Last year, online education provider Udacity launched its Nanodegree program. In partnership with AT&T, the initiative’s goal is to help people develop focused vocational specialties in a short period of time.
Now, Udacity, created by Google X founder Sebastian Thrun, has started an iOS developer Nanodegree. Enrollment is open until March 10, and the 6 month-to-12 month program costs $200 a month.
“This Nanodegree program will teach you the skills required to become an iOS developer,” Udacity writes on its site. “It’s an exciting occupation, as writing apps for the iPhone and iPad opens a world of opportunity. Developing for iOS … allows you to connect users around the world in interesting and innovative ways. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that iOS developers are in-demand and lucratively paid.”
Udacity expects students will spend about ten hours a week on the course, and can spend those hours whenever it’s convenient for them. That’s key, as the Nanodegrees were designed for working people looking to improve their professional position.
Students in the first iOS “cohort,” as Udacity calls its groups of students, will be asked to create five iOS apps using Swift, Apple’s iOS and OS X development language.
Those wanting to join the first cohort will need prior object-oriented programming experience, in any object-oriented language, Udacity said.
Although it’s not known yet whether recruiters will accept the iOS developer Nanodegree, Udacity built the program with the idea that they will. “You’re the first cohort, so we don’t have any successful job placement numbers to share with you,” Udacity wrote in a FAQ about the program. “What we can tell you, however, is that we spent hours scouring job descriptions and interviewing hiring managers to identify the key skills they look for in iOS developers.”
In an interview with VentureBeat, Mikaila Akeredolu, an AT&T national retail account executive, explained why he is pursuing an iOS developer Nanodgree.
“I’m preparing myself for the job of the future,” Akeredolu said. “That’s very valuable.”
Akeredolu said that as part of the program, he has been given access to industry leaders and tutors, and that he appreciated the structure of the course, which allows him to work on code for an assigned project and then have it reviewed. “They challenge you,” he said, adding that that’s a good thing.
“If you’re a guy like me,” Akeredolu added, “looking for a better job in the future, and you have some time to spend learning, I think this is probably the best program out there. I’ve taken programs from other places online. … None have prepared me as well.”
In addition to the iOS Nanodegree, other specialities currently open for enrollment include Front-end Web developer, Full-stack Web developer, Data analyst, and Introduction to Programming.