Launch My Career
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Texas Association of Business, USA Funds and College Measures has introduced LaunchMyCareerTX.org, a free, online tool that provides students information about the likely return on investment for Texas higher education institutions – and specific majors within these institutions – to help individuals make better-informed decisions about their education and career paths. The partners were joined by Gallup Inc., Texas Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes, the Austin Chamber of Commerce and other higher education stakeholders at a launch event in Austin as part of the Texas Association of Business Higher Education Conference.
LaunchMyCareerTX will assist users in determining the right college program for them by sharing information on employment opportunities, potential earnings, and other outcomes of past graduates. Unique to the tool is its focus on well-being data, highlighting personal and job satisfaction for graduates from different majors and fields of study. Other key features include a lifestyle goal calculator, showing the number of years it will take for the salary from a particular occupation to meet a user’s lifestyle goals; and a “break-even calculator” that demonstrates the numbers of years it will take for earnings to exceed the total cost of a particular degree.
“The educational decisions our students make create a ripple effect, influencing far more than simply the student’s future,” said Bill Hammond, president and CEO of the Texas Association of Business. “Their decisions shape the ability of our state to thrive and compete economically for good jobs. That’s why LaunchMyCareerTX is essential to college planning. It is uniquely positioned to help Texas’ students determine what path is right for them based on their personal goals and career aspirations. When students succeed, it means a better-prepared and more-qualified workforce for Texas in the future.”
Texas is the third state to offer the new college comparison tool, building on efforts in Colorado and Tennessee earlier this year. LaunchMyCareerTX is the largest of the three sites, allowing users to access information on 109 Texas institutions, compared to 35 in Colorado and 22 in Tennessee. The Texas tool has more than 3,200 institution combinations and majors, which are necessary for generating its groundbreaking economic and non-economic return projections.
“Access to such tailored, transparent information is critical for both high school graduates and adults returning to school. LaunchMyCareerTX helps prospective students and their families better understand the outcomes of their educational choices,” said Mark Schneider, president of College Measures, a division of American Institutes for Research. “These tools help answer three pressing questions students commonly have: ‘how can what I study help me find a job?’ ‘how will I be able to achieve my desired lifestyle goals?’ and ‘which majors lead to good job satisfaction and personal fulfillment?’”
LaunchMyCareerTX offers the following information:
- Identifies “hot jobs” that are in demand across Texas, and the degree or certificate programs that will prepare students for these roles.
- Compares projected earnings to the financial investment required to graduate from a particular school and program.
- Analyzes the earnings potential of many career options and what lifestyles are achievable within those income levels.
- Helps students understand the personal and professional satisfaction that accompanies different careers and courses of study.
“LaunchMyCareer is an exciting series of tools that we feel has the ability to shape the conversation about college value in states and help students make higher education choices that provide the most long-term benefit to them,” said Derek Redelman, Vice President, Research and Policy, at USA Funds. “We’ve heard from state leaders and students alike that these are the types of resources they need to succeed, and we look forward to continuing to bring diverse parties together to create thoughtful, highly-nuanced college planning tools that effectively serve students and their families as well as state policy and workforce leaders.”
Launch My Career Texas is supported by one of four College Value grants totaling $3.5 million from the non-profit corporation USA Funds. The grants support the development of new models in 12 states for measuring college value to help students and their families, policymakers, and postsecondary institutions make more-informed decisions about the training and skills that will provide the greatest value to students and their communities.