At a Glance
Udacity is an e-Learning platform or Massive Online Open Course platform that focuses on the technology space. They are one of the leaders in online education and offer some of the best courses you will find. Udacity gives out certifications for after completing one of their nanodegrees to increase your value to employers.
Udacity offers programs both for individuals and for enterprises. So if you are looking to break into a new industry, or just add more skills on top of existing knowledge, Udacity has nanodegress to help.
The Nanodegree concept is one of the most complete offerings in the online course space adding real skills and value. Because of the heavy focus in the technology space, Udacity nanodegrees aren’t going to be for everyone, but most businesses these days need people with the skills you can gain through these degrees.
Each of the Nanodegrees we looked at had a cost somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000 with most coming in at the lower end of that spectrum. You are given a 3-4 month period of access with the nanodegrees costing $339 if you pay upfront. More on pricing below.
It should be noted that many of the Udacity Nanodegree programs are advanced in nature and have some prerequisites. While looking at the detail page for each of the degrees you can see what those might be and what the nanodegree syllabus includes. This will give you a good idea of whether the program is a good fit for you.
Udacity nanodegree programs have an amazingly simple pricing structure given its wide variety of courses. Each course costs $339 per month, and typically runs for 3-4 months, although timing can vary. This pricing is contingent upon you paying for the entire length of the course upfront and currently represents a 15% discount. If you’d like to pay on a month-to-month basis, that’s fine, but you will end up paying $399 per month. It’s not a big difference, but if you’re willing to take a month’s investment, you’re probably going the distance, so go ahead and pay all at once if that’s an option for you.
Another Udacity payment option is to use their financing partner Affirm. They will allow you to finance the cost of a Udacity course if you qualify. The terms of those plans are typically 3, 6, or 12 months, and are subject to a credit check.
The key point to make about Udacity pricing is that you have options. It also represents good value for the skills you gain. See below for more detail on courses and the cost of each based on the length of the program
Textbook learning is one thing, but anyone who’s been out in the world knows we need real-world experience. Much of what we learn comes from these experiences, and Udacity has leveraged relationships with companies to bring you this immersive content. This will help align the skills you build directly with the needs of actual companies.
Not only will you get real-world experience, but Udacity has used these same business relationships to build their curriculum. In the world of nanodegrees, it’s crucial these skills are directly aligned with the needs of businesses. Because Udacity focuses on tech programs, there is a huge demand for many of the skills they can teach you.
Some of these degrees can get complex, especially if you’re not a naturally technical person. When learning a new coding language or something of that nature, it’s always good to have some help nearby. Udacity mentors provide this element by giving you someone to answer your questions and improve your skills.
Once you earn your nanodegree from Udacity, you will be looking for a job, or another way to benefit from your new skills. For that reason, Udacity offers career services to help you grow in your career. Maybe that’s finding a new job, or maybe it’s moving up in your current organization. Either way, Udacity will help you with things like interview prep, and resume and online profile reviews to take advantage of your new skills.
One of the best things about online classes and nanodegrees is the flexibility to learn at your own pace. Udacity will create a tailored plan that allows you to work around your schedule. This is critical for those that are using Udacity to supplement current skills and have busy work schedules
This is a common question because Nanodegrees are not the cheapest online learning option.
In the case of Udacity, you get what you pay for, and yes, these Nanodegrees are worth it when you look at the successes of some of their alumni. It’s all about your Return on Investment, and when you look at the doors some of these skills open, there’s no question you should get your money back quickly.
There aren’t many degrees or professional certificates you will get under $2,000 that deliver an immediate high-value skill set to your resume that can be marketed to some of the highest-paying companies in the world.
Let’s use a data analyst as an example of why a Udacity Nanodegree is worth the cost.
It’s important to understand you’re not going to open the door to real jobs like these without in-depth training, such as a one-off online course. You need real training, and that’s what Udacity provides. That’s the most basic reason Udacity is worth the price.
But let’s get down to the actual numbers to prove this out.
A basic Google search finds that a data analyst earns an average of $70,333 a year according to indeed.com.
If we take some of the nanodegree programs geared at becoming a data analyst, here is the cost.
Programming for Data Science with Python Nanodegree (No experience required) – $1,017
Programming for Data Science with R Nanodegree (No experience required) – $1,017
SQL Nanodegree – $678
Data Analyst Nanodegree – $1,356
This base of nanodegrees arms you with much of the basic knowledge to become a data analyst. The total cost comes to $4,068.
Take that cost against the average salary from above, and you can decide for yourself. Compared to the cost of a bachelor, or even an associate’s degree, one or even a grouping of nanodegrees is going to be worth it.
Udacity partners with larger enterprises and businesses to increase the skills of their current employees. With an obvious increase in many tech skills needed, Udacity offers an efficient way for enterprises to train their workforce in much-needed areas without going back to traditional schools.
They currently have multiple key areas of focus on their enterprise product. Those include Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems, Data Science, and Programming and Development.
As with its enterprise platform, Udacity offers solutions tailored to governments. Udacity can tailor specific programs depending on what the government entity is looking to achieve. For instance, some may be looking to reduce the unemployment rate while others are looking to increase average wages. Regardless of the specific objective, Udacity will work to achieve the educational needs of that particular government.
Udacity has worked with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Nations World Food Programme, and many others to help achieve their goals. As with any organization looking for access to broad new world skills training at a good price, governments stand to benefit from Udacity courses and nanodegrees.
Udacity courses focus entirely on technical skills, so if you are looking for something different, try a different service. That said, their course selection when it comes to different technology training is spectacular, and you will find nanodegrees for almost all valuable tech skills at Udacity.
They currently have six high-level categories of courses:
Within these broader categories, Udactiy has over 60 unique courses.
Udacity also has a large selection of free courses to choose from. Many people are out looking for ways to increase their knowledge with little to no cost, and this feature is a good intro to many topics.
Their free courses are much shorter than their main programs, which is to be expected. They can be looked at as good starting material. and are a place to start if you are curious about a particular topic and want to see if it’s worth pursuing a full nanodegree.
There are a handful of companies out there that review individual Udacity nanodegrees. Let’s take a look at some of the best-reviewed nanodegrees on classcentral.
Data Analyst – This is an intermediate class you learn to use Python, SQL, and statistics to create data-driven solutions.
Front-End Web Developer – You will learn how to build websites and dynamic applications to create a great user experience.
Deep Learning – Learn about neural networks and how to implement them using the deep learning framework.
Become an Android Developer – Built in partnership with Google, you will need intermediate programming abilities for this course. You will learn the skills to become a professional Android developer.
Full Stack Web Developer – Designed to give learners the skills to build database-backed API’s and web applications.
One major benefit of Udacity is their assistance in helping land a job after getting your nanodegree. Because of this they offer the ability to speak directly with a career coach or submit your resume, LinkedIn, or GitHub profiles for review. They will also build your network by connecting you with past alumni.
The alumni from Udacity number in the thousands of people working at some of the best companies in the world. Companies like Amazon, BMW, Facebook, and Google are all prime candidates for people graduating with the skills Udacity is teaching.
Once you have started a Udacity course, there are of course mentors that you have access to. But prior to that, you have support options as well. As with most major online businesses, you will find a large Help and FAQ section to answer any questions you may have.
In addition, if you have additional questions, you can submit questions via their Contact Us page.
Udacity is extremely focused on tech sector skills. If this is your area of interest, then Udacity nanodegrees is a great place for you. This focus makes it easy to find classes without the clutter of some other systems.
Their payment model is simple and delivers a lot of value for the price. With plenty of free courses to get you going, Udacity can help people on a budget to decide if they are interested in a particular topic.
Their career services after the fact are also positive. By helping review resumes and online social accounts, Udacity increases the chances of success.
Online learning platforms, or MOOC’s, are one of the fastest growing ways to gain new skills. If you are looking to grow within a current organization, or start a new career, using Udacity to grow your skill sets can be very helpful.
Udacity’s nanodegree programs do cost some money, but they are by far more valuable than some other products on the market. Their partnerships with major enterprise clients speak for themselves. If those clients value the skills Udacity is building, then individuals should also realize the value.
Because of Udacity’s focus on the tech sector, almost all of its nanodegrees are worth something in today’s world. If you are struggling to move up or looking to change directions, give Udacity a chance to grow your skillset.