As technology and consumer electronics continue to enrich the lives of an increasing number of tech users across the globe, the IT jobs market is expected to keep growing and reach a new high before the end of the decade. According to reports, the European parliament expects 90% of jobs across the European Union to require digital skills before the year 2020. At the same time, due to lack of digital skills among employees, the EU predicts that roughly one million IT jobs will remain vacant by the end of the decade. In light of these predictions, Google together with Udacity and media and education company Bertelsmann have recently come together to offer 10,000 scholarships for Android developers in the European Union.
Although smartphones and other consumer electronics are becoming more accessible in an increasing number of regions across the world, there is a so-called digital separation between individuals who have quick access to the Internet and computers, and those who may find it more difficult to take advantage of these modern tools. According to estimates, this divide costs the UK a whopping £63 Billion in lost economic revenue every year, and numerous companies around the world are now attempting to close the gap and make technology more accessible to consumers worldwide through various means, either by bringing access to the Internet in remote regions or creating increasingly powerful and affordable hardware. As for Google, Udacity, and Bertelsmann, these three companies revealed their plans earlier this week to fund 10,000 Android developer scholarships in the European Union, in order to prepare the IT market for an increasing demand in tech-savvy employees.
Out of all 10,000 scholarships, Google will fund 9,000 scholarships covering the basics of Android application development, and 1,000 Associate Android Developer Fast Track scholarships for experienced programmers, who will have an opportunity to earn an Android developer certification. Meanwhile, Bertelsmann revealed that it will improve its IT training budgets and skill-building for employees at roughly 1,000 businesses owned by the company. EU residents who are over 18 years old can apply for a scholarship online on Udacity's landing page (source link below) by December 18, 2016, regardless if they have prior experience in programming. Scholarships will be awarded on January 5, 2017.