MI Releases New Data Tool for Students and Workers

By Jenna Leventoff, January 16, 2018

Michigan’s Pathfinder is an online career planning tool intended to help students make informed choices about their education and career options. The state tool is similar to the website envisioned by the College Transparency Act supported by WDQC.

It’s the result of several agencies from across state government working together to provide information for students and the people who advise them, including parents, teachers and counselors. But it’s also an effective tool for adults looking at new career options.

The tool allows users to search for education and career information by career name, school, or program type. Data on careers includes details about what a student can expect to do in that career and the relevant training required, as well as information about wages and occupational growth over the next decade. Data on schools includes graduation rates, the cost of tuition and fees, and information about the graduate debt. Data on programs includes the employment and earnings outcomes of graduates one and five years after graduation.

In order to ensure that students can create pathways to their chosen careers, users have the option to see information about careers, schools, and programs all on one page.

Pathfinder is populated with information from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, which was created under the Obama administration to highlight key measures about college costs and value to help students make smarter postsecondary decisions. Pathfinder is also populated with Michigan wage record and educational performance data, as well as the state’s labor market information.

The website also includes sections directing students to information about apprenticeships, on-the-job training, self-employment and financial aid.

The Talent Investment Agency, which was the lead on the project, plans to continue to enhance the tool and update the data at least annually. You can learn more about Michigan’s data infrastructure by visiting Michigan’s state page.

WDQC applauds Michigan for making more information about education and career options available to students and their parents. Scorecards are one of the 13 elements featured in our State Blueprint for creating strong state data systems, that provide useable information to relevant stakeholders.