If you read our recent Q3 2023 DataCamp Donates Digest, you may have noticed that we slipped in a pretty amazing announcement that probably deserved its own piece.
In September, DataCamp crossed a mind-boggling statistic we’ve been building toward. Over one million people worldwide have received free DataCamp Premium scholarships. In fact, as we close out 2023, that number has risen to over 1,059,000.
What is a DataCamp Premium Scholarship?
A DataCamp Premium Scholarship is at least six months of unfettered access to everything DataCamp has to offer. These are distributed through our two social impact programs, DataCamp Classrooms and DataCamp Donates.
When we first started giving free Premium access, that meant all of our courses, projects, practice exercises, and assessments. Over the years, as we’ve added new products, features, and tools, such as Certification, Workspace, and Portfolios to DataCamp Premium, we've rolled them into our Premium Scholarships, too. For data and AI to make lasting positive changes in the world, we believe teachers, students, and disadvantaged individuals deserve the same world-class educational resources as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
DataCamp Premium Scholarships are not to be confused with new cash scholarships we gift to winners of some of our Competitions.
How did we get to a million?
The one million number does not refer to the discrete number of scholarships we have given. It refers to the actual number of unique users who have received free Premium access through DataCamp Classrooms and Donates. As we will explain, the decentralized structure of the programs means the vast majority of these scholarships are given out by DataCamp users, not DataCamp itself.
In these programs, teachers and nonprofit admins are given groups they can invite learners into. When learners join the group, they effectively earn a DataCamp Premium Scholarship for as long as the group is active (or until the admin removes them). DataCamp Classrooms last six months, while DataCamp Donates groups last an entire year. However, any individual who receives a Premium Scholarship can extend it easily by joining a new Classrooms or Donates group.
To that end, we encourage our nonprofit partners and teachers to keep applying for these programs, renewing their access, and spreading the love to more aspiring data scientists in their communities.
This statistic is not a vanity metric that counts the same person repeatedly for getting multiple scholarships, masking the true human impact of our initiatives. Instead, it truly represents the over one million people in over 200 countries who have received at least six months of free Premium access.
Soft launched in 2016, DataCamp Classrooms was the first manifestation of DataCamp’s pro-bono commitment to democratizing data science education at all costs. Specifically, our COO announced we were giving up more than 10% of our revenue to provide all our content for free to university professors and their students. That decision has been worth every penny.
The massive size and scope of DataCamp Classrooms rely on its decentralized structure that empowers teachers to invite all their students to participate in unlimited learning. We trust our academic users to use their power responsibly and share DataCamp’s tools and knowledge with fellow academics.
Teachers can make as many Classrooms as they like and may invite an unlimited number of students to learn on DataCamp. They even get access to a dashboard that can create assignments and group students into Teams, making it a fully functional LMS accessible on desktop or mobile. We even let teachers download our slides, videos, and datasets for offline viewing to help aspiring students in parts of the world where the internet and devices are not readily available.
In 2021, as we closed in on 500,000 scholarships distributed, we made our first major expansion of DataCamp Classrooms by adding American secondary schools to our eligibility database. For the first time, students pursuing their high school diplomas and angling to get into the colleges of their dreams could get ahead of the competition by getting their hands on DataCamp Classrooms, the same revolutionary resource being used at the creme-de-la-creme of higher education institutions.
In the two years that have followed, we’ve expanded secondary school eligibility to teachers and students in nine other countries (UK, Belgium, Canada, Australia, France, Poland, Czechia, Türkiye, and Singapore), and the results have been sensational. Approximately 5% of all DataCamp Classrooms are managed by secondary teachers, and the word of mouth that comes with this expansion is boomeranging back into new circles of higher education that still haven’t heard of DataCamp until now.
It took us five years to reach the first 500,000 free scholarships donated. We have now accomplished this task again, but in half the time. A mere two and a half years since expanding DataCamp Classrooms to secondary schools, the exponential growth has skyrocketed us to over 1,000,000 million.
Besides DataCamp Classrooms, another critical part of that growth has been launching our corporate social responsibility campaign DataCamp Donates in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Much has been written about DataCamp Donates, our program to provide free scholarships to disadvantaged individuals who can’t afford the cost of a DataCamp Premium subscription, let alone admission to a college or university. Since launching the program in August 2020, nearly 100,000 of the one million beneficiaries of our scholarships have been identified by our hundreds of nonprofit, for-profit, and student club partners through this program.
Just like how we empower teachers with DataCamp Classrooms, DataCamp Donates enables social enterprises to find people who are unemployed, underemployed, refugees of war and environmental disaster, persons with disabilities, and members of other historically underresourced communities and give them direct access to DataCamp. These scholars then go on to land better jobs in the fields of their choice and increase their learning power and influence.
We’re proud to announce that DataCamp Donates Scholars have shared over 2,500 success stories from their lives after participating in the program. These tales range from new jobs, promotions, and internships, to admission into universities, special awards, and published works. If your Premium DataCamp Scholarship has tangibly improved your career, please let us know by taking a couple of minutes to fill out this form. We may use your story to promote our social impact work so we can reach even more ambitious learners from historically underrepresented communities.
Happy Holidays from the DataCamp Social Impact Team!
Here’s to the next million people who will receive life-changing opportunities from us. We can’t wait to meet you! Until then, have a safe and fun holiday season with your friends and family, and take care of one another as we arrive in 2024! And remember, the end of the calendar year can be a difficult time for some. You are never alone—if you need help, ask!
Qualified teachers can apply to DataCamp Classrooms here.
Essential for academia
"Whether you’re teaching a pure data science class or something more multidisciplinary, DataCamp Classrooms is a tool every teacher and student should use.” — Mike Soltys, PhD. University of Colorado Boulder
Community leaders and nonprofit administrators may apply to become DataCamp Donates Partner Organizations here.
Become a DataCamp Donates Partner
"Our mission at Women in Data is to increase diversity in data careers. DataCamp Donates plays an essential role in our education pillar, and we’re very grateful for this partnership." — Sadie St. Lawrence, Founder and CEO
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Nathaniel helped create a program to give data education scholarships to disadvantaged and unemployed individuals through partnerships with NGOs. This CSR campaign evolved into DataCamp Donates, and now Nathaniel manages this program along with DataCamp Classrooms as DataCamp’s Social Impact Manager. Through those two programs, DataCamp has awarded data science education scholarships to almost a million unique learners and counting.