Amazon plans to expand the education and skills training benefits it offers to its U.S. employees with a total investment of $1.2 billion by 2025. Through its popular Career Choice program, the company will fund full college tuition, as well as high school diplomas, GEDs, and English as a Second Language (ESL) proficiency certifications for its front-line employees—including those who have been at the company for as little as three months. Amazon is also adding three new education programs to provide employees with the opportunity to learn skills within data centre maintenance and technology, IT, and user experience and research design.

“Amazon is now the largest job creator in the U.S., and we know that investing in free skills training for our teams can have a huge impact for hundreds of thousands of families across the country,” said Dave Clark, CEO of Worldwide Consumer at Amazon. “We launched Career Choice almost 10 years ago to help remove the biggest barriers to continuing education—time and money—and we are now expanding it even further to pay full tuition and add several new fields of study.

“This new investment builds on years of experience supporting employees in growing their careers, including some unique initiatives like building more than 110 on-site classrooms for our employees in Amazon fulfillment centers across 37 states. Today, over 50,000 Amazon employees around the world have already participated in Career Choice and we’ve seen first-hand how it can transform their lives.”

Starting in January, Amazon front-line employees will have access to even more education benefits through Career Choice:

  • Funding for college tuition. More than 750,000 operations employees across the U.S. will be eligible to have their full college tuition paid for at hundreds of education partners across the country. In addition to funding associate and bachelor’s degrees, Amazon’s Career Choice will also fund high school completion, GEDs, and ESL proficiency certifications.
  • Pre-paid fees. Amazon will pay employees’ tuition and fees in advance rather than offering reimbursement after coursework completion, ensuring employees don’t need existing funds to start accessing the education options they want.
  • Limitless learning. Amazon front-line employees will have access to annual funds for education as long as they remain at the company, with no limit to the number of years they can benefit.
  • Fast starts. All 750,000 U.S. hourly employees are eligible to participate in Career Choice 90 days after starting at Amazon. This makes all 400,000 employees who joined the company since the start of the pandemic eligible to access Amazon-funded education opportunities.

“I worked in a warehouse setting for years but knew I wanted to help people and had been curious about healthcare. In just nine months, I became a certified clinical medical assistant while working at Amazon in Tracy, California, thanks to Career Choice,” said former Amazon operations employee and Career Choice graduate Patricia Soto. “A career in healthcare would have been difficult to obtain without tuition support from Amazon and an internship opportunity to apply my new skills.”

Additional new skills training programs

In addition to the expanded Career Choice benefits, Amazon is also launching three new upskilling programs—all tuition-free for participants—to provide even more career advancement opportunities for its employees. Learn more about the programs on Amazon’s website. 

Make an additional $10,000 a year and jumpstart your career

Surge2IT is now open to entry-level IT employees looking to advance their careers and work with the wide variety of technology in fulfillment centers, delivery stations, and buildings across our operations network. Surge2IT is part of Amazon’s more than $1.2 billion commitment to upskill 300,000 of its own employees by 2025.

What is Surge2IT and what do participants learn?

This is a program to help IT employees access learning resources and develop skills necessary to meet the technical bar for advancing into in-demand, higher-paying, customer-facing IT roles. The program provides an opportunity for some people who may not have had this opportunity otherwise to reach the next step in their career or professional field.

The program offers a wide scope of skills training. The content covers Amazon networks, devices, tools, and technology, including scanners, printers, laptops, mini computers at different stations, Amazon Robotics picking and stowing technology, and more, along with internal IT customer service and an introduction to project management. The training also provides more standard, industrywide technical training that focuses on network routing and infrastructure, Linux command line, and Windows administration.

The last area of the program focuses on leadership and professional development. How do you build professional relationships, find a mentor, and coach others? How do you write a resume, nail an interview, and find open IT positions? You learn those skills and can use them to pursue a career within Amazon, or you could take that base knowledge and find an IT career somewhere outside of Amazon.

Participants who move up at Amazon can quickly make an additional $10,000 a year. And long term, an IT career could lead to an additional $20,000 to $50,000 a year. It’s a game-changer.

Learn more about Amazon’s commitment to upskilling.

Source: Amazon
Source: Amazon