Four weeks into the applications period, 36,700 people from 180 countries have already applied for the 15,000 scholarships being awarded in round two of the “#50000Chances" initiative. Under the three-year program, Bertelsmann is giving away a total of 50,000 scholarships for Udacity courses in the fields of Cloud, Data, and Artificial Intelligence.
The scholarship initiative #50000Chances, under which Bertelsmann has promoted digital upskilling in emerging technologies worldwide since 2019, is experiencing a veritable run this year. Four weeks after applications opened, 36,700 people from 180 countries have already applied for the 15,000 scholarships being awarded in the second round. The application period runs for another four weeks, until November 16, 2020. Under the three-year program, Bertelsmann is giving away a total of 50,000 scholarships for Udacity courses in the fields of Cloud, Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The idea is to help anyone interested get fit for an increasingly digital employment market and reduce the shortage of skilled workers in this area.
The majority of the 36,700 applications received to date were for the courses in Artificial Intelligence (44 percent), followed by Data (34 percent) and Cloud Computing (22 percent). In geographical terms, most applications were sent in from India, Nigeria, the U.S., Germany, Egypt, and Pakistan. Nearly a quarter of all applicants are women. Half-way through the application period, more than a thousand applications have been received from Bertelsmann employees all over the world. Last year, too, Bertelsmann’s Udacity Technology Scholarship Program under the heading #50000Chances met with an enormous response; but this time around, the number of applicants is even higher at the halfway mark. The media, services, and education company is once again promoting the scholarship program with an extensive image campaign, which reached more than 30 million people in the past few weeks alone. Interested parties have until November 16, 2020 to apply for a scholarship: www.udacity.com/bertelsmann-tech-scholarships .
“We are very proud that our digital initiative is empowering people around the world to deepen their skills in forward-looking areas,” said Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO Thomas Rabe. The latest applicant numbers attest to a high level of international interest in “being successful in the digital world and receiving appropriate training to develop tech solutions for future-proof businesses.”
Steven Moran, Chief Learning Officer at Bertelsmann, added:
“The speed of technologization of business models has been further accelerated by the Coronavirus pandemic. This acceleration is driven in particular by technologies such as Cloud, Data, and AI. So anyone who wants to be well-positioned for the working world of the future is well advised to continuously build and expand their skills in these areas.”
For Karin Schlautmann, Head of Bertelsmann Corporate Communications, the huge response to the scholarship initiative is due not least to the accompanying image campaign that Bertelsmann launched under the heading “You are the digital future”:
“We show that digital continuing education is of great societal relevance, and that Bertelsmann is committed to advancing the transformation to digital. It is gratifying to see that our campaign is well received by so many people.”
The Udacity Challenge Courses offered under the #50000Chances initiative each run for three months and require three to five hours a week to complete. Interested parties can choose between three subject areas:
- Cloud, i.e., applications for online-based IT infrastructures
- Data, i.e., applications for the analysis and interpretation of large volumes of data
- Artificial Intelligence, i.e., applications related to machine learning and intelligent algorithms
Studies indicate that there is already a considerable shortage of skilled workers in the fields of Cloud, Data, and AI. Supply of only a few hundred thousand qualified experts is contrasted against demand in the millions.