Who wants a NanoDegree?

I recently read an article on the site ReadWriteWeb about a partnership between AT&T and Udacity to offer what is called a Nanodegree.  What is a Nanodegree?  Well, as you can probably guess, it is “smaller (nano) than a regular degree.

A better description is the following:

Nanodegrees are designed to be completed in less than a year, at a cost of just $200 a month.

The nanodegrees will be:

  • Efficient – Designed for completion in less than 12 months.
  • Accessible – Anywhere there’s a broadband connection.
  • Affordable – At a cost of approximately $200 per month.

So, what are nanodegrees for and who takes them?  After reading up on the topic, it seems to be focused on people who already have a college degree and are “just looking to expand their skill set and potentially take on a new career path”.  Also, with the rising price of tuition, this could be an affordable choice for many looking to upgrade their skills.   And I know, this is more “tech industry” focused right now.  But, the article goes on to mention this little tidbit:

Udacity plans to take nanodegrees outside the tech industry: Thrun told me the company is talking with a lot of banks about finance nanodegrees

And this of course started me thinking about Nanodegree at Sun Life.  Maybe not waiting for Udacity but having some of our own.  What a great way to learn more about different areas of the company.  And I don’t mean job-shadow or attend a presentation, but delve deeper into the day to day work, understand how the business functions and practice some “real life” tasks.  You could have a more educated and aware workforce and it could assist with internal promotion for those who have completed nanodegrees and are looking in new areas of the business.

Anyway, it seems that the internet is really opening up not only new ways to learn, but new paths to follow.