We’ve all heard the cliché that a college education is an investment. But as tech continues to dramatically evolve the job market, both the learner and institution must ensure that their efforts are increasingly able to produce a well-rounded and adaptable workforce, otherwise that investment will likely result in a huge loss. Artificial intelligence especially figures into this push to make higher education more efficient and more relevant to high-demand skill sets in the real world.

For Part I of our Big Players in AI series, we’ll discuss the companies that are offering groundbreaking solutions to the higher educational lifecycle.

Optimizing Admissions

In the face of runaway tuition costs, any effort to make some aspect of the college model more cost efficient is vital. As busy and expensive as prospective student outreach can be, AI certainly stands to help out the admissions process in a big way.

Through machine-learning methods, RiteClass looks to help institutions to spend their admissions dollars much more effectively. Through analysis of vast data sets regarding an institution’s current students and alumni, RiteClass rates each prospective student with a “Prospective Student Fit Score.” This process helps admissions workers to find patterns of behavior and success across large bodies of students, while also calculating the likelihood of each student to attend said institution.

RiteClass has developed its software further to inform data-driven decision making in other areas of higher education:

Optimizing Learning & Research

One major way to lower healthcare costs is to render the university research process much more efficient. Because life-altering medicine and cures require such intensive procedures, often taking years and years of failure to arrive at a breakthrough, the more time we can cut out of this process, the sooner we’ll arrive at better population health outcomes.

Bioz, a California-based tech startup, offers the world’s first search engine built for life science experimentation. Spanning a wide array of research concentrations including stem cells, genome sequencing, cloning, and much more, Bioz’s search engine “analyzes, aggregates, and structures data” between over 27 million research papers. Where other life science search tools merely dig up related studies, Bioz uses natural language processing and machine learning to compile insights and recommendations for research that allow the user to:

  • plan experiments by comparing the methods of other researchers
  • choose lab products from 50,000 vendors offering over 200 million products, each with user ratings
  • create the best protocol according to similar research

The beauty of Bioz’s innovation is that it can serve as a template for academic research as well. One can imagine the purposes such a search engine could serve in fields like climatology astrophysics. The ability to implement AI across broad swaths of research promises a potential boom in discoveries throughout medicine and academia.

Optimizing Career Development

And, of course, those ballooning tuitions we talked about earlier eventually have to be paid off at some point. So how do we ensure that students coming out of college have skills sets that are highly relevant to their respective industries?

Burning Glass Technologies aims to help colleges and universities craft curricula that respond to the constantly-evolving job market in real time. Future employability for every student is the number one aim of this technology, as it “mines and codes millions of job postings from nearly 40,000 online sources per day.” From laying the very first brick in the foundation of a new program to consistently reassessing that program after deployment, Burning Glass’ software promises a much higher placement rate than the usual pat-on-the-back and finger-crossing after a student graduates. The company offers three separate solutions:

  • Labor Insight™ – real-time dashboard that helps educators to teach toward the current needs of the job market, researchers to gain actionable insights into labor trends, and workforce agencies to match local resources with the skills in demand
  • Program Insight™ – offers a step-by-step process to help universities validate proposed programs according to how well they will compete with the current market
  • Job Pulse™ – allows students to better understand what opportunities exist in their field, as well as required experience and expected pay based on their location

Optimizing Healthcare Education

Moving from university-wide innovation to discipline-specific technology, there’s no better place to optimize than nursing education. Not only does such a heavily-regulated space need to be made more efficient, but many nurses are leaving their careers within the first three years (http://tekmountain.com/are-we-giving-our-nursing-students-the-wrong-career-expectations/).

Created by nursing students and educators, nurseVersity (part of the versityU family) provides deep learning-based exam preparation for Certified Nursing Aides, Licensed Practical Nurses, Licensed Vocational Nurses, Registered Nurses, and Family Nurse Practitioners. As students utilize the software, it adapts itself according to their informational blind spots, while also suggestion particular content to focus on. The software also:

  • allows students to integrate lesson plans into their personal calendars
  • provides a dashboard that summarizes a students’ strengths and weaknesses and predicts exam scores
  • offers over 10,000 questions, unlimited Qbank exams, flashcards, audio and video, as well as the ability to personalize exams based on past performance

Stay Ahead of the Curve

Here at tekMountain, one of the nation’s emerging entrepreneurial and innovation centers, edtech has always been one of our core focuses. Having developed a number of partnerships with state universities as well as those within Allied Health schooling, we look to offer guidance and planning on how to implement the very latest tech to help take your institution to the next level.

Contact tekMountain today to see how edtech AI can change the trajectory of your learning institution.


This blog was produced by the tekMountain Team of Sean AhlumAmanda SipesBill DiNome and Beth Roddy with lead writer Zach Cioffi.

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