Whether you currently work at Amazon or are considering applying, their Career Choice program might catch your eye. You may be looking for a way to fund your college education or fund a certificate program to secure higher-paying jobs. Either way, Amazon’s Career Choice tuition reimbursement program may have something for you. Amazon offers to help pay for some employees’ educational programs.
But do you qualify? In this article, we’ll break down the specific requirements for Career Choice. These include employment status requirements, requirements surrounding your field of study, and more. We’ll also go over how much Amazon may be willing to pay and offer some alternative options for tuition reimbursement. Let’s get into it.
How tuition reimbursement works
Employers offer tuition reimbursement programs as a benefit to their employees. Employees can take advantage of these programs to fund further education. This can include four-year degrees, certificate programs, and two-year degrees. It might even just include a short training program; each company offers to fund different types of programs.
Companies offer these programs to increase employee satisfaction and to train their workforce. Their hope is that employees will be able to use their experience to advance within the company. It’s always cheaper for companies to promote from within than to start an external hiring process. So, it’s a win-win situation for employees and employers if their employees gain more credentials.
Who is eligible for the Career Choice program?
Currently, anyone who has been a “blue badge” employee at Amazon for at least one year is eligible for the Career Choice program. Seasonal workers get white badges, and do not qualify. In contrast, blue badge employees work at Amazon year-round. However, this rule will change as of January 1, 2022. You will only need to have been a blue-badge employee for 90 days before you are eligible for Career Choice.
Amazon adds that these opportunities are extended to their subsidiary corporations and sections. These include “all hourly non-exempt FC, CS, corporate, AWS, Amazon Fresh Stores, Amazon Books, Amazon 4-star, Amazon Pop Up, Amazon Go and certain retail and eligible subsidiary associates. Subsidiaries includes A9, A100, A2Z, Audible, Brilliance, ComiXology, CreateSpace, Fabric.com, Goodreads, Amazon Pharmacy, Shopbop, Woot.”
Also see: What is an associate degree?
How much will the Career Choice program cover?
As of January 1, 2022, the Career Choice program will cover up to 100% of the cost of programs. But this may vary on a case-by-case basis, so it’s difficult to know how much they will cover until you apply.
Approved fields of study
Amazon bases its approved fields of study on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They only approve certain fields that are proven to be high-paying or in-demand. Currently, the approved fields include:
- Administration and business services
- Mechanical and skilled trades
- Information technology
It is worth noting that up until the end of 2021, Amazon has not offered tuition reimbursement for any bachelor’s degrees. But as of January 1, 2022, Amazon will add several new approved fields and degree types. These are:
- High school completion/GED
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Bachelor’s degrees
Also see: Highest paying associate degree jobs
Uncertainties in Amazon Career Choice
Amazon Career Choice may seem like a great option for some, but without Amazon credentials, it’s difficult to ascertain many specific details. At the time this article was written, their webpage contained only minimal information. You’ll need an Amazon employee login to learn about the nuts and bolts, and this information is not widely available elsewhere.
Though the Amazon site promises “up to 100%” reimbursement, it does not provide a minimum or average contribution. So, it’s hard to say what chance you have of receiving a large contribution. If you are looking into applying for a job at Amazon in the hopes of receiving tuition reimbursement, you should be sure to clarify your opportunities during your interview or quickly after landing the job. Don’t bank on 100% reimbursement based on their website.
Also see: What are the fastest growing careers?
Wrapping it up: All your options
The Amazon Career Choice program can provide great opportunities for employees to further their careers. The program is undergoing substantial changes in 2022 that will expand eligible programs and employees. If you are an Amazon employee, it is absolutely worth looking into your potential Career Choice options. You can do so on their website.
However, the website is also unclear on the specifics of the program. It only offers programs through partner schools and organizations, but it does not mention what schools these are. Ultimately, your options through the program may be limited. If you are considering applying to Amazon for Career Choice, you should try to get in touch with a current employee who has taken advantage of the program. You should know what you’re getting into before you make the commitment.
It’s also worth noting that Amazon has made headlines many times due to controversial labor practices. Make sure to do your research to ensure that their working environment is one that you would feel comfortable working in.
If you are interested in tuition reimbursement, make sure to shop around other employers that offer it. Amazon is not alone in this program; a 2019 study found that 59% of employers have tuition reimbursement. Starbucks and Chipotle are both well-known for their programs, and we have guides to each of them. Good luck on your search; finding a good position with tuition reimbursement can change your life!
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to continue working for Amazon after I receive Career Choice tuition reimbursement?
You do not! If you receive tuition reimbursement, you are not under an obligation to continue at Amazon. While they may hope that you choose to apply your new skills at their company, you do not have to. You can use Career Choice tuition reimbursement to earn a degree that allows you to land a new job elsewhere. But it’s worth noting that many courses are taught directly through Amazon, and it’s unclear whether other employers will value these credentials.
Is Amazon Career Choice worth it?
Amazon Career Choice is a great opportunity for many people. You can earn substantial subsidies to further your education and career. However, it’s worth noting that the program specifics can be unclear. Furthermore, they only offer programs in specific subject matters and through partner organizations. Information about these programs is hard to ascertain. Many are taught on-site through Amazon directly. It’s unclear whether these classes will be valuable outside of the company.
Before committing to Amazon Career Choice, you should be sure to examine other tuition reimbursement options. You may find an option that suits your field of interest better. For example, Chipotle offers up to $5,250 per year for any educational program you’d like, and 100% reimbursement for their partner programs.