Announcing Taxonomy ImprovementsOctober 14, 2020
Today, Udemy supports over 130,000 courses in more than 60 languages on a huge variety of subjects. With that diversity of content growing every day, it’s more important than ever that we organize all that great content in a way that helps us get your courses in front of the right students.
To strengthen our recommendations and make it easier for students to find the content they’re looking for, we make periodic improvements to our category and subcategory definitions. Below, we provide a summary of all updates to Udemy’s taxonomy since we first began improving it in 2018.
How the changes work
If your course category or subcategory changes, you’ll get a notification letting you know we’ve updated these designations for you. Changes will apply automatically, so there’s no need for you to take any action as an instructor. If you have suggestions or feedback regarding updated taxonomy in your area of expertise, you can write to [email protected]. Additionally, you can always request a change to your category, subcategory, or primary topics by writing to [email protected].
What we’ve updated
What’s changing: We’re introducing two new subcategories: “No-Code Development” within the Development category, and “Esoteric Practices” within the Lifestyle category.
Why it’s changing: As we examined patterns in course creation and student browsing behavior, we saw an opportunity to better group and label similar courses. In Development, we saw a growing number of courses that focused on using “builders” rather than coding to create websites and apps. In Lifestyle, we saw similar student profiles engaging with content like Reiki, Hypnosis, and Astrology, but these topics were scattered unpredictably across multiple subcategories. We’re establishing new subcategories to improve the findability of all these courses.
What’s changing: We’re moving one subcategory, “E-commerce,” from the Development category to the Business category.
Why it’s changing: The E-commerce category within Development contains a mix of courses that serve very different learning needs. Some focus on coding for e-commerce, while others focus on e-commerce strategy or operations. Establishing the E-commerce subcategory within the Business category will give a clearer, more intuitive home to courses on topics like dropshipping. Current E-commerce courses that do focus on development will have a home in the Web Development subcategory.
What’s changing: We’re removing the “Finance” and “Personal Finance” subcategories within Business and Personal Development, respectively. We’re also removing the “Home Business” subcategory within Business.
Why it’s changing: After the introduction of the “Finance and Accounting” category in 2019, the existing “Finance” and “Personal Finance” subcategories were preserved in both their old and new homes to ensure a smooth transition. Now that Finance and Accounting is firmly established as a category, we’re completing the move for these courses.
As for Home Business, courses within this subcategory are only loosely related to one another, and many have clearer homes in E-commerce or Entrepreneurship. To ensure our subcategories truly group similar courses, we’re retiring this subcategory and ensuring courses within it are reassigned to a more meaningful one.
Renamed Categories and Subcategories
What’s changing: We’re renaming one category and multiple subcategories. Changes include…
- Relabeling the “Photography” category to “Photography & Video”
- Relabeling the “Mobile Apps” subcategory within Development to “Mobile Development”
- Many small clarity edits
Why it’s changing: After reviewing feedback from students and instructors and examining the content of these subcategories, we identified opportunities to increase the clarity of our taxonomic labels. While these changes are cosmetic, we expect them to help students better understand the types of courses they can expect to find in each category and subcategory.
What’s changing: We’re introducing a new subcategory, “Data Science,” to the Development category.
Why it’s changing: To date, Data & Analytics courses have been included within the Business category. However, industry knowledge and our own student data indicate that many of these courses are more strongly related to Development than to Business. So, we’re breaking out courses focused on Data-related programming (e.g. Python, R and Machine Learning) into a new subcategory within Development. Courses focused on Data-related business skills in Business (e.g. Data Analysis and Data Visualization) will stay in Business.
We expect that the number of Data-related courses, students, and topics will continue to grow. As it does, we’ll make further taxonomy adjustments to ensure we’re helping students find the data-related content they’re looking for, and instructors can be easily found by the right students.
What’s changing: We’re introducing a new category, “Finance & Accounting.”
Why it’s changing: “Business” is the second-largest category on Udemy. It has a huge range of student interests that aren’t all strongly related to one another — topics like Communications, Home Business, and Human Resources. Furthermore, topics that are more closely related, like Personal Finance and Money Management Tools, have been split between the Business and Personal Development categories. This makes it hard for us to help students find the right course. So by adding the new “Finance & Accounting” category, we’re breaking out the Business category into more relevant groups and creating one home for money-focused subcategories.
“Academics,” “Language,” “Test Prep” and “Teacher Training” categories will all be consolidated into one “Teaching & Academics” category.
Why it’s changing: As standalone categories, these subject areas aren’t sufficiently differentiated to support meaningful subcategories — nearly a third of these courses list “Other” as their subcategory. Furthermore, Language subcategories are largely redundant to Language topics, which has negative implications both for recommendations and SEO. Creating one larger category for topics traditionally taught in a classroom setting lets us reduce that redundancy and strengthen our search and recommendations.