Udacity caters to vocational training and professional development. If you are looking to advance your career by learning new skills and earning certifications, then this is the MOOC provider for you.
Udacity was born out of a Stanford University experiment in which Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig offered their “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” course online to anyone, for free in 2011. They now have over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries.
Their mission is as follows: “to bring accessible, affordable, engaging, and highly effective higher education to the world. We believe that higher education is a basic human right, and we seek to empower our students to advance their education and careers.”
Udacity courses are more focused on actual job training, and have a particular emphasis on mathematics, computer science, and programming. They seek to bridge the gap between real-world skills, relevant education, and employment.
Browse the extensive course catalog on their website. Their courses start when you want them to and range in length, price and level of difficulty from beginner to advanced. The courses are not available for college credit, however they do have a partnership with Georgia Tech.
What a Udacity Course is Like
Udacity courses are interactive with activities, quizzes, and exercises interspersed between short videos and interviews with instructors and industry experts. You can watch the videos and try the quizzes as many times as you like without any penalties.
Usually after a lesson, there will be a problem set with exercises. Just like with the quizzes, you can try them as many times as you like without penalty.
Udacity courses also include a project that you can add to your portfolio. Whether it is a blog, search engine, game, or app; Udacity will help you build something that demonstrates your skills to friends and employers. You even have access to your own personal Coach that will be there to support your success every step of the way.
You can simply access course information without paying full price for the course, but that doesn’t include all of the perks listed above.
Udacity Nanodegree Program
The Nanodegree program is a series of courses that serve as certified credentials to some of the most trusted tech companies across the globe.
AT&T, Google, Cloudera, Sales Force and Autodesk partner with Udactiy to offer courses in skills that you can apply to your career now and any in the future. They are currently offering the following four programs: Front-End Web Developer, Full Stack Web Developer, Data Analyst or iOS Developer. Varying in length (from 6-12 months) and price (generally $200/month), these courses can fit seamlessly in your everyday life.
The work that you produce is hands-on and once you graduate, will allow you to market yourself in a whole new way.