Microsoft and Udacity partner in new $4 million machine-learning scholarship program for Microsoft Azure
Udacity, an online learning platform, has collaborated with Microsoft to confer scholarships for its all-new Machine Learning Nanodegree program in Microsoft Azure.
The new Udacity Machine Learning Scholarship Program for Microsoft Azure represents the first of several programs from Udacity and Microsoft to deliver training for Azure cloud services, the companies mentioned in the joint release.
The scholarship will be conferred in two phases. After reviewing the applications, 10,000 selected candidates will be enrolled to pursue the first phase of scholarship.
Companies mentioned that the phase begins with a two-month-long foundation course in Introduction to machine learning on Azure with a Low-code Experience. This is a single course focused on completing prerequisites for the full Nanodegree program where learners will be supported by a community moderated by Udacity.
A unique feature of this program is Azure Labs wherein students work on projects in live Azure environments directly within the Udacity classroom, the companies noted.
The top 300 performers from the foundation course will then be awarded the scholarship to the Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree program.
Speaking about the scholarships, Gabriel Dalporto, CEO of Udacity shared: “With the Artificial Intelligence continuing to grow at a fast pace and AI engineers in high demand, especially as more enterprises build new cloud applications and move old ones to the cloud, Udacity’s training program for Azure machine learning presents an amazing opportunity for those looking to further expand their skill set. We’re excited to partner with Microsoft to create professionals with these specialized skill sets.”
He added: “AI is driving transformation across organizations and there is increased demand for data science skills,” said Julia White, Corporate Vice President, Azure Marketing, Microsoft. “Through our collaboration with Udacity to offer low-code and advanced courses on Azure Machine Learning, we hope to expand data science expertise as experienced professionals will truly be invaluable resources to solving business problems.”
Applications are now open for the nanodegree program, which will help Udacity train developers on the Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure.
Why Azure might be a huge force in the public cloud for years to come WATCH NOW
Microsoft and Udacity are teaming together to invest $4 million in a machine learning (ML) training collaboration, which begins with the Machine Learning Scholarship Program for Microsoft Azure which starts today.
More about artificial intelligence
- Google DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis: Three truths about AI
- The 10 most in-demand AI jobs in the world
- The 3 most overlooked limitations of AI in business
- How to become a machine learning engineer: A cheat sheet
The program focuses on artificial intelligence, which is continuing to grow at a face pace. AI engineers are in high demand, particularly as enterprises build new cloud applications and move old ones to the cloud. The average AI salary in the US is $114,121 a year based on data from Glassdoor.
“AI is driving transformation across organizations and there is increased demand for data science skills,” said Julia White, corporate vice president, Azure Marketing, Microsoft, in a Microsoft blog post. “Through our collaboration with Udacity to offer low-code and advanced courses on Azure Machine Learning, we hope to expand data science expertise as experienced professionals will truly be invaluable resources to solving business problems.”
SEE: Building the bionic brain (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Details of the scholarship program
The interactive scholarship courses begin with a two-month long course, “Introduction to machine learning on Azure with a low-code experience.”
Students will work with live Azure environments directly within the Udacity classroom and build on these foundations with advanced techniques such as ensemble learning and deep learning.
To earn a spot in th foundations course, students will need to submit an application. According to the blog post, “Successful applicants will ideally have basic programming knowledge in any language, preferably Python, and be comfortable writing scripts and performing loop operations.”
The nanodegree program with Microsoft Azure
Udacity’s nanodegrees have been growing in popularity. Monthly enrollment in Udacity’s nanodegrees has increased by a factor of four since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown. Among Udacity’s consumer customers, in the three weeks starting March 9 the company saw a 56% jump in weekly active users and a 102% increase in new enrollments, and they’ve stayed at or just below those new levels since then, according to a Udacity spokesperson.
After students complete the foundations course, Udacity will select top performers to receive a scholarship to the new machine learning nanodegree program with Microsoft Azure.
This typically four-month nanodegree program will include:
- Hands-on projects in an Azure environment with personalized feedback
- Built-in Azure labs accessible inside the Udacity classroom
- Mentorship to clear roadblocks and help complete the course
- Career services including resume, Github, and LinkedIn profile review
- One-on-one calls with a career coach
Students who aren’t selected for the scholarship will still be able to enroll in the nanodegree program when it is available to the general public.
How to apply for the scholarship
Anyone interested in becoming an Azure Machine Learning engineer and learning from experts at the forefront of the field can apply for the scholarship here.
Applications will be open from June 10 to June 30.