How U.S. Employers Are Investing in Employees’ Education

How US Employers Are Investing in Employees' Education

Tuition reimbursement is a growing trend in the U.S. job market. Some companies, like Louisville’s own UPS, use tuition reimbursement as a powerful recruiting tool.

Others see such programs as a long-sighted opportunity to build the knowledge base within their company, and also as an opportunity to build a lasting relationship with the people they hire. One study found that employees who took advantage of tuition reimbursement programs were more likely to receive a promotion and stay with the company.

With measurable benefits for all parties, it’s clear that employers increasingly find it valuable to invest in their employees’ education.

Higher Education: An Investment Opportunity

The 2007 BLS Employee Benefit Survey indicated that 73% of professional and technical full-time employees had access to a tuition reimbursement program where they worked. And while it may still be rare to find an employer who will cover every last dime of all expenses associated with furthering your education, the vast majority will cover a significant portion.

The range of employers who offer tuition reimbursement is also growing. At one time, only employers in highly specialized fields, such as engineering, saw the benefit of funding their employees’ education. Now, the trend has spread across the marketplace.

From banking and financial organizations like Bank of America and Wells Fargo to retail giants like Starbucks and Home Depot, companies across the map are developing competitive tuition reimbursement programs to help them recruit and retain talented employees.

EdAssist’s 2012 review of employer tuition assistance programs includes this breakdown of tuition reimbursement by industry.

US Employers Invest in Tuition Reimbursement Programs

These figures are from 2012 and all trends indicate that tuition assistance programs are only growing across the board.

7 Questions to Ask About Tuition Assistance

As you consider available opportunities to further your education, here are seven questions to ask your HR representative about tuition assistance:

  • Does my workplace offer this benefit and if so, is there an annual limit or a fixed percentage of expenses covered?
  • Is there a cap to my lifetime education expenses?
  • What is the GPA requirement to receive the full benefit?
  • What types of degrees or certificates and what areas of study are covered?
  • How long do I have to commit to working for the company after I finish my degree to avoid having to pay back the benefit?
  • How long do I have to be with the company in order to start using this benefit?
  • Can I also pursue scholarships and grants in addition to my employer-provided assistance?

UofL Online Offers Education Pathways that Bring the Finish Line Closer

Of course, managing the costs of your education is only half the battle as a working professional. You must also find the time to study and attend class amongst the demands of family, work, and other commitments. UofL Online broadens access to the type of rigorous, research-based education traditionally only available on campus.

Our online programs offer innovative, flexible learning opportunities that address the needs and desires of working professionals pursuing higher education. For instance, the J.B. Speed School of Engineering has a longstanding reputation for excellence and now offers a master’s in engineering management and a master’s in civil engineering 100% online as well as two graduate certificates in structural or transportation engineering.

In addition, our newly-launched Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Accounting program is designed for those with a non-accounting bachelor’s degree who want to pursue an accounting career, but are not interested in earning another undergraduate degree. This program offers students a marketable accounting credential, as well as enough accounting coursework to sit for the Kentucky CPA exam.

Our Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and Learning, our B.S. in Healthcare Leadership, and our R.N. to B.S.N. programs offer course credit based on real-world professional experience and knowledge to help bring the finish line closer. We know how valuable education is in the 21st century marketplace and we’re here to help you earn a degree in a way that suits your schedule.