Starbucks USA funds its employees’ online science and higher professional education at Arizona State University. All 135,000 Starbucks USA employees are eligible for this scheme, provided they work a minimum of 20 hours a week and meet the admission requirements of Arizona State University.
It is the first time a large company has financed a complete education of employees without any strings attached. Some employers reimburse part of the costs, but new workers are excluded, or employees are obliged to remain employed by the same employer for many years. At Starbucks, an online bachelor’s degree is now feasible for all employees, even if they then leave with their diploma for a better-paying job.
What’s in it for Starbucks?
But what’s the use of Starbucks? Starbucks believes these capabilities will attract different (and better) staff, improve business performance, and reduce workplace friction. Employees in low-paid service jobs rarely have the prospect of obtaining a diploma: costs for education are very high in America.
Fight against social inequality.
Arizona State and Starbucks are fighting with this partnership against the social inequality that is still growing in America. The middle class has a hard time and has to give up a lot. This makes it difficult to, for example, career steps or work yourself up from a low economic background. Online learning offers this middle class the opportunity to follow vocational education in addition to hard work.
Education for everyone
Online education allows people to earn a degree, work, and family. Many Starbucks employees now take a very long time to study because they have to finance their studies with a low-paid jobs. For them, it is often uncertain whether they will ever complete the study. With the support of their employer, there is light for them at the end of the tunnel.
The knowledge available but not self-evident
This collaboration between Arizona State University and Starbucks is extraordinary. Because it is unique, but also because it proves that modern times offer many possibilities. Knowledge is available everywhere but is also becoming increasingly important. Online learning makes it possible to keep learning anytime and anywhere and thus take your future into your own hands.