Starbucks is becoming a trend setter in the best possible way. And it doesn’t have to do with their newest latte flavor or their fair-trade coffee bean programs. They are adding something new to the menu of their employees’ benefits program.
Starbucks has partnered with Arizona State University to offer employees working at least 20 hours a week access to an on-line college degree. The company will cover 50% of the full-time tuition costs for freshman and sophomores and 100% for juniors and seniors.
What is the potential value of this new Starbucks employee benefit? A June study released by The Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that a person with a bachelor’s degree can expect to earn $1.2 million more from ages 22-64 than someone with a high school diploma alone. So Starbucks is giving their employees a great incentive to work and earn their degree at the same time. And what’s good for the employees is likely good for Starbucks’ business.
Do you think this will this inspire other companies to follow suit? What would it mean to you to work for a company that was willing to subsidize even a part of your college degree?