Training To Advance Your Career
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 07 January 2015

With the start of the New Year you may be thinking about a new direction for your career or even going it alone with a startup. Here's a round up of some training opportunities that could help plus a tempting offer.

Enrollment opens today, January 7th, for  two of Udacity's Nanodegree programs - Front-End Web Developer and Data Analyst.

The Nanodegree program was announced last June as a career-oriented form of online education that takes into account the needs of both employers and prospective employees. 

At their launch Sebastian Thrun describes a nanodegree as delivering:

a new kind of compact, hands-on, and flexible online curriculum. They are designed to help you effectively learn the most in-demand skills, when you need them, so that you can land your dream job.

Completing a nanodegree involves building a portfolio of five or more projects, each of which is backed by one or more Udacity course, and is expected to take between 6 and 12 months with a minimum commitment of 10 hours per week. Enrollment in the program costs $200 per month although there is a one-week free trial to let prospective students test out the following benefits:




The first nanodegree to be offered was Front-End Web Developer. It started in October but admission was by invitation only. Today it restarts and places on it will be limited.

Those who take part will will learn to build responsive websites optimized for security and performance and will work with their peers and advisers on the following six projects plus their preparatory classes:


Project Title Preparatory Class

Portfolio Mockup to HTML

Intro to HTML and CSS
Interactive Resume JavaScript Basics
Intro to jQuery
Classic Arcade Game Clone   Object-Oriented JavaScript
HTML5 Canvas

Website Optimization

Website Performance Optimization

Neighborhood Map

Intro to AJAX
JavaScript Design Patterns

Feed Reader Testing

JavaScript Testing


As all projects are hosted on GitHub students are also advised to complete the 3-week course How to Use Git and GitHub. In addition to building a project portfolio, participants are helped to advance their career prospects by learning how to ace a technical job interview and by participating in code reviews.




The Data Analyst nanodegree consists of five projects each linked to a Udacity course as follows:


Project Title Preparatory Class

Predict the New York City Subway Ridership

Intro to Data Science
Wrangle OpenStreetMaps Data  Data Wrangling with MongoDB
Explore, Summarize, and Discover Interesting Insights from Datasets    Data Analysis with R

Identify Fraud from the Enron Email Dataset 

Intro to Machine Learning

Tell Stories with Data Visualization 

Data Visualization

Feed Reader Testing

JavaScript Testing


The next nanodegree, Full Stack Web Developer starts on February 4th and the only class so far available that you can follow in preparation for it is Programming Foundations with Python. Although of course How to Use Git and GitHub is also going to be useful.

On March 4th those interested in iOS Developer and to get ahead in advance you can start with Intro to iOS App Development with Swift.

More nanodegree programs are expected to come online during the year and also more industry partners, joining  AT&T, Google, Facebook, MongoDB and more which are the current course collaborators.

If you don't want the commitment to six months or more work but fancy trying job-oriented online training Udemy currently has an attractive New Year's offer of $10 each for over 9,000 courses - click on the banner to access the offer while it lasts. 




The knock down price tag includes Complete iOS7 Course, Learn by Building 14 Apps normally priced at $499, Become a Startup Founder, normally $399 and  Become an Android Developer from Scratch, normally $297. Searching on Python brings up a list of over 60 courses, JavaScript over a hundred and Java even more.

Another enticing offer comes from edX in conjunction with Amazon Web Services. If you complete and earn a verified certificate on either of the two MITx entrepreneurship courses taught by Bill Aulet, both of which are 12 weeks long and start on January  9th you can benefit from $1,000 in AWS credits valid for 2 years. The offer also includes 

  • Free access to the AWS Essentials: 1 day web-based or instructor-led training (normally ~$600/course), plus 8 tokens for self-paced labs (normally ~$30/lab)
  • One month of premium AWS Business Support
  • Free access to 1:1 virtual office hours with AWS solutions architects
  • Special offers from other companies that help startups, including Chef, Bitnami, Amazon Payments, SOASTA, Podio, CopperEgg and more.


A minimum registration fee of $50 applies to both edX courses  but if you are contemplating setting up a new business, this offer more than offsets that investment.

The course rubric for  Entrepreneurship 101 - Who is your customer? states:

This is entrepreneurship – so don't expect a lecture.  Every class session will be an in-depth and focused case study of MIT entrepreneurs from areas as diverse as mobile applications, 3D printing, power electronics, international development, and watchmaking. 
You will learn, through the stories of MIT entrepreneurs, how to go from idea or technology to the necessary understanding of who and why will want to buy your product.  Specifically, you will learn how to:

●      Identify prospective customers
●      Interview them
●      And finally, select the right customers for your business. 

Course assignments will be real-life exercises that will guide you through a series of concrete, practical, and effective steps that will help you make your idea very real. 

In the follow on course, Entrepreneurship 102: What can you do for your customer? you look at  creating a great product that will solve the customer’s problem.  

More Information

Udacity Nanodegrees

Udemy $10 offer

edX AWS Activate Offer 

Related Articles

Become A Web Developer With Udacity

Udacity Offers Nanodegrees 

Harvard and MIT Join Forces in edX

edX Expands and Announces New Courses


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Last Updated ( Friday, 03 April 2015 )