Udemy Skills Index

Udemy Skills Index 2014 – A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Udemy released its first Skills Index, an analysis of trends in American skills development based on data from Udemy’s top 100 paid online courses. The result: tech related courses are hugely popular on the platform which frankly is not a big surprise or keen insight.

Besides gathering data on the courses, Udemy surveyed 7000 Udemy students about their motivation to take courses online.

Udemy’s conclusion of the data gathered is that Americans are taking tech, business and design focused online courses because they feel that these skills are needed to compete in the job market, and while this is of course true I won’t take it as an indicator for an overall trend as Udemy did. What the numbers show is that Udemy is still heavily entrenched in its Silicon Valley clientele.

If you take a look at the number of courses offered in the different categories you see why people take tech, business and design classes. They simply make up the majority of topics offered on the marketplace.

  • Technology: 2280
  • Business: 2340
  • Design: 420
  • Music: 264
  • Language: 132 courses
  • Arts: 66 courses

(The numbers above are only courses offered in English, counted in the different categories)

To me, the interesting questions that come out of this are

  • Why is there a growing group of online tutors creating tech and design courses?
  • Will Udemy be able to broaden its course offering as Dennis Yang is planning it?
  • Will students choose topics not directly related to their core interest?

Especially this last question is crucial to Udemy’s business in the midterm. Only if students start to take lifestyle, music or language courses besides their tech training the marketplace as a whole can benefit from its user base and therefore justify the new commission structure.

Further Reading

  • Americans Honing Tech Skills to Compete in Today’s Workforce | Udemy

Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at KirstenWinkler.com.