Texas Reality Check Website, Application Add New Features

AUSTIN August 31, 2014 – Texas Reality Check, a website and iPhone application dedicated to educating middle and high school students about career and lifestyle options, continues to add new features that will help prepare the next generation of Texas students for life after high school.

A joint project of the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA), Texas Reality Check encourages users to build a lifestyle budget and determine the education level needed for occupations that offer a salary sufficient to support their planned living expenses. The updated site and application boast the most recent occupational wage data, as well as housing, rental, utility and health care information for 36 cities in every region of the state. Both the website and application include detailed lists of skills and certifications required for particular jobs, including science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

“As the Texas economy expands and jobs are created, students need relevant information that allows them to make informed academic choices regarding their futures,” said Texas Workforce Chairman Andres Alcantar. “Texas Reality Check provides students, parents, and counselors with a useful tool to examine different careers across the broad array of industries in Texas.”

TWC’s Labor Market and Career Information Department first partnered with the TEA in 2001 to bring the first Reality Check Budget Calculator to fruition. More than 20 states now have their own version of the Texas Reality Check program. With the launch of the application available through the Apple App Store in the fall of 2012, students had yet another convenient option to access to the information. The site averages one million page views during the school year.

“More than half of the jobs available to new and recent graduates today require some sort of postsecondary education,” Commissioner of Education Michael Williams said. “Texas’ students benefit when they understand how their decisions today will impact their future. It is our job to provide them with tools like Texas Reality Check to become college and career ready before they leave high school.”
Students can use the application and/or website in one of three ways.

They can:

• estimate their monthly living expenses and select a career based on that budget
• select a salary and discover which careers would offer that income
• choose a career and determine a budget based on that salary

Users may also find information on the availability and location of jobs in their chosen field as texasrealitycheck.com now links to job openings posted on WorkInTexas.com, TWC’s online job-matching website. For more information, visit www.texasrealitycheck.com.

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