MyEdu's student services still not worth system's investment

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MyEdu CEO Michael Crosno and Vice President Deepak Surana present to the UT System's Board of Regents in July.

Photo Credit: Will Crites-Krumm | Daily Texan Staff

 For nearly two years, the students of UT have been waiting to see how the UT System Board of Regents’ $10 million investment in the course-scheduling and now job-matching service MyEdu.com will benefit them.

At the meeting of the regents on July 10, students finally got their answer — well, an answer. After surveying “over 3,000 students” and meeting “directly and indirectly” with more than 5,000, the team at MyEdu says it now has the answer to the question of what, exactly, the company can provide. 

MyEdu’s new services will, according to company CEO Michael Crosno, help students succeed in college, tell their story and get a job. How? The answer is simple: visual tiles.

Never mind the question of why MyEdu needed to survey more than 3,000 students to figure out that students would like to both succeed in college and get a job. The new MyEdu looks like nothing so much as a more visually appealing version of the professional website LinkedIn — and the new “skills listing” service MyEdu provides, which company Vice President Deepak Surana called the “most unique part of our student profile,” looks uniquely similar to the “skills & expertise” feature available for free on LinkedIn. Of course, the UT System never invested millions of dollars in LinkedIn, so unsurprisingly, the regents kept quiet about any similarities they may have noticed between the two sites. 

In its presentation, MyEdu mentioned partnerships with big-ticket employers like General Motors and Macy’s department store, but when you visit the MyEdu website as a student, these “big-ticket partnerships” look more like sponsored web ads inviting you to follow Macy’s on Twitter — no doubt an important step in your job search. 

At this point, the money invested in MyEdu is gone, and the UT System pointing out the absence of truly impactful features on MyEdu’s website would more likely result in tense board meetings than actual progress. 

But that doesn’t mean students can’t put pressure on those in power by pointing out the obvious: MyEdu  has yet to earn its investment. Students deserve better for $10 million than a colorful version of LinkedIn — visual tiles or not. Go back to the drawing board, MyEdu, and try again.