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Amazon adds academic and career coaching to employee benefits

amazon Career Choice
Career Choice is one of Amazon’s nine skills training programs.
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Amazon is beefing up its Career Choice skills training program.

The online giant is partnering with education organizations Beyond 12 and Kaplan to bring more features to the program, which offers pre-paid college tuition to more than 750,000 hourly employees.  With the two new partners, Amazon employees will have access — at no cost — to career coaching, college advising and specialized career services.

Amazon noted that studies consistently show that expanding access to higher education is a proven way to create social and economic mobility for Americans.  At the same time, however, numerous studies also show all too often students with the best intentions don’t finish their programs.  

A Harvard University study found that fewer than 40% of community college students earn a certificate or degree within six years of enrollment, and completion rates are even lower for minorities, older students, and part-time students.

 “While financial constraints are undoubtedly a barrier for students, high-quality academic advising and career coaching improves academic outcomes—especially for lower-income or first-generation postsecondary students,” Amazon stated.

Career Choice, one of Amazon’s nine skills training programs, is designed to put employees on a path toward well-paying, in-demand professions with a coaching framework that empowers them along the way. It has more than 80,000 total participants.

Through the expanded benefits program, employees will receive virtual one-on-one coaching to help them identify the academic programs that best fit their skills and long-term goals, as well as continuous support throughout their higher education experience.

“While Career Choice has always been complemented by advisement services, feedback from participants has shown that more comprehensive and ongoing coaching would help employees choose programs better aligned to their career goals,” said Tammy Thieman, global director for Career Choice at Amazon. “We want Amazon team members to successfully navigate the challenges of going to school while working and ultimately use their new skills to find incredible opportunities. These partnerships with Beyond 12 and Kaplan are a game-changing enhancement to our program and the careers of Amazon’s employees.”

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