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Udacity And AWS Collaborate To Offer More Free Courses In Machine Learning

Udacity, the online learning platform powering the careers of the future, announced the creation of the AWS Machine Learning Scholarship Program in conjunction with Amazon Web Services (AWS). The goal for this program is to remove barriers to skills training in machine learning, and to cultivate the next generation of Machine Learning (ML) leaders from underrepresented backgrounds, including Women, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and People of Color. Enrollment in the free AWS Machine Learning Foundations course begins today. 425 top students from the course will be selected to receive a full scholarship for the entire AWS Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree program based on the results of a test open to all who complete the free course.

“AWS strives to help level the playing field for women and people of color, who have been underrepresented in the tech industry for far too long. We are thrilled to collaborate with Udacity to make this sort of technical training more widely available and accessible,” said LaDavia Drane, global head of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity at AWS. “We look forward to seeing the incredible innovations in machine learning that are sure to come from this initiative.”

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Machine learning is poised to transform virtually every industry, however, there are currently not enough trained ML developers to meet this demand, and far fewer from backgrounds which are underrepresented in tech. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025, 97 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the future of work as ML Developers and Practitioners.1 Still, globally, only 26% of AI professionals are female, while 78% are male.2 The AWS Machine Learning Foundations course is designed for those with little to no ML experience to begin achieving crucial skills needed in the coming years.

Through its We Power Tech Program, AWS collaborates with professional organizations that are leading initiatives to increase the diversity of talent in technical roles, including organizations like Girls In Tech and the National Society of Black Engineers. These organizations are teaming up to help amplify the reach of the 2021 scholarship program among their members and in the community.

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Launched in 2019, The AWS Machine Learning Foundations course has been updated with several new modules, including an introduction to Reinforcement Learning (RL) with AWS DeepRacer, generative AI with AWS DeepComposer, and computer vision with AWS DeepLens. Students will also have the opportunity to further advance skills with the AWS DeepRacer League. In addition, the AWS Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree, one of Udacity’s most popular courses, includes updated content covering advanced machine learning techniques and algorithms, and expert led tutorials on how to quickly build, train, and deploy ML models in the cloud and at the edge with Amazon SageMaker, a fully managed ML service for data scientists and developers.

“Our collaboration with AWS has already seen thousands of learners start their machine learning journey, and this year’s scholarship program promises to help many more begin achieving the essentials,” said Gabe Dalporto, CEO of Udacity. “As we look to the future, it’s more critical than ever to work with leaders in the space to provide cutting-edge courses that easily spark new career opportunities for students.”

“The AWS Machine Learning Nanodegree Program enabled me to learn and achieve valuable machine learning skills at my own pace with interactive modules that made learning fun and effective,” said Juv Chan, AWS ML Hero and AWS Machine Learning Nanodegree Program Alumni. “Carving out time to learn machine learning can be very hard, especially under the demanding schedules that software engineers work from. The flexibility offered by Udacity Nanodegrees lets me learn new skills on a timetable that works for me.”

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