Nokia has today announced the launch of a scholarship program aimed at providing greater opportunities for underrepresented communities in the technology industry. Working together with online learning and talent transformation platform Udacity and Blacks In Technology (BIT) Foundation, Nokia will offer over 300 scholarships, with a focus on empowering students and career changers from underrepresented communities.
The fully-funded scholarships cover a range of core tech competencies, from cloud computing and programming to artificial intelligence and data science, and are available from introductory to advanced levels. The successful candidates will be able to select courses on topics such as AI Programming with Python, Java Programming, Data Structures and Algorithms, Intermediate Python, and Cloud DevOps Engineering.
The courses will be provided by Udacity, whose Nanodegree® programs are fully online and designed to be completed alongside further studies or full-time work, making them accessible to anyone regardless of their position or profession. Scholarships are open to applicants based anywhere in the world, to both students and industry professionals who wish to further develop their technology skills.
Scholarship recipients will also have access to support and networking provided by the BIT Foundation, including mentorship, tutoring, and post-completion career support resources. Nokia will also work closely with its African-American employee resource group ABLE (Advancing Black Leadership and Excellence) to further promote the initiative.
“We are committed to creating technology that helps the world act together, but to do so, the technology industry must reflect the world around us,” said Karoliina Loikkanen, Global Head of Sustainability at Nokia. “This initiative further expands our activities to drive greater inclusion and diversity through concrete actions that provide opportunities to underrepresented communities and individuals, irrespective of background or ethnicity. Education forms a key part of this. Diverse businesses are shown to perform better, and we intend to encourage students who successfully complete one of the programs to apply for positions within Nokia”.
“Education is one of the most important ways for us to help remove the barriers to diversity in tech. By providing access to resources that are designed to nurture and develop people’s skills, we can help get more Black talent into the technology space,” said Dennis Schultz, Executive Director at the BIT Foundation. “We are pleased to see major industry players like Nokia stepping up to the plate with Udacity and addressing the issue head-on in order to drive forward digital transformation and improve much-needed Black representation in tech”.
“We have joined forces with Nokia and Blacks In Technology Foundation because we believe that it is vital to continue to create opportunities for underrepresented groups to build careers in the field of technology,” said Gabe Dalporto, CEO at Udacity. “Democratizing access to digital skills training will create life-changing opportunities for people, and these scholarships will ensure we continue to take measurable steps to increase the participation of Black people in the technology sector”.