Presumably a nanodegree is 0.000000001 of a full degree?
Going to cost a bit to finish, then...
Udacity has cooked up a £2,000 "nanodegree" that "teaches students how to design their own flying cars". "Are you ready for a future in this transformational field? Apply by February 7, and take your place in the historic inaugural class. You can even earn a special 'Early Adopter' first-term tuition offer!" burbles the online …
Actually quite a number have. The Russians even had a flying tank https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_A-40.
Practicality of competing requirements (airworthiness, weight, power, safety, suspension, armor, not chopping up people with a great big propeller) seem to be why these never, really get off the ground.
"...none of which are worth the paper they are written (probably)."
If you read "Weapons of Math Destruction", the author has a right old go at what's happened with "for-profit" educational establishments in the US.
They have HUGE marketing budgets.
It was a long time ago, but I don't remember my Private Pilot's License requiring a master's degree in aircraft design. Principles of flight, yes, but not structural airframe design or anything like that. I suppose it depends on the target audience - if you are trying to produce people capable of writing software for an advanced autopilot system you need a different skillset from anyone trying to build an autonomous flying machine from scratch.
TBH, it is not clear to me who constitutes the target audience for this "product". There seems little reason to produce self-drive software for flying cars until we actually have flying cars and modern commercial aircraft already have so much fight-control automation there is concern that it is actually deskilling the pilots.
I suspect your PPL is significantly more useful though! As you say the target audience is poorly defined, it's not as if we aren't already producing people with the skills needed to programme the software for an advanced autopilot system and I suspect it takes longer than two terms.
> it's not as if we aren't already producing people with the skills needed to programme the software for an advanced autopilot system and I suspect it takes longer than two terms.
For that bit, two terms is correct, as I recall (it was a long time ago *and* I didn't pass). But we are talking about the mere implementation of control systems, not advancing the state of the art.
And the job opportunities?
If the "nano-degree" and its blurb were not sufficiently hilarious tosh, which aeronautical engineering company is going to hire the "nano grads"? No one who already has a decent engineering/science degree is going to go near this—why would they?—so who, precisely will take people dumb enough to widdle £2k like this? How will their insurance look? As hordes of flying cars take to the air (which isn't going to happen anyway) and periodically drop out of it and kill people (which is why it won't happen), who will be first to say "Oh yeah, our flight control software was written in Python by a blerk with an 11-plus and a nano-degree"?
And before anyone suggests that thousands or even millions of flying cars will be as safe as modern airliners, reflect upon this—
* They will be operated more like taxis, with exceptionally high landing/takeoff cycles, which are always the most dangerous part of flying.
* Airliners are not the safest form of transport anyway, unless and only if measured by passenger mile. Per journey, buses are actually safer. Flying cars will be much more like buses for journey frequency and length.
* The idea that a flying taxi operator will employ people to the standards of airliner engineers, working to the same regulatory standards and achieving remotely similar safety levels is pie in the sky. Short of some miraculous new propulsion technology and extraordinary ATC advances, flying cars will remain niche, minority and will never be used in large numbers over cities—the only place they'd have been useful. (Cities are by nature full of people, aka victims of aerial debris. Imagine our attitude to plane crashes if, on the very rare occasions they occur, the plane always came down in a city.)
Some of the same points apply to drones, which is why I suspect that idea of hundreds operating over a city is equally daft.
And the job opportunities?
They should be very good indeed.
In fact, if any nanodegree graduate is, for some bizarre reason, unable to immediately find a job writing software for flying cars then their enthusiasm for this course shows them to be ideally suited for a lucrative career in scrap metal.
As it happens, I am in a position to sell them the rights to a large wrought iron lattice tower that the French Government is keen to dispose of.
And the job opportunities?
Their ads for the $3000 self-driving car course are plastered with the average salary for experts in the field.
Of course they make no promises that after completing a 120 hour python course you will immediately get the same salary as a Stanford PhD working at Google for 5years - that would be illegal <cough> Trump university </cough>
I was under the impression that "degree" was a protected title in English (and presumably European) law. How are they getting away with marketing something that is plainly not a degree, as a degree?
Can I start calling myself a Nanochartered Civil Engineer? How about a Microbarrister?
"You can't offer a degree from "Oxfordshire University" but you can sell a degree from the South Houston Institute of Technology in the UK"
That's treading on thin ice, given that Houston is in Renfrewshire. There's another Houston somewhere else that has been around for a few decades, but Houston, the real one, has been around since at least 1265.
Your choices are small enough to fit in one lane of traffic and too loud to go near anywhere residential or quiet enough to land near home but eats both lanes, half the pavement on each side and struggles to lift one average man. Once you in the air, you have to land at once to comply with minimum reserve fuel requirements.
Ask again next year because there might be lighter batteries available.
Now imagine your wallet with no money in it. Congratulations, you've just virtually simulated the industry standard development and investment process of flying cars. Respond to this comment to prove you've completed this training course, and I will personally award you a picodegree.
Sadly that happens all the time here on the left pond
A young women of shall we say 'limited formal education' was interviewed on the local news having borrowed $x,000 for a 2 week programmer boot camp. So if she didn't get one of those silicon Valley jobs it could only be due to sexism - because she now had the skills (or possibly skillz?)
"I wish - it's costing my son £9000 per year for his degree at a UK university."
Well, with all the friends he'll be making it'll pay back in no time. Presuming he's at a Russel group uni, the jobs for the boys should see him through.
If he's not, then I'd seriously suggest getting him onto a German or Dutch university course that's taught in english.
Netherlands is about 2k a year. Germany is free, but you need to prove you can support yourself (~9k euro for a year). Academic entry requirements are about the same as UK universities.
If he's living at home while studying it might be cheaper. But if he's living out, it would appears to be pure insanity to study in the UK. Well, in England. I hear it's still free for Scots to study in Scotland.
> I hear it's still free for Scots to study in Scotland.
For undergraduate study, it is free for students ordinarily resident in Scotland or the rest of the EU, with the exception of England, Northern Ireland and Wales. Note that this is based on residence, not on nationality (a Scottish person ordinarily resident in England would have to pay, whereas an Englishman in Scotland does not).
I've done a couple Udacity nanodegrees and I'm generally satisfied with the experience, but I have to agree they went a bit overboard with this one. From the curriculum they could just have called it "self-piloting drone nanodegree", but no – not eye-catching enough for the marketing people, I reckon.
Tell us more about 'nanodegrees'. Relatives have done UK honours 'degrees' that were a certifiable waste of time, whereas 6-week intensive courses in web-design (?) led to instant, forever, employability. Back in the day I did just 2 weeks wonderful COBOL, and never looked back. Somewhere there's some middle ground, but it isn't airborne.
Not necessarily. Many of the Coursera / Udacity courses are very good, they are taught by world experts, have included projects/tests to make sure you understood it and if you pay the money proof you completed it.
I would be more interested in a candidate that had completed a bunch of these courses on specific relevent advanced topics than somebody who had done a 3year degree in ICT at Podunk State
Like they're trying to make a game, or are gathering data of some sort. But instead of hiring a dev and test team the traditional way, they're roping in developers and getting them to do various amounts of work and to generate test data, in exchange for an "accreditation" which will be recognise precisely nowhere afterwards.
Oh, and they're getting said devs to pay for the privilege.
Imagine just how hard and how long you would laugh if you ever got a c.v. submitted to you with this qualification on it......... I think I'd ring them up to ask what it consisted of, just to hear the reply "two terms of basic physics and Python" and see if I could hold myself together again before I asked them how much it cost.
> Imagine just how hard and how long you would laugh if you ever got a c.v. submitted to you with this qualification on it
I don't know if you have to read CVs as part of your job, but you would be amazed.
One that sticks in my memory was someone with thousands of hours experience flying all kinds of aircraft in Microsoft flight simulator, or whatever it was called.
The vacancy was for a first officer position on the 737.
PS: we did not laugh though. We thought it was seriously sad in many ways.
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