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Top Completion Rates For Final Round Of Udacity Tech Scholarship

While applications are being accepted for the “Bertelsmann Employee Scholarship Program,” the numbers and winners from the last round of the “Udacity Technology Scholarship Program” have now been determined. In addition, the winners of attractive prizes were drawn from among all participants who completed a Nanodegree degree.

Applications for the new in-house Bertelsmann Employee Scholarship Program (read more here) and the Next Generation Tech Booster program for Tech & Data enthusiasts outside the Group are still being accepted through November 28. Meanwhile, salient data has been evaluated for the third and final round of the previous “Udacity Technology Scholarship Program,” which recently ended and was aimed at all interested parties simultaneously. In addition, the winners of attractive prizes were drawn from among all participants who completed a nanodegree.. 

The completion of the third round marked the end of a strategic scholarship initiative for tech & data upskilling for which more than 150,000 people worldwide had applied. More than 2,600 of those accepted for the program – including 600 Group employees – went on to complete a nanodegree. According to Bertelsmann University, the organizer of the scholarship program, some 47,300 people from all over the world applied for the third and final round of the 15,000 introductory challenge courses offered by the Udacity Technology Scholarship Program.They included fully 1,300 employees from Group companies. 

Opening up new career opportunities 

The top 1,600 graduates of the “Challenge” courses then embarked on several months of part-time online study, ultimately completed by almost 1,000 people outside the Group and 215 Bertelsmann employees, who then received a nanodegree.

“Both quotas were the best of all three rounds of the ‘Udacity Technology Scholarship Program’ launched in 2019,” said a delighted Laura Echterhoff, program manager at Bertelsmann University. “The certificate not only confirms their acquired qualifications in the future technologies ‘Cloud’, ‘Data’ and ‘AI.” It also opens up new career opportunities for them in the corresponding professional fields. The certificates are appreciated and recognized both internally at Bertelsmann and externally at major tech companies,” says Echterhoff.

All our colleagues who invested the considerable time and effort and earned their Nanodegree had the chance to win attractive prizes as part of the “Study Buddy” giveaway offered by Bertelsmann University. The winners of the giveaway, for which participants could register together with up to two fellow students, were:

  • Gary Lee, Andre Timofeev and Dominik Lech from Riverty (participation in the “Bertelsmann University Digital Game Changers Program” on October 10 in Berlin including overnight hotel stay)
  • Tom Gardner and Viktorija Berne from Arvato Systems Latvia (participation in the “Tech & Data Summit” on November 8 and 9 in Berlin including overnight hotel stay)
  • Jonas Knaup and Thomas Hanning from Arvato Systems (participation in the “Talent Meets Bertelsmann” party on June 27, 2023 in Berlin including hotel accommodation)
  • Oliver Stenzel, Göksun Tan and Jasmin Weißphal from Arvato Supply Chain Solutions (weekend pass for the “Rock am Ring” festival at the Nürburgring from June 2 to 4, 2023) 

In addition, several individual prizes were raffled off. Their winners:

  • Apple AirPods Pro: Christiane Rhefus, RTL Group
  • Kindle plus book package from Penguin Random House: Thomas Milchers, Bertelsmann Printing Group
  • Record player plus records from BMG: John Arthur Fay, Penguin Random House

Congratulations to all Nanodegree graduates and winner!!

Go to Employees Scholarship landingpage


More Than 47,000 Applications For Bertelsmann’s Udacity Technology Scholarship Program

Applications for the third round of the 'Udacity Technology Scholarship Program' closed on November 30. In all, more than 47,000 applications from 190 countries were received for Bertelsmann's scholarship program. They included more than 1,300 from Bertelsmann employees. The extensive media campaign reached more than 50 million people.

A total of 47,300 applications from 190 countries were received this year for the Udacity Technology Scholarship Program offered worldwide by Bertelsmann. Once again, the international media, services, and education company offered 15,000 scholarships for courses on the Udacity online education platform in the fields of Cloud, Data, and Artificial Intelligence. Applications closed on November 30. This means that the last round of scholarships in the Bertelsmann '#50000Chances' initiative, which was launched in 2019, will be awarded in the next few days. Bertelsmann had once again drawn attention to the initiative with an extensive global media campaign featuring TV, print, online, and social media ads and a dedicated landing page. Bertelsmann Chairman and CEO Thomas Rabe gave a testimonial for the campaign, which reached around 26 million people on social media alone and a total of just over 50 million people. The ad featuring Thomas Rabe was also shown on a large screen in New York’s bustling Times Square. Since the launch of the '#50000Chances' campaign, Bertelsmann has reached more than 100 million people worldwide and presented itself with a clear digital focus.

The rationale behind the scholarship initiative is the growing global shortage of skilled workers in the IT and tech sector, especially at the interfaces of business and technology. Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe commented: 'Tech skills are becoming increasingly important to meet the demands of the job market. Fortunately, this is reflected in the high level of interest in our Udacity Technology Scholarship Program. For example, we have received a total of 153,000 applications since the program began two years ago, a good 5,300 of which were from Bertelsmann colleagues.'

Program starts this week

Bertelsmann Chief Human Resources Officer Immanuel Hermreck said: 'The Business Analytics course, which is particularly relevant for entry into the Tech & Data fields, was in particularly high demand this year. Overall, we are thrilled with the positive response to all three courses. We especially see the in-house interest, with another 1,300 Bertelsmann applications, as a sign of success for continuous, future-oriented upskilling in our company.'

The current round involved 15,000 scholarships for the Azure Cloud Architect course (“Cloud” field), the Business Analytics course ('Data'), and the Machine Learning with Tensor Flow course ('Artificial Intelligence'). This year as in prior rounds, the Data course, requiring the least amount of prior knowledge, was in greatest demand at 41 percent of applications, followed by the Artificial Intelligence course at 32 percent, and Cloud at 27 percent. Just over 24 percent of applications were from India, 14 percent from Nigeria, and ten percent from the U.S. Around a quarter of those interested are women. 

The first phase of this year’s Udacity Technology Scholarship Program, the two-month Challenge Course in the respective tech field, begins this week. All applicants were recently informed whether they were selected. The Challenge Course will allow 1,600 people to qualify for a more advanced Nanodegree course, which will run from March to August 2022. The Udacity learning platform partners with leading tech companies to develop practical, online degree programs that are certified with accredited degrees ('nanodegrees') and can be completed while working a full-time job. Udacity, whose principal shareholders include Bertelsmann, is headquartered in Mountain View, California.  (benet)



‘Anyone Still Mulling It Over Should Make A Move Now’ 

There’s still time to apply for the third round of the Udacity Technology Scholarship Program – applications are being accepted through Nov 30. In an interview with BENET (Bertelsmann Intranet), Bertelsmann’s Chief Learning Officer Steven Moran talks about how both the company and its employees benefit from the digital initiative – and why Bertelsmann employees shouldn’t miss out on this opportunity.

Applications for the third and, for now, last round of the “Udacity Technology Scholarship Program” have been open since the beginning of October (see below). In this digital initiative, which is also being promoted outside the company under the hashtag “#50000Chances,” Bertelsmann is awarding another 15,000 tech scholarships for Udacity courses in the fields of Cloud, Data, and Artificial Intelligence. Steven Moran, Chief Learning Officer (CLO) at Bertelsmann, looks back at the recently completed first two rounds of the program and explains how the current round of the Udacity Technology Scholarship Program differs from those of previous years, and why participation is a good investment in the future, both for Bertelsmann and for the employees themselves.   

BENET: Mr. Moran, in the first two rounds, more than 105,000 people applied for the Udacity Tech Scholarship Program, of which a good 4,000 were Bertelsmann employees. How high is the level of interest halfway through the application phase of the current third round? 

Steven Moran: Those are terrific numbers, and we were very pleased about them. We continue to see a high demand for tech skills around the world, and that is precisely the case for our companies in the Bertelsmann Group as well. This understanding – that these skills are a minimum requirement for future corporate success – has been taken on board both internally by our colleagues and outside the Group, and is also reflected in the high number of applications. This year, compared to the previous round, we are primarily offering courses that require some prior knowledge. We did this in the first round as well. We’re seeing that the number of applicants is currently at around the same level as in the first round. 

BENET: To date, 30,000 students worldwide have completed the Udacity Technology Scholarship Program. What makes the scholarship program so successful? 

Steven Moran: One thing in favor of the Scholarship is that the courses offered are truly “state-of-the art.” For example, this year’s program once again includes the “Azure Cloud Architect” degree, a Udacity Nanodegree that isn’t even available in the normal Udacity course catalog yet. Another factor, and this is a very important point, is the way the content is delivered. Every course in the Udacity curriculum was developed by tech and industry experts, with the explicit goal of going beyond theory to teach specific, application-based skills. While students have to invest some time to learn these skills, they gain essential knowledge in a relatively short period of time that they can immediately apply in the real world. I would say that Udacity offers a high return on investment – especially considering that the costs are borne by Bertelsmann and you only have to contribute your own time. 

BENET: Why does the three-year digital initiative always involve courses in the fields of Cloud, Data and Artificial Intelligence? 

Steven Moran: Tech-based business models form a substantial part of Bertelsmann’s diverse portfolio. They are driven to a large extent by technologies such as Cloud, Data and Artificial Intelligence. It is therefore essential that we all keep developing our skills in precisely these areas – not just to make data-based decisions and develop these businesses further, but also to be fit for the working world of the future, in which we will be able to apply tech-based tools. So every year we offer courses in the fields of Cloud, Data and AI; of course, the course content and requirements keep changing and from year to year. And so, at this point we even have some “repeat offenders” who are already participating for the second or third time. As CLO, I am of course especially pleased about this, because it shows our colleagues’ willingness to keep acquiring new skills. 

BENET: What changes to the content and features will we see in this third round of the Scholarship Program? 

Steven Moran: For one, the prior knowledge requirements I mentioned earlier. For example, in the field of Data, the “Business Analyst” course and matching Nanodegree can be mastered even by beginners. It is aimed in particular at those interested in working on projects where decisions are made using data. The “Introduction to Machine Learning with Tensor Flow” Nanodegree in Artificial Intelligence is an advanced course for users of that technology. The most challenging course, “Azure Cloud Architect,” is aimed at experts who are responsible for ensuring a reliable cloud infrastructure and want to have their high level of expertise certified with a nanodegree. Another change is that we have pared down the length of the introductory “Challenge Course” from three and a half months to two months, and selected the content of the subsequent Nanodegree courses in such a way that they all require roughly the same amount of effort, for six months, while learners are still easily able to complete them alongside a full-time job. Finally, we’ve adjusted the selection process for who can participate in a Nanodegree course after the “Challenge Course.” Selection is no longer based solely on course progress and qualitative contributions in the learner community. Instead, the focus is now on what has been learned in the “Challenge Course.” This is so that those who would rather learn on their own are under less pressure to prove themselves. 

BENET: What advice do you have for anyone who is still on the fence about whether or not to apply? 

Steven Moran: Anyone who is still mulling it over should just make a move now. Together with Udacity, we’ve designed a website for the scholarship initiative where anyone interested can find out more about the respective courses and then proceed directly to filling out their application. My recommendation is to simply approach the respective supervisor or local HR department directly and discuss with them how participation in the Scholarship Program can best be combined with your job. At the same time, for example, you can also consider whether and to what extent the newly acquired knowledge can be integrated into your day-to-day work. There is still a little time left, as the application deadline is November 30. Of course, we hope that as many Bertelsmann colleagues as possible will take advantage of this final opportunity for now and apply – or reapply, as the case may be. Interested parties can now apply online via the attached link  for one of the 15,000 scholarships. (benet)




Udacity Technology Scholarship Enters Final Round

Gütersloh, 10/05/2021

Bertelsmann is once again promoting IT and tech talent: In the third round of the Udacity Technology Scholarship Program, which starts today, interested parties can apply for one of 15,000 scholarships in the areas of cloud, data, and artificial intelligence.

Digitalization and the accompanying technological developments require the development of new skills at all levels – worldwide, and at Bertelsmann as elsewhere. For this reason, two years ago the Group launched the  “#50000Chances” digital initiative, in which a total of 50,000 tech scholarships from the online education provider Udacity in the fields of cloud, data, and artificial intelligence are awarded over a period of three years. The opportunity is open to all Bertelsmann employees and also to interested parties around the world outside the Group. As participants in the second round complete their Udacity Technology Scholarship Program with a Nanodegree (see former news post), Bertelsmann today launches the third and final round of the scholarship program: Interested parties can now apply online for one of the 15,000 scholarships in this round. 

“The pace at which tech-based business models are developing is increasing all the time, and the pandemic has further accelerated this trend,” says Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe. “At the same time, the need for skilled workers in this field is growing exponentially. Bertelsmann believes it has a responsibility to give as many people as possible access to online learning opportunities in these tech fields. We want to promote participants’ tech skills and support a transfer to the workplace. Well-trained employees with digital qualifications contribute significantly to advancing Bertelsmann on its path to becoming a technologically leading media, services, and education group. The overwhelming response to the first two rounds of our scholarship program encourages us to once again inspire thousands of people to ‘up’ their technology skills.”  

‘Seize the opportunities this initiative offers’ 

In the first two rounds of the scholarship program, more than 105,000 people from all over the world had applied for the 30,000 available slots. Around 4,000 of the applications came from Bertelsmann employees. “A Udacity degree is an important building block for them to take advantage of the momentum of technological change and use the acquired tech expertise to play a decisive role in shaping the future of our company,” emphasizes Bertelsmann Chief HR Officer Immanuel Hermreck. “In this way, they have the chance to develop personally and build up future-relevant skills that open up excellent career opportunities. So I’m proud that so many of our colleagues already participated in the past rounds, and at the same time I once again invite them to seize the opportunities this initiative offers.” 

The scholarships cover introductory “Challenge” courses followed by in-depth “Nanodegree” courses, in which, as in previous years, about ten percent of the “Challenge” course graduates will be able to participate. Interested parties can choose one of three subject areas:

  • Data – with the “Business Analytics” nanodegree course, suitable for beginners without prior knowledge.
  • Artificial Intelligence – with the “Intro to Machine Learning with Tensor Flow” nanodegree course, suitable for advanced learners with prior knowledge.
  • Cloud – with the “Azure Cloud Architect” nanodegree course, for experts with advanced prior knowledge. 

The Udacity “Challenge” courses offered in this third round last two months and, with a time commitment of two to four hours per week, can easily be managed on a part-time basis. In comparison to previous years, this time “Nanodegree” participants will be selected solely based on their fundamental understanding of the subject matter. More information about the Udacity Technology Scholarship Program is posted at  (recommended browsers: Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome); applications will also be accepted at this link from now through Nov 30. The “Challenge” courses start in December. For all interested parties, Bertelsmann University and Udacity are offering an online information session in advance. (benet) 

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