Mobile Marketer has re-launched! Click here to learn more!

Blackboard?s career aptitude app helps students start on the right path

Blackboard, a leading education technology company, has announced the release of Job Genie, a free mobile application designed to minimize student anxiety around the job selection process by helping them explore potential career paths and options for college.

As mobile technology becomes increasingly more accessible and widespread, the adoption of mobile apps is increasing in the field of education. To navigate the college admissions process, many students have long relied on self-assessment. While academic advisors can help individuals make confident decisions, their limited in-school access means students seeking guidance are left to their own devices after hours. Mobile access gives prospective college students stress free privileged information about careers they may not even know exist.

"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. "It's important for them to feel comfortable with a certain amount of experimentation, learning and discovery.

Back to school
There is often a great deal of pressure, be it from families, colleagues, education systems, or culture, to choose one perfect career path. To find a job that does it all: engages one?s talents, makes plenty of money, and reflects well on one?s family. Individuals are led to believe that if they fall short of this perfection they are depriving themselves of happiness and not living up to their true potential.

Job Genie 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.

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.

The interactive user experience is focused solely on learner engagement and includes simple personality, interest and achievement questions that generate a list of schools, degrees and job options best matched to the answers.

Learners can compare salaries, research cost-of-living information, and even view videos from practitioners that paint a realistic picture of day-to-day job activities.

Job Genie is still in development and the early release will be updated based on feedback.

Relieving pressure
As the college students head back to school with their mobile devices in hand, they are becoming armed with apps that can help make life a little easier.


Smart Voice Recorder can record up to 75 hours of audio. The cool part is it will stop recording if there's a pause during a lecture to save valuable storage space. And Studyblue can create digital flashcards and upload study materials for review on a computer smartphone.


School doesn't have to be a dreaded experience, though supplemental apps are only as good as the tasks they're used for and the services they enable. Job Genie does well in addressing an important void in the education ecosystem, and provides another use case for mobile in the pursuit of high education.

?Through this app, we aim to provide relevant data to help students make informed decisions,? Mr. Strassman said. ?We are fully committed to building solutions from the learner's perspective and helping them become more career-ready and, ultimately, successful."

 Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York