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I stumbled across a very interesting start-up today. Launched in 2010, Austin-based MyEdu sets out to help students reduce the cost of earning a college diploma and remove the friction from every aspect of the higher education process, from deciding on the right school to finding post-graduate employment. Since then, the start-up has been methodically collecting data from students as well as official academic data from universities to identify patterns that lead to higher costs (and lower retention rates).

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MyEdu offers students the ability to view ratings of both professors and courses to help them choose the right field for them, along with providing a single place to access to course descriptions, evaluations, schedule planners and degree roadmap and progress dashboard, which allow students to build an academic plan and keep tabs as they advance towards a degree. On the flip side, MyEdu gives professors, and potential employers I believe, access to 225 million official GPA records to track student achievement and outcomes.

In essence, it is a large repository of courses, grades history and degree information, which it is leveraging to power cloud-based education apps that help students better plan and manage semesters and degrees with their career goals in mind.

It’s a cloud solution. MyEdu has a subscription fee of 20 dollars per year that provides access to the suite and its information.  Their website indicates that roughly 800 colleges and university are on the platform. The start-up claims 5.3 million users in 2011, with the objective of 100 percent growth this year. They are backed by Bain Capital Ventures.

At a time with 12 million unemployed people and 6 million workers that have been out of work for at least six months, I believe there are roughly 3 million open positions that employees cannot fill (see reference here).it sounds like an impossibility but it tends to prove something I have believed for a long time now: western countries are not so much facing an unemployment problem as a complete mismatch between the supply of skills and the demand for skills.

Today, MyEdu is launching a service that is designed to more effectively connect graduates and employers by helping students find quality job and internship opportunities and providing employers with more visibility on who they are hiring. Corporate pilot program members include companies like Ernst & Young, VMware, Macy’s and ADP.

Beside the idea of helping young people find a job, I think this is a great example of how social concepts can help companies operate better:  aftercollege is another company trying to bridge the gap between higher ed and employers and build out a college student and recent grads. I can see what benefits an employer can derive from identifying potential candidates a year or 18 months before they graduate, coach them, mentor them in the classes they want to take and eventually build a relationship prior to the employee graduation.

How can SAP help in those efforts? Maybe in allowing profiles from those students to be pre-integrated to the hiring process? Or maybe by giving students access to open positions and guidelines on the type of classes they need to take or skills they need to develop to be competitive for the open positions?

Interesting concepts, social, anyway.

You can see more details about my views of social media  in HR on my blog  or follow me on twitter.

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  1. Ray Rivera

    Hello Jean-Bernard:

    I agree with your assertion that unemployment in mature economies proceeds more from supply/demand mismatch than anything else. Economists like to frame the problem as one of “labor market inefficiency” or “friction”, and tend to arrive at conflicting results. But HR leaders such as Peter Cappelli tend to see it more as a managerial problem, brought about by poor use of IT resources, bad job descriptions, and a universal lack of HR strategy. It tend to agree with Cappelli on this one.

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