The introduction of AI in many daily and routine processes started years back. AI algorithms and data-driven programs are employed round the clock today, starting from determining how a customer thinks, what they prefer, and which product will likely suit their needs the best. However, this extensive use of AI in the not-so-high-stake decisions does not raise any eyebrows largely as it does not have a direct major impact on majority lives. That's starting to change though. Using AI algorithms in college suggestion/selection process is one of the newest, most exciting, and large impact subjects.
Employing various algorithms on data points like preference - country, city, subject, class size, faculty research areas; interests - across sports, music, geopolitics; objective parameters including grades obtained up till now; and work experience (part and full-time), of the aspirant, are just a few data points that go into helping them choose what's right. The information provided produces a list of suitable career options /target universities or can give other desired outcomes, taking into cognizance millions of data points already in there against which the input data will be benchmarked.
Another interesting aspect that has come out of this, is that when students `think' and spend time on putting in course preference, program preference, or highlighting different aspects of their profile, they also get to do a self-assessment, and this, when combined with the results that the algorithms give out, also make the student more ambitious, providing them a ready tool to understand what gaps to fill. Experimenting with AI is exciting but it presents its own challenges.
According to Charlie Nutt, the executive director of the National Academic Advising Association, AI is not meant to be "used on its own without personal advising". He also warns that no matter the advancement, an AI algorithm cannot replace human advising. The aspect of human evaluation is pivotal, especially when talking about making a life-altering decision such as college selection and career paths. Hence, a counselor's expertise together with the AI tool in the pocket serves as the perfect combination.
Considering that these decisions have a very significant impact on a person's future, it is all the more important that any company attempting to help has to be careful enough to balance the AI-driven mechanism with experienced and empathetic career counselors. If these counselors are very large in number, and technology can be used here too, so as to match a student with the coach who is right for them, matched to their specific interests - then it makes the process even more comprehensive and complete. AI has become popular not only because of the ease it provides in effectively evaluating large data in less time but also because it is cost affordable. AI in college advice is an option opted by millions today due to the fact that it is also easily accessible, and it gives students in cities which doesn't have much access today in terms of infrastructure, with resources, to be able to accelerate their careers and in turn lives. The mere idea of introducing AI into major life decisions seems exciting and the success of the students who use AI to take the leap will not just help this space but also prove that the future of AI is promising!
Akshay Chaturvedi, Founder & CEO
Akshay is the creator and driving force behind one of India’s fastest growing start-ups LeverageEdu - which empowers students across India to choose the best-matched career & higher education options, with one-touch access to personalised mentors and leading global universities.