Thrun sees nanodegrees as key to ed democratization

Dive Brief:

  • Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun sees his short, online "nanodegree" programs bringing higher education into the 21st century.
  • The Next Web reports that nanodegrees are designed to take six to nine months to finish and cost a flat $200 per month, with coursework completable at any time and graded on demand.
  • A new nanodegree announced last week in partnership with Google teaches advanced skills to Android developers, and Thrun told TNW that it will definitely leave students ready for hire.

Dive Insight:

Thrun created Udacity, which initially offered MOOCs, because he thought the higher education system in the United States didn’t create enough access. Nanodegrees can be completed from anywhere at any time, and they’re cheaper than even the most affordable college programs. While Udacity may not have the credibility yet to ensure all of its graduates get jobs out of its programs, there are certainly companies, like Google, who will be looking to hire people with their specialties. In fact, Forbes reported that the top 50 students in the first class of Android developers from Udacity will be invited to meet with hiring engineers.

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Filed Under: Higher Ed Technology Online Learning
Top image credit: Flickr user jurvetson