Udacity offers laid-off US workers free access to its courses for 30 days

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Citing the surge in layoffs nationwide, particularly within the IT workforce, online technology learning platform Udacity is offering a free trial to access its entire catalogue of courses for the next 30 days. The courses includes certifications in skills such as programming, data science, artificial intelligence, digital marketing.

“Layoffs have affected hundreds of thousands of people in the United States in the past year,”  Udacity COO Victoria Papalian wrote in a blog post. “Unfortunately, the unsettling trend continues. According to the Challenger Report, US job cuts in March 2024 were the highest since January 2023, up 7% over February.”

Udacity, which was founded as the outgrowth of free computer science classes offered in 2011 through Stanford University, said its free courses are part of its “Nanodegree” credential program. They’re available to anyone laid off over the past year.

In its announcement, the company placed a particular emphasis on highly desired industry skills, such as generative artificial intelligence (genAI). According to a recent study led by the Oxford Internet Institute, “AI skills are particularly valuable as they have high levels of skill complementarity, increasing worker wages by 21% on average,” the company said in a statement.

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“To capitalize on the [genAI] opportunity — for business as well as individual benefit — learning about various genAI techniques is not sufficient; professionals must be inspired by the many use cases for genAI in the business, and must gain experience in putting that knowledge into practice within organizational contexts,” Papalian said.

Online instructors include educators from various tech companies, such as Advocate Networks, Cape Analytics, DeepMind, LanceDB, Meta, NVIDIA,  SoFi, and UC Berkeley, as well as Udacity’s own instructors. The topics covered include AI, data science, analytics, project management, digital marketing, cloud computing, web development, and mobile development, as well as genAI for business leaders.

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Students studying genAI will also have the opportunity to complete projects modeled on the realworld tasks and challenges in professional contexts.

The free courses are available for all levels of IT experience and take about 4 weeks to complete during an average of 10 hours a week. These are examples of some of the courses being offered:

  • Introduction to Python (Beginner)
  • Introduction to SQL (Beginner)
  • Digital Project Management (Beginner)
  • Generative AI Fundamentals (Intermediate)
  • Intro to Data Science (Advanced)

Students who can spend 20 hours a week learning can complete the following courses in 60 days:

  • Business Analytics Nanodegree program (Beginner)
  • AI Programming with Python Nanodegree program (Beginner)
  • Programming for Data Science with Python Nanodegree program (Beginner)
  • AI for Business Leaders Nanodegree program (Intermediate)
  • AWS Cloud Architect Nanodegree program (Advanced)

By spending 40 hours a week, the following Nanodegree programs that typically take four months to complete can be finished in a month:

  • Introduction to Programming Nanodegree program (Beginner)
  • Digital Marketing Nanodegree program (Intermediate)
  • Generative AI Nanodegree program (Intermediate)
  • AI for Trading Nanodegree program (Advanced)
  • Data Scientist Nanodegree program (Advanced)
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Udacity students will also have the opportunity to receive feedback on their projects from mentors. The program, including all of Udacity’s tech projects, is now available to All Access subscribers.

“The experience of being laid off is stressful to say the least. And the subsequent job hunt is often no less stressful,” Papalian said. “Knowledge and training are critical to capturing the opportunities.”

Education and Training Software, IT Jobs, IT Skills, Technology Industry


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