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Microsoft and Udacity partner in new $4 million machine-learning scholarship program for Microsoft Azure

Applications are now open for the nanodegree program, which will help Udacity train developers on the Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure.

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

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.”

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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.

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