In 2017, Udacity launched a new series of Economic Opportunity initiatives. These include our scholarship programs and workforce development efforts. Together with our amazing partners, we are working to connect deserving individuals across the world with learning opportunities and career support from Udacity. Our goal is to ensure that every student is able to create a better economic future for themselves through the acquisition of valuable, job-ready skills.
Looking back on the year, it is amazing to see the triumphs of so many amazing learners who have applied for and earned scholarships under these new initiatives. All told, we awarded over 4,500 full Nanodegree scholarships, and nearly 80,000 partial scholarships. These are amazing numbers, but as excited as I feel about what we’ve achieved so far, I am equally humbled by how much more work we still have to do. Fortunately, generous partners such as Google, Bertelsmann, AT&T, Accenture, and Lyft have committed to funding tens of thousands more scholarships with Udacity for promising candidates over the year to come. Their contributions are critical, because there are so many more students whose life and career goals we want to support with scholarship offerings. In 2017 alone, we received more than 200,000 scholarship applications and requests. People are looking for better opportunities, and we’re committed to helping as many as we can—in 2018, and beyond.
While the scale of our scholarship programs is one important measure of our impact, even more important are the individual success stories. I’d like to share an email that we recently received from Miguel, a scholarship recipient:
Guys, I have awesome news to share,
I’ve been taking full advantage of this Nanodegree scholarship, not only studying, but also doing all of the career services modules. After fixing up my profile, website, LinkedIn, Twitter, resume, etc, I enabled my profile for hiring and started applying to several companies.
Mark Gentry helped me find companies that might be particularly interested in hiring me, and I also applied to other companies. Overall, I went through 9 interviews and many of them all the way until the end.
One of the companies Mark mentioned, I have always liked for many years because their work is mission critical and very cutting edge. I had applied many times to some of their jobs but never had a call. Not what happened this time, though.
To make the story short, I just want you to know I got a dream job!!! And I truly mean this. I’m going to be working with Lockheed Martin building autonomous systems starting next month. I’ve been dreaming of a job like this my entire life, and if it wasn’t because of Udacity, first with the partnership with Georgia Tech helping get a Masters and with this Nanodegree offering and scholarship, I would probably still be daydreaming about it. I can’t dream about it anymore!! I got no time!! I’m moving to Denver in the next few weeks to get started.
Thought you might care. You guys helped me with this scholarship when I needed it most. Thank you for that.
I will be sharing with the scholarship students later this week but wanted you to know first.
Miguel’s journey is such an inspiring one. He has worked hard (really, really hard!), and his hard work has led to a rewarding new career. For anyone seeking to empower themselves through learning, who dreams of a better life for themselves, and who is ready to commit to the work of launching and advancing a career, there is much to be learned from what Miguel has shared here:
- He didn’t just do the curriculum work. Note his language: he took “full advantage of this Nanodegree scholarship.” This included valuable offerings such as our career services.
- He recognized the importance of optimizing those assets that comprise his “personal brand,” such as his LinkedIn profile, social media accounts, and resume.
- He kept pushing when it got tough—even after applying for similar roles and getting no response, he kept it up and ultimately landed more than 9 interviews.
- He gave himself permission to stay patient through difficult times, and hold out for a role that really mattered to him; something he could believe in, that aligned not just with is financial goals, but his values.
- He quit daydreaming, and made his dream a reality but doing the real work of career advancement.
On a personal level, I have to confess that this is probably my favorite line:
You guys helped me with this scholarship when I needed it most. Thank you for that.
In 2018, we want to help as many people as we can turn their career dreams into reality. The first transformative step in that journey for Miguel was a Udacity Nanodegree program. Thousands of others have embarked on this same path, and like Miguel, they too are building rewarding new lives and careers for themselves. A scholarship program with Udacity could help you take that step as well. Are you ready?
We encourage you to take full advantage of Udacity’s scholarship programs, all of which are listed at www.udacity.com/scholarships. There are two programs currently accepting applications: the Grow with Google scholarship program, and the Google India scholarship program. If you’re eligible to apply, I sincerely hope you will. (P.S., the Grow with Google program is only accepting applications for a few more days; you should really apply today!).
To everyone who has yet to apply for a Udacity scholarship, we hope to see an application from you in 2018. For those of you who have applied or already received a scholarship, we can’t wait to see what you achieve with the opportunity. We look forward to receiving a celebratory email from every single one of you!