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Blackboard Debuts Free College and Career Guidance App

Blackboard has a released a free mobile app, Job Genie, designed to help students explore career paths and college options.

"The app is a result of qualitative research with students that indicated a large amount of apprehension around key academic decisions, such as picking a school, major or career path," according to a news release. "Designed to be a non-threatening way to explore various education and job options, the app uses casual language and aesthetics to reinforce that these choices are part of a journey and that students should not feel locked into a single recommendation."

"I think everyone wishes they had a plan," said a student who participated in the study, in a prepared statement "And even if you have a great plan, pressure from parents, difficult courses and other bumps in the road make it tough to always see the next step. It's nice to know that I can just pull out my phone and have my own personal career counselor at my fingertips."

A Blackboard Labs release, the app is currently in beta and will be updated following feedback from early users. It provides lists of schools, degrees and job options based on answers to personality, interest and achievement questions. In addition to the lists, the app provides information about salaries and cost of living, as well as videos from professionals in the field about day to day job activities.

"Students tend to feel locked into choices they make very early in their educational journey, which can make the selection of a career path intimidating," said Mark Strassman, senior vice president of product management at Blackboard, in a prepared statement. "It's important for them to feel comfortable with a certain amount of experimentation, learning and discovery. Through this app, we aim to provide relevant data to help students make informed decisions. We are fully committed to building solutions from the learner's perspective and helping them become more career-ready and, ultimately, successful."

Android and iOS versions of the app are available. Visit myjobgenie.com for more information.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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