Announcing Taxonomy ImprovementsNovember 6, 2019
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’re rolling out improvements to our category and subcategory definitions. Changes will apply automatically, so there’s no need for you to take any action as an instructor. You’ll be notified if your course’s category or subcategory classification is adjusted.
The story behind these changes
We’ve heard from instructors and students that Udemy’s current taxonomy—the organization of courses into categories and subcategories—can be confusing. Courses in the “Design” category range from technical software tutorials to drawing or fashion guides. Courses on machine learning end up in both the “Data & Analytics” and “Math & Science” subcategories.
We also know that for instructors, it can be hard to pick the right classification when the predetermined options don’t quite capture what you’re teaching.
We’ve spent the last year studying the 130,000+ courses on Udemy and their relationships to each other. Equipped with this data and research, we’re ready to start making improvements to the way we organize courses. Beginning in December 2018, we’ll begin rolling out updates to our category and subcategory designations.
How the changes will work
If your course category or subcategory changes, you’ll get a notification letting you know we’ve updated these designations for you. If you have suggestions or feedback regarding updated taxonomy in your area of expertise, you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, you can always request a change to your category, subcategory, or primary topics by writing to email@example.com.
Having the right taxonomy for your courses helps students find the content they want more quickly, and helps us make strong recommendations that keep them coming back for more. We’re excited to see how these upgrades will support the ever-growing number of students, courses, languages, and topics on Udemy.
What We’ve Updated
What changed: We introduced a new subcategory, “Data Science,” to the Development category.
Why it changed: 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’ve broken 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 changed: We introduced a new category, “Finance & Accounting.”
Why it changed: “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.
What changed: “Academics,” “Language,” “Test Prep” and “Teacher Training” categories have been consolidated into one “Teaching & Academics” category.
Why it changed: As standalone categories, these subject areas weren’t sufficiently differentiated to support meaningful subcategories — nearly a third of these courses listed “Other” as their subcategory. Furthermore, Language subcategories were largely redundant to Language topics, which had 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.