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(BPT) - Looking for work or thinking of switching jobs? Imagine getting hired for an entry-level job - or any other position - in a company that will then pay for your tuition, in advance, for any educational program you want to pursue, regardless of whether the field is related to your position at the company. Not only that, but the company will also provide you with free one-on-one coaching to help you make the most of the program as you set and work through your career goals.

That program actually exists, and is open to any hourly Amazon employee. Perhaps not surprisingly, Amazon's Career Choice program has seen a 45% employee participation increase since 2021, and the program's popularity shows no sign of stopping. Over 25,000 employees have entered the program in just the first six months of this year, bringing total participation to over 80,000 Amazon employees worldwide.

"We've been listening to employees about the benefits that are important to them, and the 45% increase in Career Choice participants in just six months shows that we're offering the kind of educational programs, technical training and career advancement opportunities they're asking for from their employer, including GED, ESL and other opportunities such as industry certifications," said Tammy Thieman, global program lead of Amazon's Career Choice program. "We're looking forward to seeing participation continue to increase in the coming months as even more employees take advantage of this important benefit."

Since the program first began in 2012, Career Choice has recently expanded its benefits to include:

  • Pre-paid college tuition
  • New industry certifications
  • Courses to improve English-language proficiency
  • High school completion programs
  • Academic advising and career coaching

Here's a look at the new benefits and education tracks that launched in January of this year.

  • Pre-paid tuition: Unlike many other employers who offer education benefits, Amazon will pay employees' tuition in advance rather than offering reimbursement after coursework is completed, which ensures that employees will have access to the funds they need to access the educational options they want.
  • Limitless learning: Amazon's front-line employees have access to annual funds for education for as long as they remain at the company, with no limit to the number of years they can benefit from the program.
  • Fast starts: All 750,000 U.S. hourly employees are eligible to participate in Career Choice just 90 days after starting work at Amazon.

"Amazon creates an environment where I can balance work and school," said Catherine Lemonds, an Amazon employee. "I'm so glad they updated the Career Choice program. With the new limitless learning benefit, I'm able to work on completing my bachelor's degree."

The company has also been working to make it easier for employees to benefit from these opportunities by making many classes more accessible. Employees can take classes online, in person at their local campus or even on site at one of the over 110 Career Choice classrooms located in Amazon fulfillment centers in more than 35 states. The company has even invested in video conference equipment at many locations to ensure that employees can attend classes on site. Amazon's Career Choice program now works with over 200 education providers across the country, including colleges and universities, partners that provide industry certifications, plus English-language proficiency and high school completion programs.

Coaching for success

For those undecided about their educational path or who want help navigating their way through the program, Amazon is now offering a one-on-one Career Choice Coaching Program to help employees get the guidance and coaching they need to be successful students, free of cost. This high-quality academic advising and career coaching can help with barriers, support students in staying the course to complete their goals and improve academic outcomes.

Interested? Learn more at AboutAmazon.com/news/workplace.