What is Udacity?
Udacity is an educational organization that offers massive open online courses for every user. It was founded in 2011 by Sebastian Thrun, David Stavens, and Mike Sokolsky. Originally, these were university courses in computer science but gradually the company has transformed into an educational platform for vocational learning.
The mission of the organization is to provide an effective higher education to every person on the Earth that will be engaging, accessible, and affordable. Originated from Stanford University today there are two universities that offer their courses through Udacity: this is the Georgia Institute of Technology and San Jose State University. For example, a full Master’s degree in Computer Science from the first university costs $7,000 for its participants.Nowadays, Udacity offers a decent collection of online courses preferably in computer science and programming as well as several programs entitled Nanodegrees. The latter ones have been created with the purpose to help professionals level-Up their careers and they focus on the employment needs of renowned global companies like Google or AT&T. When a learner completes a Nanodegree he or she receives a certificate showing the proficiency in the certain area.
The platform is very popular due to the fact that it has experienced and reliable tutors. Most of them are university or college professors with years of experience. Another important issue is the highest quality of the provided information and its benefit for self-development. Each user, who wishes to join Udacity must sign up on the website or mobile application. Only registered users receive access to courses offered on the website.
Before signing up there is also a possibility to explore the site. You will be offered to choose what skills and knowledge you want to obtain using Udacity. You can opt for over a dozen of different skills including understanding of the artificial intelligence, website and mobile development, learn business analytics or marketing etc.
You also can look through the full catalog of the suggested courses and programs if you opt for “Catalog” button. Their list is rather long so visitors are offered to sort out the necessary examples choosing the category (discipline), type (program or course), skill level, possible collaboration company as well as the basic technology. Making appropriate clicks you will minimize the list to your preferences and expectations. There are two types of courses from Udacity: self-paced and timed. The first ones are called courses, while the latter ones are known as Nanodegree programs. Udacity free courses can be selected from the offered list and learned in accordance with your own pace and possibilities. You can look through thousands of videos to receive a good knowledge, but if a user wishes to get a certificate after passing an exam, he or she has to opt for paid offerings. As a result, you will get a proficiency certificate and a feedback of your coaches. Users try to receive these credentials to improve their job positions or be employed more profitably.
There are approximately 60 online courses on the site. The whole catalog of courses can be divided into two main groups:
- Computer Science (Software Engineering, Udacity web development, mobile development etc.);
- Non-technical courses (entrepreneurship, statistics, design, marketing etc.).
The levels of Udacity free online courses and paid programs are rather different. But the biggest part of all the information is for moderate expertise. 75% of their number is Intermediate courses, while the rest are equally divided into New, Beginner, and Advanced ones.
In general, the courses have the following features: they are informational, comprehensive, short but of the high production value. They offer premium data visualization too. There is a possibility to switch on the English subtitles if necessary.
The course usually consists of several videos with adjusted course exercises. It is impossible to omit any important stages of learning as the system will not proceed you further without accomplishing them. The average course lasts for two weeks with the workload of about 6 hours per week. If you are not satisfied with access to material only, you can opt for Udacity subscription that offers both paid courses and Nanodegree programs. As it was mentioned the result of both these learning methods is a certificate about the course or program completion and feedbacks of your tutors.
Apart from the benefits mentioned above Udacity offers a couple of other reasons to try Nanodegree programs:
- Amazing job opportunities are guaranteed by the company. If you opt for Nanodegree Plus program the organization guarantees you employment within a 6 months period or a full tuition refund.
- Accelerated success with in-person learning.
- Tuition refunds of 50% for graduates who complete programs earlier than in 12 months.
The employment guarantee is explained by a great number of Udacity sponsors. There you can meet such industry leaders as Facebook, GitHub, Mercedes-Benz, NVidia, Google Nanodegree etc. The pricing policy of Udacity is quite simple. Individual course enrollment, as well as Nanodegree programs, cost in average $200 per each month. If you show excellent results earlier, the company offers nice refund opportunities.
The students, who want to complete Georgia Tech Degrees, have to be ready to pay $6,600 per half a year. Looking through almost each Udacity review you will find at least a couple of benefits mentioned by users. If to analyze this educational organization deeply, we may list the following benefits:
- It offers free of charge university-level education to every user.
- There are only trustworthy sources of information and acknowledged professors among the staff.
- The content on the website is relevant, contemporary and meets the requirements of the global companies.
- The lectures a short but still informative and engaging, so learning is quick and exciting.
- The customer support is highly professional offering office hours to answer any questions concerning Nanodegrees.
- The list of computer-based courses is rather vast.
- The curriculum focuses only on specific job competencies.
- There is a special opportunity to develop for army veterans.
- The organization is creating its unique Self-Driving car.
- There are mobile applications (Udacity Android, iOS, Windows) and an online web version of the site.
- Promising career opportunities for Nanodegree graduates.
Together with apparent benefits, the educational platform has several drawbacks too. Data analytics and users’ reviews mention that Udacity has the following disadvantages:
- The absence of assessment for free users.
- Coaches’ feedbacks and certificates are given only for paid courses.
- The length of the courses is not enough for a profound knowledge of the discipline.
- Some of the courses are too difficult to handle for everyone.
- Job prospects are questionable and there is no factual evidence.
- Most of the courses require a preliminary but significant amount of knowledge to be able to complete them.
- There is no support for other languages except for English.
- Discussion forums work not properly.
- There is little meaningful feedback for solitary courses.
It goes without saying that Udacity is a very professional educational MOODs website that provides people with valuable knowledge practically free. Each person today can learn computer sciences online to improve his or her job perspectives. Moreover, there is also an opportunity to receive a certificate admitted by the variety of world companies if you study here. Udacity can boast its tech titans teaching students from different corners of the world and the highest quality of information offered. Undoubtedly, it is a decent educational platform to acquire new knowledge.
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