High school students across metro Atlanta are learning more than they ever knew about themselves through an online program called YouScience.
"Our number one job is to broaden their vision of opportunity, not narrow it," said Philip Hardin, CEO of YouScience.
YouScience uses computer brain games to help find a student's talents and interests and match them with real-world careers.
"My profile made me want to take a step back and consider all of my options," said Peyton Maldonado, a senior at Marietta High School. "The test showed I have numerous options."
Maldonado wants to go to college and study law, but his YouScience Profile suggested medicine.
"This test encouraged us to open up and explore other things," said Diane Maldonado, Peyton's mom. "It was pretty eye-opening."
A year-long study of YouScience for the Georgia Governor's Office of Student Achievement found it was particularly effective for young women, minorities and lower-income students.
"Every students going to get 20-25 high-fit careers, strong-fit careers, followed by 75 good-fit careers," Hardin explained.
Marietta, Paulding, Douglas, Fulton and Gainesville are among the public school systems that use YouScience, along with more than 100 private schools statewide.
Some districts pay for the program out of their operating budgets, while others rely on support from local companies.
Greystone Power, R.K. Redding Construction, Caliber 1 Construction, Southern A&E and Carroll-Daniel Construction are among those that have provided YouScience Profiles to high school students at no charge.
State Senator Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta) was one of the early proponents of YouScience.
“Georgia employers face a skills shortage, while at the same time our students fear uncertainty in the job market," Tippins said. "YouScience allows these students to more effectively set a direction for education and career success by aligning their aptitudes, interests and education to target high-growth careers.”
YouScience is designed for teenagers and young adults, but it also works for adults at any point in their working lives. It's particularly effective for adults considering a career change.