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Nanodegrees are ‘small diplomas’ in the field of information technology that are suitable for people who do not wish to take a complete course of study and who would prefer to hone their skills individually and intensively. This programme is run by Udacity (also known as ‘Google University’), an online university, which, instead of working with professors from other universities, relies on representatives from industry and is supported by companies such as Google, Facebook and Cloudera.
The aim of a Nanodegree is to provide a supplement to people’s CVs to enable them to meet the needs of prospective employers. The programme currently includes the fields of information technology, statistics and artificial intelligence. Its participants can attend special courses such as ‘Android app development’ and finish the course with a certificate. Nanodegrees begin with an initial test so that the exercises, material and support provided reflect the needs of individual learners and to make sure that everyone starts out at the right level. The straightforward manner in which the topics are covered means that Nanodegrees can react very quickly to new trends in programming. The course material can be freely used, but tutors and certificates do need to be paid for.