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 one Udacity student built her self-confidence to face the unknown
As an elementary school english teacher in Phoenix, AZ, Kristin was in constant search of new ways to further engage students through the use of technology. But she didn’t think of herself as a “technical” person. That role belonged to her husband, a software developer. All the same, she was surprisingly proactive on her student’s behalf. In her spare time, she started both a coding and a robotics club. But her motivation was rooted in curiosity—for her, technology was more of a hobby. She never considered a future for herself in the tech industry.
“I had this false perception that I wasn’t very good at math. But, I realized over time that computer science is really less about math and more about logic—which I’m good at!”
How Udacity student Megha Maheshwari transformed her early passion for engineering into an autonomous vehicle career
At first glance, it may seem an inevitability that Megha Maheshwari should become an engineer. Both her brother and uncle pursued technical careers, and her mother instilled in her a strong sense of independence at an early age:
“I was inspired to become an engineer and most importantly, my Mother, as a working parent, had always groomed me to become an independent women—carving my own path in the direction of whatever career I chose. That always kept me moving forward.”
But despite a strong family network, early industry exposure, and an independent spirit, it would still be a long and remarkable journey for Megha—from growing up in India, to becoming a student of the Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program at Udacity, to landing a job with Volvo Cars Silicon Valley R&D Tech Center in Mountain View, CA. Her dedication, growth mindset, and tenacity would be tested many times along the way. She took risks, faced down challenges, and weathered disappointments, but ultimately, she realized her dreams.
This is her story.
How one Udacity student’s years of grit and determination (plus one well-targeted Tweet!) got him his dream job
The process of launching a new career requires a combination of short- and long-term planning. You need to know where you’re headed, and the steps required to get there. Then, you need to put in the actual effort of advancing along your path. When it works, the process can result in your career dreams coming true. But, making the process work can be challenging. You might be able to visualize yourself in a great career, yet not have any idea how to get there. This can easily lead to frustration over not reaching your goal. Or, you might be working really hard, but without a clear end goal; this can result in a feeling of being adrift, and not knowing where you’re headed.
Earlier this week we announced the launch of our Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree program. This program will significantly broaden opportunities for intermediate learners to begin their journeys into the self-driving car industry.
With so many new students coming into this introductory program—students still new to the world of self-driving cars—we want to make sure we’re providing as much support and guidance as we can. Who better to offer advice to incoming students than … students in our advanced program!
How one Udacity graduate’s life and career changed when he discovered Android!
I’d like to tell you about Ben Lewis. For years, he was a high school math teacher with a habit of spending his summer breaks trying to learn new skills. He was constantly in search of new tools that would aid him in the classroom, and he loved inspiring his students with unconventional approaches to mathematics. Then, during the summer of 2016, he stumbled upon Android app development. He could see potential right away—not only could he could pick up and share some app development skills with his students, but maybe he could even create a new app for his school. His wheels started spinning.
“While searching online for Android tutorials I discovered Udacity’s new Android Basics Nanodegree program. When I saw that it required no programming experience I thought it was perfect fit for me, so I decided to enroll.”
How three-time Udacity graduate Nick Hester turned a supposedly high-risk learning path into a rewarding new career
Whether you believe, as the World Economic Forum does, that we are entering a Fourth Industrial Revolution, or are simply witnessing the increasing impact of technology on the employment landscape, the central truth remains the same—the world of work is changing, and we’re all having to adapt. As new technologies emerge and new innovations are made possible, competition increases, and growth expectations go higher. This in turn drives up demand for employees who possess relevant skills. Because these skills are often comparatively rarefied—given the newness of the technologies—companies are being challenged to consider more unorthodox ways of attracting the right kind of talent.
When Nick Hester was an undergraduate just beginning to think seriously about his future, he couldn’t conceive of a career in web development. He had spent five years jumping between majors, and while he was starting to realize that technology held the most promise, he had no idea where to start. He tried computer graphics, but while it interested him at the hobby level, he didn’t see it as a career path. Then Nick discovered programming. He was immediately intrigued, but the same concerns bedeviled him:
“I knew I wanted to get into programming, however, I had this assumption that it was a field reserved for math prodigies and geniuses. I knew I wasn’t either of those.”