“YouScience” Self-Assessment Tool Optimizes Students’ Career Potential and Educational ROI

John Tabellione

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

When asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” few of us knew the answer and time hasn’t changed much for today’s high school students—until now. Thanks to YouScience, a unique, self-assessment software tool, the visions for many nowadays can significantly expand beyond previous, pre-conceived job descriptions that exist out in the real world.

YouScience CEO, Philip Hardin, a veteran technology entrepreneur, and his team of visionaries committed to improving student outcomes, founded the company in 2012 on the premise that this scientific approach could enhance the return on investment in education for both the individual and the community. In a relatively short period he has successfully spread this philosophy internationally via a patent-pending differentiator that combines profile results of a student’s natural abilities and aptitudes with that person’s interests. 

An eventual win-win for students and business professions can occur when the above results are matched with projected data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, state labor departments and other state resources related to career needs and opportunities of the future.  

Hardin said, “We initially offered YouScience to individuals, then began to work with private schools, such as Mt. Paran, Fellowship Christian, and Holy Spirit in Atlanta, in order to assist school guidance counselors. Later, we approached the public school system at Marietta High School. That’s when we met State Senator Lindsey Tippins, author of the landmark Senate Bill #2 earlier this year that opened the way for students to get a diploma and a trade or technical school certificate at the same time. He realized that YouScience offered a pathway to pursue career opportunities based upon students’ aptitudes and job needs in the workplace.”

Hardin, a graduate of the University of Georgia and Stanford University Graduate School of Business, went on to explain the science behind YouScience in more detail. The student takes a battery of brain training exercises involving 14 different innate aptitudes. These strength assessments range from numerical reasoning, sequential reasoning and spatial visualization, to vocabulary, interpersonal style, pattern memory and related traits. Within each aptitude, a granular breakdown of three finer dimensions measures a student’s abilities even further.  

YouScience then calculates how a student’s personal interests correspond with his or her natural talents derived from the 90-minute, self-administered test information. The results help to determine an optimal, best-fit, college major and career path from 500 trade-to-profession profiles that can accurately predict a level of enjoyment, success—even quality of life. YouScience stays with the individual over a period of four years to assist in other related areas, such as job applications, resumes and interviewing. 

School guidance counselors and parents, who naturally provide added advice and feedback, are not the only ones with a vested interest in these evaluations. According to Senator Tippins, it is incumbent upon the state of Georgia to prepare students for the types of jobs expected in the future.  

Speaking recently on the same subject at a Cobb County Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle stated, “The number one issue confronting our economy is when companies say they need a quality workforce. Education drives the economy. We need to commit to recruiting and growing talent to fill businesses’ gaps. Seventy per cent of future jobs will need various diverse skills.” 

Senator Tippins, a former Cobb School Board member for 12 years, said at the same meeting, “We need to get kids more focused on careers.” Tippins has already heeded and anticipated those needs. Funding has been made available for a pilot program for 10,000 high school sophomores and juniors in Georgia to receive paid access to YouScience testing. “We can’t afford not to do it.” 

The Senator, founder and owner of a pipeline construction business, added, “We need to rethink our values regarding education, degrees and training. We need to match students’ interests with business needs and YouScience is the best evaluation instrument and directional tool.”

“I agree with Senator Tippins, and corporations are looking for ways to bridge the gap between high school education and careers to ensure they are attracting the right talent to their industries,” said Randall Redding of R.K. Redding Construction. “I think every corporation should support YouScience and engage in other talent nurturing programs for high schoolers to better prepare our future workforce. I know the Association of General Contractors of Georgia and the Cobb Chamber of Commerce are committed to this mission.”

Addressing the audience of Chamber members, Tippins confirmed, “We’re together with the Cobb Chamber of Commerce 100%.” David Connell, Cobb County Chamber President and CEO, echoed Tippins. “We are using every resource, including our two K-12 school systems, Chattahoochee Technical School, the Carl Vinson Institute at the UGA, Kennesaw State University, Life University and possibility Georgia Tech to make this program effective. In addition, employers will be co-sponsoring programs in schools and working with students and counselors to help better define career paths.”  

Hardin also concurred with Tippins, saying they both understood the objective of creating an effective workforce is to “begin with helping young adults make more informed decisions that are aligned with the marketplace and their own capabilities.” 

Connell added, “Workforce Development is the number one priority of our Chamber’s Chairwoman, Kim Menefee, SVP, WellStar.  And, our entire Chamber and Board of Directors are excited about the partnerships we have created to help Cobb, the region and the state link education to the needs of business so as to produce a skilled workforce today and in the future.  A critical component was the development of an assessment tool that high school students could use to help them begin focusing on careers in the 10th grade.  A team of professionals led by Senator Tippins selected YouScience and their products to fill this void.  We think it is the best on the market and our state-wide pilot program in the fall of this year will study how well it improves our career planning processes.”

Hardin summarized the mission of YouScience and this pilot program by saying, “We’re passionate about making the same decision-making process available for everyone, including individuals, schools and communities. Today, the needs of the workplace are completely separate from students’ conception of career opportunities. Therefore, we make the connection for both parties. We work with employers to identify talent by connecting companies to school counselors who can point out certain students qualified for various jobs. For students we empower them to find their purpose and pursue excellent career options.”

About John Tabellione

John Tabellione is an award-winning, professional business writer, complemented by over twenty-five years of strategic communication responsibilities as a Marketing, New Business Development and National Account Sales Executive in consumer goods and commercial industries. 

Experience with Fortune 500 companies, as well as with smaller firms and non-profits, encompassing a variety of products, including those of Georgia-Pacific, Kimberly-Clark and Stanley Works. 

John has a B.A. in English from Fairfield University and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Hartford. In addition, he has studied Russian at the Defense Language Institute at Syracuse University, and Italian language and culture at Kennesaw State University.