Udacity School of Autonomous Systems Review
The days of robots taking over are not just a dream thanks to complex programming and advanced technology. If you’ve ever thought about giving machines the ability to move, think, and learn, then a career in autonomous systems might be for you. Now, with Udacity’s School of Autonomous Systems, you could gain the skills you need to break into the field and start creating tomorrow’s technology today.
In this review, we’ll take a look at the program, highlighting the career paths, cost, and job market, helping you decide if it’s the right choice for you. Before we look at what Udacity offers, we’ll start by introducing the academy itself.
Udacity is an online academy that features several courses that cover IT topics. Everything from the basics to more advanced topics is available, most of them supplemented with projects that help learners test their skills. The academy has been around for a little over a decade. During this time, they’ve collaborated with top names in the industry, including Google, Uber, and Amazon. They offer free courses, nanodegrees, and programs toward a career path. When it comes to choosing professors, they go for those that have both professional and academic experience. So, in all, Udacity is a place for learning about IT topics from pros. They use a mix of lectures and projects that tackle real-world issues. What’s not to love?
School of Autonomous Systems Extras
When you sign up for a career path or a course within Udacity’s School of Autonomous Systems, you’ll score a few extras. In our opinion, it’s these extras that make the courses worth it, separating them from the rest that is out there on the web. These extras include:
The biggest perk when taking a course with Udacity is that you can take all the time you need. Log in and learn on your time, adapting your learning to your schedule. The only thing you’ll have to keep on top of are your projects, ensuring that you turn them in on time.
A Technical Mentor
Just in case anything goes wrong, you’ll have a technical mentor that can help you any time, day or night. If you have any issues, hit them up. They’ll have you back on track in no time.
It’s one thing to be a student and a whole other to jump into the workforce. That’s why career services will prepare you for the transition, helping you clean up your resume and know what to say when you’re face to face with your future boss. Schedule a mock interview and make your portfolio pop with help from career pros.
Not only are these projects hands-on but they mimic issues companies in the industry have dealt with. Some projects are created in collaboration with top companies in the industry, mimicking real-industry issues that some of them have faced.
Included with each nanodegree is a set of A-list instructors. These instructors have academic and professional backgrounds in IT, attending world-renowned universities before working at top companies. You’ll enjoy lectures focused on the curriculum and also bits and pieces of advice for you once you’re in the field.
For the School of Autonomous Systems, there are three different career paths that Udacity suggests. Choosing one, you’ll have courses that guide you along and provide you with all of the information you’ll need to learn skills and concepts in the field. These three paths include:
Self-Driving Car Engineer
If self-driving cars fascinate you, then you should check out this career path! Broken up into three courses, you’ll learn everything from C++ to advanced concepts, eventually seeing how everything comes together. The three programs feature hands-on projects and carefully planned out curriculums which we’ll introduce to you below.
1. Intro to Self-Driving Cars
Using Python and C++, you’ll see what it takes to create a self-driving car. Work with computer vision and machine learning, two concepts that make this technology possible. By the end of this course, you’ll have a strong foundation, able to move on to move advanced topics along this career path.
2. C ++
The next step along your journey to becoming a self-driving car engineer, you’ll amp up your skills with C++. You’ll not only learn the powers of the language but also apply them, working on a total of five hands-on projects throughout the course. In the end, you’ll have to gather all that you have learned to build a traffic simulator, coding it to prevent it from crashing.
3. Self-Driving Car Engineer
The final course is nothing short of fabulous, created in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz, Uber, and Nvidia. Learn all of the elements that go into self-driving technology, including predictive steering and motion sensors. Once you learn the techniques, apply them to Udacity’s car simulator and test your code.
Robotics Software Engineer
The possibilities that come with the skills taught along this career path are endless! Technology that powers the Mars Rover is part of this course, along with other advanced robotics concepts.
1. Intro to Self-Driving Cars
Just as the previous career path, you’ll start with the foundations. Learn all of the skills needed to help technology get moving, putting your coding skills to the test with integrated projects.
2. Robotics Software Engineer
Using the mobility skills you learned in the previous course, you can start applying them to creating sophisticated bots that learn and move. You’ll work with ROS framework and C++ to integrate localization, mapping, and more into robotics, giving them the ability to navigate and move around.
This course takes on a different approach, helping students learn by doing. As you get more advanced with C++, you can apply it with help from projects. There are five total projects and a final capstone where you can build your application using C++.
Autonomous Flight Engineer
Technology powers aircraft, helping them work more efficiently. Not only do we need improvements to legacy technologies but to those which are yet to be invented. With the help of the three courses below, you can learn the skills needed to improve aircraft and
1. Intro to Self-Driving Cars
You’ll start by learning the foundations of coding technology to move. With an introduction to machine learning and computer vision, you’ll have a set of skills that will help you move on and move up to more advanced topics.
2. C ++
Speaking of advanced topics, you won’t waste any time getting to them, starting in the second course. C++ is a powerful language used to program technology to move, learn, and complete advanced actions. You’ll learn by doing, taking on five projects that help you learn as you apply. In the end, complete a capstone project you can show off on your portfolio.
3. Flying Car and Autonomous Flight Engineer
Bringing all that you learned from the previous courses, you’ll see how to apply them to give the gift of flight to robots. Work with a test platform to observe the entire process from start to finish, working with 3D motion, controls, and estimation, solidifying your skills with small projects along the way.
How Long Does It Take?
Because of Udacity’s flexibility perk, you can take as long as you’d like to complete any course or career path. Once you start with one class, you can wait and sign up for the other when you are ready. Each of the classes within the career paths is short-term and takes only a few months to complete. That means that you could be on your way to completing a career path in way less than a year. No class beats that!
What’s the Cost?
As far as the cost, Udacity has a few ways to pay that allow students to choose. They can base it off on their budget and the amount of time that they need. Udacity charges per monthly access, which is why they come with so much flexibility. Udacity’s ways to pay include:
Pay as you Go
The pay-as-you-go option is the ultimate plan for flexibility! You can take all of the time that you need and learn at your own pace. For this payment option, the cost is $359 per month. So, you might not want to take too long. Apart from access to the course and curriculum are all the Udacity perks plus a certificate after completion.
Bundle Up and Save
Another option is Udacity’s bundle-and-save deal. With this option, there’s a 15% discount thrown into each course, which you can enjoy with an upfront payment. The best thing about this deal (besides the extra discount) is that you get to take your time knowing that the price isn’t going up. Udacity bases this amount off of the time each course is estimated to take, only calculating ten hours per week.
“Both of the Udacity self-driving car nanodegrees are highly valuable and provide lots of great information. That means that you might want to go through both of them if you’re a beginner who wants to achieve a higher level of knowledge in self-driving cars. However, before taking the course, you should look into the course more thoroughly. It’s crucial to analyze the courses more carefully before taking them. Not all courses are made equally and some may suit some people more than others.” – Laura M.
“Lots of learning stuff to improve your programming skills and fundamentals required to become a proficient C++ developer. Exciting projects after completion of every course in the program. Knowledgeable technical mentor support throughout the program. You can learn at your pace and achieve your personal goal on your own made schedule as they have a flexible learning program.” – Chace M.
“The course starts out with a philosophical discussion of what makes a robot a robot. From the discussion, I gather that essentially a robot is a machine that can perceive the world, decide what to do based on its perception, and then perform an action based on its decision.” – Mithi P.
A Look at the Job Market
One of the best things about having the knowledge needed to work with autonomous systems is the opportunity to work in all kinds of companies. Industry-wide, autonomous systems are in-demand, helping businesses run more efficiently than ever. Back in 2018, the search for jobs related to autonomous systems went up 27%. Year after year, technology takes the place of other jobs that were before executed by humans, making them work better and faster. While this created worry that it would take jobs from humans, it’s actually creating more, as those who power and enhance these systems are needed.
When it comes to paying, the average salary for those with the skills to work with autonomous systems is around $110,000. Like other tech jobs, the amount per year goes up the more skills and experience one has in the field. Robotics is not a career that is going anywhere anytime soon and is on the radar as one of the most in-demand careers on the hunt for students just like you.
Is It Worth It?
After looking at the job market, we have a simple answer. Not only are the skills in demand but, the salary is competitive. As businesses across the globe take steps to become more technologically advanced, they need experts that know how to deploy complex systems that help them get the job done faster and easier.
As far as scoring the skills needed, Udacity is a pretty good place to start. Not only do they break down career paths, but, offer career assistance to help you in landing your first job. In addition, they give you freedom and flexibility when it comes to learning, letting you call the shots.
If you’re fascinated by technology and dream of working robots, the School of Autonomous Systems from Udacity is the way to do it. Sign up, buckle down, and get it done, knowing that exciting things await you upon completion.