In a joint initiative with Google and Udacity, Bertelsmann, the international media, services and education company, is inviting the people 18 and older to apply for its “Udacity Data Science Scholarship Program,” in which the company will provide 15,000 three-month Udacity online courses in descriptive statistics.
The class, Intro to Descriptive Statistics, is billed as a starting point for further studies in data science and machine learning. The course requires five to ten hours a week of study and work over three months. The top 10%, or 1500 students, will be awarded one three Nanodegree programs: Data Foundations, Business Analyst, or Data Analyst.
The scholarships are part of a joint initiative by Bertelsmann, Google, and Udacity to promote digital skills both in Europe and globally. The companies announced a total of 75,000 scholarships last year. Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner recognized the project with a “European Digital Skills Award” for Digital Economy and Society in December.
Bertelsmann, which owns media properties around the world, including Penguin Random House, Gruner + Jahr, BMG, is funding this initiative to help address the shortage of workers with these skills. According to Bertelsmann’s CEO Thomas Rabe, “Bertelsmann is becoming more and more digital, so promoting digital skills is one of our top priorities. Data Science is particularly important for many of our digital businesses, and we are very pleased to be offering 15,000 scholarships. Together with our partners Google and Udacity, we are thus attempting to counter the shortage of specialists in the technology sector.”
Udacity is a venture-backed educational organization that is the outgrowth of the free computer science classes that Stanford offered in 2011, which over 100,000 people took. Udacity founder and president Sebastian Thrun describes their mission: “At Udacity, we partner with top employers like Google, Amazon and Facebook to build our Nanodegree programs, credentials backed and built by industry and designed to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow.” He adds: “Together with Bertelsmann, we’ve now created an online learning pathway that opens up countless career opportunities. The global demand for qualified employees with advanced data analytics skills has never been higher, and successful graduates of our program will emerge job-ready in the field.”
Interested persons can apply now at www.udacity.com/bertelsmann-data-scholarships. The application window closes on April 22, 2018. Scholarship recipients will be selected in May 2018, and start the online course shortly thereafter.
Depending on their prior knowledge of statistics, mathematics and computer science, participants should plan on investing between 5 and 10 hours per week over a period of three months. The course is designed for both beginners and advanced students. At the end of the first phase of the scholarship program, the top 1,500 students can go on to earn a full Udacity Nanodegree credential, either in “Data Foundations,” “Business Analyst,” or “Data Analyst.”