Earlier this year Udacity announced Nanodegree Plus, which guarantees a job within six months of completing a Nanodegree — or you get your money back. As we noted then, Udacity guarantees that the graduate’s gross income will be more than the cost of tuition within three months of getting a job. “Job” doesn’t necessarily mean a full time job, however. According to the program’s FAQ, it can also mean an internship, freelancing work, or working as a grader at Udacity.
Udacity Blitz, a new freelancing platform, might be one way that Udacity satisfies this job guarantee.
Udacity launched Blitz.com last week. It’s a platform that enables Nanodegree alumni to join the gig economy, but it carries the potential upside of getting hired full time. Companies can hire a team of Udacity-trained engineers via Blitz, and then said companies have the option of hiring the freelancers full-time afterwards at no extra cost.
Usually tech recruiters charge employers a big finders fee. (E.g. Hired.com, a popular recruiting platform, charges 15% of the first year’s base salary.) Udacity will only take a cut of 5–10% from the project fee, presumably to support dedicated technical managers who will be provided by Udacity. Projects can range from $5k to upwards of $50k.
It doesn’t look like Udacity’s goal with Blitz.com is to make money, but rather to provide a path for Nanodegree alumni to get into tech careers or to enable them to get real world experience, thereby increasing the attractiveness of the Nanodegree itself.
More details on how Nanodegree alumni can apply for Udacity Blitz can be found here. Udacity has partnered with Interviewed.com, which provides job assessment tests. Nanodegree alumni will have to successfully complete these assessments to be eligible for Udacity Blitz.
Some of the assessments listed include knowing technologies like PHP, which Udacity currently does not teach.
Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.