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Otago Business School Alumnews

A Tough Decision Now No Major Drama

One of the toughest decisions school leavers face is ‘what should I specialise in at university?’

The anxiety levels surrounding that daunting question look likely to be significantly reduced through the release of a free web site called No Major Drama by Dunedin-based company Graduate Factory.

University of Otago economics lecturer and one of the creators of the website Associate Professor Paul Hansen says No Major Drama will help students learn about majors for Bachelor degrees from across all eight New Zealand universities.

Based on their skills and interests, No Major Drama allows students to create their own personalised ranking of 181 major subject areas – the likes of Accounting, Music, Zoology and so on – representing 730 specific majors for Bachelor degrees spread across the full New Zealand university sector.

As well as personalised rankings, No Major Drama provides summaries of each subject area and links to carefully chosen Wikipedia articles, career opportunities, and links to the eight universities’ web pages for all 730 specific majors currently available.

No Major Drama is the first and only software of its kind in the world, it is quick and easy to use, and students can share their results with their parents and family, school counsellors and friends by email or on Facebook. The software is designed to engage with ‘Gen Z’ or the ‘Net Generation’ in particular – famous for short attention spans and reliance on social media and the internet.

"Education’s social and economic importance cannot be underestimated," Paul says.

"And given the scarcity of educational resources, the decision of what to major in has great national significance. We believe No Major Drama will help lots of people to maximise their academic and career prospects.

"Going to university costs a lot. As well as time spent not working, students face fees of around $6,000 a year for most Bachelor degrees ($13,000 for medicine and dentistry), making what to major in for a three- or four-year Bachelor degree, literally a $20,000 decision."

Paul says it is disturbing to note that, according to a report from the Otago Millennium Graduate Project, 41% of graduates, if given the opportunity to go back and do their degree again, would study different subjects or different degrees.

No Major Drama is completely free – for individual users and schools. Each school can easily create customised versions of No Major Drama including the school logo, motto and colours. In the long term, the inventors hope that it will be used by all schools in NZ. Whereas universities present their own lists of majors for students to browse, No Major Drama is the only website to bring all of the country’s universities’ major subjects together in one place.

Background:
No Major Drama has been created by the Graduate Factory Ltd, an EdTech company associated with the University of Otago in Dunedin. Graduate Factory’s collaborators hail from diverse backgrounds, including design, economics, business and computer science.

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