05/27/2016 01:43 pm ET Updated May 28, 2017

How Nanodegrees Can Help You Land Your Dream Tech Job

These questions originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answers by Sebastian Thrun, Founder and President, Udacity, on Quora.

Q: Are Udacity Nanodegrees worth it for finding a job?

A: We believe our more advanced Nanodegrees certainly are. In fact, we issued a Job Guarantee. If you can't find a job upon graduation, and we can't for you either, we pay you back your full tuition. Through our Talent Source program, we work closely with companies to get our Nanodegree students a job. You can take our Android Nanodegree and pay about $2,000 and be trained for an entry-level Android job or more. Kushal in India landed a job at Flipkart after taking our Android Nanodegree. These jobs start at $80K in the United States and command even more in Silicon Valley. In fact, if you look at our Nanodegrees today, we have a salary tool embedded that shows you how much you might be worth. Give it a shot!


Q: How does Udacity develop new courses - from original idea to execution?

A: We start with identifying hot topics in Silicon Valley. Like Machine Learning or Virtual Reality (launching soon). Then we identify partners, individuals or top companies, with whom we can team up to make sure our content is top notch. Then we put together an entire team, plan the projects and the content, and make it. And in all of this e run it by our industry partners to make sure it meets their threshold for hiring/promotions. In the end, we want our Nanodegrees lead to new jobs, so their input is crucial here.


Q: What is the future of machine learning?

A: Machine learning is perhaps the hottest thing in Silicon Valley right now. Especially deep learning. We have Google's class on TenserFlow, which teaches you everything you need to know to work in Silicon Valley's top companies. The reason why it is so hot is because it can take over many repetitive, mindless tasks. It'll make doctors better doctors, and lawyers better lawyers. And it makes cars drive themselves. I find this incredibly exciting.


Q: How will work and jobs change over the next 10-20 years?

A: Technology is already changing the way we look at work and jobs. Today, people hold 4.6 jobs in their lifetime and in Silicon Valley, it's far more. Lifetime employment that the prior generation enjoyed where you worked at one company for your life and got the ceremonial gold watch at the end is fast disappearing. According to a TIME survey, about 22% of the US population takes part in the gig economy. In 10-20 years, I think we will move between jobs faster and we will have multiple jobs at the same time. You could be a barista, a coder and a designer all at the same time and do well at them.

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