Since Udacity’s inception, our mission has been to train the world’s workforce in the careers of the future. Hundreds of thousands of students have graduated from Udacity programs since we launched in 2011. Qualified professionals are always in high demand and we’re here to help students get the skills they need for the job they want. 

Of the over 128,000 students who have completed a Nanodegree program through Udacity, 73% who signed up with the intention of advancing their career reported a favorable career outcome, according to a 2020 survey of our graduates. What’s more, 50% percent of graduates who signed up with the intention of advancing their careers received a 33% median increase in pay.

Our students’ achievements are a constant source of inspiration around here. But just how did those students go from the online classroom to a tangible job? 

Let’s look at three of our favorite student stories — an ex-startup founder turned data analyst, a post-sabbatical project coordinator, and a former trucker who now has a career in web development — to learn how they landed their dream career after finishing a Udacity Nanodegree.

From Startup Founder to Data Analyst

Adrian Lievano ran a startup out of Kenya that sold water filtration systems via an eCommerce site for almost three years. Once the startup hit some scaling issues and folded, Adrian decided to move to the U.S. and re-enter the tech workforce as a data scientist. The only problem was that while Adrian’s resume was impressive, he didn’t have the technical skills recruiters were looking for.

Adrian decided to enroll in a Udacity Nanodegree program because it had the exact skills he was looking for and cost significantly less than a coding bootcamp. “I wanted,” said Adrian, “to develop a skill set that leveraged my engineering training but was also in high demand.” After completing his first Nanodegree, Adrian signed up for a few more.

The process wasn’t always easy for him. Adrian admits there were times where he would go weeks without completing coursework. But in the end, he was able to stay motivated because the coursework was engaging and the career coaching services gave him the confidence to apply for his dream jobs. Now, Adrian works as a data scientist at Confluent and happily says that Udacity “changed the outlook of my career.”

Read Adrian’s full story here.

From Motherhood Sabbatical to Project Coordinator

Yamini Chandramouli had a string of successes under her belt. She earned an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering, then an MBA in Finance and IT. For years, she worked as a data analyst and consultant at Infosys. But when Yamini’s son was born in 2008, she made the difficult decision to become a full-time stay-at-home mother. 

For five years, Yamini enjoyed time at home on sabbatical, raising her sons until 2013, when she decided it was time to go back to work. Unfortunately, breaking back into the workforce wasn’t so easy. The job market was completely new.

That’s when Yamini decided to take the Front-End Engineering Nanodegree program. Not only did the course give Yamini the skills she needed to land a developing job, but it also helped her increase her communication skills and confidence. The real-world projects from the course gave Yamini something to showcase to recruiters on her personal website (and the recruiters noticed!). 

Now, Yamini works as a Jr. Data Analyst and Project Coordinator at Pactera-Edge Technologies, after an 11-year sabbatical. Best yet, she says she is “able to manage both my home and office well after my return to the workforce.”

Read Yamini’s full story here.

From Trucker to Web Developer

Tony Boswell worked as a trucker for 14 years before taking the Front End Development Nanodegree program from Udacity. After finishing the program, Tony was determined to get a job but had some difficulty getting noticed. Fortunately, Tony didn’t let that get him down. Instead, he focused on applying to as many places as he could, updating his resume and LinkedIn, and following Udacity’s career development guidelines.

Eventually, he got some interest, but it didn’t quite fit the “dream job” criteria that Tony was looking for. The most promising job opportunity involved a two-hour commute. While tempted, Tony decided against it. “I had just watched 14 years of my life pass me by holding on to a steering wheel. That’s exactly why I wanted out and to transition my career! I’m sick of seeing asphalt!”

Tony kept applying and eventually the right job came along: a web development role at a small company near his home. The interview went well and Tony got an offer. The offer letter that Tony got was significantly below his expectations, but he didn’t let that get him down. Instead, he turned (once again) to the Udacity career development center and got advice on how to negotiate his offer. Tony’s negotiation was successful and now, he works as a full-time web developer. “If you think coding can’t change your life,” says Tony, “boy, do I have a story to tell you!”

Landing Your Dream Career with a Udacity Nanodegree

Udacity’s Nanodegree programs are designed to help you stand out to potential employers. From working on real-world projects to learning from industry experts, a Nanodegree is the best way to build up your resume. 

Not sure where to start? Join the 13 million+ registered Udacity students in over 160+ countries on a journey to learn some new skills. You can start by checking out our catalog of Nanodegrees, or by choosing one of our top five most popular Nanodegree programs:

Did the student stories inspire you? Read more of what our graduates have to say.

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Jennifer Shalamanov
Jennifer Shalamanov
Jennifer is a content writer at Udacity with over 10 years of content creation and marketing communications experience in the tech, e-commerce and online learning spaces. When she’s not working to inform, engage and inspire readers, she’s probably drinking too many lattes and scouring fashion blogs.