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  1. #1
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Nanodegrees vs. Minnesota Bureaucrats

    One the one hand, I've long said that "nanodegree" is a stupid term. On the other hand, Minnesota bureaucrats seem to be swatting a fly with napalm here:

    https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-12...late-state-law

    I suppose it's one of those times I wish both sides could lose.
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  2. #2
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    Ugh. I fail to see what problem Minnesota tries to solve here. These things are unambiguous enough that the market'll determine their acceptability just fine. However awkward the name, no one will confuse these with "undergraduate or graduate degrees"; this doesn't pass the "idiot in a hurry" test.
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  3. #3
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Minnesota officials are concerned that nanodegrees = microbullshit to baffle their picobrains.

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 12-19-2016 at 04:22 PM.

  4. #4
    b4cz28 is offline Registered User
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    Sadly I bet most grads will hold themselves out as having earned a degree. Also a Nano degree is still a degree. No way around that.


    Why even have the title degree in there if that's not what it is?
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  5. #5
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Sadly I bet most grads will hold themselves out as having earned a degree.
    I don't know about "most" but it does happen quite a bit with non-degree programs. The most recent one I recall was someone with a Master Certificate from Villanova that they claimed as a Masters degree.

    And, of course, many people claim graduation from programs they started but never completed.

    One big thing is that Udacity isn't a university. So saying you have a degree from there isn't likely to impress anyone.

    But I think that even including the word "degree" in the title is, if not misleading, simply not a good idea for clarity sake.

    It irritates me slightly less than the "mini-MBA " programs out there but it's still problematic.
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  6. #6
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    Well, clearly Udacity should rename the thing; use "badge" nomenclature or some such. Still, Minnesota should just chill.
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  7. #7
    Davewill is offline Registered User
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    Well, I can't see how Uber and Lyft aren't taxi companies that should have to be properly licenced, taxed and regulated as such. Just because it's on the Internet doesn't mean it's actually new and different. Plenty of folks have offered various educational programs and the rest of them have to register and comply with state regs. Why should Udacity be exempt?
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  9. #8
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davewill
    Just because it's on the Internet doesn't mean it's actually new and different.
    Good call!

    I think it boils down to a widely (and wrongly) held obsession with the word "degree." Popular myth: if it doesn't say "degree" somewhere, no educational program is worth spit. Don't know of any mini-micro-nano-pico thingies this side of the border. Just full-on degrees, diplomas or certificates.

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    Last edited by Johann; 12-20-2016 at 04:18 PM.

  10. #9
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davewill View Post
    Well, I can't see how Uber and Lyft aren't taxi companies that should have to be properly licenced, taxed and regulated as such.
    You say "properly" like the purpose of taxi medallions is consumer protection rather than just to protect the taxi cartel.

    Just because it's on the Internet doesn't mean it's actually new and different. Plenty of folks have offered various educational programs and the rest of them have to register and comply with state regs. Why should Udacity be exempt?
    Because it's not a university.
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  11. #10
    Life Long Learning is offline Registered User
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    Minnesota sounds like a Nanny-State.

    Is the word "degree" copyrighted?

  12. #11
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davewill View Post
    Well, I can't see how Uber and Lyft aren't taxi companies that should have to be properly licenced, taxed and regulated as such.
    Taxi companies own taxis and dispatch them for taxi service.

    Uber and Lyft don't own taxis. They are an online platform where independent people in their own personal autos connect with people who want a ride (or a "lyft" if you will). So it being online isn't what makes it different. What makes it different is that it is a completely different business model for taxi service.

    Plenty of folks have offered various educational programs and the rest of them have to register and comply with state regs. Why should Udacity be exempt?
    Right, and Udacity does as well. They offer a nanodegree which, Udacity proudly proclaims, is a "non-degree, non-credit" course of study. The Minnesota requirements are for degrees. This isn't a degree. And they likely wouldn't have an issue if they just called it a Diploma.

    In New York there are vast lists of things you cannot offer without registration. Udacity's programs don't run afoul of them because "nanodegree" isn't on the list. Now, if Udacity began offering a "Master of Data Science" and said it wasn't a degree but a mastery certificate they'd probably run into the same issues here. But they didn't. The Udacity program is very clearly not a degree and Minnesota's beef is that it is because of its name.
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