Growing strategic capabilities for a tech & data-driven future

Bertelsmann Employee Scholarship Program

A scholarship program specially tailored to the needs of Bertelsmann employees and businesses around the world which offers the opportunity to choose between different providers to ensure the best possible fit with individual learning preferences.

The application phase is closed. If you are interested in applying for the Bertelsmann Employee Scholarship Program 2024/2025, you can sign up for a reminder and be the first to be informed when the application phase starts again!
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Course Duration

Udacity: Dec 15, 2023 – Jul 14, 2024
Coursera: Dec 15, 2023 – Nov 30, 2024
Harvard Online: Group 1: Jan 17 - Feb 14, 2024
Group 2: May 29 - June 26, 2024

Booking information

50% Nomination
50% Learner application

Harvard Online: 100% Nomination

Participants

Udacity:                      400
Coursera:                   600
Harvard:                     100

Investment

Free of charge for all Bertelsmann employees

What is the Bertelsmann Tech & Data Scholarship Initiative?

Over a three-year period, Bertelsmann is once again investing significantly in funding tech scholarships with more than 50,000 chances for learners all over the world to build some of the most in-demand tech skills of our time.

The initiative is divided into two parallel programs: The internal "Bertelsmann Employee Scholarship Program" exclusively for Bertelsmann employees and the external "Next Generation Tech Booster" program for all interested parties outside the Group. 

With this, we are not only offering a more targeted approach with increased support to our internal participants, but are making it easier than ever for employees to take part and earn a qualification - in the Bertelsmann Employee Scholarship.

A more diversified scholarship landscape and more support to Bertelsmann participants

The employee cohort is separated from the external one in order to offer you as a Bertelsmann participant more targeted support and more content options to choose from. This means that the scholarship landscape is getting more diversified – you can apply for Udacity or Coursera, according to your learning or content preference. 

Each year, Bertelsmann University will be awarding more than 1000 scholarship seats. The seats will be filled as followed: half by nomination and half will be granted to employees showing their initiative and indicating their preference by completing a simple application form. Seats of the Harvard Online Data Science Principles course will be filled by 100% nomination of the divisional HR team.

Once accepted into the program, you can start working towards your certificate without any further funneling process.

Bertelsmann Employee Scholarship Overview

How to apply?

Applications are open to all employees from September 27 - November 30, 2023 (on this landing page). All you will need to do is:

  • Choose if you would like to learn with Coursera or Udacity (if Udacity, please also choose your preferred Nanodegree)
  • Enter some backround information
  • Complete two short motivational questions showing us your initiative
  • If you are applying for a Udacity Nanodegree with prerequisites: Answer some short technical assessment questions

Please note that each employee can only take up one seat at a time. So, if you have been nominated by your divisional HR team, it´s no longer necessary to apply for a seat on your own behalf.

 

These are our learning partners!

You can choose from a defined set of Nanodegrees that follow learning paths which are in line with some of the most in-demand skills profiles across the Bertelsphere. Each year, we are shaking things up a little and offer a variety of Nanodegrees to choose from. Please see more information about this year´s Nanodegrees below.

More about learning with Udacity

 

 

 

Your Coursera scholarship will include 12-months full access to most learning content on the Coursera platform. You may choose to complete a course and earn a certificate from a top University or institution of your choice following either a curated collection or personalized learning path based on your own proficiency level. For this you will get access to the course catalog including a wide range of learning content. If you prefer a little more guidance, you can choose one of our pre-curated learning paths for mission critical tech & data roles.


More about learning with Coursera

 

As part of a cohort of other Bertelsmann peers, you will follow a 4-week schedule to build data literacy that is needed in managerial and leadership settings. This program is targeted towards managers and leaders with little or no prior experience who want to learn about and master basic data science concepts in order to converse with experts and transform their businesses. Learning on the Harvard Online platform is highly interactive and follows a set structure and schedule leading up to a Harvard Online certificate proving your mastery of key data concepts and ecosystems. It is not possible to apply for this course as participants will be nominated for this program. 

More about this course and learning with HBS Online

 

Apply now!

Choose your learning provider and get started.

General FAQ

Info & FAQ session for employees

We hosted an info session for interested employees on October 26, 2023 at 4 pm CET. If you were not able to join, you can watch the recording of the session here: https://youtu.be/iZR-hQXobFI.

What is the new Scholarship Initiative?

Over a three-year period, Bertelsmann is once again investing significantly in funding tech scholarships to build some of the most in-demand tech skills of our time. In 2023, we are offering the second round out of three and the initiative is once again divided into two parallel programs:

  • The internal “Bertelsmann Employee Scholarship Program” only for Bertelsmann employees
  • The external “Next Generation Tech Booster” for all external participants worldwide

What is the Bertelsmann Employee Scholarship Program?

We are separating our employee cohort from external participants in order to offer Bertelsmann participants more targeted support, more content options to choose from, align learning content with business goals and to make it easier than ever for employees to take part and earn a qualification.This means that our internal scholarship landscape is getting more diversified –employees get to choose between 3 different content providers according to their learning or content preferences:

  • Udacity
  • Coursera
  • Harvard Online (no application - nomination only)

We encourage all learners to involve their manager and/or HR in their choice of content in order to make their upskilling commitment visible and explore suitable development steps to accompany their learning journey. Once accepted into the program, employees can start working towards their certificate without any further funneling process besides the activation deadlines.

How many seats are available?

Each year, half of the Udacity and Coursera seats will be filled by nomination through divisional HR and half will be granted to employees showing their initiative and indicating their preference by completing a simple application form. Harvard Online is a nomination only program, it is not possible to apply for learning with Harvard Online.

  • Udacity: 400
  • Coursera: 600
  • HBS: 100

How many hours a week should students expect to spend?

  • Udacity: 4-6 hours/ week
  • Coursera: 2-4 hours/ week
  • HBS: 5 hours/ week

What is the program language?

The program language for courses with all providers is English. English subtitles are available and some Coursera courses are also available in additional languages.

When does the application period take place?

Applications open on September 27, 2023 and close on November 30, 2023. 

Where can Bertelsmann employees apply for the Employee Scholarship Program?

The application must be submitted proactively on this Landing Page. Interested employees can go to the top of this page and directly choose the preferred provider. Application can be submitted between September 27 – November 30, 2023.

Who can apply?

All Bertelsmann employees, who want to expand their Tech & Data skills and are at least 18 years old. All necessary prerequisites for each Udacity Nanodegree are explained in the section above or in this FAQ section below.

What information is requested in the application?

First, learners must choose the learning provider they would like to apply for. Each application form is structured into different parts:

  1. Background information (personal data) → Learners should be be prepared to enter their peoplenet ID
  2. Motivational questions
  3. Short technical-assessment (only for Udacity Nanodegrees with prerequisites)

What are the criteria for being selected?

  • The main criterion is the answer to the motivational questions
  • Prerequisite knowledge for certain Nanodegrees
  • Besides that, seats will be divided among divisions and according diversity criteria

 

Is it possible to apply for more than one content provider?

Each employee can only take up one seat at a time. So, learners may choose the learning provider (and Nanodegree) that best suits them. Learners who have been nominated by their divisional HR team, no longer need to apply for a seat on their own behalf.

Can I apply even though I already participated last year?

Yes. Participants can apply again for the same or another provider.

Do nominated participants also have to apply?

Nominated employees got selected by their HR & supervisors and do not need to apply additionally. However, a separate registration for Udacity and Harvard Online will be necessary. Bertelsmann University will send individual information directly to the relevant candidates. Participants who are interested in a Udacity Nanodegree, which requires certain prerequisites, must also take part in a "technical assessment" and answer at least 60% of the questions correctly in order to participate in the Nanodegree program. This applies to both nominees and applicants.

Why is it important to enter the peoplenet ID during the application process and how can learners find it?

We will upload learner participation to peoplenet. HR departments view their scholarship participants through peoplenet. The peoplenet ID is only relevant during the application phase and does not have to be re-entered, later.

A completed Coursera online course or Nanodegree will also be uploaded on peoplenet and can be found in the respective peoplenet learning history.

The peoplenet ID can be found on peoplenet under “My Employee Files”. If the peoplenet ID is already required for logging in (no identity management), students should contact their local HR department. 

What learning provider and content can participants choose from?

Learners can apply for two different learning provider: Udacity or Coursera.

Udacity: Learners have to choose one out of 5 Nanodegrees.

Coursera: Learners get access to the learning catalog and if they prefer a little more guidance, they can choose one of the pre-curated learning paths for mission critical tech & data roles.

Harvard Online: nominated learners get acces to the 4-week Data Science Principles program. An application for this program is not possible. 

Find more information in the Provider FAQ section

Who is shouldering the costs?

​Bertelsmann is funding the tech scholarships to build some of the most in-demand tech skills of our time and therefore pays the costs from a central budget.

When do classes start? When will the results be announced?

Application phase: September 27 – November 30, 2023

Announcement scholarship recipients: Around December 11, 2023

Udacity Nanodegree phase: December 15, 2023 – July 15, 2024 (7 months)

Coursera access: December 15, 2023 – November 30, 2024 (1 year)

Harvard Online (Data Science Principles course): Group 1: January 17 – February 14, 2024 / Group 2: May 29 – June 26, 2024 (1 month)

Where does the program take place?

The program takes place 100% online. Students can work from wherever they want to, as long as they have a working internet connection.

What are the general technical requirements for participating in this program?

The learning content is extensive and requires a desktop computer. Udacity’s general technical requirements are listed here: www.udacity.com/tech-requirements. Coursera also offers a mobile app.

 

How do students retain their seat in the program?

Learners should make sure to make continuous learning progress. Bertelsmann University reserves the right to remove inactive users from the program in order to give as many employees as possible the chance to take part in this learning initiative. Learners will be informed in advance and given the chance to activate their license in time.

  • Udacity: Participants need to complete the first project or 25% of the content/ concepts within the first ~9 weeks (February 20, 2024) to avoid being removed from the program.
  • Coursera: There are two activation deadlines.
    • Mid/end of March 2024: Participants must create their account on the Coursera platform and start at least one course to avoid being removed.
    • Mid/end of June 2024: Participants must have learned actively within the last 90 days or have completed one course to avoid being removed.
  • Harvard Online: Weekly learning progress must be demonstrated by design of the course in order to successfully complete the program and receive a certificate.

Can students withdraw/postpone studying after they got selected?

Employees should only join this program if they are committed to learning and graduating within the defined timeline of the program. Nevertheless, if they are no longer able to learn (especially as a Coursera license holder), students should inform Bertelsmann University (university@bertelsmann.com) in order to give the license to another Bertelsmann employee.

What information will HR receive about the participants during the process?

Bertelsmann University will assign the participation to learners’ training plans on peoplenet shortly after the end of the application phase (December 2023) and update the learning history shortly after the end of course. HR departments will therefore have access to the names of participants in their specific units via peoplenet.

Participants can indicate in the application form if they agree that their individual learning progress is shared with their HR department. This helps HR departments to better target the support measures for participants within this program. Please see data protection note here: Coursera/ Udacity/ Harvard

Besides different opportunities such as a networking MS Teams group or check-in calls, most divisions are offering individual learner support.

Need more infos?

You can find more detailed information at our comprehensive Info & Marketing page: https://www.bertelsmann-university.com/employeescholarship/employee-scholarship-infos.html.

This page is mainly designed for all divisional and local HR and communication departments to adjust the material for their needs and inform their employees about this initiaitve.

You are not (yet) a Bertelsmann employee and interested in the program?

This Bertelsmann Employee scholarship is exclusivly for Bertelsmann employee.

But we have good news for you: You can participate in our external Udacity scholarship, the "Next Generation Tech Booster". Exclusively for external individuals worldwide. You can find more information and submit your application on Udacity´s landing page: https://www.udacity.com/scholarships/bertelsmann-next-generation-tech-booster

At Bertelsmann, we believe in empowering individuals worldwide with the necessary skills to thrive in the tech industry. That's why we have launched the Next Generation Tech Booster scholarship, in collaboration with Udacity. This program offers cutting-edge tech education and training to talented individuals. Whether you're a student or a professional, this program is designed to help you excel in the tech field.

Provider FAQ: Udacity, Coursera, HBS

What learning content can participants choose from with Udacity?

Learners can choose from a defined set of Nanodegrees which are in line with some of the most in-demand skills profiles across the Bertelsphere. Each year, we are shaking things up a little and offer a variety of Nanodegrees to choose from. Learners need to indicate their chosen Nanodegree in their application. For the upcoming round, learners can choose between the following Nanodegrees:

 

When does the Udacity Scholarship take place?

  • Start: December 15, 2023
  • Activation Deadline: February 20, 2024
  • End: July 15, 2024

Why learn with Udacity?

  • Learners benefit from interaction and exchange with the community
  • Job-related projects by industry experts
  • Focus on business-relevant skills
  • Useful help from mentors
  • Support from subject matter experts through live webinars
  • Graduates earn an industry-recognized credential

What does the Nanodegree consist of?

  • An interactive learning community composed of colleagues within your cohort
  • Short videos and interviews with instructors and industry experts
  • Activities like quizzes and exercises (quizzes are a tool to help students learn, and an ongoing resource, so learner can watch videos and try the quizzes as many times as they like)
  • Real-world projects, which must be completed and submitted
  • Live and asynchronous feedback and support from program mentors

What does the learner journey at Udacity look like?

The learning journey will be 7 months and self-guided with 4-6 hours of learning per week. Students can learn in their own time, and there are no specific class hours when they need to be online (unless they wish to participate in the optional live project walkthroughs). Throughout the entire learning journey, students will have access to an online community platform, where they will be able to ask tutors and other employee-students for support to help them through any learning difficulties! Students will also have two live “webinars” for each project, where a Udacity tutor, who is a content expert, offers a project walkthrough and unblocks any questions learners may have.

How do students retain their seat in the program?

Learners should make sure to follow the program schedule presented in the classroom and they will 
be on track to graduate from the Nanodegree Program on time. However, if students do not make 
sufficient progress within the first ~9 weeks (until February 20, 2024), they risk being removed from 
the program. The criteria they must meet in order to avoid being revoked include submitting the first 
project or viewing 25% of the concepts. 

Will students have access to the Udacity Nanodegree material after finishing it successfully?

Yes, students will have indefinite static access to the content after graduating the Nanodegree. Static access will include classroom content that will not be updated over time. Such access will not include access to projects that were not previously submitted, as well as certain services, such as community channels, project reviews, workspaces, labs, or quizzes. Also, please note that learners will lose access to the content if they fail to finish within the Nanodegrees final deadline.

Do students get a certificate when studying with Udacity?

Upon completion of the Nanodegree program, graduates receive an official certificate directly from Udacity. After the students have successfully completed their projects, their identity will be verified with a third-party provider, and students may be asked for a final interview. Once this procedure has been completed, the certificate can be viewed, printed and forwarded via the Udacity account.

What is the content and prerequisites for each Udacity Nanodegree?

Agile Software Development 
The goal is to equip learners with the ability to differentiate between agile methodologies, foster high 
performing teams, manage iteration planning, create a release plan for a Minimum Viable Product, 
develop project status metrics, and effectively communicate progress. People will learn how to build 
products that deliver continuous value to customers using an Agile approach to software development
Please find more information here.
Prerequisites: No prior experience required, besides basic computer skills like managing files, 
navigating online and running programs.


AI Programming with Python
The goal is to equip learners with the ability to utilize programming tools like Python, NumPy, and 
PyTorch, understand applications of Calculus and linear algebra, and perform essential techniques of 
neural networks such as gradient descent and backpropagation.
Please find more information here
Prerequisites: Formal prerequisites include basic knowledge of algebra, and basic programming in 
any language.
System Prerequisites: Installation of conda and Python is necessary


Enterprise Security
The goal is to equip learners with the foundational skills of security engineering within an enterprise 
setting. This program addresses security topics related to corporate environments, which are often 
distinct from production environments and center around the devices, identities, and infrastructure 
used by the company’s on a daily basis.
The Enterprise Security ND builds on the Intro to Cyber Security Nanodegree from the previous 
round, making it the 2nd of 3 NDs of the IT Security learning path within the Udacity scholarship.
Please find more information here.
Prerequisites:
• Setting up a Linux server and perform system configuration/management
• Setting up an Azure environment and perform cloud configuration/management
• Exposure to networking, cloud, and hardware systems relevant to courses being taught (e.g. if a 
course teaches on Linux security, students should know the basics of how Linux works).
• Identify the most common networking protocols used (HTTP, TCP, DNS, SSH).
• Distinguish different hardware components in a network (desktop, server, firewall, etc.).
• Explain the relationship between client and server within an architecture.
• Identifying the different encryption protocols (AES, RSA, PGP).

 

Data Product Manager
The goal is to teach learners how to apply data science techniques, data engineering processes, and 
market experimentation tests to deliver customized product experiences. They begin by leveraging 
the power of SQL and Tableau to inform product strategy. Then, they learn how to develop data 
pipelines and warehousing strategies that prepare data collected from a product for robust analysis. 
Finally, students will learn techniques for evaluation of data from live products, including how to 
design and execute various A/B and multivariate tests to shape the next iteration of a product.
Please find more information here
Prerequisites:
• Basic understanding of data terminology (i.e. big data, database, algorithms, etc.)
• Some experience with data analysis (basic SQL and Tableau)
• General understanding of product management is helpful
System Prerequisites:
• Students need SQL, Tableau, Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel
• A 64-bit computer with a minimum operating system of Windows 8.1 or later, Apple MacOS 10.10 
Yosemite or later, or any Linux OS/ any Chrome OS that supports the browsers mentioned above


Data Engineering with Azure
The goal is to teach learners how to design data models, build data warehouses, build data lakes and 
lakehouse architecture, create data pipelines, and work with large datasets on the Azure platform 
using Azure Synapse Analytics, Azure Databricks, and Azure Data Factory.
Please find more information here
Prerequisites:
• Intermediate SQL programming skills
• Intermediate Python programming skills
• Familiarity with the Azure cloud platform
• Experience with Github

What learning content can participants expect with Coursera?

Generally, a Coursera scholarship gives learners 12-months unlimited access to most learning content on the Coursera platform, including a wide range of courses, skillsets, specialization and clips designed by Coursera in collaboration with more than 200 universities. Learners get access to an extensive course catalog on many different topics with a focus on Data, Technology and Economics. If learners prefer more guidance as to what content to chose, they will find pre-curated learning paths for mission critical role profiles according to the Group-wide skills gap analysis on their landing page. To find content that matches their learning needs, learners can preview the Coursera catalog here or get a first impression of the Bertelsmann Employee Scholarship Program site including pre-curated courses here.

When does the Coursera Scholarship take place?

  • Start: December 15, 2023
  • Activation Deadlines: March & June 2024
  • End: November 30, 2024

Why learn with Coursera?

  • Coursera provides content in collboration with some of the world's leading universities (incl. University of Michigan, HEC and Johns Hopkins) and institutions (e.g. Google, BCG and Deeplearning.ai)
  • Highest possible flexibility: learning any time and from any place at the learner’s individual pace
  • Certificates of completion are issued by the institution that provides the content on the Coursera platform: a fast-track opportunity to obtain a sharable certificate from a top league university or renowned organization

What does the learning journey with Coursera look like?

The learning journey will be 1-year self guided. Students can learn in their own time, and there are no specific class hours when they need to be online. Courses include recorded and peer-reviewed video lectures, assignments, and discussion forums for student exchange. In addition, Coursera offers “SkillSets”, an individualized learning experience by which each learner is given personalized recommendations for high-quality learning content based on their level of knowledge, learning progress and their own learning objective. For more information on learning with Coursera, please visit: https://www.bertelsmann-university.com/individual-campus/program-information/Coursera.html

How long will each Coursera course take?

Generally, courses can take between 1-6 weeks to complete. The average length of a course is between 5 to 15 hours. Coursera courses have been designed to allow learners to work at their own pace with bite-sized sessions and a self-paced learning model. The time varies by each course. Coursera keeps lectures and lessons short - with only a few minutes each - so learners can make meaningful progress in just a few minutes a day.

What are Coursera SkillSets and how to they work?

Coursera SkillSets are a special functionality to support targeted learning based on the individual requirements of a learner. Hence, they are a great way to facilitate individual reskilling scenarios.

Each SkillSet includes a group of skills relevant to a learner’s chosen learning goal. It makes personalized recommendations of premium curated content based on learners personal progress towards the target score of each skill required for his/her desired skillset. Progress is automatically measured based on the courses already taken on the Coursera platform plus the opportunity to assess previous experience and training from other learning sources. Learning content is taken from individual courses mapped specifically to the learning need at hand, rather than a full University program.

How do students retain their seat in the program?

Learners should make sure to use their license actively. Bertelsmann University reserves the right to 
revoke the licenses of any inactive users to give as many employees as possible the chance to take 
part in this initiative. Learners will be informed in advance and given the chance to continue learning, 
accordingly. The following requirements must be met:

  • Short term until mid/end of March 2024: Learners must create their account on the Coursera platform and start at least one course.
  • Long term until mid/end of June 2024: Learners must have learned actively within the last 90 days or have completed one course.

Do students get a certificate when studying with Coursera?

Upon completion of a course, learners will be eligible to receive a shareable electronic course certificate. Certificates of completion are issued by the institution that is providing the content on the Coursera platform: a fast-track opportunity to obtain degree from a top league university or renowned tech organization.

What learning content can participants expect from Harvard Online?

Learners within the Harvard Online cohort of the Bertelsmann Employee Scholarship Program will jointly take the Data Science Principles course on the Harvard Online platform. This course is a code and math free introduction to key data science concepts. It has been designed as a foundational course for managersand leaders, enabling non-experts to successfully interface with experts in the field. At the end of the course, learners will:

  • Comprehend the data science landscape and technical terminology to navigate a data-driven world
  • Recognize major concepts and tools in the field of data science and determine where they can be applied with impact
  • Appreciate the importance of curating, organizing, and wrangling data
  • Explain uncertainty, causality, and data quality —and the ways in which they relate to each other
  • Understand the consequences of data use and misuse and know when more data may be needed or when to change approaches

When does the Harvard Online Scholarship take place?

We are offering two start dates:

  • January 17 – February 14, 2024
  • May 29 – June 26, 2024

What is the target group for the Harvard Online Data Science Principles program?

Managers and leaders with no prior experience who want to learn about and master basic data science concepts in order to converse with experts and transform their businesses.

Why learn with Harvard Online?

Harvard Online is an online education platform which offers a unique and highly engaging way of learning. Harvard Online is committed to staying true to the Harvard mission: to educate leaders who make a difference in the world, using an active, social, and case-based learning model. Learners immerse themselves in real-world cases and debate with peers from around the world —all while learning from renowned Harvard Online faculty.

What does the learner journey with Harvard Online look like?

Data Science Principles is a self-paced program delivered via the Harvard Online course platform. The platform features short videos by Harvard Online faculty and guest experts, interactive exercises and an exchange forum which learners will useto interact and engage with their cohort peers. Lessons are brought to life through real-world cases from a range of industry sectors.

Harvard Online Bertelsmann University take great pride in the effectiveness and efficiency of our programs and courses. As such, we have teamed up and will be accompanying you along this learning journey as well. What does that mean? To make sure that both the content and structure are effective, we will be asking you for feedback before, during and after the program. You can be sure: These surveys are not used to assess or evaluate individual learning progress. Rather, we want to use your responses to make this course (and others to come) even better. Your support in terms of taking the time to fill out these quick surveys is essential - thank you for that! Please see data protection notice here.

How do students retain their seat in the program?

Learners should make sure to create their Harvard Online account and enroll in the course within the deadline announced in advance by e-mail (the deadline is about 2 weeks before program start). If 
participants fail to enroll on time, Bertelsmann University and Harvard Online reserve the right to give the seat to another learner on the waiting list.

Do students get a certificate when studying with Harvard Online?

In order to earn a certificate of completion from Harvard Online, participants must thoughtfully complete all 7 modules, including associated quizzes and peer engagement exercises within the given deadlines.

Are there specific class hours when students need to be online in Harvard Online´s classroom?

Content for this program is being unlocked successively on a week-by-week basis. Thus, constant classroom engagement is required. In between deadlines students can work to their own schedule.

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