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Udacity

Udacity is one of the most popular e-learning platforms in the world. It provides a superb online learning experience for its enrollees and offers them Nanodegrees as certificates of completion. Are you interested in signing up for an Udacity course? Stick around as we’re going to examine Udacity thoroughly to determine whether their Nanodegrees program is worth it or not.

Brief Overview

Founded by Sebastian Thrun, Mike Sokolsky, and David Stavens, Udacity is a for-profit, MOOC, e-learning platform that offers both free and paid course series for its students. Enrollees of the paid course series are presented with certificates of completion (Nanodegrees) upon completing the course.

Compared to other e-learning platforms such as Udemy, Udacity offers a limited range of topics. Udacity is an educational organization that focuses heavily on IT courses in general, with topics such as artificial intelligence, digital marketing, deep learning, and self-driving cars.

A significant number of Udacity users have reported that the platform’s offerings are centered on hands-on programming work, rather than brain-based information alone. Moreover, for enrollees of paid Nanodegree programs, mentor support is provided individually.

Generally, fee-based courses on Udacity tend to be more costly than the ones provided by other competitors. But you don’t just pay more in vain, as the courses provided by Udacity are majorly centered around topics that are extremely job-relevant in our day and age. Not only that, but the courses are created with the aid of prominent companies such as Google and Amazon.

Over the past few years, sudden increases in prices have been reported. A complete fee-based program now ranges from around $500 and all the way up to $1,000. Some of the most popular Udacity courses include Intro to Machine Learning, Intro to HTML and CSS, and Intro to Artificial Intelligence.

Content Quality

It’s impossible to gauge the quality of every course that Udacity has to offer. However, from what we’ve seen from online Udacity reviews, the majority of enrollees seem to be extremely satisfied with the quality of their courses. We’re not aware of the quality-assurance strategy implemented by Udacity, but we just know that it’s highly effective.

Now that we have the whole quality aspect out of the way, it’s time to tackle the Udacity community. It may seem like an active community from the outside looking in, but it’s nothing like that. Udacity has a pretty stale community of students. In fact, it’s so free of life forms that it doesn’t even feel like a community at all, so don’t have high expectations when it comes to that aspect.

Udacity courses are pretty much self-paced. They’re designed to last for around two weeks, with an estimated workload rate of six hours per week for the enrollees. And as a self-paced learning platform, students have complete freedom when it comes to the amount of time they’d like to spend on their courses. The more time you put into the course, the faster it is to complete it.

Website Design

One look at Udacity and you’ll notice some similarities between its design and Khan Academy’s. Udacity’s front page is pretty neat and informative, yet carries a generic vibe to it. It doesn’t offer any noteworthy features to make it stand out from other e-learning platforms. You could say that Udacity is more focused on the content than the aesthetics of their website.

Despite the generic feel that you get from the front page, you’ll find it easy to navigate through it. The interface is comfortable and very intuitive. The functions you’d expect to see will be there in the place you’d expect them to be at. Overall, there’s nothing to rant about when it comes to the design aspect.

As far as the course pages are concerned, we’re not fans of it. It’s just so basic and looks like a bunch of words written without an overall theme or aesthetic-value surrounding them. We get it, some users prefer simplicity and don’t really mind a basic design, but it just gives this feeling of boredom and staleness that may turn a lot of people off from taking courses.

Udacity Features

Just like any e-learning platform, Udacity has plenty of basic features. However, it boasts unique features such as the Nanodegree and Nanodegree Plus programs. Generally, Udacity users are satisfied with both programs and the value they have to offer for their enrollees.

The Udacity Nanodegree is the fee-based study of a specific subject for a period of time ranging from 6 to 12 months. Upon the completion of a Nanodegree, the students receive a certificate of completion. The question on people’s minds, however, is whether these Nanodegree certificates actually amount to something in the market.

Put it this way, having a Nanodegree from Udacity guarantees that you learn everything there is to learn about your topic of choice, but it doesn’t guarantee you a job. Getting a Nanodegree will provide you with all the information and practical activity needed to master an IT-based skill, but does it guarantee that employers will be on the hunt for your expertise? Not really.

All hope wasn't lost, though. The Nanodegree Plus program from Udacity took things to the next level by guaranteeing a job position upon the completion of the program, but underline the word “took”. Sadly, the program was discontinued on December 5, 2017, and since then, Udacity doesn’t allow new participants in this program. Why is that exactly? No one really knows, which has sparked plenty of speculations online that have all led to a dead end.

Conclusion

Udacity is the home for job-related IT courses and we highly recommended for people who want to take their IT skills to the next level. Udacity courses may be pretty expensive, but they clearly deliver when it comes to value. Keep in mind that enrolling in a fee-based course (Nanodegree) doesn’t assure you a job position, but it can surely give your CV a solid boost.

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