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Upskilling During the Pandemic: Our Top 5 Nanodegree Programs

When Chiazam Ochiegbu lost his job at a local Nigerian airline due to COVID-19, he decided to turn things around for himself and took immediate action. He applied for the Machine Learning Scholarship Program for Microsoft Azure and within just six months of receiving the scholarship, he has transitioned into a career as a data analyst

He’s not alone. Many others have taken a similar approach during the pandemic by upskilling or reskilling themselves.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), around 305 million full-time jobs have been lost globally since COVID-19 hit. The pandemic created a wide gap between the demands of the digital economy and the existing skills of today’s workforce. 

A report by PwC states that, if we close the skills gap by 2030 then 5.3 million new jobs can be created globally — adding US$6.5 trillion to the global GDP. The report also suggests that 40% of workers will need at least six months of reskilling by 2025 to be able to productively and inclusively participate in the workforce.

As countries start to gradually recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become clear that our work is not going to be the same. Our professional lives will change significantly, and in many cases permanently. 

Udacity Nanodegree Programs for Upskilling During the Pandemic

At Udacity, throughout the last year we have announced many initiatives — scholarships, and new Nanodegree and Executive programs — to enable the availability of a skilled workforce quickly.

Here are the top five Udacity Nanodegree programs that our learners used to upskill themselves during the pandemic, from March 2020 till June 2021.

1. Data Engineering Nanodegree Program

Data has been the most popular subject among our learners during the COVID-19 pandemic,  with the Data Engineering Nanodegree program ranking No.1. 

With global companies trying to keep up with the sudden changes, the demand for data professionals has been through the roof. According to the 2020 U.S. Emerging Jobs Report, data roles, specifically data scientist and data engineer roles, are increasing steadily — reflecting around 35% average annual growth for both roles.

Udacity’s Data Engineering Nanodegree program can prepare you with the right skills for this thriving career path. In fact, with real-world projects on data modeling, cloud data warehousing, Spark and Data Lakes, and data pipelines with Airflow, you get exactly what the interviewers are looking for in a candidate. If a data engineering job is on your mind, then this is the right time to explore this career option. 

2. Product Manager Nanodegree Program

The Product Manager Nanodegree program launched right before COVID-19 and became an instant hit among our students. It’s the second most popular Nanodegree program among our learners. 

Glassdoor puts it as the third best job in America for 2021 with a median base salary of $121,107 and a job satisfaction rating of 3.9 out of 5. So, if you’re thinking of entering the domain of product management then check out our School of Product Management now.

3. Data Analyst Nanodegree Program

As we mentioned before, data professionals were in demand in 2020 and data analyst is another popular and lucrative role globally. 

Our Data Analyst Nanodegree program helps you advance your programming skills and refine your ability to work with messy, complex datasets. You’ll learn to manipulate and prepare data for analysis, and create visualizations for data exploration. You will also learn to use your skills to tell a story with data.

4. Data Scientist Nanodegree Program

Data Scientist is the fourth most popular Nanodegree program among our learners during the pandemic. 

Data scientist was also ranked second on the best jobs in America in 2021 list by Glassdoor. With a median base salary of $113,736 and a job satisfaction rating of 4.1, data science is a rapidly growing career field. But it requires specialized skills and training. In just four months (at approximately 10 hours/week), you can get these skills with the Data Scientist Nanodegree program

5. Programming for Data Science with Python

The Programming for Data Science with Python Nanodegree program proved to be the fifth most popular Nanodegree program for learners. 

Python is a popular programming language and it’s being used by data professionals extensively. Through this Nanodegree program you’ll prepare for a data science career by learning the fundamental data programming tools: Python, SQL, command line and Git.

Get Ready for the New Normal With Udacity Nanodegree Programs

The pandemic has increased our dependency on technology and global businesses are quickly moving towards digital transformation and automation. In such a scenario, it makes complete sense to upskill or reskill yourself.

Additional popular Nanodegree programs include  Digital Marketing, Intro to Programming, Business Analytics, C++ and the Full Stack Web Developer Nanodegree program

If you want to get ready for the new world of work, then choose your Udacity Nanodegree program today and enroll now.

Ritika Pradhan
Ritika Pradhan
Ritika is the Content Manager at Udacity and is passionate about bringing inspirational student stories to light. When not talking to the amazing Udacity students, she can be found reading an article or watching a video on the internet.