Education, Technology

New programme to boost digital skills launches in Middle East

In collaboration with ‘Maharat min Google’, Google’s digital skills-building program in MENA, Udacity is launching a Nanodegree program specifically designed for students to learn the skills and tools needed to launch successful freelance careers.

The program was built in collaboration with ‘Maharat Min Google’, Google’s digital skills-building program for Arabic speakers. This new Nanodegree program will help empower aspiring learners in the region to acquire the skills necessary to succeed in the global digital economy, with a special emphasis on women, and young workers just now preparing to enter the workforce.

Online freelance work is rapidly emerging as a viable means of employment and economic advancement. As reported by the World Economic Forum in their report The Future of Jobs and Skills in the Middle East and North Africa, “Across MENA, online talent platforms have the potential to create significant benefits by moving people from informal to formal jobs, by increasing workforce participation and additional hours worked of those formerly under-employed or inactive, by shortening the duration of job searches and by enabling matches that would otherwise not have happened. By 2025, this could result in as much as 945,000 additional full-time equivalent jobs and a $ 21 billion increase in GDP in Egypt, 799,000 jobs and US$41bn in Turkey, and 276,000 jobs and $32 billion additional GDP in Saudi Arabia.”

The closing prescription in the report advocates for “creating a culture of lifelong learning,” and this is exactly what Udacity wishes to encourage through the launch of the new Digital Freelancer Nanodegree program.

Aspiring freelancers from any background can enroll and learn the core skills necessary to succeed in the world of online freelancing. Students will gain familiarity with the different online marketplaces, and learn how to build up a strong and effective professional profile that optimizes for their fields of focus and expertise. They will also acquire a valuable understanding of what it takes to scope out a project, and learn to work efficiently with a range of clients on a range of projects. As they progress through the curriculum, students will complete real-world projects that can demonstrate their skills and experience to prospective new clients.

The Digital Freelancer Nanodegree program focuses on the first of these two requirements—if students have skills and experience in digital marketing, web development, mobile development, data science, or any other marketable field of expertise, then this program is ideal, because they’ll learn how to leverage their existing skills to build a careers as digital freelancers.

The course materials are in Arabic, and the curriculum is tailored expressly to meet the needs of aspiring digital freelancers in the MENA region. The full program consists of one month-long term, at a cost of $150. The Digital Freelancer Nanodegree program is open to students of any skill level and work background. While all successful graduates of the program will be prepared to launch or advance their freelance careers, the range of professional opportunities available to any given student will depend on their leverageable skills within their chosen field; meaning, if they have entry-level developer skills, for example, they will be prepared to start competing for and winning freelance jobs that require entry-level skills, whereas if they have advanced data science experience and credentials, they’ll be able to start landing freelance roles that demand a high level of expertise.

The curriculum for this Nanodegree program was developed with valuable input from Google and Hsoub, the MENA-focused Arabic web advertising platform. Additionally, because digital marketing skills play such an important role when it comes to advancing a career as an online freelancer, this program specifically includes world-class curriculum components focused on key topics such as search engine marketing, social media, e-commerce, and more, all made possible through Udacity’s collaboration with Google and the ‘Maharat min Google’ team.

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