Microsoft has announced an extension to its education outreach by announcing Azure Machine Learning courses and scholarships through Udacity. According to Microsoft, the program will help spur a growth in AI and data science students.

In a blog post, the company points out demand for AI positions is outpacing supply. By making programs like Azure Machine Learning courses available, the company hopes to help to catch up.

Udacity is an education platform that delivers massive open online courses (MOOCs). Through the collaboration with Microsoft, the platform will host an introductory course titled “Introduction to machine learning on Azure”, which will be available for free.

10,000 spots are available for this free introduction and it will give students access to machine learning without needing extensive knowledge of coding. Udacity says this course focuses on the fundamentals of machine learning. It will leverage Azure’s automated machine learning tools alongside drag-and-drop tools.


The leading 300 students from this course will receive scholarships to enter the Nanodegree Programs with Microsoft Azure. It is worth noting other students can enter this course, but they will need to pay to do so.

The more advanced course adds more access to other tools, such as open source services like TensorFlow and ONNX. This will allow students to learn about more complex machine learning concepts.

Udacity CEO Gabe Dalporto, Azure CVP Julia White commented on the collaboration, said, “It’s a wonderful moment, to go and think about retraining and getting skilled in a really important area that will continue to be highly relevant as we move forward”.

Students interested in the introductory course can send applications from June 10 to June 30.