I’m pleased to announce the release of the next Blackboard Labs title: Job Genie. Job Genie is a fun, non-threatening way to explore potential career paths. With Job Genie, students can browse career options in an easy, approachable way. They can view casual videos from practitioners that paint a realistic picture of the day-to-day activities at a job, and can better understand ideas like “salary” in a way that makes sense to them – using language and a context that they understand.
The app helps students:
- Learn about different career paths in a fun way. We leveraged a Tinder-inspired interaction style to rate jobs quickly – from “Totally!” to “No Way” – so students can browse through jobs quickly, without feeling locked into a single recommendation.
- Find schools and degrees relevant to a selected vocation or career choice. When a student finds a career path that looks interesting, we leverage our rich MyEdu data to provide recommendations for schools that have similar academic programs.
- Minimize anxiety around career selection. Selecting a career or job path is scary, and students feel locked into their choice for the “rest of their life.” We filmed practitioners in a casual manner, in order to give students a real perspective on the highs and lows of a given profession. We tried to use casual language and a casual aesthetic to reinforce that this selection is the start of a journey, not the end.
- Make empowered, considered choices about the future. Students pick schools, academic majors, and career paths for a variety of reasons. We’ve tried to provide relevant data from actual practitioners in order to help them make these decisions in an informed way.
Job Genie reinforces Blackboard’s commitment to student success and self-sufficiency. The project is a result of qualitative research with students; this research indicates that students have a huge amount of anxiety around key academic decisions, like picking a school, major, or career path. Blackboard is serious about helping students gain volition in their studies and post-education success, and Job Genie is intended to support this student-centric approach at each of these key decision points.
A final note on our process: We built Job Genie in our labs environment. It’s an experimental beta product, and was built without the usual “adult supervision” of our rigorous development process. We can take the product in a variety of directions. We would love your feedback and input; is this the type of product you and your students find useful? Are there bugs or problems you see in the product? Let us know – shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you think.