Fidelity is the latest employer to offer free college education to workers – CNBC

by | Nov 3, 2022 | Education

Despite growing economic uncertainty, employers are still waging a war for talent, and employees are coming out ahead.Now, more businesses are expanding their benefit offerings with free college programs to attract and retain workers.Most recently, Fidelity Investments said it will offer fully funded undergraduate degrees to 18,000 employees, including entry-level customer service phone representatives. The company, which already offered student debt repayment, will cover the upfront costs for tuition, books and fees at select two- and four-year schools, avoiding the need for reimbursement. More from Personal Finance:98% of workers support pay transparencyCompanies are slashing parental leave benefitsHere are the ‘most employable’ college degreesOther major financial institutions, including Citi and PNC, announced similar offerings this year.Roughly 38,000 Citi front-line consumer banking employees are eligible for its education benefits program, including free college. PNC’s tuition program is available to 62,000 employees.”The war for talent is over,” PWC U.S. Chairman Tim Ryan said at the CNBC Work Summit last month. “Talent won.”Coming out of the pandemic, these types of benefits play a big part in the competition for workers and, as a result, more companies are offering opportunities to develop new skills, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s recent employee benefits survey. Now, 48% of employers said they offer undergraduate or graduate tuition assistance as a benefit, according to that survey.Nationwide pizza chain Papa John’s also recently announced it is offering fully funded degrees, as well as tuition assistance for associate’s and master’s degrees and professional certificate programs.Roughly 12,000 full- and part-time front-line employees, including delivery drivers and kitchen staff who work as little as 10 hours a week, are eligible for the education benefits program, including free college, according to the company.”Wherever you can differentiate yourself is pretty critical,” said Marvin Boakye, Papa John’s chief people and diversity officer.Wherever you can differentiate yourself is pretty critical.Marvin BoakyePapa John’s chief people and diversity officerOther big corporate names, such as McDonald’s, T-Mobile, Amazon, Home Depot, Target, Walmart, UPS, FedEx, Chipotle and Starbucks, also have programs that help cover the cost of going back to school. Waste Management will not only pay for college degrees and professional certificates for employees but also offers …

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