MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — July 14, 2021 — Udacity, the online learning and talent transformation platform powering the careers of the future, today announced the completion of its Pledge to Equality Scholarship program. 730 recipients completed more than 1,100 projects as part of their coursework, and 7 graduates have been hired as Udacity interns across different departments including Marketing and Engineering.
The Pledge to Equality Scholarship, announced in 2020, offered free Udacity Nanodegree programs to members of the Black community in the U.S. to learn tech skills for new careers. The top Nanodegree programs taken by recipients included Digital Marketing, Programming for Data Science with Python, Intro to Cybersecurity, Business Analytics, Project Manager, and User Experience. Udacity also organized a virtual career fair featuring seven companies, including Emerson Collective. Udacity contributed more than $1 million to cover the cost of these Nanodegree programs which were free for the learners.
“Having two Master’s degrees in the humanities wasn’t enough. I needed hands-on knowledge, technical skills, and access to learning to build a career in tech,” said Eraina Ferguson, Pledge to Equality Alumna and current Udacity intern. “Udacity’s talent-obsessed model and teaching pedagogy is a winning formula for success. The User Experience and Product Management Nanodegree programs include comprehensive learning modules and strategies that helped me build a strong foundation for a career in tech.”
Of the scholarship recipients, 55% were not employed full-time, with 24% of the recipients being unemployed when they started the program. Over 40% were earning less than $25,000 per year. Udacity data has shown that completing a Nanodegree program can lead to pay increases, career advancement, and career transformation.
“Udacity took me from zero to programmer in a matter of months. During the pandemic, I was in and out of employment until I made the life decision to apply for this scholarship,” said Brian Segers, Pledge to Equality Alumni and current Udacity intern. “Previously I was a 3D animation professional, but I wanted to transition to a role in tech which offers greater opportunities for advancement. Udacity is a key part of my growth.”
In addition to the Pledge to Equality Scholarship, Udacity also partners with other companies and nonprofit organizations to offer scholarships to underrepresented communities. For example, Udacity is working with The Blacks in Technology Foundation to offer full Nanodegree program scholarships for Programming for Data Science with Python, Product Management, or Cloud DevOps Engineering.
“Udacity can build a more accessible and equitable path to a tech career. Programs like the Pledge to Equality Scholarship — and hiring graduates — are just the next steps in our mission to help build a more diverse tech workforce. The tech sector has more work to do, but we are committed to continuing to support diversity and inclusion both within the company and in the sector,” said Gabe Dalporto, CEO of Udacity. “This program can serve as a model for future programs that we offer both with and without our partners.”
Udacity is a global, online training platform powering digital transformation and accelerated time-to-market initiatives for Fortune 500 and Global 2000 enterprises. Udacity programs provide industry-created practitioner skills through a series of “Nanodegree” programs consisting of online courses and real-world projects in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, autonomous systems, and cloud computing, among other disciplines. Udacity collaborates with expert instructors and over 200 global industry partners including AT&T, Google, Facebook, Mercedes-Benz, and NVIDIA to power technical education. Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., the private company has operations in the United Kingdom, Egypt, Germany, India, and the United Arab Emirates. Udacity has raised $163 million in funding to date from investors including Bertelsmann, Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures, and Drive Capital. For more information, please visit www.udacity.com.