Online computer programming educator Udacity announced on Monday it would expand on the ground in India, the country where the service is growing the fastest.
Udacity’s free and nanodegree services are available worldwide, but with Monday’s announcement, the company will begin accepting rupees for the service and expanding its staff in the country. Nanodegrees are credentials recognized by many companies, such as Google and Salesforce.
Courses will cost 9,800 rupees a month, which is about $50 less than the price in the United States of $200 per month.
“Udacity’s mission is to democratize education, and India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies,” said Udacity CEO Sebastian Thrun in an interview with TechCrunch.
Google and Tata Trust will each offer 500 full Android nanodegree scholarships to students in India. Google will also host a job fair in India for standout nanodegree graduates and potential employers next year. Udacity said it is seeking to increase partnerships with more companies based in India.
Udacity’s foray into India is a logical step as the number of programmers in the country continues to surge. Currently India is home to the second largest programmer population in the world, a Udacity spokeswoman said. In general Udacity nanodegree students tend to be college graduates with some programming experience.
Thrun said Udacity plans to use the same “recipe” it has to achieve growth that it used in the United States.
“One of the big questions is can we get the same growth in India?” Thrun told TechCrunch. “We’re very optimistic we can.”