Udacity is an online platform offering massive open online courses (MOOCS) on artificial intelligence, programming, data science, and other tech-related subjects. While it originally offered university-style courses, it now focuses on vocational courses for professionals. Udacity has tracks for individuals, enterprise, and government. This review will focus on its offering for individuals.
- Obtaining employable tech skills
- Learning part-time while holding a full-time job
- Subjects in virtually every tech skill
- Real-world projects and hands-on exercises
- Access to expert lecturers and mentors
- Many of the courses are long and complex
- Most courses require prior knowledge
As of December 2020, Udacity had 248 courses known as Nanodegree programs and broken down into six categories: Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Programming & Development, Data Science, Business, and Autonomous Systems.
Artificial intelligence has 41 courses including:
Deep Learning – 4-month intermediate course in collaboration with AWS and Facebook Artificial Intelligence
Machine Learning Engineer – 3-month intermediate course in collaboration with AWS and Kaggle
Computer Vision – 3-month advanced course in collaboration with Affectiva and Nvidia Deep Learning Institute
Cloud computing has 8 courses including:
Cloud DevOps Engineer – 4-month intermediate course designed by Udacity
DevOps Engineer for Microsoft Azure 3-month intermediate course in collaboration with Microsoft
Hybrid Cloud Engineer – 3-month intermediate course in collaboration with Nutanix
Data Science has 20 courses including:
Data Engineer 5-month intermediate course in collaboration with Insight
Data Analyst – 4-month intermediate course in collaboration with Kaggle
Business Analytics – 3-month beginner course in collaboration with Tableau and Mode
Business has 27 courses including:
UX Designer 3-month beginner course designed by Udacity
Digital Marketing – 3-month beginner course in collaboration with Google and Hootsuite
AI for Business Leaders – 2-month intermediate course in collaboration with BMW
Intro to Self-Driving Cars – 4-month intermediate course designed by Udacity
Self-Driving Car Engineer – 6-month advanced course in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz and Nvidia
Flying Car and Autonomous Flight Engineer – 6-month advanced course designed by Udacity
Each Nanodegree program consists of several units comprising video lectures with closed captioning, integrated quizzes to help students understand concepts and reinforce ideas, and follow-up homework with practical tasks simulating a real work environment.
Udacity allows you to learn at your own pace, but recommends studying for 5-10 hours per week to complete programs within 3-6 months (recommended times vary per program). If you don’t enrol in time for your preferred course, don’t worry as courses begin again every couple of weeks. Each course covers a range of skills clearly laid out on the course page. Beginner courses require no previous knowledge, while intermediate and advanced courses often have a lengthy list of prerequisites.
All Udacity instructors are leaders in their respective fields with years of experience at top tech companies. For example, the Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program is led by Sebastian Thrun, founder of Udacity and Google X, Peter Norvig, research director at Google, and Thad Starner, professor of computer science at Georgia Tech. You won’t find better instructors anywhere else.
The platform offers an excellent user experience, and the library of Nanodegree programs can be sorted by category.
Enrollment in a Udacity course includes a lot more than just class content. Other services include:
- Technical mentor support
- Student community
- Personal career coaching
- Interview preparations
- Resume service Github review
- LinkedIn profile review
Each Udacity Nanodegree program is priced and sold separately. Udacity also has a handful of free short beginner courses to get you started on your preferred career track. When enrolling in a Nanodegree program, you can pay a one-time fee of $339 multiplied by however long Udacity recommends you should complete the course (i.e. $1,017 for a 3-months course) or you can pay $399/month for however long you need access. The latter option is best if you wish to learn at your own pace. Udacity offers financial support for users impacted by COVID-19.
Here are quotes for a few of Udacity’s most popular courses.
Artificial Intelligence: 3 months access - $1,017; Pay As You Go - $399/month
Introduction to Programming: 4 months access - $1,356; Pay As You Go - $399/month
Data Engineer: 5 months access - $1,695; Pay As You Go - $399/month
Udacity, Inc. is an American for-profit educational organization founded by Sebastian Thrun, David Stavens, and Mike Sokolsky as an outgrowth of free computer science classes offered in 2011 through Stanford University. According to Thrun, the origin of the name Udacity comes from the company's desire to be ”audacious for you, the student”. Udacity is valued at over $1 billion, having raised $163 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Drive Capital, and Alphabets venture capital arm, GV.
If you’re a graduate or professional looking to upgrade your skills in specific tech subjects, then look no farther than Udacity. For a little over a thousand dollars and a time-commitment of around 10 hours for 3-6 months, you can learn valuable skills like artificial intelligence, natural language programming, and data analysis from some of the world’s top experts. The best thing about Udacity is that all its courses are built around hands-on tasks, giving you real-life experience valued by employers.