Blog Archive

‘Employee Scholarship Program’: Huge Interest In Internal Upskilling Opportunities

The first round of the Employee Scholarship Program has ended and the second round has now begun. Jennifer Meindel from Bertelsmann University summarizes how the first round of the Bertelsmann Scholarship Program went for employees around the world. Those interested in the third and final round next year can already put their names on a waiting list so as not to miss the start of the application phase.

In fall 2022, Bertelsmann launched the three-year “Employee Scholarship Program” as part of its new scholarship initiative.Every year, hundreds of colleagues from across the Group have the opportunity to apply for various training programs that enable them to build skills, particularly in the area of Tech & Data. The first round of the program has now ended
and the second round has begun. Jennifer Meindel, Senior Director Tech & Data Learning Programs at Bertelsmann University, summarizes how the first round of Bertelsmann’s exclusive scholarship program went for employees around the world.


As the name suggests, the “Employee Scholarship Program” is aimed exclusively at Bertelsmann employees. In the first round, applicants and HR managers in the divisions were able to choose between three renowned learning providers: Udacity, Coursera or Harvard Online. A total of 1,100 places were available. As part of the first round, the Harvard course “Data Science Principles” took place in February and March 2023. In the case of the online continuing education provider Udacity, participants had until mid-July to complete their chosen nanodegree, while participants in Coursera courses had until mid-December to complete their programs. “100 employees took part in Harvard Online and achieved an impressive result with a completion rate of 95%,” says Jennifer Meindel, pleased with the commitment of the participants.


Huge run and a waiting list

As in previous Bertelsmann scholarship initiatives, Bertelsmann University again offered scholarships to Udacity in the latest round. According to Jennifer Meindel, “Programming for Data Science with Python” was the participants’ favorite among the five available courses: One in four participants successfully completed this course. “The Employee Scholarship marked the first time we have included our learning provider Coursera in the scholarship program. Until now, the licenses could only be booked for a fee. With over 840 applications pouring in for the 600 available places, we have seen a huge run on the available slots,” explains Jennifer Meindel. Those who weren’t among the eligible users at the beginning could choose to be placed on a waiting list and, with a bit of luck, replace inactive learners after a while.


Jennifer Meindel reports that employees with Coursera licenses completed a total of 1,879 courses. On average, employees spent more than 25 hours studying. This means that 17,415 study hours were recorded just with Coursera. Courses on “data” were particularly popular, such as “Foundations: Data,” “Data, Everywhere,” “Ask Questions to Make Data-Driven Decisions,” and “Prepare Data for Exploration”. You can read what some participants had to say about their courses at Coursera and Udacity in this report.


Waiting list for registering for next year’s third round

“We’re very happy that many of the first-round participants successfully completed their courses and are already delighted about the great interest our colleagues are showing in the second round,” says Jennifer Meindel. By the end of last year, some 2,200 applications had been received for the next round. In this round of the Employee Scholarship Program, which started recently, Bertelsmann University was again able to offer learning opportunities with all three educational partners. A new selection of courses was available at Udacity, organized in close consultation with experts in the fields: “Agile Software Development”, “AI Programming with Python”, “Enterprise Security”, “Data Product Manager,” and “Data Engineering with Azure”. Participants again have until mid-July to complete their chosen course. A particularly large number of applicants – nearly 40 percent – enrolled for “AI Programming with Python”. “Artificial intelligence is a hot topic that points the way to the future for our Group. The high proportion shows our colleagues’ great interest in this subject area,” says  Meindel.


Participants can access almost the entire Coursera course catalog, as well as courses in tech, data, and artificial intelligence arranged especially for Bertelsmann, through the end of November. The Harvard course on “Data Science Principles” started on January 17 and ends on February 14; the second round is scheduled for May 29 to June 26. “We wish all students every success with this course too,” says Jennifer Meindel.


As part of its “Am I AI-ready?” media campaign, which generated around 240 million contacts worldwide (see Bertelsmann report), Bertelsmann also launched the “Next Generation Tech Booster” program for external interested parties last fall. In total, around 31,800 people from 176 countries applied for one of three Udacity programs on offer. Next year, the Bertelsmann Scholarship Initiative enters its third and final round. If you don’t want to miss out, you can join the waiting list now by clicking on the link provided. This will ensure that you are alerted as soon as the next application phase begins.  (benet)



Application Deadline For ‘Employee Scholarship Program’ Nears

Time is running out: Thursday, November 30, is the application deadline for the Employee Scholarship Program. Bertelsmann employees around the world can apply for one of more than 1,000 scholarship seats at the online education providers Udacity or Coursera. The aim is to provide upskilling in the field of tech & data to make them fit for the digital future.

The challenges new technologies are posing for the job market are immense - but so are the opportunities to prepare and train for them. Bertelsmann’s “Employee Scholarship Program” offers employees the opportunity to score one of more than 1,000 scholarship places with the online education providers Udacity or Coursera. The scholarships are designed to impart skills in the field of tech & data. If you are interested in such a scholarship and have not yet applied, it’s time to get organized: The application deadline is next Thursday, November 30, 2023.

Apply now!

Get fit for the digital future

As Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO Thomas Rabe had explained upon launching the campaign at the end of September, the aim of this training initiative is to get as many colleagues as possible fit for the digital future. “In many areas, our employees having a solid grounding in the new technologies is a prerequisite for the further development of our business. This applies in particular to skills in the field of artificial intelligence,” said Rabe at the time.

“We need more colleagues with tech & data skills, especially with given the developments in artificial intelligence,” Bertelsmann Chief HR Officer Immanuel Hermreck had also emphasized.


The application deadline for the “Next Generation Tech Booster” scholarship initiative, which is aimed at interested parties outside the Group, also ends on November 30. So if you have family members or friends who might be interested in this upskilling initiative, please let them know now. Find out more about the initiative here.



Match your indivdual learning needs to the right content provider

The application phase for the Bertelsmann Employee Scholarship program is still open until November 30, 2023.
Easily submit your application here: Click here

To support you deciding between our two providers, you can sign up for,
we compare several aspects, that could be interesting for you as a learner.



Study Experience

Udacity courses are highly interactive with activities like quizzes and exercises interspersed between short videos and interviews with instructors and industry experts. The Nanodegrees also include real-world projects, which must be completed and submitted. Students will receive feedback from mentors on these projects.

A scholarship gives you unlimited access to all learning content on the Coursera platform, including a wide range of courses, skillsets, specialization and clips. If you prefer more guidance, you will find pre-curated learning paths for Tech & Data role profiles.

Courses include recorded and peer-reviewed video lectures, assignments, and community discussion forums.

In addition, Coursera offers “SkillSets”, an individualized learning experience by which you'll be given personalized recommendations for high-quality learning content based on your level of knowledge, learning progress and own learning objective. When you complete a course, you will be eligible to receive a shareable electronic course certificate.

What content is included?

You can choose from a defined set of Nanodegrees that follow learning paths which are in line with some of the most in-demand skill profiles across the Bertelsphere.

Coursera's platform offers an extensive course catalog on different topics with a focus on Data, Technology and Economics. The content is provided by more than 190 of the world's leading universities (e.g. Stanford, Yale and IESE) and organizations (e.g. Google, BCG and

Learning Journey

The learning journey will be 7 months, from December 15, 2023 – July 15, 2024 and self-guided with 4-6 hours of learning per week. Just schedule your studying yourself. You will have access to an community, where you will be able to ask tutors and other employee-students for support to help you through any learning difficulties! You will also have the chance to participate in 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.

The scholarship starts on December 15, 2023 and will give you a 12-months full access to all 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 or build a specific skillset following either a curated or personalized learning path based on your own proficiency level.

For more information, ave a look at the provider comparison

Go ahead now, choose your learning provider and apply right away:


Ready, Set, Go! ‘Employee Scholarship Program’ Goes To The Next Round

We are continuing our internal training initiative, the "Employee Scholarship Program," and we are excited to announce that you can now apply for one of the 1,000 scholarship positions offered by online education providers Udacity or Coursera. We understand the importance of skills in the field of Tech & Data for professional life and want to give you the opportunity to further develop these skills.

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We are proud to share that the first round of our "Employee Scholarship Program" at Udacity achieved a record completion rate of 72 percent among our employees. The "Next Generation Tech Booster" program, which is accessible to external applicants worldwide, also impressed with a completion rate of 70 percent. This demonstrates the high interest in further education in the Tech & Data field and confirms that our initiative meets the needs of our employees.

Thomas Rabe states, 'The goal of our training initiative remains to make as many colleagues as possible fit for the digital future, In many areas, a solid knowledge of new technologies by our employees is a prerequisite for being able to develop our businesses further. This is especially true for skills in the area of artificial intelligence. I am pleased that interest in our scholarship programs has been so high in previous years, and I am confident that many employees from our companies will apply this time, too.'

Therefore, as part of our "Employee Scholarship Program," we offer a total of 1,100 scholarships per year.

Out of these, 400 spots are allocated to Nanodegree courses at Udacity.
Feel free to choose from the following courses:

  • Agile Software Development
  • AI Programming with Python
  • Enterprise Security
  • Data Product Manager
  • Data Engineering with Azure

The special thing for you as employees: You don't have to prove yourself in a challenge course; you can start directly with the Nanodegree! Some of the courses require basic knowledge, but we are confident that you will master this challenge. Once you become a graduate, you will receive one of the coveted Nanodegree certificates.

There are also 600 additional scholarship positions available in the form of an annual license for the entire course offering at Coursera.

There, you can expand your knowledge in the areas of Tech, Data, and AI for twelve months, as well as explore many other topics. Feel free to browse through the Coursera website. Particularly interesting are programs such as "Data Science & Data Engineering," "(Generative) AI & Machine Learning," "Cloud Computing & Cyber Security," and "Web3 & Blockchain." And from experience, we can say that once you are at Coursera, you won't want to miss it!

Already awarded!

Our executives should not be left behind either. Therefore, we are awarding one hundred scholarship positions at Harvard Online. However, you cannot apply for these positions. They will be awarded through nominations from the HR departments.

Immanuel Hermreck, our Chief Human Resources Officer, provides further insights: 'Our regular analyses show that we are already on the right track and have been able to significantly reduce the gap between the Tech & Data skills needed in the future and those currently available in the Group. The ongoing, targeted upskilling of our employees remains a high priority. The Employee Scholarship Program, with its Bertelsmann-oriented content, makes a key contribution here. At the same time, it makes us even more attractive as an employer for applicants interested in tech and data," notes Hermreck.

So, what are you waiting for? Apply now! Click here:

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