Last year, online learning and talent platform Udacity announced the launch of a free scholarship program that pledged to help emerging Black techies develop new tech skills for their careers.
Today, the company has announced the completion of said pledge that’s working to build a stronger pipeline of Black tech talent in the industry.
According to a press release, Udacity — which uses its platform to power the careers of the future — has declared that its Pledge to Equality Scholarship program has helped 730 recipients complete more than 1,100 projects as part of their coursework and hired seven graduates as company interns across different departments.
The scholarship program was initially launched to offer free Udacity Nanodegree programs to Black communities across the U.S. The company also arranged to host a virtual career fair featuring seven different companies and contributed over $1 million to cover the cost of these free Nanodegree programs for learners.
According to Pledge to Equality alumna, Udacity’s program became a helpful resource to fill the void where bachelor’s and master’s degrees simply weren’t enough to help candidates secure steady jobs.
“Having two Master’s degrees in the humanities wasn’t enough. I needed hands-on knowledge, technical skills, and access to learning to build a career in tech,” program alumna and current Udacity intern Eraina Ferguson said in a statement. “The User Experience and Product Management Nanodegree programs include comprehensive learning modules and strategies that helped me build a strong foundation for a career in tech.”
Prior to completing Udacity’s Nanodegree programs, its data showed that many scholarship recipients were either not employed full-time, unemployed at the start of the program or earned less than $25,000 a year. After completing the program, data proved Udacity was able to help increase pay for candidates, provide career advancement as well as career transformation.
“Udacity took me from zero to programmer in a matter of months,” Brian Segers — Pledge to Equality alumni and current Udacity intern — said in a statement. “During the pandemic, I was in and out of employment until I made the life decision to apply for this scholarship. Previously I was a 3D animation professional, but I wanted to transition to a role in tech which offers greater opportunities for advancement. Udacity is a key part of my growth.”
In addition to its Pledge to Equality Scholarship, Udacity has also partnered with other companies and nonprofits to offer scholarships to people in underrepresented communities.
As far as results go, Udacity CEO Gabe Dalporto says that the company offers solutions that “can build a more accessible and equitable path to a tech career.”
“Programs like the Pledge to Equality Scholarship — and hiring graduates — are just the next steps in our mission to help build a more diverse tech workforce,” he continues in his statement. “The tech sector has more work to do, but we are committed to continuing to support diversity and inclusion both within the company and in the sector. This program can serve as a model for future programs that we offer both with and without our partners.”
For more information about Udacity, visit its website.