Nokia launches scholarship to support marginalised communities in technology

The fully-funded scholarships cover a range of key tech disciplines, including cloud computing, programming, artificial intelligence, and data science

Finnish multinational telecoms company Nokia this week (24 August) announced the launch of a new scholarship programme, designed to broaden opportunities for underrepresented people working in tech-based industries.

Together with online learning platform Udacity and the Blacks In Technology (BIT) Foundation, Nokia will provide more than 300 scholarships, striving to empower students from underrepresented communities as they embark on their career.

The fully-funded programmes cover a range of core tech disciplines, including cloud computing, programming, artificial intelligence (AI), and data science, all of which are available from introductory to advanced levels. Successful scholarship applicants will choose from topics such as AI Programming with Python, Java Programming, Data Structures and Algorithms, Intermediate Python, and Cloud DevOps Engineering.

Of the scholarship launch, Karoliina Loikkanen, global head of sustainability at Nokia, said: “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.

“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.”

Programmes will be hosted by Udacity, whose online Nanodegrees® provide the flexibility to be completed alongside further studies or full-time work, making them accessible to everyone regardless of their current home or professional situation. The scholarships are open to applicants based anywhere in the world, and it’s not just students who can benefit; but also industry professionals looking to advance their skills.

“We are pleased to see major industry players like Nokia stepping up to the plate with Udacity and addressing the issue head-on” – Dennis Schultz, BIT Foundation

Successful candidates will gain access to support and networking opportunities 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.

“Education is one of the most important ways for us to help remove the barriers to diversity in tech,” said Dennis Schultz, executive director of the BIT Foundation. “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.

“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.”

Applications are now open. For more information about the scholarship programme and how to enter, click here.

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