Nearly 60,000 Amazon employees signed up for the company’s Career Choice program in 2022, a 329% increase in annual participation compared to 2021. The global program, available in 14 countries, allows employees to pursue further education and skills training through a variety of programs.
Since its launch in 2012, Career Choice has seen more than 110,000 participants explore a range of opportunities, including starting or returning to school, learning new skills, or earning industry certifications. Although the program has changed over time, its mission remains unchanged: to empower employees to learn new skills for professional success, at Amazon or elsewhere.
Career Choice 10 years later
When Amazon launched Career Choice 10 years ago, it focused on offering postsecondary certificate programs to operations employees. Today, the program offers prepaid college tuition, career coaching, new industry certifications, and more.
In 2022, Amazon invested in major enhancements to Career Choice, designed to better support hourly employees starting or restarting their education or pivoting their career goals.
Last year in the U.S., Career Choice expanded its offerings to include English-language proficiency courses and high school completion programs. As of December 2022, the program had over 6,000 participants in the English-language proficiency program and over 160 participants completing their GED in the first year the program was available.
Announced in August 2022, Amazon partnered with Kaplan for one-on-one Career Choice coaching to help participants identify the academic programs that best fit their skills and long-term goals and provide continuous support throughout their higher education experience.
In addition to expanding the types of programs available to employees, Amazon Career Choice’s network of partners and pathways has grown to over 400 education partners, including several historically Black colleges and universities.
For those looking for industry-specific education, Career Choice offers five pathways for participants to earn certifications in IT, healthcare, transportation, mechanical and industrial systems, and business and administration systems.
Increased demand for education and skills training
Amazon has seen increased interest and enrollment in various education programs since the start of the pandemic, reflecting employees’ desire to fortify their skillsets. Enrollment in Career Choice rapidly grew in 2021 and again in 2022, with participation in those two years representing 93% of total participants in the program’s 10-year history.
This surge in interest in upskilling is also reflected in an October 2022 upskilling study conducted by Workplace Intelligence in partnership with Amazon. The study found that 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%).
“We know that employees are looking for various ways to continue or start their education and skills training pursuits. The diverse opportunities available through the Career Choice program, and our nine other upskilling programs, are reflective of the needs and potential of our incredible workforce,” said Beth Galetti, SVP of People, eXperience, and Technology at Amazon. “We’re excited about the growth of the program thus far and look forward to celebrating the next cohort of participants and graduates.”
Amazon’s Career Choice program showcases the powerful impact of education and skills training on the lives of individuals once barriers to further education are removed. Many participants are in various stages of planning their next career steps, highlighting that there is no limit on seeking ways to advance professionally and achieve career success.