Udacity Growth and Acquisition Strategy Nanodegree Review
Those with cutting-edge ideas on how to increase traffic and overall business for companies are in high demand. There is not a single company out there that isn’t affected by the web, and professionals that know how to amp up exposure can be a huge help. Specialized techniques and strategies can be applied to data to create useful information about how a strategy will play out when deployed, giving insight into what certain plans will bring.
Picking up the skills to land a job in this industry is not difficult, and thankfully neither is landing a job with the current demand that is only expected to increase. While you can find online academies by the dozen that offer technological courses, there is one that stands out. We are talking about the Growth and Acquisition Strategy Nanodegree from Udacity. To decide whether or not this course is the one for you, we’ve created an in-depth review, along with a look at what you can expect after successful completion. By the end, you should have an abundance of information, only needing to start learning today.
The original goal of Udacity was to offer university style courses, making these available for learners all around the world. What started off humbly wouldn’t remain that way, now with a ton of technological courses plus a large number of successful graduates working in leading companies in the industry. Apart from sending out successful graduates, the academy has also collaborated with leading companies when creating a few of the programs, where they attempt to closely match actual techniques and methods used in their day to day.
The Udacity catalog features several Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), some of which come with certifications after successful completion. These are known as nanodegrees, which focus on one topic and go in-depth to include concepts along with applications. Apart from an in-depth curriculum, each nanodegree comes with a few extras which set the academy apart from others out on the world wide web.
Setting the Bar High
Each nanodegree holds a set of standards that really set the bar high for online academies. Each course is led by knowledgeable instructors, most of which have both educational and industry experience plus, each comes with extras that are meant to set the academy apart from all the others out there circling around the web. Each extra is put in place to increase learner’s success, adding incentive to choose Udacity over all the rest. These extras include:
Freedom to Choose
Once you enroll in a course you have full control over your schedule. Learn when and where you want and take as long as you need. The only things that you will have to be sure to keep up with are due dates, of which most projects will have.
Real Industry Projects
Speaking of projects, each nanodegree includes opportunities to apply newly learned knowledge. Not just any projects are presented, each and every one closely mirrors actual problems those in the industry are facing. Plus, a few of the projects are actually developed in collaboration with real companies in the industry.
A Knowledgeable Mentor
Just in case you run into any troubles along the way, you’ll have a knowledgeable mentor by your side. You can reach out to them anytime, where you can expect a prompt response.
A Sense of Community
The Udacity forum is open for learners signed up to all nanodegrees. You can use this as an opportunity to connect with other learners, making friendships that could stick with you as you make your way in and up the industry ladder. Reach out for help, brainstorm a bit or just get social, with other learners just like you.
Last but not least, after successful completion, you’re added to the Udacity career database. Recruits from top tier companies and startups are always on the prowl, hunting for the newest batch of Udacity graduates. Before sending you out, you’ll have a chance to polish up your resume and professional social pages plus, partake in a mock interview. All of these come with constructive criticism from professionals with a knack for the workforce, sending you out confident and ready.
Before you Begin
This course is suitable for all; however, it is not considered an introductory course. Your success as a learner is not defined by prior knowledge though the academy has put forth some suggestions.They ask that you have a basis of:
- Understanding and defining KPIs to track both progress and success
- Data analytics, including the use of tools like Excel to make visuals out of data
- Excel functions and their use in data analysis
If you don’t have a basis or background of any of the topics mentioned above, you can always browse through the full course catalog, searching for both free courses and introductory nanodegrees.
You will be led by Art Khlobystin, A project lead manager at Microsoft. He has almost a decade of experience in the industry, helping with projects like the Windows 10 release and the EMEA enterprise project. Currently, he is helping with growing the Azure Storage Platform.
Art will share his own experience while introducing you to techniques and skills used in the field. You’ll have an in-depth curriculum to follow and real examples that come with the opportunity to leave the course feeling confident and ready to land your first job. The topics and concepts are divided into five sections, each of which we will dig into deeper below.
Acquisition Funnels and Growth Loops
In this section, you’ll learn about the powers of funneling and looping. Apply these to create a no fail acquisition strategy, one that will suit the product or company you’re working with.
Measuring and Optimizing Acquisition Performance
Taking the information you gather from the funnels and loops above, you’ll learn how to identify particular patterns, using them to optimize the current strategy employed. You’ll also work with line expansion and layering, building up and enhancing your skillset.
Defining the Audience and Channel
When you know your audience, developing a strategy is easy. You’ll see how to define personas based on the time users are staying on site and their clicking habits. This brushes the surface of behavioral psychology, a topic which you will use to further understand your audience and your market as a whole.
Take the information you’ve received and learn how to test it. Use hypothesis and analysis to get results that can help drive you where you want you and your company to be.
Final: ‘To the Clouds’
This is the final section and project. You will take all of the knowledge you were introduced to in the course, bringing it together as you act as growth project manager for a company with B2B cloud infrastructure. You’ll construct an acquisition strategy from the ground up, defining acquisition funnels and measuring KPIs. Using this information, you’ll come up with a strategy, create a hypothesis and perform an A/B test all to get product acquisition booming.
How Long will this Course Take Me?
You can log in and learn when you’d like, essentially taking as long as you want to complete the course. To give a better idea of the amount of time that it will take to complete, Udacity calculated an estimate. At 10 hours per week dedicated to the course, they estimate it to take only one month to complete the course. Before beginning, it is best to take a look at your schedule and see how this course will fit in. This will help you stay on track and keep you from taking longer than necessary as not to drive the cost up.
How Much Does the Course Cost?
Normally, Udacity has a few ways to pay in an attempt to make it affordable for all. Each and every course is priced per month but, in this case, you should be able to finish in only one. So, there is only one deal offered, where you will pay $359 for a month’s worth of access. If, for any reason, you need a bit more time, you’ll have to pay for another month. Of course, this can add up if you’re not careful so, it is best to get in and get done.
There is a promotion up and running, one that comes with a 30% discount attached. This is for anyone that signs up early and comes with a clear expiration date. This drops the cost of one month down to $249, a deal that you might not want to pass up if you decide that this is the course for you.
Reviews can be a make or break for some companies. They are extremely important and speak volumes to potential future clients. The academy has a positive reputation online overall but, what about this course? It is fairly new but, here is what a few learners had to say:
“The projects in the Growth Product Manager Nanodegree program will prepare you to grow the user base and engagement of an established product. This Nanodegree program is perfect for Product Managers, Marketing Specialists, and Engineers who are already in growth-focused roles and want to further their skillset, as well as those who wish to break into the growth domain and help propel their company and product forward.” – Matt H.
“This Nanodegree program equips you with the hone specialized product management skills and acquisition strategy. You are taught to build agile acquisition plan, which is in line with the market-based measurable KPIs. So, overall growth strategy of the product is managed and developed.” Paul A.
The Job Market
Every Company Needs a Growth Manageris the title of one in-depth look at the job market by hbr.org. This could not be further from the truth, especially as the word ‘growth’ comes with a lot of significance in our digitally driven world. The ability to deeply analyze the market and target a specific audience plus, create a deployable strategy with projections is an attractive set of skills. An analysis done by Productboard showed that in only two years (2017 to 2019), there was a 32% increase in demand.
Add into that the number of technology-driven jobs and the constantly evolving digital revolution and you’ve got a successful mixture. On average, the salary is $125,000 according to comparably.com. This is for those in a management position plus, comes with the potential increases along the way. Not to mention there are a ton of opportunities for scoring a higher paying position or scooping up bonuses for increasing company growth. All of these come together to create a growing market that is on the hunt for professionals to fill the open seats, one of which could be you.
Technology has trickled into every single market, business being one of them. The ability to apply the latest techniques to give companies methods to increase production is powerful, and has not yet reached its peak. Just like many other jobs dealing with technology, learners will need to constantly keep up with advances, as programs and techniques evolve. This is a good time to start building up a strong basis, one that you can find in the nanodegree offered from Udacity.
Overall, the academy scores high for their reputation and the opportunities that they bring to learners. It’s not just the curriculum that surprises us but, the fact that each and every nanodegree comes with extras that set the academy apart. You’re not given knowledge and left to fend for yourself, getting assistance every step of the way. From keeping on track with and getting interactive all the way to standing out among competitors in the workforce.
If you’re interested in a career that can take your management skills to the next level, this could be your chance. And now with the added incentive that drops the course fees, there has never been a better time to get in than right now.