Since the coronavirus pandemic started, the needs of employers and employees in the workplace have rapidly changed. Employers seeking to recruit and engage employees need to offer top-quality learning and development programs to entice potential candidates, and current employees are looking to develop their skills, advance in their jobs, and grow professionally.

A new survey from Workplace Intelligence, conducted in partnership with Amazon, showed that workers are highly focused on skills development and career advancement. In fact, most workers are concerned they lack the skills (78%) and education (71%) required to advance their careers, and 70% feel unprepared for the future of work. The study was conducted as a blind survey of 3,000 U.S. employees from a variety of industries and companies, and those surveyed were not Amazon employees.

Mobility and growth

Nearly nine out of 10 workers surveyed said that if they were looking for a new job, it would be important for their potential employer to offer a strong skills-development program (87%), an abundance of career-advancement opportunities (88%), and ways for them to progress toward a different job or career track (87%).

A woman sits outside working on her computer in front of the Amazon Spheres.

Career mobility is a large part of what makes Amazon’s culture unique. Whether employees want to move upward, leverage transferable skills in a new role, or build a career in an entirely new industry, those opportunities are available to employees at all levels. Amazon employees understand that growth means more than promotions or vertical jumps. It includes non-traditional growth paths, such as the ability to develop new skills, explore new roles, and build and manage teams of all sizes.

Building your network

In addition to our formalized skills-development programs, Amazon also offers employees growth opportunities through programs such as the Amazon Mentoring Program (AMP), internal and external networking sessions, and our 13 affinity groups. AMP, launched in 2016, offers opportunities to improve professional development, better understand company culture, and gain new perspectives. These types of programs, available to employees of varying backgrounds and skillsets, enable a diverse, empowered workforce.

Skills training opportunities

The survey also revealed insights into what type of training programs employees are looking for from their employers. Of those surveyed, 78% of employees said that their company’s learning and development programs have “significantly” or “somewhat” benefited them over the past two years, but many people don’t have access to the programs they want the most. Just over half of employees said their employer offers free or partially covered college tuition (51%), training programs in other areas of the business (55%), and networking opportunities (55%). However, more than 8 out of 10 employees said it’s important for their employer to offer these benefits.

Two women work at a table on their computers at the Amazon office with a view of the Seattle Space Needle.

Programs like Career Choice, Amazon Technical Academy, Machine Learning University, and apprenticeships offer opportunities for our corporate and operations employees to build and develop new skills, learn new industries, and participate in technical-training programs. Amazon's Career Choice program works with more than 200 education providers across the U.S., which includes colleges and universities, partners providing industry certifications, English-language proficiency, and high school completion programs.

Eligible hourly employees have access to prepaid college tuition, GED and high school diplomas, language programs and industry certifications.

Julio Martinez, a data center technician at Amazon, is one example of someone who has grown his career at Amazon. He obtained his bachelor’s degree through the Career Choice program.

"Access to pre-paid college tuition through Amazon's Career Choice removed the financial barriers that previously prevented me from furthering my education," Martinez said. "As I seek the next steps in my career, I'm confident that my degree and the certifications I gained will provide additional opportunities for me to advance professionally at Amazon."

Professional development

For those surveyed who are looking for new opportunities, the majority said if they were looking for another job, it would be "very" or "somewhat" important for their new employer to offer a strong skills-development program (87%), lots of career-advancement opportunities (88%), and ways for them to transition to a different job or a new career path (87%). The variety of Amazon’s career-advancement, mobility, and skills-development programs are integral to our peculiar culture, and a big part of why employees come and stay. Learn more about about the Amazon and Workplace Intelligence 2022 Workplace and Career Advancement survey.