Of the 1,500 participants, around 59 percent completed the Data Science Nanodegree programs – the most successful completion rate to date among all Udacity scholarship initiatives. 22 percent of the graduates are Bertelsmann employees. Bertelsmann had jointly initiated the worldwide Udacity Data Science Scholarship Program with Google and Udacity in 2018.
More than 32,000 people from 170 countries had applied for a total of 15,000 places on the Challenge Course. The top 1,500 graduates then had the opportunity to participate in one of three Data Science nanodegree programs. Around 59 percent of them have now successfully completed these courses – the most successful completion rate to date within the framework of Udacity’s scholarship initiatives. 22 percent of the graduates were Bertelsmann employees. These figures already illustrate the success of the Udacity Data Science Scholarship Program initiated last year. And the participants’ experiences and opinions confirm this impression.
In January 2018, Bertelsmann, Google, and the online education provider Udacity had launched the Udacity Data Science Scholarship Program to develop the digital skills necessary for the labor market and prepare interested talents for the digital future. The program was part of a comprehensive upskilling initiative to train IT experts (see blog article). Employees from all Bertelsmann companies and other interested parties were invited to apply for one of the 15,000 scholarships. Upon completing the three-month Challenge Course – the first phase of the scholarship initiative – the top 1,500 graduates qualified for the second phase, in which they could choose one of Udacity’s three Data Science nanodegree programs: Data Foundations, Business Analyst, or Data Analyst. 361 Bertelsmann colleagues – about a fifth of all graduates – enrolled in one of these courses.
New scholarship program starting soon
Building on the scholarship program’s success, Bertelsmann has already announced the launch of another global education initiative (see blog article). The Group is funding as many as 50,000 tech scholarships for Udacity courses over a three-year period, with a focus on Cloud, Data, and Artificial Intelligence. In addition, the top ten percent of participants will receive a scholarship for a full nanodegree degree in the selected subject area. Applications open this summer – further information on the scholarship initiative and the start of the application phase will follow.
“The world of work is becoming increasingly digital. There is already a shortage of skilled workers in the digital domain, and it will only increase in the next few years,” says Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe. “At the same time, digitalization is leading to certain jobs being replaced by tech solutions in the future. We see it as our responsibility to empower as many people as possible to be successful in the digital world, and to support policymakers in this.”
The high completion rate for nanodegree programs in the Udacity Data Science Scholarship Program reflects the employees’ great response to such offers, along with their great commitment, adds Chief Human Resources Officer Immanuel Hermreck. “I’m particularly pleased about the high participation rate among Bertelsmann employees. This shows that data science is seen as a necessary skill for the future, not just from the company's perspective, but also by employees.” In a video published on the internet as part of a massive open online course (MOOC) under the title “Technology, Strategy and Leadership,” Hermreck once again underlines these necessary skills and capabilities for working in the 21st century.
‘A valuable opportunity’
The completion of the Udacity Data Science Scholarship Program was a cause for celebration for numerous colleagues worldwide. For example, eight graduates from Prisma Media in France gathered for breakfast to share their learning experiences. The scholarship program was a valuable opportunity for them – as well as for the company – to acquire the data science skills that are essential to the competitiveness of G+J’s French subsidiary.
There was positive feedback on the content and how it was taught on the online platform from many other participants as well. Some graduates shared their experiences in conversations with Benet. The links to their interviews can be found at the end of this article. All Challenge Course and nanodegree graduates who wish to upload information about the completed course into their peoplenet learning history should please follow the standard procedure for external learning activities and contact their local peoplenet Ambassador. You can find your contact person here. (benet)