Technology has allowed many people to enjoy things that used to be too complex or difficult to use or do. The internet, in particular, is filled with endless opportunities for anyone, including those who are looking for additional or supplementary learning or education. This is what Udacity is all about.
Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig created Udacity as an online learning experiment. The Stanford University professors ultimately decided to offer the course for free. More or less 160,000 students from various parts of the world took the Introduction to Artificial Intelligence course. As the course ended, Thrun realized that most of those who got good scores were students who had no Stanford background. This discovery paved the way for the creation of Udacity, a massive open online course (MOOC) platform.
Udacity collaborates with companies like Google and AT&T in customizing courses. Some of its most popular courses/programs are iOS Development, Android Development, Google Adwords, and Web Development. Udacity also has Nanodegree programs. The courses and programs are presented through videos and can be timed or self-paced. Likewise, these are all designed to match and cater to specific jobs.
Udacity offers a multitude of courses for anyone who wishes to join its program. These courses are filled with useful learning content and include skills relevant to specific careers. What makes Udacity different from other MOOCs or online course programs is its partnership with industry leaders. As such, learners are sure they’re getting the kind of training and developing the skills companies and employers are looking for.
In addition, those who enroll in a Nanodegree program are guaranteed to receive personalized coaching, support, and review from industry experts. An Udacity Nanodegree program is designed to specifically cater to the learnings needed for developing specific skills for specific jobs. The courses under this program are intended to help you get the job you want or need. Courses in this program are created with help, assistance, and suggestions from industry leaders.
To start using Udacity, all you need to do is sign up and create a student account. This account will give you access to the courses and Nanodegree programs, career resources, forums, and projects that can help show off your skills. Some examples are blogs, apps, and games.
Once you have gone over and chosen the course (or courses) you want to take, you’ll have access to the videos that contain lessons and discussions. After one lesson, you will be asked to complete some exercises. There will also be quizzes in between the videos. You don’t have to worry about the completion of these exercises and quizzes though as you have the freedom to do them several times. You can even go back to the videos before answering them.
Also, as mentioned earlier, all the videos at Udacity are short, so you don’t have to worry about watching long ones that can sometimes be confusing.
When it comes to the courses you can choose from, Udacity offers three options or categories. Those with limited to no background or knowledge of the topics covered should be in the Beginner classes. Students with some knowledge are usually placed in Intermediate classes, while those who are familiar and knowledgeable are advised to join and take the Advanced classes.
Before students enroll, they can access a section that gives them a list of the prerequisites for their chosen course.
All of the classes on Udacity do not require the use of textbooks. However, several instructors usually suggest additional resource materials, including books. Non-textbook materials are given for free although not all are required.
While there are a lot of paid courses, students also have the option to take free courses. The only downside to this is you won’t be given a certificate to verify your completion of the course.
Once a course has been launched on Udacity, it becomes permanently available online. To keep them updated, regular maintenance checks on the content is performed.
Lastly, students should know that Udacity is not accredited as an institution so it should not be used as a substitute for a college degree or credits. However, Udacity partnered with Georgia Tech so they can offer an accredited computer science Master’s Degree program.
The biggest benefit offered by Udacity is the fact that it is available online, so students who do not have the time or resources to go to a physical college or class will find it convenient.
In addition to this, there are several other benefits Udacity students can enjoy.
Udacity offers different courses and categories that cater to various knowledge levels. Students do not have to worry about courses that are too difficult or advanced for them because these are divided into three levels of categories: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. As such, you won’t have to worry about classes that do not suit your knowledge level because there is one that’s designed for you.
There are also hundreds of courses you can choose from. At Udacity, your options are not limited because there are more than 100 learning programs available for any student regardless of the level of knowledge.
Ensuring reliability, Udacity’s courses are designed by industry leaders who know what kind of learning and practice companies are looking for. Industry leaders who help in creating the course curriculum know what they are talking about. As a result, students are given discussions, training, exercises, and quizzes designed specifically for bringing them closer to their goal of getting their dream job.
The solution also offers mentorship and other personalized program experience. When you enroll in a Nanodegree program, you’ll get access to features like project reviews, mentorship, and forums. These are approved by reviewers and coaches.
Another benefit is that Udacity provides professional assistance to its students. It has a Career Portal for enrolled students as well as for those who have finished a course or graduated and are ready for a career. You can use it to access a job search guide. It is a feature that can help you move through your professional development plan. It works like a plan or syllabus that offers tips and guidelines for how you can achieve your career goals. The Career Portal is free.
Allowing for a wide range of linguistic accessibility, Udacity course videos are presented in different languages. Your videos are subtitled in various languages including Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, and Chinese. There are even Android courses that have been set into various languages.
Udacity also has a section called Why Take This Program. This feature is useful because you can get information about particular courses and determine whether they are the right ones for your or not.
Perhaps the best benefit Udacity offers its students is its personalized lessons—these are personally designed to fit the individual user’s needs, unlike other courses in physical colleges and universities, and even other MOOCs.
The Nanodegree programs vary in terms of cost from one program to another. Some programs are billed per term while others are priced per month. The best thing to do to determine how much a program or course costs is to open and read the Overview of the program of your choice.
Udacity does not offer discounts to college and university enrollees. However, those who have signed up will get special promotional offers from time to time.
Once you are enrolled in a program, you will automatically get a free trial, which begins right away. While you’ll be able to enjoy the features offered in a paid program, it won’t be possible for you to graduate and earn a certificate. The length of the free trial depends on the course you chose.
As soon as your free trial is over, you will be billed for the program. Billing will be on a monthly basis, on the same day your free trial ended. The payment method options at this time are only via debit and credit cards. Udacity is, however, open to the idea of offering other payment options.
At Udacity, you are free to enroll in as many paid courses as you want. Billing for each of the programs will be carried out separately.
Udacity is an online education program that values its students. This is evident in the fact that it helps graduates find a job after finishing a program or course. Likewise, it has competent instructors— industry practitioners—and it creates courses designed with the help of industry leaders. It is definitely a convenient and ideal way of learning and mastering skills that are essential in achieving professional goals.