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Apply Now for the ‘Udacity Data Science Scholarship Program’

Today marks the opening of the applications period for the scholarships for beginners and experts in the field of Data Science at the online education service provider Udacity, as announced by Bertelsmann in September. 15,000 scholarships will be awarded to Bertelsmann employees and people from outside the company. They will initially participate in a “Challenge Course” on descriptive statistics. The top 1,500 scholarship recipients will each qualify for one of three full Nanodegree programs at Udacity.

The analysis of large volumes of data has already become part of the workaday routine for an increasing number of employees at a growing number of companies. Many more are in the process of gradually building or expanding their skills in this fast-growing field. After all, the data can be used by companies to adapt their services and products better and better to customer requirements, among other things. Qualified specialists are accordingly in high demand all over the world. So the online education service provider Udacity had good reason for dedicating its multifaceted program to the education and continuing training of IT experts in fields including data analysis. Bertelsmann itself, one of Udacity's biggest shareholders, has a huge demand for Data Science professionals and in September last year announced it would be funding 15,000 Udacity scholarships in the field of data analysis for beginners and experts. They are open to employees at all Bertelsmann companies worldwide, as well as for interested people from outside the company. Applications can now be submitted directly via Udacity (

“Bertelsmann is becoming more and more digital, so promoting digital skills is one of our top priorities,” says Bertelsmann Chairman and CEO Thomas Rabe. “Data Science is particularly important for many of our digital businesses. Accordingly, we are very pleased to offer 15,000 scholarships. Together with our close partners Google and Udacity, we are thus attempting to counter the shortage of specialists in the technology sector.”

Basis for business decisions

Data Science is an interdisciplinary field that brings together tools, processes, and systems to extract insights from data. It involves concepts from a wide variety of fields – from mathematics, statistics and computer science, to programming and machine learning, through to visualization and presentation. Essentially, Data Science is about using automated methods to analyze huge amounts of data and derive knowledge and information – and ultimately use it as a basis for making business decisions.

15,000 Data Science scholarships for beginners and experts

The scholarship program is structured into two parts: During the first phase, the learners receive access to a three-month Challenge Course on Udacity entitled “Intro to Descriptive Statistics.” The scholarship recipients are supported by experienced Udacity mentors and community managers. Upon completing the Challenge Course, they receive a “badge” as a confirmation of participation, which can be used e.g. on social media channels such as LinkedIn or Xing. The 1,500 best students in this first phase qualify for one of three Nanodegree programs at Udacity: “Data Foundations”, “Business Analyst” or “Data Analyst”. Please note: All the costs for the scholarship program are borne centrally by Bertelsmann.

“At Udacity, we partner with top employers like Google, Amazon and Facebook to build our Nanodegree programs, credentials backed and built by industry and designed to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow,” says founder and president of Udacity Sebastian Thrun. “Together with Bertelsmann, we have now created an online learning pathway that opens up countless career opportunities, because the global demand for qualified employees with advanced data analytics skills has never been higher, and successful graduates of our program will emerge job-ready in the field.”

“The continuing training of our employees is essential for Bertelsmann,” confirms CHRO Immanuel Hermreck. “We see it as our responsibility to prepare our employees as best as possible for the demanding technical tasks of the working world of the future. Partnering with Google and Udacity gives us a unique competitive advantage, so we would like to encourage people to take advantage of this special opportunity. We look forward to receiving many applications from our companies.”

The “Udacity Data Science Scholarship Program” is part of an initiative by Google, Bertelsmann and Udacity to provide comprehensive basic and advanced training for IT experts. The three companies had launched the initiative in 2016. At the time, it involved Google and Bertelsmann funding approximately 12,000 scholarships for various courses with Udacity. In 2017, the initiative was expanded by another 75,000 scholarships: 60,000 financed by Google, 15,000 – as mentioned above – by Bertelsmann. The offer aims to prepare interested talent for the digital future in Europe by providing them with the IT skills needed for the labor market. While Google's scholarships have a focus on Android and web development, the Bertelsmann scholarships focus on the field of Data Science. The training initiative received a European Digital Skills Award from the European Commission in Brussels in December 2017 (see blog article).

Online information events for all employees

In the weeks ahead, Bertelsmann University will be offering free online information events in cooperation with Udacity. Please use this link ( to register for one of the scheduled events on peoplenet. Applications for the scholarship program are now being accepted on the Udacity Website (, where you will also find further information about the program and the online courses. (benet)

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