Udacity Scholarships In Data, AI and Cloud Computing
Written by Sue Gee   
Thursday, 26 September 2019

Applications are now open for the initial phase of the Bertelsmann Technology Scholarship program. This will result in 15,000 scholarship recipients participating in Challenge Courses focused on either Data, AI, or Cloud that will run from November to March 2020.

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The top 1,600 performers from the initial phase will then receive full Nanodegree scholarships in their chosen area beginning in March 2020.

This is the second time we've reported news of scholarships funded by Bertelsmann, a media, services and education company that includes the publisher Penguin Random House;  Europe's largest broadcaster RTL Group, and the leading European media company Gruner + Jahr. Back in 2016 it funded Android courses and nanodegrees on Udacity. Now in an expansion of its partnership with Udacity it is to fund up to 50,000 scholarships over three years in Data, AI, and Cloud-Computing and applications are now open to any learner, 18 years of age or older, including Bertelsmann employees. 

Explaining the motivation for providing this funding, Bertelsmann's Chairman & CEO, Thomas Rabe,stated:

“The world of work is becoming increasingly digital, with digital skills becoming more and more important in every industry. Bertelsmann’s media, services, and educational offerings make us a leader in many areas of the digital world; we deal intensively with the opportunities opened up by new technologies. Accordingly, 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. 

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The three challenge courses are at beginner - intermediate level and these outlines indicate what you need to know before you apply and the Nanodegree Program, at Intermediate level, that you could qualify for a free place on:

Introduction to Cloud DevOps >> Cloud DevOps
Learn cloud computing fundamentals and the basics of the command line interface of a Linux server. Get hands-on experience deploying infrastructure using code, and an introduction to version control with Git & GitHub. Explore tools and services offered by Amazon Web Services through interactive hands-on exercises.
Prerequisites: A basic understanding of any object-oriented programming language such as Python or JavaScript.

Introduction to Data Analysis & Programming >> Data Analyst
Get introduced to descriptive statistics and learn the basics of foundational data science programming tools – SQL, programming with Python, and data wrangling – that allow users to quickly and efficiently perform data analysis workflows.
Prerequisites:Basic computer skills.Familiarity with SQL, Excel, statistics and coding recommended.

Introduction to Deep Learning with PyTorch >> Deep Learning
Learn the basics of deep learning, learn about the different types of neural networks, such as convolutional neural networks and recurrent neural networks, and build your own deep neural networks using PyTorch, an open-source machine learning library for Python.
Prerequisites: A basic understanding of Python and data processing libraries such as NumPy and Matplotlib.

Each challenge course requires 3-4 hours of study per week over 3.5 months  starting in mid November and running through to March. Following on the top performers, will be placed into the appropriate Nanodegree program which will require 4 months of study at 10 hours per week.

The application process has three components. The Background Information section is expected to take 4 minutes to complete and its questions on gender and past academic experience will not influence admissions decisions but instead help Udacity tailor its outreach and career programs. The Prerequisite Knowledge (6 minutes asks you to rate you familiarity with Python and with object-oriented  programming in any language on a 5-point scale, ranging from 0, no familiarity to 4 (pretty high standard). Other questions are targeted at one of more of he AI/Cloud/Data tracks and check that you meet the minimum prerequisites. It is the Your Goals section that really counts. Applicants are asked to choose a multiple choice answer to:

What is your primary purpose in participating in this scholarship program? 

and then state in around 150 words why they need or deserve the scholarship and in another 150 words what impact the scholarship will have on their life and career. Answers to these questions will be revisited when deciding which of the top reformers will gain the full scholarships to the Nanodegree programs. 

Applications close on November 6, 2019; scholarship recipients will be announced on November 15, 2019 and will start learning, on the Challenge Courses, on November 20, 2019.

Gaining a Udacity Nanodegree requires commitment and effort and at the end of the day is a worthwhile achievement that is recognized by employers. Being awarded a scholarship that sets you off on the path towards a Nanodegree is a perk worth having and joining the cohort of Bertelsmann-funded students promises to be a good experience. So if you are 18 or older and tempted by the prospect of gaining practical knowledge of  Deep Learning, Data Analysis or Cloud DevOps this is an opportunity worth pursuing.

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More Information

Technology Scholarship Program 

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 September 2019 )