Audience: Students, parents, advisors
Focus: College search and debt vs. wages comparisons
Big Picture: Texas CREWS has done the extraordinary job of collecting a wealth of statistical data, mostly around tuition costs and post-college salaries, from two- and four-year colleges all across the state. The data covers a ten-year period between 2002 and 2012, and allows users to see an average debt versus first-year wages ratio for college programs by school, degree level, and major. Report pages can include comparison of average salaries of students who get undergraduate versus graduate degrees, as well as comparison of specific majors to other majors in the associated field of study (salaries for journalism compared to public relations, for instance). And all reports can be quickly and easily downloaded as Excel documents.
Big Challenge Solved: Texas CREWS lets users really see the “growth” in a “growing career” by providing a quick look at average first-year salaries across the indicated ten-year span on any college major report page.
Must-Use: If users click on any occupation to learn further details, they’ll be kicked over to the Texas CARES website—a rich repository of descriptive and statistical career data.
Most Unique Tool: An interesting piece of data can be found on any specific college page, and that’s the comparison of a student’s average debt (loan) to first-year salary—for the school as a whole, regardless of major.
Best Middle-School Student Tool: Students wondering what a particular school has to offer in terms of majors should use the search dropdowns on the right side of the homepage—they’ll go directly to their school of choice, then they can further explore specific career paths from there.
Best High-School Student Tool: High-schoolers would be advised to take note of the mean SAT scores for any program they’re interested in—it’s one of the columns found on any report page, and it’s easy to overlook.
Protip: Reports are either by school or major, so the quickest way to one or the other is to use the left or right search dropdowns on the homepage (not the middle).