Students these days have huge to-do lists -- mostly on their laptops.
They have to post their resumes or portfolios online, apply for jobs and internships, check professor ratings, plan next semester's class schedule, and make sure their GPAs are high enough to keep their scholarships or reach their goals. This daunting group of tasks must be transferred to whatever online or physical calendar they're using.
But there's a website that can bring all those tasks to one place: MyEdu.com. Founded in 2008 in Austin, Texas, MyEdu already has over five million students on the website and has made a splash in the educational technology world.
There are many components to MyEdu, which is totally free for students.
A student first creates a profile. On this profile, they have a lot of freedom regarding what they would like to include. They can post what degrees they've already earned, any impressive school projects they've finished, what courses they've completed, personal references, goals, past and current jobs, and more. Information posted can be seen by as many or as few people as the user wishes. Information posted could be just for the user to view, or for other students, alumni and employers to see.
MyEdu also allows students to plan their schedules in an efficient way, using the site's simple calendar widgets. Students may not only plan the current or next semester, but their entire degree program, with how many credits they've completed, how many they have remaining, and grades they've received in each class.
Once students start putting in grades, the website calculates overall GPA, putting it right next to desired GPA. There's even room to put in the grades of each class assignment, to quickly compute a current grade before the class even ends.
Along with these tools, users will find a unique professor ratings system, which shows how students fare in certain classes, how much homework a professor gives, and how much reading, papers and exams may be expected in a specific course. The website features information on over 800 colleges, from majors offered to average GPAs, courses and tuition.
MyEdu now has a mobile app and is soon expanding the app to specific schools, like it has already done with the University of Texas at Austin. UT students can use the app as a campus map, to track assignment due dates, and much more.
One of the true gems of MyEdu is how it connects students to employers.
If a student wishes, they can make their profile public for employers to see. Employers also have their own profiles and search tools to find a specific kind of student (from a specific school, major, set of experiences, etc.). This acts as a further incentive for students to optimize their profile as much as possible. In fact, the richer the profile, the higher the person pops up in employer searches.
There are over 500,000 jobs on the website. If a student wishes, they can just browse, but the beauty of enabling employers to reach out is that it allows the user be sought after, rather than just being one of the many job seekers submitting resumes. In fact, MyEdu can help ease the constraints of traditional resumes, enabling students to showcase how well they've done in specific courses and projects that might pertain more to the specific job position.
MyEdu claims over 6,000 internship listings, and some of the companies that use MyEdu to find interns report around a 70 percent rate of offering jobs to students after graduation.
MyEdu combines a number of tools that other websites specialize in, which begs the question: Will the website fare well as a comprehensive website against niche websites, like RateMyProfessors.com and LinkedIn (which goes beyond just students)?
Critics seem mixed on the issue.
One editorial by The Daily Texan titled 'Save our Professors from MyEdu,' wrote, 'Anonymous evaluations allow students to opine freely at the risk of encouraging vindictive behavior. Unfortunately, students often reveal more about a course's convenience than its quality. A cursory glance at the course rating website MyEdu ... makes clear the danger of students' tendency to be capricious with their commentary.'
But MyEdu is more than just professor ratings. The college planning aspect of the website seems to get overall praise, with TechCrunch calling it 'a compelling model to help both students and parents participate in the college planning process.'
However, despite the critics the site continues to grow, gaining over 350,000 new student profiles since Oct. 2012 alone, according to CEO Michael Crosno.