Why I Applied for the Bertelsmann Scholarship Program with Udacity

Dec 1, 2023 | Academic, Career, Coding

Bertelsmann and Udacity are partnering to offer the Next Generation Tech Booster Scholarship to 50000 learners. Learn why I applied for it!
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Bertelsmann and Udacity are partnering to offer the Next Generation Tech Booster Scholarship to award learners with tech scholarships to help them learn valuable skills to open new career opportunities in the lucrative fields of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, or project management. Today, I applied for it! In this post, I’ll talk about the scholarship program details and why I chose to apply.

About Udacity

Udacity began when Stanford instructors Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig had a revolutionary idea to offer their “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” course online—to anyone, for free.

Over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled, demanding a new way to deliver education. A startling discovery emerged: The top 400 students weren’t from Stanford. This revelation sparked a mission to make lifelong learning more equitable and inclusive. Udacity has been expanding opportunities ever since.

Learn more about Udacity

About Bertelsmann

Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. The company stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world.

Learn more about Bertelsmann

About the Scholarship

As a global leader in media, education, and services, Bertelsmann wants to empower people around the world to be successful in the tech and data sectors, especially those individuals who historically may not have access to such skill-building opportunities. This program aims to set up eager learners for exciting, high-paying careers in tech.

Program Options:

Learners who apply to the program will select 1 of 3 nanodegree tracks.

  1. Agile Software Developer Nanodegree: Learn best practices for using an Agile framework to build better products faster and more efficiently.
  2. AI Programming with Python Nanodegree: Learn Python, NumPy, Pandas, Matplotlib, PyTorch, and Linear Algebra—the foundations for building your own neural network.
  3. Enterprise Security Nanodegree: Learn foundational skills in security engineering for corporate environments. Covering network and data security, endpoint protection, and application security, you will learn to design robust defenses, manage data integrity, and comply with privacy.

Scholarship Timeline:

There are two phases to the Next Generation Tech Booster Scholarship program: the first phase is the Challenge phase, and the second phase is the Nanodegree program phase.

Phase 1:

Two-month, self-guided “Challenge” learning journey where students will gain exposure to one of three tracks – AI Programming with Python Fundamentals, Enterprise Security Fundamentals, and Agile Software Developer Fundamentals – and build foundational skills in the given track.

All students must first go through the Challenge phase in order to qualify for the second Nanodegree program phase. Students cannot apply to the Nanodegree program phase directly nor skip phase one. By applying to this scholarship, you are therefore applying to the Challenge phase and, in turn, initiating an opportunity to qualify for the subsequent Nanodegree program phase.

Phase 2:

Self-guided Nanodegree program learning journey where students will pursue one of three related Nanodegree programs: Agile Software Developer, AI programming with Python, and Enterprise Security.

Important Dates:

  • Monday, October 23, 2023 – Next Generation Tech Booster applications open on Udacity’s website
  • Thursday, November 30, 2023 – Last day to submit applications to earn scholarship access on Udacity
  • Monday, December 11, 2023 – Scholarship recipients are notified of their admission to the program
  • Friday, December 15, 2023 – Phase 1 Challenge start date
  • Thursday, February 15, 2024 – Phase 1 Challenge end date
  • Friday, March 8, 2024 – Phase 2 Nanodegree start date
  • Monday, July 15, 2024 – Phase 2 Nanodegree end date

Why I’m Interested In This Scholarship

It’s no secret that the technology industry presents some of the fastest-growing and most sought-after employment opportunities. Computers and software have advanced significantly in recent years, leading to the development of artificial intelligence (AI), which refers to computer programs that can imitate human intelligence. This technology has already significantly impacted various fields and is expected to dominate the future. Therefore, it’s an excellent time to start mastering AI skills to remain competitive in the industry.

Ever since I started coding in high school, I’ve been eager to expand my knowledge of programming languages and explore their potential uses in my career. While a student at the Focus:HOPE Information Technology Center, my introduction to Python programming came as part of my preparation for the Python Certified Entry Level Professional (PCEP) certification exam. Since I wanted to learn more programming, I was thrilled that the program included Python programming in my education. I immediately began researching the language and its applications. After diving deep into the subject, I became even more enthusiastic about mastering Python. Following that introduction, I was hooked and wanted to continue learning more about this exciting area of coding.

Why I Chose to Apply for the Scholarship

Back in October, I received an email from Udacity with details about another Next Generation Tech Booster scholarship opening near the end of the month. This scholarship, powered by Bertelsmann, would provide 50,000 learners the opportunity to select 1 of 3 nanodegree tracks to complete in the lucrative fields of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, or project management. 

With my desire to refresh and expand my coding skills, when this opportunity showed up in my inbox, I didn’t hesitate to look into each track to see which would be the best fit for me. After my research, I opted to apply for the scholarship to take the AI programming with Python Udacity NanoDegree program since it seemed to be a good starting point and is worth it for learning the foundations of AI. Through this program, I’d be revisiting Python programming I’d previously started to learn foundational AI programming tools (Python, NumPy, PyTorch) and the essential math skills (linear algebra and calculus) that will enable me to start building my own AI applications and neural networks in just a few months. 

Applying This Skill to My Career

As a seasoned creative professional with a branding, marketing, and website design background, I am excited about leveraging the skills gained from AI Programming with Python Nanodegree to enhance my career trajectory. My mission is to contribute to the success of professionals, solopreneurs, and small business owners by integrating design, strategy, and technology into a robust and manageable framework for personal and business brand development.

Having spent most of my career in a creative capacity, specializing in branding and website design, I am currently transitioning to a more managerial role, aspiring to become a director of marketing. This shift will empower me to spearhead and facilitate comprehensive marketing initiatives for organizations, shaping strategies from the top down.

The AI Programming with Python Nanodegree will play a pivotal role in this career pivot. The acquired proficiency in Python, NumPy, Pandas, Matplotlib, PyTorch, and Linear Algebra will provide me with a strong foundation for building and implementing cutting-edge technologies, enhancing my ability to create innovative and effective marketing strategies.

Future Hopes & Aspirations

The expertise that I could gain through the Next Generation Tech Booster Scholarship will open new doors for me and empower me to contribute meaningfully to the marketing, tech, and data sectors. If I’m chosen to receive this scholarship, I look forward to applying these skills to create compelling, data-driven marketing campaigns that drive success for the organizations I serve.


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Desiree' M. Slaughter

Desiree' M. Slaughter

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