Website gives students chance to see future career opportunities

Kristen Tomins and Kristen Tomins

Janice Partyka’s daughter, Alice, went into college thinking environmental studies was a good fit for her, until she started to question what types of jobs are actually available and if she would enjoy them.

Because she knew her daughter couldn’t be the only one questioning their major, Partyka created the site, a website designed for students, graduates and interns to openly discuss the pros and cons of their major.

With a heavy background in technology and public relations, Partyka launched the free, no-advertising site in November of 2013.

“Students who are about to graduate have the most insight,” said Partyka. “The site lets them share advice, what they would do differently and what helped them the most in their field.”

Students and graduates can create a profile and share their experience about their major or career and interact with others by enabling a link that allows them to send emails directly to each other.

In addition to sifting through profiles to find someone with the same major, the site also shares information to students about their prospective career, such as median salary, the best areas to work for their given major and the projected growth of jobs available in the next ten years.

“Some information that high school counselors give students going into college is outdated,” Partyka said. “I tried to find useful data that was important and pull out the gems that may get lost in other articles.”

Rather than having to go through pages of information to answer one question about their major, students can select their own major on the site and read the most important data about it.

Partyka said her goal for the site was for students to have a better idea of what they’re getting into when they choose a certain major.

“A lot of times what you think you’ll end up doing with your major and what you actually end up doing don’t coincide,” she said.

Alice Partyka remained in the environmental studies field at the University of Southern California but added a global health specialization after reading through some profiles on the site.

“The site goes beyond just the numbers by letting you share your overall experience,” Alice said. “Going into college, I didn’t feel like I had a good enough idea of what I’d actually be doing — or could do — once I graduated.”

She encourages students to think beyond what classes and majors sound interesting and focus more on what kind of career they’d like to have, and what work they would enjoy doing upon graduation.

Kristen Grom, a freshman at the University, said the site has allowed her to continue in her major, visual communication technology, with more information than she knew prior.

“The [site] has info on it that you can’t easily find somewhere else,” she said. “I think it’s cool that they have a page where others have rated [the field] on number of jobs and salary.”

Within the next year, Partyka hopes to have even more information on the site, such as a ranking system of colleges and information on retention rates, and graduation percentages.

Although the site already includes a list of companies that are well known for hiring recent graduates, she also would like to have a more specific section on which programs or majors have the biggest job market.

“It’s important consider all of these factors when choosing a major, that way you don’t waste your time or money,” said Partyka. “The site narrows it down to what you need.”