Udacity Blitz From a Different Perspective
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Monday, 21 November 2016

Udacity has announced Blitz, a labour supply service whereby its Nanodegree "graduates" can work for clients, with the potential of getting hired afterwards.


It isn't enough simply to be a Udacity student to register to become a "Blitzer", you first have to earn one of the following Nanodegrees:

  • Android Developer
  • Data Analyst
  • Front-End Web Developer
  • Full Stack Web Developer
  • iOS Developer
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Senior Web Developer

Once registered there's no guarantee of work, instead you'll be ready when an opportunity arises calling for skills and interests that match your profile.

The way Blitz operates means that a client company can assign a project to Udacity's Nanodegree graduates for a fixed price, payable to Udacity, and later on can hire the Blitzer without Udacity asking for any fees or posing any restrictions.

It's a win-win situation for everyone:
Nanodegree graduates get hands on experience through working in real world projects beyond the classroom, with the prospect of being able to land a job in a client's workforce.

The clients, especially startups, are benefiting through drawing from a certified pool of developers, eliminating the stressful employee screening  process. Tech companies looking to build an in-house team of developers get Udacity's help without any long term commitment to individuals until they have shown their worth.  Companies who work with outsourced resources benefit too, through working with a team of developers who give an added sense of security that derives from Udacity's pledging to its students skills. In the case of the unexpected, the project breaking down, there's the reassurance of a full refund.

As for Udacity, this scheme adds another star to its reputation as a trustworthy career building institution, something critical nowadays where the opportunity for alternative, i.e not classic brick and walls, education, is more than enough, with MOOCS, Basecamps and Codeschools all looking to attract students by the numbers. 


Media was quick to praise the attempt as groundbreaking, but is it really so?

Does it really differ from Internships where students and graduates work for little pay, or even for free, in the hope of landing a job. Then there is the Sandwich degree course, whereby university students can take a year off their studies between year 2 and 4 in order to practice working for a company, while getting paid to do so, coupled with the potential of getting hired by the very same business after graduation, which is a traditional model in the UK educational system. Many countries are used to student fairs where potential employers express their interest, outlining their projects and job requirements in the hope of attracting talent to join their workforce. Under these fruitful conditions, students benefit through the acquisition of highly practical real world work experience, companies benefit by tapping into a vast talent pool and the opportunity to shape the scholar according to their requirements, while at the same time industry wins by keeping the educational institutions in sync with the latest developments, trends and applications, so that when the graduate leaves college he won't just possess a theoretical background in Computing Science, but will also be ready to join and aid the industry, in a self feeding ecosystem.The difference is that Udacity does that for its alumni rather than its undergraduates.

So Udacity looks to revive this long running scheme, but modifying it in a way closer to the current globalization and liberal workforce requirements scene, one that prefers outsourcing, 'flexible' and temporary employment solutions, than hosting seasoned in-house teams.

As such you have to ponder if such an attempt plays its role in further widening the rift between client-employee relations by accelerating the push towards flexible forms of employment, or whether it just goes with the inevitable flow, or, whether in fact it benefits both the workforce and employers, as well as society as a whole.

For the time being, clients looking to take advantage of the program can just fill a simple form online, where they submit their proposition and describe their requirements.

Admittedly, Udacity's attempt to integrate the need of its graduates for on the job experience with the act of managing  and outsourcing them, while at the same time cultivating their hope and potential of joining the workforce at large, renders it a very attractive proposition in the short term. As to whether it will remain equally beneficial for all parties in the longterm, the workforce that is, remains to be seen.


More Information

Introducing Udacity Blitz

Udacity Blitz teams build your ideas

Related Articles

E-Commerce Giant Hires Udacity Graduates Based On Nanodegree Portfolio 

Start Your Career With Udacity Nanodegree

Nanodegree Plus Offers Guaranteed Jobs

The Tech Interview Process Lengthens 


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