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Udacity Review: Is Udacity Nanodegree Worth it?

It comes as no surprise that there’s true value in upskilling and cross-skilling yourself in your professional life.

As more and more college degrees start to become less and less important, the value of online education is increasingly relevant in day-to-day topics, and MOOC-based (massive open online course) e-learning becomes heavily advantageous.

Therefore, the thought process becomes a question of where to get such an education. With the fast-paced world and environment of today, learning in class is no longer necessary, the tricky task is to make the right choice among so many online learning platforms.

In order to narrow it down, we’ve taken Udacity and explored the ins and outs of it.

Our Udacity review will give you plain information about the platform, as well as whether or not it’s the right fit for you in your life, and career.

What is Udacity?

First and foremost, let’s explain exactly what Udacity is and how it works. We’ll be covering that in the first two sections of this article. In order to conduct the Udacity review correctly, we need to define the platform and thus, investigate all its pros and cons.

Udacity is an educational organization that offers MOOCs. It is the outgrowth of free computer science classes and courses that were offered through Stanford University in 2011.

The company offers cutting-edge courses that are built in partnership with visionaries companies such as Google and Facebook , covering a wide range from entrepreneurship in technology to web design.

Our Udacity review speaks to the volumes of courses, and of course, the flagship Nanodegree programs that are on offer, which set the standards for credentials amongst the industry.

What is Nanodegree? you must be asking yourself. This video will help you better understand:

The courses are known to be challenging, but completely worth the time spent. They strike an intricate balance between self-learning and instruction, giving you the tools to understand and practice, while also allowing you to use your own thinking.

These Nanodegrees are focused on in-demand skills that are needed in the field of technology and consist of video courses, projects and tasks throughout your education.

These micro-credentials are sometimes also released for free and has over 8 million learners with an active catalogue of 200 online courses, or Nanodegrees.

How Udacity Works

in writing our Udacity review, we’ve been able to be a part of the process which helps us to understand exactly how everything functions.

As the blog on Udacity states, when you choose your Nanodegree program, you’re really choosing your career. In reality, that is the first step to starting your new career path. What you’ll do is pick whichever Nanodegree you want, from the long list of categories.

How should you choose?

The important factor to remember is that you shouldn’t look for a company that you want to work with, or for a specific role at any other company. You should look for a Nanodegree that supports something you want to do in the future, and then the rest of it will follow. In this way, you’re not following a position or a company, but your own personal development, that will end up building you a strong career.

If you want to be some kind of programmer, then which Nanodegree should you choose?

You should look at the programming Nanodegree courses, obviously. This takes the uncertainties out of the work and focuses more on what you want to learn and do with your career.

How can you get started?

After you’ve been through the list of courses and decided on one, you’re thrown straight into the experience immediately. From the moment you enroll in your new Nanodegree, the work can start immediately.

There is a support team available that can help you get to terms with communication and operations, and when you enroll, you’re immediately connected with all of it.

This continues up until and beyond when you submit your first project, and from there, you’re given in-depth, timely and personal Udacity reviews of your work. These are designed to challenge and affirm you and will provide valuable feedback that is actionable, which will push you forward in your thirst for knowledge.

What should you expect from mentors?

The mentors on Udacity are there to help and guide you from the very beginning. Their sole purpose is to answer your questions and give you the chance to overcome any challenges that you may find along your way in the course.

Is there any other feature you should know about?

Not only does Udacity offer direct communication with instructors and mentors, but you’ll also be immediately connected with other users, a community of millions of people. These people too can be engaged with over messages and forums and almost all of them are willing to help because they’ve all been (or still are) in your situation.

How about the credentials?

After you’ve made your way through the Nanodegree of your choice, you can get the credentials that you need. The skill-based, project-oriented curricula allows for valid credentials as a result of achievement and displays that you have mastered the projects and completed the courses.

There are ongoing partnerships with major corporations to ensure that all graduates are seen by the top technology companies in the world.

Content and Instructor Quality

The Udacity content quality is generally received very positively. Some people may also think that the quality between the paid degrees and the free degrees are different, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

You’ll always receive the highest quality in terms of content, but the only difference is that you don’t get mentor and peer support with the free courses. It’s important to remember that because there is such a vast list of offerings on Udacity, you may find that this will differ case by case.

People will always ask “is Udacity worth it?”, or “is there a Udacity review I can trust?”and while our Udacity review is mostly positive, it is relevant to say that it comes from our own personal experience as well as the reported findings of other students and users who have been a part of the Nanodegree programs before.

The quality of the content does seem to be a step above most other online learning MOOC platforms and there is a lot of depth to each of the courses.

Over the years, the instructor and mentor quality of the courses have improved, and one wouldn’t need to look far to find a professional in their chosen Nanodegree.

Udacity Course Catalog

Our Udacity review will allow you to see everything that’s on offer with Udacity currently, and will put your mind at ease.

The Udacity catalogue is broken up into different programs such as free courses and Nanodegree courses. Aside from that, you can also choose your self-proclaimed skill level, as well as how long you’d like to do your course for.

The main areas of expertise at Udacity are as follows:

Explore Udacity’s courses and Nanodegrees on Classpert, a free search engine for online courses.

Within each program, there are a number of different courses that can be taken and we’ve detailed and listed them below:

Artificial Intelligence

  • AI Product Manager
  • AI Programming with Python
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Artificial Intelligence for Trading
  • Computer Vision
  • Deep Learning
  • Deep Reinforcement Learning
  • Intro to Machine Learning
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Processing

Browse all Udacity's Artificial Intelligence courses.

Data Science

  • Business Analytics
  • Data Analyst
  • Data Engineer
  • Data Scientist
  • Data Streaming
  • Data Visualization
  • Predictive Analytics for Business
  • Programming for Data Science

Explore all Udacity's Data Science courses.

Cloud Computing

  • Cloud Developer
  • Cloud DevOps Engineer

Find all Udacity's Cloud Computing courses.

Programming and Development

  • AI Programming with Python
  • Android Basics
  • Android Developer
  • Blockchain
  • C++
  • Data Engineer
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Front End Web Developer
  • Intro to Programming
  • iOS
  • Java Developer
  • React

See all Udacity's Programming and Development courses.

Autonomous Systems

  • C++
  • Flying Car
  • Intro to Self-Driving Car
  • Robotics
  • Self-Driving Car
  • Sensor Fusion

Browse all Udacity's Autonomous Systems courses.

Business

  • Business Analytics
  • Digital Marketing
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Predictive Analytics for Business
  • UX Designer

Explore all Udacity's Business courses.

Career

  • Applying to Jobs
  • Interviewing

Find all Udacity's Career trainings.

Something that has recently been added to the course catalogue of Udacity is the new Career section.

Back in the day, around the end of 2017, Udacity once offered Udacity Nanodegree Plus. This was essentially a service that you paid for more and they guaranteed you a job after finishing your course, or your money back.

Why was this program discontinued?

This was something that was pretty popular with a lot of their students, but since they no longer offer this kind of service, it couldn’t have been too popular with the company.

As a result of that, we believe that Udacity has instead decided to focus a little more on a career side of things by adding courses on Applying to Jobs and Interviewing.

A lot of people don’t actually mention it to you, but these are fundamental aspects of getting a job that you need to be prepared for, and somewhat adept at.

Udacity Pricing Model

There is no “set” pricing model or structure for Udacity or the courses that it offers. In fact, each Nanodegree runs off an entirely unique price and can largely depend on popularity, course structure, start dates and end dates.

Udacity`s price range varies from $199 up to $3,000. A few Nanodegrees are on a monthly subscription, but the rest of the Nanodegrees are fixed price and term based. Few of the longer Nanodegrees are split into multiple terms.

At the end of your course, you’ll get a month extension to finish up, should you not have been able to complete it in time. After that, without completion, you’ll lose access to the content and will need to sign up again for a brand-new term.

However, if you finish the course in the time needed, then you’ll maintain access to course materials through the platform.

Udacity Free Courses

Udacity offers its users a vast variety of free course options and when conducting our Udacity review, we found that there were a lot of really good courses offered for free and all of them were a mix between Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses.

Explore Udacity's free course catalog!

Important note: Udacity free courses do not offer a certificate and rarely offer any student-to-student or student-to-teacher interaction.

Besides not offering certificate, many of the free courses are decent starters.

While looking through some of the more impressive ones, we did stumble across the A/B Testing by Google course. It covers split testing and online experience used to test potential improvements on websites and mobile applications. It was a one-month course, taught by industry pros at an intermediate level.

Getting this course under your belt won’t guarantee you a career in the field. But, it will elevate your skillset above that of other candidates who hadn’t done such a course. As a free option, we found it rather inspiring.

Udacity Complaints

As we mentioned earlier on, there are so many courses on offer through the Nanodegree platform, you’ll find it very rare for any company or business to have no negative feedback.

Our Udacity review was generally quite positive, and we know that some users have complained about the price increases, the lack of support or even some of the instructors, but our advice is to always read all the information available about the course, understand what you are getting into and be mindful of what’s on offer.

If you stick to those principles, you’ll generally come away from the better Nanodegree programs with a positive outlook and be glad that you were able to dedicate yourself to the course.

Conclusion

Trying the marry the instances of microlearning and learning in your own time with the intricacies of online courses can sometimes be a little difficult, but Udacity seem to do a good job of both of these things.

Our Udacity review found many great Nanodegree programs that users can take part in, both free and paid, and offered at many different levels. The qualified instructors seemed to be rather knowledgeable as one would hope, but the key part is that you have to want to learn and upskill or cross-skill yourself in order to make a success of the platform.

For:

  • High number of courses across multiple skill levels
  • Free courses are offered to test the waters
  • Community and mentor support works well for paid courses

Against:

  • Varied prices across the board
  • Some courses may not be measured at the same level
  • Removal of Nanodegree Plus keeps choices open for many users

Do you want to learn more about other e-learning platforms? Read our reviews of MasterClass, Pluralsight, Skillshare and Udemy.

Felipe Bernardes
I am an economist responsible for Marketing and Growth Hacking strategies at Classpert. I usually write about entrepreneurship, marketing, SEO, stock trading and related subjects.