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A review of Udacity as a tech educational tool

What does Udacity do?

The mission of Udacity is to democratize education by offering higher education opportunities that are accessible, flexible, and economical. Udacity offers aspiring learners across the globe the opportunity to participate in—and contribute to—some of the most exciting and innovative fields in the world, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain development, VR, robotics, and much more.

Their classes range from introductory level to advanced and they also have recently added career services. Udacity is perhaps most well known for their nanodegree programs, which they offer in artificial intelligence, programming, data science, autonomous systems, and business. These are project and skills-based educational credential programs.

Who is Udacity for?

People with a commitment to learning thrive in Udacity classes. Their unique learning model enables them to engage with their students more than a lot of other online classes. Udacity students’ goals range from learning a new hobby to advancing their skills to changing the type of work that they do.

What does Udacity cost? How much work is involved?

Udacity provides a lot of free resources, usually the introduction classes to most of their tracks can be accessed by just giving them your email address. But, they are typically pushing their students towards the nanodegree programs so that they can get the full content. These programs range in cost from $599 to $1,199, which can be paid in monthly installments.

The nanodegree programs require students to work 10-15 hours per week on their courses. The length varies from 3 months on the low end to 7 months on the high end. Students who sign up for Udacity courses, especially in the nanodegree programs, should be ready to put in work and spend a fair amount of time on the work, similar to a Master’s program.

Most of these degree programs require some sort of background knowledge in order for students to be successful, but students do not need to apply or show that they have this before joining the program.

Ratings and reviews

Many of the reviews online explain that Udacity used to be a really strong program but since they have grown, some of that quality has diminished. Some of the complaints are concerning the courses, which they say did not provide extra value than anything that could have been found online. In terms of the assignments, they had some issues with the grading and the lack of support that they received from the mentors. Students wished for more 1-on-1 time with their mentors and the ability to contact their instructors more easily.

Positive reviews compliment Udacity’s project-based learning and the real-world style experience that students receive from working on these projects. In addition, the instructors are industry experts and they have unique courses that are often not found in other online classes.

Alternatives to Udacity

As an educational program, there are a fair number of alternatives to Udacity.

  • Codeacademy, for example, teaches courses in computer science and coding for free and also offers membership that are around $20-$40 per month.
  • Similarly, there is Coursera, which provides free and low-cost college courses from $29 all the way to $25,000.
  • Udemy is an online learning platform with over 100,000 online video courses in a wide variety of topics. Udemy students can pick & choose the classes, often paying around $10 per class.
  • edX has a lot of courses from accredited universities that students can choose from.
  • If you are looking for bootcamps, Lambda School is a well known 9-month bootcamp where students can learn fundamentals of software engineering, UX design, data science, and iOS development while deferring payment through an ISA.
  • You can also check out General Assembly or Flatiron School, which offers a variety of courses on similar topics.
  • The Tech Academy is an online and onsite bootcamp that helps people learn the technical skills necessary to land a job as a (junior) software developer or data scientist.
  • Offering a variety of diploma programs, certificate courses, and other training, BrainStation is for students who are looking to pivot into a new career in data science, UX/UI design, development, and product management.
  • Codesmith and Actualize are software engineering bootcamps with online and on-campus options. Codesmith focuses on preparing people for mid-to-senior level software engineering roles.
  • Coding Temple and RMOTR are Python data science and web development bootcamps, focusing on the fundamentals.
  • Hack Reactor is a software engineering bootcamp with online and onsite options.
  • For those looking to learn data science, DataCamp has courses on a variety of topics.
  • HackDesign is a free online newsletter with lessons for aspiring and current designers.

We created a list of the best resources to learn software engineering and data science, so you can decide what the best option is for you.

How does Udacity compare to Pathrise?

Udacity is an educational tool, with classes for technical skill building and advancement. At Pathrise, our fellows should already have a background in the field they are interested in and our technical workshops provide more specific learnings based on what they will see in their interviews.

Some of the Udacity nanodegrees come with career support, including resume help and networking opportunities, but often the students do not get to speak with their coaches right away. Pathrise provides fellows with flexible 1-on-1 sessions that focus on anything that the fellow needs help with at that moment in their job search. This includes: resume & profile optimization, reverse recruiting, advanced sourcing, email templates, interview prep, and negotiation.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and young professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With our tips and guidance, we’ve seen our fellows interview performance scores double.

If you want to work with any of our advisors 1-on-1 to get help with your technical and behavioral interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow.

Apply today.

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