Report Identifies Pitfalls in Students' Academic Journeys

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Report Identifies Pitfalls in Students' Academic Journeys

Austin, TX startup MyEdu attempts to pinpoint where, when and why students get off track

By Tony Wan     Mar 25, 2013

Report Identifies Pitfalls in Students' Academic Journeys

Many of us who thought education meant getting good grades, going to good schools, getting good jobs and getting nice houses with white picket fences have found reality to be a rather harsh wake-up call. With 53% of recent college graduates reportedly unemployed or under-employed, it's no surprise that many are beginning to become jaded and disillusioned with the process.

"Students think they are following a pre-defined journey...but the academic system does not provide such a clean-cut path, resulting in anxiety and a variety of tactical breakdowns." So states a report, "The Academic Journey," from Austin, TX-based startup MyEdu, which examines some of the most emotional junctures as students transition from a "foundational educational memory" established in grade school through college and to a career.

Based on interviews and surveys of 1,047 students (representative of the 300K+ student profiles on its platform, it claims), the report takes a decidedly design-thinking approach to explore when and why students are stressing out. Many, for instance, made college decisions that were influenced by circumstantial factors ranging from the strictly personal (where friends and family previously attended) to borderline irrational ("geographic proximity to 'cool cities'"). And unsurprisingly, these uninformed, time-costly choices carry over as many students pick majors they're not psyched about and end up with "an ambiguous idea of what employers want, and they are often wrong."

MyEdu has so far raised over $18M to help students maximize their Return on Education (ROE) through a platform that allows them to "tell their story in a convincing fashion," said chief product officer, Frank Lyman. He admits that while most company-produced research should be taken with a grain of salt, the company has decided to push forth on this "if only to raise the credibility of what we're trying to build and provide some hard facts to the seriousness of the issue we're addressing." (Hey, it's worth adding too that the clean, visual polish of the report is also a feast for the eyes.)

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