Google will offer up to 10,000 scholarships to individuals in the European Union interested in acquiring Android application development skills.
Up to 9,000 of the scholarships will be reserved for an Android Basics course designed for individuals with no previous programming skills. The remaining 1,000 scholarships have been earmarked for a new Associate Android Developer Fast Track program for developers with at least one year of Java programming experience.
Google will deliver the Android scholarship program in collaboration with Bertelsmann, a global media and education services giant and e-learning company Udacity.
Matt Brittin, Google's vice president of sales and operations for Northern and Central Europe, described the initiative as a response to a worsening digital skills shortage in Europe.
"On current projections, the growing gap between skills required and the training that workers receive, has lead the EU to predict that almost a million [information and communication technology] jobs would remain unfilled by 2020," Brittin said in announcing the initiative on Google's The Keyword blog.
Google's scholarship program will equip individuals with the skills required to get a job in Europe's rapidly expanding mobile economy. It represents a big opportunity for individuals interested in a software development career to join the more than 1.3 million developers in the region, he said.
EU residents have until Dec. 18, 2016 to apply for either the Android Beginner Path scholarship program or the more advanced Android Programmer Path program.
Individuals who are granted a scholarship for the entry-level program will receive three months of free access to an "Android Basics: User Interface" e-learning course supported by mentors from Udacity. As part of the course, students will build two basic programs designed to pique their interest in pursuing further training.
The top 1,000 students will receive an additional three-month access to Google's Android Basics Nanodegree program. The program is structured to equip individuals with the skills required to build simple, interactive Android applications. In addition to learning how to build basic user interfaces, students signed up for the Nanodegree program will learn how to handle user input, build multi-screen apps and implement network support in their apps.
Developers who receive scholarships to the newly launched Android Programmer Path meanwhile, will have full access to an Associate Android Developer Fast Track certification program. The program, and exam at the end of it, is designed to demonstrate mastery of core skills required for a career in Android application development according to Google. The company claims that individuals who take the course will be job ready in just three months.
For its part, Bertelsmann has committed to making Udacity's online technology courses available to its employees in all 1,000 or so of its business units. About 2,000 employees currently enrolled in Bertelsmann apprenticeship, trainee and degree programs across Europe will be eligible for a Google Nanodegree scholarship if they are suitably qualified for it and are in relevant fields of study.
As part of the initiative with Google and Udacity, Bertelsmann will also spend more of its training budget on information and communication technology related skills. EU residents interested in applying for the Android scholarships can do so here.