Udacity graduate Serene Liu is a great example of effective networking in action. Her path to landing a new programmer role with a major tech company demonstrates how amazing results can be achieved when you’re prepared to actively network, promote your skills, and produce your own opportunities.
Effective networking is one of our favorite topics, and we recently published 5 Ways to Network Well as a resource to help people successfully connect their learning experiences to their job search efforts. As Serene’s story shows, playing an active role in your network can make all the difference in your career journey.