Imagine a degree that costs less than $1000 and takes only months to complete. Does it sound suspiciously like a 1980s TV commercial for correspondence school? Meet the latest trend in online education: the nanodegree. Not far off from a modern-day equivalent to the floral arranging or small engine repair accreditation of yesteryear, the nanodegree provides cheap, fast, hands-on training in the technical skills that employers are looking for. The brainchild of Stanford professor Sebastian Thrun, CEO of Udacity, nanodegrees address the skills shortage in the tech sector, the increasing number of young people incurring massive amounts of student debt and the larger number of people changing careers midlife. Thrun\u2019s first stab at online learning was a failure. In 2011, he and Google Director of Research Peter Norvig created one of the first free online MOOCs (massive open online course). A whopping 160,000 people registered for the artificial intelligence course, but only 10% of them completed it. It gave Thrun the drive to create a different kind of online learning: Udacity.