Bertelsmann Education Group | Mountain View, 08/28/2020

For Equality: Udacity Awards 1,000 Scholarships

Subject: Society, Media & Services
Country: USA
Category: Project

To give underserved population groups better access to qualified training in the IT sector, the online education provider has launched the “Pledge to Equality Scholarship Program” for 1,000 participants. The top five graduates will be given the opportunity to participate in an internship at Udacity.

Experts estimate that an average of nine percent of jobs at companies in STEM industries – science, technology, engineering, and math – are held by African-Americans. The LatinX community accounts for seven percent of such jobs. That is considerably less than their respective share of the total U.S. population. The online education provider Udacity now wants to counter this clear underrepresentation in emerging professional fields. The company, whose strategic investors include Bertelsmann through the Bertelsmann Education Group, has therefore launched the Pledge to Equality Scholarship Program. Under this program, interested parties can apply for a total of 1,000 scholarship places, giving them free access to a Udacity course until September 17. The top five graduates will also be offered the opportunity to participate in an internship at Udacity.

Better educational and career opportunities

In a blog post on its website, the online education provider explicitly points out the connection to the Black Lives Matter movement, which has once again shone a light on social inequalities in the U.S. The United States is still “grappling with systemic racism,” especially among African-Americans, says Udacity. This also affects access to training and jobs in the technology sector, it adds. The company considers it an important goal to eliminate these inequalities and open up better educational and career opportunities for underrepresented communities, and thus also opportunities for high-quality healthcare and prosperity. At the same time, Udacity says it is important to provide the industry with more qualified candidates for jobs in highly sought-after fields including artificial intelligence, data science, machine learning, digital marketing and more. “At Udacity, we strive to do more than pay lip service to the ideals of equality and justice,” says Udacity CEO Gabe Dalporto. With the new scholarship program, he says the company really wants to achieve something and ensure that previously underrepresented communities are better represented in the tech industry – starting with their own company.

From October 6, the selected 1,000 scholarship holders can register for one of the Udacity courses that they are eligible for, which they will complete after six or nine months with a Nanodegree. Udacity is collaborating with numerous renowned companies from the IT sector for these courses, and this degree is correspondingly recognized. Throughout their scholarship, scholarship holders can benefit from the support of fellow students and Udacity’s community managers. The scholarship program ends in March 2021, when the top five graduates will be selected. However, other particularly high-performing students will also receive a year of intensive career advice from Udacity experts. More information on Udacity’s Pledge to Equality Scholarship Program can be found on the company’s website.