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Microsoft unit LinkedIn’s edtech division Lynda.com; Mountain View-based Coursera, which offers single courses as well as accredited degree programs; and enterprise platforms such as Degreed, which provides employers with a menu of online learning resources that their workers can use to upgrade their skills.
Although Udacity is shedding some workers, it will still be hiring in “priority areas” at the same time, the company spokesperson said. Udacity may be repositioning its global resources across geographic regions. VentureBeat reported last month that company offices in Germany took the brunt of the first wave of layoffs in August, and said that Udacity also had plans to close an office in São Paulo, Brazil.
The countries with the highest student enrollments in Nanodegree programs include the United States, India, and China, the company spokesperson said. Udacity found that it could boost graduation rates to 90 percent for students in China who benefited from support services including mentors and tutors, VentureBeat reported in November. Thrun was quoted saying that Udacity was looking at ways to extend that success to other regions.
“By the end of this year, 70,000 people from 100 countries will have graduated from Udacity Nanodegree programs,” Thrun said in his blogpost Thursday. “That’s up from 18,000 alumni this time last year.”
Does Udacity still have its sights on an IPO in a few years?
“Udacity is on a great growth trajectory and our aspiration is to become a world-changing company,” the company spokesperson said in response to the IPO question. “Our current focus is on putting our students first and building a valuable business, and doing both will provide plenty of options to scale.”